Without a doubt you will be utilizing some sort of external antenna for optimal OTA viewing. Preferably, this means you would mount something outside your home in order to bring in the best signal, etc. Second choice would be upstairs in a window location/unobstructed downstairs location. Attics can be a bit rough IME. Mounting it near the HDTV would actually be my last choice (too clustered generally to be the most useful IME) unless that perfect window was close by.
You unfortunately won't be finding anything useful anywhere regarding how the built in tuners function from one HDTV to another. Why? Because most folks are using cable or satellite boxes. Also, the location of the dwelling/location of HDTV inside the dwelling/building materials greatly affects reception, throwing a wrench in any sort of useful review of how a particular built in tuner suffices. Most perform adequately though.
All that said, I would shoot for the HDTV w/ best PQ that fits your budget. Vizio would probably be my last choice in that price bracket. YMMV. Sony is fine. Don't avoid Samsung either since you can often find last year's model with better PQ and post-sales support than Vizio can offer (usually).
My preference is to grab a Roku or something similar vs worrying about the lack of support for a 'smart' <ahem> tv's built in apps. Updates typically come more frequently w/ external boxes than they do using the built in apps. Trial and error is required though. In no way is the 'cord cutter' life easier in any way, shape or form. (Cheaper, yes)
Hint: for other types of internet streaming you might also consider grabbing a cheap laptop with HDMI output and remote. It's provides a heck of a lot of flexibility when you are looking for something not found on the Roku, etc.
I don't have a TV and have been watching shows on my laptop via 50mbps wifi, Netflix and Amazon Prime. (FYI, I have no Apple products in my ecosystem and won't be getting cable. ) I want to buy a new TV about $500ish plus ROKU and perhaps soundbar. It doesn't have to be a smartTV but I am strongly considering Vizio E40 or a comparable size Samsung, SONY or LG, (Picture quality is important so TLC Roku isn't on the list.) While I want to watch Netflix on the screen, I also want to watch PBS, NBC and other OTA. I am finding little on the performance of the built-in TV antenna on Consumer Reports and CNET. I have heard that Samsung's built-in antennas problems. Does anyone have a 2014 or newer TV with similiar cord-cutter arrangement? How do you rate Samsung, SONY, LG or Vizio on built-in antenna? Is a smart tv really easier for a cord-cutter life? Any suggestions or recommendation?