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863 of 898 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Antennas Compared
I'm a first timer at getting OTA HDTV. This has been an experiment in progress for the past 5 weeks. I have gone through four antennas (they are all here as I write this) before finding something that's satisfactory (rather than tolerable).

I live around 25 miles from Manhattan, where the towers of most TV stations are located. I am also aware of the...
Published on June 12, 2007 by YSC

versus
156 of 183 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ten dollars for ... nothing.
I see that some people have had reasonably good results with this cheapest of antennas. I wasn't one of the lucky ones. I tried the antenna in various positions -- atop the TV, in the window, etc., and did not get any type or quality of signal at all. When I tried to adjust the dipole wands, one of them just broke off.

An update of sorts -- I had the...
Published on February 26, 2009 by Orange Newt


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863 of 898 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Antennas Compared, June 12, 2007
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
I'm a first timer at getting OTA HDTV. This has been an experiment in progress for the past 5 weeks. I have gone through four antennas (they are all here as I write this) before finding something that's satisfactory (rather than tolerable).

I live around 25 miles from Manhattan, where the towers of most TV stations are located. I am also aware of the directional information from [...], and have experimented accordingly with its effects on reception. My apartment's windows all face north, while the signals all comes from southwest. I cannot get signals from where it comes from, and thus needed to get signals from deflections perhaps off nearby buildings and trees. It's a very poor circumstance for over-the-air reception, maybe just slightly better than being underground. Signals are weak, and are affected by weather. Stormy and windy days have shown effects at disrupting signal reception.

With this said, and without going into much detail, let's talk about the antennas. Now all these antenna have been tested with the same equipment, setup, directional adjustments, location, etc. etc. and have been tested through good an foul weather, day and night, to observe differences.

1.Terk HDTVa Terk HDTVa Indoor Amplified High-Definition Antenna for Off-Air HDTV Reception- After reading some rave reviews and high ratings at [...], log periodic types (looks like a fishbone) seems to be the way to go. I got the Terk HDTVa first, thinking that the amplification and VHF antenna should nail my reception problems at the start. However, after more than two weeks of fidgeting around ad nauseam (directions, locations, amplifications, different devices, etc.), I only managed to pick up two ATSC channels' signals, and even those don't have strong enough signals to display anything. I thought maybe it's just my poor location, and that I should probably give up on the attempt. The included in-line amplifier dongle doesn't work at all. Powering it on makes no difference in signal strength readings, which hovered around 5-10%.

It is well built, looks nice, good concepts, but it just didn't work.

2.Phlips PHDTV1 Philips PHDTV1 Digital HDTV-UHF Indoor Antenna- The venerated "silver sensor" which was previously sold under the Zenith brand also had great ratings and reviews. It's in fact nearly legendary. I decided, in desperation, to try it out, even if it doesn't have amplification. It seems all my local HD channels are in UHF anyway, so I won't miss the VHF dipoles.

The unit has startlingly poorer build quality compared to the Terk. It has paint bubbles, hairs and dusts trappings in the paint, sharp edged cheap plastics and much thinner metal blades that's covered in oil and has some dings and bendings. I wasn't impressed with the quality, and didn't expect much from it as I set it up.

To my surprise, it picked up 9 working channels (note: the terk got two channels' signals, but they didn't work) from the start, even if it's randomly placed. It's thrilling as it was the first time I saw OTA HDTV. After some adjustment and location experiments, I was able to receive 19 channels. However, not all of these channels work well given the same direction.

The directionally sensitive antenna needs to be adjusted as I switch channels. e.g. NBC and CBS seems to work well in one direction, while ABC has its own favorite direction, which works also with FOX. I tried as best as possible to find a compromise point where everything works. I couldn't. It just needs to be adjusted constantly.

The transmission is often dogged by reception fluctuations. Signal quality tend to fluctuate quite a bit, especially affected by weather. That means the TV playback would get choppy at times, with its severity dependent on the direction I point the antenna at. I didn't think fluctuating signals was a characteristic until I tried the latter two antennas later. I also found that I had to constantly play with the directional positioning to get a stable signal from each of the stations.

It works, and I was impressed, but then in retrospect it could only be best described as a "tolerable" HDTV experience as I struggled for a smooth signal delivery.

3.RCA ANT111 Basic Indoor Antenna- While shopping in stores, I saw this basic and classic RCA loop/dipole antenna for less than $[...]. I couldn't resist the temptation to try it out, just for the heck of it. It is also a different type of antenna than the previous two.

Again, I was surprised. This cheap antenna worked well, especially considering how it's only a fraction of the price of the two I'd tried. I ended up getting 17 channels, a few less than the PHDTV1, with the same location and setup. Some channels also don't work, even if signals were detected. The quality of the signals seems to be the key.

So what's so special about it? It strangely had better signal delivery for the channels that worked. It's not as choppy, and quality level is very steady. It is also not as affected by directional positioning. I was for the first time able to view FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC without adjusting the antenna. However, the lack of directionality also makes it ambiguous when I lost the signal. It seems that there's no "favorite direction" for the channels, which also means I can't pull in stronger signals at my choosing. It is also quite susceptible to weather changes, particularly wind (which probably affected signals reflected by trees?)

The signal strength also seems to be a little weaker, though the signal quality tend to be higher in general. That probably contributed to the smoother video delivery. It also tempted me to get a similar design that has amplification.

4.Philips MANT510 Philips High Performance Amplified Indoor Uhf/ Vhf/ Fm Antenna- This unit has a "digital TV optimized, patent pending UHF panel array". I thought I'd try it out just for the slightly different antenna design, if not just for the adjustable amplification.

Well, it works, and works quite well. The antenna doesn't work without power, and with amplification turned off it works a little less than unpowered PHDTV1 and ANT111. Yet with the amplification turned on, I get 24 channels, with strength up to 81% (compared to 3-10% unamplified, and quality consistently above 60 and usually in the 70-90%+. That generates the most reliable video delivery of all the ones tried.

While thunderstorms still managed to distrupt signals, it's much less often and only momentarily. I also don't have to worry about hunting for signals as I just point it in one general direction and I get everything but three NJN channels (they are even further from here.. maybe a good 50 miles).

I finally can just set the antenna and forget it. It lets me focus on the programming rather than antenna adjustment. While it needs to be powered, it gives me the confidence to finally enjoy HDTV, rather than tweaking and tolerating it. It's good enough that I can probably stop searching. I hope it'll be helpful to you who may be going through the same purchasing decision nausea as I have.
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186 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid option for suburban digital viewing, July 15, 2008
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
Because of costs and the fact that we don't watch much TV, our family recently decided to jettison satellite and go back to the venerable over-the-air broadcasts. I have a standard definition TV, so in anticipation of the change to DTV, I purchased this antenna alongside a digital converter box.

I decided to take a chance on this little unit because it was the least expensive out there, figuring it was worth a risk before I started sinking more money. As it turns out, the RCA antenna works great -- we have about 11 digital channels in our area and this device brings in all of them, even with the antennas fully retracted. What's more, the picture is fantastic (satellite-quality) and our digital tuner reports that the signal strength is quite strong. I had to do very little manual adjusting to make it work. I'm glad I took my chances with this little item before I started soaking my money in more sophisticated models.

Now, a disclaimer -- we live about 15 miles from a mid-sized city, so our location is pretty close. That said, I'm also within a couple of miles from an airport, which makes this little antenna more impressive.

UPDATE 1: I've experimented with several other models, including mid-range ($30-40) amplified antennas. To date, none of them have outperformed this little antenna, and most of the time their signals are inferior. The ANT111 has earned it's keep.

UPDATE 2: I found a Terk HDTVa Indoor Amplified High-Definition Antenna at a yard sale for a few dollars. It is the only antenna I have found that has outperformed this antenna. The Terk is work a look if you want to pay out the money (or can stumble on it used as I did), but the RCA antenna is still the best value for the money.
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183 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great picture - great price, February 24, 2008
By 
beepclick (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
Length:: 1:24 Mins

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HKGK8Y
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153 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want to be impressed, but I am - 100 channels, August 23, 2012
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
My husband decided to ditch Direct TV after getting abused by them over several years and overpaying for channels we don't watch. $29.99 for 12 months, yea sure. Because at one point we moved and had to place our service on hold for several months, they continued to claim those months as $29.99 months, even though the service was not being used or paid for at the time. So when we reinstated the account, we were asked to pay the full 80 plus bucks. Anyway, this isn't about Direct TV (well sort of).

Fast forward to why I didn't want to be impressed by this antenna. So I like watching the Food Network and I knew I would no longer have that channel. We talked about getting Hulu Plus for other shows I'd want to continue watching. I was a little peeved because my husband wanted to ditch Direct TV, but still pay for a $200 or more NBA league pass. We'd be still be saving about $700 for the year, but I thought it wasn't fair that he still got to see what he wanted and wasn't going to miss anything like I would. Whatever, I have other things to do besides watch TV anyway.

SOOOOOOOO, back to the point. He gets this antenna and I think it's a joke. I haven't used an antenna for about 20 years. I'm immediately on the defense about its tacky and rather embarrassing look, I just got done "reinventing" our living room. But he placed it behind our 46" (or is it 42? I can't remember)screen so the dipoles only stuck out about 7 inches, this is at the full extension. He plugs it in and a picture takes a moment to come up.

All of a sudden I'm seeing channel 13 in crystal clear 1080i HD. I tried to play it cool so he wouldn't notice I was impressed. "Well, flip the channel" I say in an icy tone. He flips it, again it takes a moment and I'm seeing channel 11 perfectly clear. We continued to look for channels but were are only getting around 4 channels. Then somehow the information processed in my brain. I remember when I got my first "Zenith" many eons ago, I was supposed to "scan" for channels to first set it up. I told him to try that and his rolodex also flipped back a couple of decades, before his face returned to looking hopeful once again. Miraculously, our HD TV had a "scan channels" section we found under the set up menu (Can't remember exactly where, but I'm sure each TV varies). So we begin the scan process and the number keeps climbing. 6 channels.....12 channels...18...25....I'm waiting for it to stop so I could roll my eyes. But no, the darn thing actually went past ONE HUNDRED channels. I couldn't believe it.

After the scan was done, we began looking at what we had scored and I almost wished there was a Direct TV rep in front of me I could flip off. It was a bit nostalgic to suddenly have all these wholesome PBS channels in HD. But the really cool thing is that we got channels I had never seen or heard of when I had Direct TV. Pretty interesting classic movie channels and Japanese Animation channels. It was pretty neat. Anyway, that's my story. I hope you guys can get good results like we did. I don't think I care much for Satellite anymore. The relationship is over and I'm fine with the simplicity of local channels. My husband actually made a good point that we don't have to worry as much about what our kids watch. It's probably a little late at this point, since they are 12 and 13, but it really did take the pressure off to see Pippi Longstocking and Wild Animal family shows coming in from offbeat stations. My daughter was actually pretty happy, but she's cool with just about anything. I hate to admit it, but I kind of like this new set up. No more overpaying for TV. We get tons of channels and I'm thinking about getting one for my mom because she's over paying with Time Warner as well. They are truly sick, charging her $113 and she's a senior. These satellite and cable companies have ripped us off long enough, I'm over it.

But I'm sure you guys wanted to know if it works, well for us it works perfectly and the picture is super clear. We do have an advantage though, we live in Hollywood so there are many TV stations around. But don't let that discourage you because I have no idea how we picked up a channel (clear) from Canada. I honestly don't know how that's possible but we did. Just think about it, before cable and satellite were around, everyone used antennas. SO just try it out, it's worth it. And USE THE SCAN feature or you will not be able to pick up on all the channels. I read reviewers griping about only getting a few channels, they need to do a scan, that's the key. Also, when you insert the dipoles the the base, don't be afraid of snapping them into place. It feels like they won't go all they way in and I was afraid to break it, but they're supposed to go inside so that they lock in place.
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156 of 183 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ten dollars for ... nothing., February 26, 2009
By 
Orange Newt (Bandon, OR USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
I see that some people have had reasonably good results with this cheapest of antennas. I wasn't one of the lucky ones. I tried the antenna in various positions -- atop the TV, in the window, etc., and did not get any type or quality of signal at all. When I tried to adjust the dipole wands, one of them just broke off.

An update of sorts -- I had the opportunity to speak with a technician at the main station I'm hoping to receive. He said (this is probably greatly simplified) that the TV broadcast network is made up of transmitters, beaming out a signal, and translators, passing it on. Transmitters were required to be digital-ready on February 17, but there was no such mandate for translators, which are being retrofitted or replaced piecemeal. He suggested I keep doing a channel scan every few days to see if the translator in my area, from which we were getting analog signal, has been digitalized yet. He also said that I would probably still get better reception from my old rooftop antenna than from any indoor digital antenna.

And a yet further update, if anyone's still interested by this time; here's some info I read in a newspaper column (and I wonder why it took NINE MONTHS from the changeover for this to be publicized? well, judge for yourself): Arthur Gubeskys, a former Motorola engineer who is now chief technology officer for the HDTV Antenna Labs website, says about antennas:

"Rooftop installation is always the best option. ... Unfortunately, indoor antennas are only good in close proximity to TV towers. ... There is no such thing as an HDTV antenna. Digital and analog television are on the same frequency bands, so any antenna that is good for analog TV is also good for digital TV. The "HDTV Antenna" is a marketing ploy adopted by American antenna makers to entice Americans to spend their hard-earned dollars on junk antennas ..."
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could it really have been that easy all along?, September 18, 2011
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
I bought this from Best Buy for $10.99 because I wanted it for the NFL today and even for that price it's a STEAL! I can't believe that for $5.99, here at Amazon, you can have this many HD channels for free. I get about 40 total stations and about 1/3 of those are in HD. When I say HD I mean crystal-clear, full-on high definition television. Of those 40 stations, about 35 are perfect and the remaining ones are a bit glitchy (i.e., poor reception?). According to the websites which detail what "over the air" are available in my area (Denver, CO) I'm getting every--single--one with this non-amplified, simple indoor antenna. So why would I spend 10x, 20x, 30x the price for a fancier one?

I get all the local channels, FOX, QVC, PBS, MTV3, weather, and a smattering of other channels I haven't yet spent time watching. There are also about 8 stations in Spanish for those of you who are into that.

Anyways, this is an absolute no-brainer for $5.99.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Location, Location, Location, May 30, 2012
By 
wheels (new jersey) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
Let me preface this review with a little geographical information. I live in a first floor apartment in a relatively flat part of central NJ and I am about 25 miles from the NY broadcast towers.

Like most people, I was tired of paying close to $200 per month for cable. After a lot of research on what signals I could potentially receive, I was finally able to convince my girlfriend that we could cut the cord and with an antenna to pull in at least the big 4 networks, and Netflix filling in the gaps, we would never miss it. I originally bought this antenna for nothing more than a proof of concept. I figured, if an $8 pair of old rabbit ears could pull in at least a couple, then I could justify spending at least $35 for the (almost) universally praised Mohu Leaf.

When the box arrived, I hooked it up, ran a scan, and pulled in 3 stations (well, only one was audio and video). That was good enough for me. Within a week or so, I put this antenna away and ordered the Leaf. While I won't go into my full experience, after playing around with positioning, I was able to pull in 24 channels.. While the design of the Leaf is more aesthetically pleasing than rabbit ears, I feel the drawback is that it can limit where you can place the antenna.

Things were going well, but my girlfriend missed watching Good Morning America while she got ready for work. I knew going in that the Leaf would not pull in VHF, which our ABC station is. In the interest of science, I decided to give the RCA antenna another shot. I bought a 25' cable and a coupler and decided to put the antenna in a kitchen window, facing NE towards the towers. I ran a scan and almost fell over when the antenna picked up 42 channels. Granted, most were in another language, but CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC came in crystal clear and in full HD. To be fair, i tried placing the Leaf with the longer cable as well, but it just could not compare. I couldn't send the Leaf back fast enough. Now, I'll admit, running a wire from my living room to the kitchen to achieve this is not the prettiest solution, but we don't watch TV constantly, so it's not too big a deal to us.

My advice to anyone considering cutting cable would be to do your homework. If you're 35+ miles from a tower, you're just not going to get results with an indoor antenna. There are lots of websites that will help you find out what signals you can pull in (antennaweb.org comes to mind). Once you get your antenna, put it in different places through your house. A few feet can make a huge difference.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RCA HDTV INDOOR ANTENNA MODEL 111, June 16, 2010
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
What I got from reading all the reviews and websites about antennas was that WHICH antenna works for your set up depends on your particlar environment. So I decided to try the least expensive among the antennae with mostly good reviews. Bingo! I got lucky on the first try, for under ten dollars, with the RCA indoor antenna #111. It is just basic, not amplified. It is small, lightweight, and feels "cheap" (well, it is, lol) and I had my doubts, but it works perfectly! I live at ground level, brick walls, tall trees all around, about 20 miles from the broadcasting towers.

I plugged this into the "antenna/cable" port of my HDTV (no power cable to plug in - yay), used my tv remote's menu to scan for channels, and under two minutes I was watching extremely clear (just as good as satellite) local channels. Easy-peasy. The tv is 12ft from a window, so put the antenna on the top shelf of a bookcase next to the tv (the cord IS short, the reason for 4 stars instead of 5). I hit the TV input and use the tv remote to change local channels, and the tv remote's Menu to view the description and schedule as I browse thru the channels. Pretty mch like cable!

For non-local channels, I access my Netflix/Amazon-on-Demand accounts thru my Roku player (see that review)after choosing HDMII input (or yours might be different) then using the Roku remote for those (and other) channels.

Good-bye satellite, and I don't even miss you!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!, June 26, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
I do not have cable, and since the switch to digital, I have constantly had to move antennas around, because I could never get the stations to cooperate. I wish I had this antenna a long time ago, it is perfect, and works great in my apartment. Since I hooked it up, I have been nothing but impressed, I now have all the channels, and I have not had to move the antenna since setup. This has turned out to be a great bargain, and an excellent purchase.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The little antenna that could, April 25, 2008
By 
Atlanta Guy (East Coast, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
Amazingly, like something out of "Being John Malkovich" or some other absurd comedy, these little rabbit ears -- yes, rabbit ears of all things -- enable reception of stunning, crystal clear, beautiful HD broadcasts that put even my Blu-ray player to shame.

Yes, you need an HD television to enjoy this aspect of the antenna. Otherwise you'll only get the often spotty standard-def signals. If you still have an SD set then this may not be the best thing going.

However, if you do have HD -- wow! I got this antenna for $9 at a brick and mortar store and still can't believe my good luck.

Okay, there *are* some minor quibbles:
First, the cord isn't that long, so you're limited in how far you can move the device away from the tv. Second, the antenna isn't very pretty. Third, occasionally the picture can break up depending on weather conditions.

But, for pure bang-for-the-buck, you just can't go wrong.

I live in a suburb of Atlanta, a bit removed from the major stations in a hilly area, but my HD reception is completely superb. The standard-def reception is another story (mucho snow), but I sure didn't get these babies for SD!

Amaze yourself and your friends with these rabbit ears. You won't be sorry.
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RCA Basic Indoor Antenna
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