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Customer Reviews for RCA RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

RCA RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

The RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier is designed to enhance the performance of your antennas in areas that have a low signal. It improves the RF amplification between the receiver and the antenna so that you can get an improved reception. The UHF amplifier features a switchable FM trap to reduce the interference caused by FM frequencies. F-type connectors make it easy to install this TV antenna amplifier. This amplifier will allow your television to pick up more local stations, enabling you to watch news broadcasts or your favorite shows. This amplifier can be used anywhere that has low signal reception and is especially useful for rural or unincorporated areas.
Average Customer Rating:
3.56 out of 5
3.6
 out of 
5
(75 Reviews) 69
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating SnapshotOverall Rating Totals
5 stars
30
4 stars
21
3 stars
3
2 stars
3
1 star
18
Customer Recommendation69%52 out of 75reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Questions & Answers:
12 Questions | 28 Answers
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating SnapshotOverall Rating Totals
5 stars
30
4 stars
21
3 stars
3
2 stars
3
1 star
18
Customer Reviews
Review 1 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Performs better than expected

07/26/2013
By ,
Kapolei, HI
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Used this with my home made DB4 antenna w/ Di-pole and it definitely boosted the signal to the three television sets I have in my townhouse.
I really like the ability to feed this preamp VHF and UHF antenna cables, thus eliminating the need for a seperate signal combiner. The selectable FM trap is also a bonus.
Allowed me to pickup all OTA channels in the 96707 area.
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User submitted photo
User submitted photo
Product Attributes:
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+9points
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Review 2 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

It works

08/01/2012
By ,
SLC, UT
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I live in a 1 Edge "red" reception area per tvfool.com and 25 miles from the transmission towers. All of the HD channels I wanted were high UHF channels broadcasting in the same direction. This required a single (uni) direction outdoor antenna.
I purchased an Antennas Direct 43XG Uni-Directional UHF Only Antenna because of its high gain. (It's 4 ft long but not as ugly as traditional VHF antennas - there is the 91XG with a bit more gain but a few feet extra in length). I took off the satellite dish, used its mast that was already attached to my roof, as it was already in a good location, and ran a grounding wire down to my electrical outdoor meter mast to which my former telephone and cable boxes were also grounded to. Aimed the antenna towards the towers using the signal strength meter of my Tivo HD to find the strongest direction - literally had to aim within just a couple of degrees. The signal came great (versus nothing at all with any type of indoor antenna) and using about 10 feet of cable. But adding 125 ft of 75 ohm RG6 coaxial cable with a splitter - the db dropped considerably and I barely got signal and with lots of pixelation. Time for a Pre-Amp.
I considered the more popular and twice the cost Pre-Amps, but decided to go with this one. Unfortunately, it does not give you specs for db noise, and no where is it found on the box or instructions. However, it claims ELN (extremely low noise) circuitry and has a UHF db gain of 22. It also has high gain for VHF and allows for dual input along with an FM Trap if needed.
A Pre-amp is simply an outdoor amplifier versus an indoor distribution amplifier. The idea of a pre-amp is to add enough db at the source, to allow this cleaner signal to travel farther. Amps don't increase the actual performance of an antenna as whatever you get in terms of signal with the antenna is what you get. Amps just help compensate for cable runs and splits. Only thing you have to be careful with is sending too much db down the pipe, over-powering your receiver (plenty of sources explaining the science behind the db strength and the amount you need).
A Pre-amp does not require any extra cable or electrical to be run to the mast as you use the supplied power inserter and connect inside the house (prior to any splitter) to feed the electrical current back through the coax to the pre-amp on the mast. In my case the power connection was after 100 ft of cable.
Bottom-line, it worked great. During the marathon of watching the Olympics we rarely had pixelation, but maybe every couple of hours a one second jitter. All-in-all I'm happy with the product. It worked and I now have free beautiful DVRd HD TV using the right antenna, this pre-amp and a TiVo!
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User submitted photo
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+42points
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Review 3 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Good economical preamp for VHF/UHF reception

09/25/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This RCA preamp is able to deliver a good boost of existing signals. I live 21 miles from the 6 high power stations in the Jackson, MS market. I experienced about 8-12 points bump of signal strength on 4 of the 5 UHF stations, with the 5th already at 100%. VHF channel 12 did not really increase in signal strength, but seems to hold the lock on the station better. The line of trees in front of the antenna are probably the cause of this.
I recommend setting the FM trap to ON. If you have a separate VHF and UHF antenna, this preamp allows you to connect each one and separately boost each antenna's output before combining them into one output. Otherwise, make sure you flip the switch to combined.
I have a line of trees about 40-50 feet in front of the antenna, so the signal strength is weakened some by that. Overall, though, I recommended this preamp. Note that your mileage may vary. When possible, try to get the antenna as high as possible (60 ft. max by FCC/FAA regulations) and avoid trees in front of the antenna. Also, use RG-6 Quad shield cabling to minimize interference and loss.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
0points
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Review 4 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Very Solid Results (specifics given)

10/03/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When I lived 20 miles west of Chicago, I would get all major channels on the same antenna I am using now. But when I moved to about 30 miles due west of Chicago, I had no luck getting WBBM Channel 2. All the other major channels had no problem. I hooked this up and Bazinga! Channel 2 and even some weak signals (but viewable) channels in the UHF are now strong and clear.
Pros:
- Inexpensive
- Simple to install, just hook up the coax cables and plug it in
- Does what I expected it to do
- Works on both VHF and UHF
Cons:
- Just a nitpick. The manual states that the FM trap and combined UHF/VHF signal are the default, and that the factory sets these switches to “On.” However, mine arrived with both set “Off.” So I used a screwdriver and turned them both "On" - an easy fix.
- If you are looking for the most powerful pre-amplifier out there, this is not it. It is more of a middle boost amplifier (but please read comments below)
Comments:
- Even though this is made to attach to an exterior antenna, I am using it on an indoor Zenith ZHDTV1 (no longer made by manufacturer unfortunately) antenna located on a second floor. The antenna itself is not amplified. It would likely not be effective or might even degrade the signal on an amplified antenna, so I would not recommend doing so.
- Consider the fact that my entire cost including this amplifier and the Zenith antenna is about $50. So you don't have to pay hundreds of dollars to get good reception.
- My first thought when looking for an amplifier was to get one of the most powerful available, but when I did research, I found that people who did that would actually LOSE channels when hooking it up because it was over amplifying the signals and the noise associated with it. So, from my experience I would say (at least in the Chicagoland area), if you live
Within 25* miles of the broadcasting source, you shouldn't need a pre-amplifier at all.
25- 50* miles from the source, this pre-amplifier would be ideal
over 50* miles, this may work, but you may need to look for something more powerful
* - Antenna effectiveness varies greatly, so scale these numbers accordingly. For example, if you know someone that is getting all channels in your area with a particular antenna model with no amplifier at 40 miles, the same antenna (if pointed correctly) with this pre-amp will likely work at 60 miles.
Tips for better reception:
- Point your antenna using a strength meter if possible (I’m connected to a computer, so I use software for my tuner card, but some cable DVRs have them, some analog to digital tuner boxes have them that display strength bars with the channel info)
- Put the amplifier close to the antenna to reduce noise
- Don’t over amplify
- Use decent quad-shielded coax cable (not the cheapie thin wire stuff)
- Minimize the number of coax connections between the antenna and TV
- Splitters reduce signal strength, use them sparingly
- Never kink a coax, use arcs around cornersc
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+2points
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Review 5 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Will not work if a splitter is in your coax run

04/24/2013
By
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The amplifier works great, once I figured out the best way to use it. I was this close to returning it when I first hooked it up because I lost all the stations I was originally getting. But through trial and error, I found out how to use it. I ended up having to move my antenna from the outside into the attic because my coax run was long and there were two splitters in the run between the antenna and the indoor plug part. By getting one 50' coax cable with no splitters, the signal was amplified and now all stations are coming in crystal clear and even a few more stations I was unable to get before. When reading other reviews on this product before I bought it, I did not see anything about not using splitters, so I hope this helps!
Product Attributes:
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+31points
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Read Comments (2)
Read Comments (2)
Customer Avatar
TX
Power-passing splitters
Posted 05/05/2014
You CAN use splitters between the power injector and the preamp... You just need to buy newer splitters, designed for preamps, that specifically say "POWER PASSING" on one port. Then make sure you've got the power injector connected to the correct leg of the splitter.
Of course there's nothing wrong with going directly from the preamp to the power injector, putting the splitter behind the power injector, but some wiring layouts make it very difficult to do so, and a power-passing splitter can be a very useful option.
0points
Customer Avatar
Southern
No Split vs. Multiple TV Sets
Posted 01/02/2014
If you don't split, then how do you run multiple TV Sets?
0points
Read Comments (2)
Read Comments (2)
Review 6 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Works Great but the defaults need to be reset

10/20/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I was able to go from 24 to 41 stations after installing this pre-amp.
Installing a high grade R6 75 ohm cable from the antenna
to the pre-amp works much better than the cheap ones.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
0points
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Review 7 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

No noticeable improvement

09/15/2014
By ,
Burnsville, MN
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Installed per instructions. No noticeable difference. Was suspect when the setting the instructions indicated we default, we're set to the opposite. Returned to store.
Product Attributes:
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Recommends this product? No
+1point
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Review 8 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Works as described

08/16/2014
By
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Instructions and illustrations were incorrect, but check the settings (switches) and connections and it should work as described. Went from 8 good stations (32 total) to 55 stations with good signals. Preamp is near antenna with a 35 foot run to a 4-way splitter to 4 TVs.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+2points
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Review 9 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Good economical option for intermediate pre amp

07/29/2014
By ,
Hartland, WI
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease to understand and set up.
Product Attributes:
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
+3points
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Review 10 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Worked very well

08/13/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I installed 2 RCA pre-amps on different antennas and both increased signal strength.Works even
better with a antenna rotor.Antenna set up is the key to any antenna reception.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+2points
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Review 11 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Does a great job for weak signals

08/06/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had three channels that were weak. ( one bar out of 5) I added the amplifier at the mast and now I get all channels at 5 bars out of 5.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+2points
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Review 12 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Inexpensive and completely elimenated breakup

10/06/2014
By
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Inexpensive and completely eliminated breakup on all channels. Good buy for the money
Product Attributes:
Value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
0points
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Review 13 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Doubled my channels

09/30/2014
By ,
Hardinsburg, KY
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Just try different directions on your antenna, I know all the scanning is a hassle, but you want more channels don't you? Oh yeah, and check out the switch positions because neither of mine where in the ”default” position.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Male
0points
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Review 14 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Works great--easy to install

12/26/2012
By ,
Corinth, Texas
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Before installing this pre-amp, I used signal boosters at each TV outlet (purchased at Radio Shack). Antenna reception seemed good enough, but recently I started having poor or no reception for some channels at one of my house outlets. I was considering a more expensive signal booster for the TV, but after checking around at antenna websites, the idea of a pre-amp mounted at the antenna sounded like a better alternative.
The pre-amp I first considered cost about $60-$70 (internet order from an outfit selling Channel Master antennas I think). Then I ran across this RCA pre-amp at Wal-Mart for less than $25 and pick it at my local store for free shipping.
The unit was easy to install. I attached it inside at my attic antenna and left the pre-amp power supply in the attic as well. The antenna wire after the pre-amp connects outside to a 3-way splitter where the cable wire used to connect to the house. I get better reception results at all three pre-wired in-house outlets since adding the pre-amp. I still have the signal boosters at each TV, and now have the RCA pre-amp as part of my system as well. With the added benefits of the per-amp, channel reception went from arouind 50 to 80. Previous poor recption problem was corrected, and I hope it continues even during the hot Texas summers when the attic really heats up.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+12points
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Review 15 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Works Good

11/16/2012
By
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The towers are about 60 miles from my house in plain sight. They seem to use less power during the night and I was losing stations. I got the pre-amp to boost the signal in this situation. I do get all the stations I normally do during the day after I installed the pre-amp, but a few still are coming in fuzzy and unwatchable. Daytime channels 26, without pre-amp at night 18, with pre-amp at night 26. Very happy with how it performs (no ghosting etc.) but probably should have attacked the problem differently by getting a bigger antenna in combination with the pre-amp of course.
Product Attributes:
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+10points
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Review 16 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

improved reception and worth the small price

06/17/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reception now brings in all the four major networks and three ETV channels. Previously no ETV or CBS. I live 30 miles from closest tv tower surrounded by tall pine trees in SC.
:Walmart.com
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+3points
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Review 17 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Good low price preamp.

08/13/2014
By
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Make sure to check the switches for vhf - uhf+vhf combo, and fm trap are set to your needs and you're all ready.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+1point
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Review 18 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Works well

08/09/2014
By ,
Texas
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The pre-amp boost the signal for all channels. Be sure to check the uhf-vhf switch because the one I received was set to separate instead of combined as the instructions stated.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
+1point
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Review 19 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier

Very good product

08/10/2014
By ,
Florida
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Easy to install and pulled in fringe stations. Digital signal is excellent .
Product Attributes:
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+1point
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Review 20 for RCA Antenna Pre-Amplifier
09/27/2013
By ,
Normal, IL
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had one channel about 40 miles away which I could not get in consistently with my outdoor antenna. Signal strength bounced from 20 to 60+. I installed the RCA Preamp and now have a consistently good signal in mid to high 70 range for that channel. Before installing I received 14 channels. Now I am receiving 21. I am very happy with this product.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+8points
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1-20 of 70 total reviews
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