Monday, December 1, 2014

RCA multi-directional amplified flat digital antenna CANT1450BF Review

After purchasing the GE Passive Indoor Antenna a few weeks ago and not really liking it, I returned it and decided to get the RCA multi-directional amplified flat digital antenna CANT1450BF.

I wasn't sure how a "multi-directional" antenna would perform but decided to purchase one to try because didn't want to constantly adjust the antenna. The RCA CANT1450BF was at a decent price so I decided to purchase it and give it a try with my Samsung UN32EH5300 LED 1080p Smart TV (HDTV).

RCA has four reception quality grade/categories (good, great, excellent, and superior) and they rate this antenna as one of their "excellent" reception quality antennas. According to the information, it supports 1080 HDTV broadcast and has 360 degree reception with no adjustment necessary. The frequencies supported according to the instructions is 54-88 Mhz, 175-216 Mhz, and 470-698 Mhz.

Inside the box is the digital flat antenna with a coax cable, an easel stand, a removable amplifier with coax cable, and the power supply.

The digital antenna either plugs in directly to the television or it can be plugged into the amplifier where the amplifier plugs in directly to the television. In my case, I plugged the amplifier to my satellite receiver's external antenna port and then connected the digital antenna to the amplifier. I tried not plugging the amplifier to the AC outlet but managed to get only 1-2 stations (similar to what I received with the GE/Omni Passive Indoor Antenna). If using a standard power bar, the AC plug will take up 2 AC outlets due to its size. It doesn't fully cover the second outlet on the power bar but does render it unusable.

I tried placing the antenna flat behind the television on the floor (close to a window) and after using the television to scan for available television stations, I managed to get 3 out of the 4 local stations that I was interested in. I moved the antenna and placed it flat on a table and I rescanned and got 3 stations (2 were the same as what I had gotten previously and 1 was different). I decided to connect the digital flat antenna to the easel stand and hang it over the table so it would be vertical (and facing the window). This time rescanning got me 4 of the local stations that I was interested in so I decided to keep this position. For this antenna, having the amplifier properly connected and plugged into an AC outlet does make a difference. Once I obtained the 4 local stations that I was interested in, I disconnected the amplifier and with the antenna positioned in the exact same location, I was only able to view 1 of the 4 channels. The other 3 channels produced a "weak signal" message. Surprisingly, as mentioned in my GE/Omni Passive Indoor Antenna review, with some adjustment and proper placement, my old rabbit ears non-amplified antenna was able to get the same 4 stations.

In terms of whether I would recommend this antenna, I think that it works well. I could probably get 1 or perhaps 2 more stations by readjusting the antenna but since I was mainly interested in the 4 local stations in my area, I didn't feel the need to readjust and then rescan for stations. Despite the information on the box, it will still need to be positioned in order to get the best signal (the information inside the box indicates that the antenna needs to be positioned in order to get the best signal).

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