Pros / This can be placed on a stand or hung from a wall.
Cons / The attached coaxial cable is only 6 feet long.
Verdict / This non-amplified antenna works best in homes that are closer to a TV tower, although don’t expect as many channels as you get with other HDTV antennas.
The RCA Indoor Omni-directional Flat Digital TV Antenna is one of the few HDTV antennas that isn’t thin and made of soft, flexible plastic. Instead, it boasts a hard plastic exterior that is square and glossy-black. It comes with a small metal stand that connects to the back of the antenna to stand it upright on a countertop. The back of the antenna also has two notches to hang the antenna on a wall with nails or screws.
When you first install your HDTV antenna to your television, you’ll want to move the antenna around to find the best place for reception. The problem with the RCA HDTV antenna is that the attached coaxial cable is only 6 feet long. This doesn’t give you much slack to move the antenna around. Other antennas such as the Winegard FlatWave feature coaxial cables that are upwards of 10 feet.
We tested each indoor HDTV antenna in two different locations: our office downtown and in a second-floor apartment a few miles south of our office building. The office is surrounded by taller buildings and townhomes, while the apartment has few obstructions. Using the RCA HD digital antenna in our office, we received 12 channels. Most of the channels were HD quality with a little breakup. In the apartment, we were able to receive 33 channels, but many of them were poor quality with lots of breakup and often lost signal. Many of the major channels such as CBS, PBS and ABC came in clear with HD quality, but many of the local channels and subchannels experienced bad signal reception. Keep in mind that the number of channels you’ll be able to receive will vary upon your location. The best HDTV antennas streamed all channels with great clarity and little breakup.
The RCA antenna does not feature an amplifier. Non-amplified digital HD antennas generally don’t have the reception strength of amplified models like the ClearStream Eclipse. The RCA can receive TV signals with a 40-mile radius, which is good considering it isn’t amplified. Most amplified models can receive signals up to 50 miles away.
RCA covers this TV antenna with a one-year warranty. You can contact RCA by phone or email if you have any questions about the HDTV antenna.
- Number of Channels (downtown office)
- Number of Channels (suburban apartment)
- Antenna Range
The RCA Flat Digital Antenna has good signal range considering it is a non-amplified antenna. It can receive channels from a tower within 40 miles, but many of the local and subchannels in our testing were poor quality streams. It comes with a stand and doesn’t provide much cable length so your best bet is to set it on a table top or on the floor after it's connected to your TV. It is cheaper than paying for cable, but for the price, you’ll be able to find a stronger HDTV antenna.