PROS / Surprisingly for an antenna that is not ultra-thin, the device barely weighs 2 pounds.
CONS / The ANT1600F does not pick up a strong VHF signal.
VERDICT / This antenna does not have as wide a signal pickup range as some of the best HDTV antennas on the market, but it is a decent passive antenna that does not need a separate power source.
HDTV antennas are a great way to go to get free local channels on your TV. The RCA ANT1600F can pick up UHF and VHF signals, giving you a broader range of channels to choose from. This antenna does not have an amplifier, though, and the VHF signal could be stronger. Although it does not have an ultra-thin look, it does have a slim design and weighs less than 3 pounds.
The RCA ANT1600F antenna gets passable reception. This is a passive indoor antenna, so it does not need a power source. You simply connect the coax cable and you will be ready to go. The coax cable is connected to the unit, which means it is not interchangeable; however, there is an adapter for extra length.
Since the antenna does not have a separate power source, it cannot be amplified, limiting its range. Some of the best HDTV antennas have a range of 50-plus miles, while this one works best in a 30-mile radius. It touts a 40-mile range, but that is pushing its limits. If you're far away from a broadcast tower, it might be best to get an antenna with a wider radius. Other antennas pick up VHF channels better than the 1600F does.
This RCA antenna is not an ultra-thin leaf-style antenna. It's bulkier than those antennas, but it is still lightweight, barely weighing in at over 2 pounds. This design does make it a little harder to incorporate into your theater system. Mounting it is not as easy as it is with leaf-style antennas. This indoor antenna generally works better when lying flat. This does not mean you can't mount it or place it horizontally, but your reception might be affected because of it. The ultra-thin antennas have more flexibility and may blend in with your decor a little more. If you decide to mount the 1600F, it may fall off the wall, because it still weighs more than an ultra-thin antenna. Ultra-thin antennas are slightly more durable as well, because if they fall off the wall, they generally fall harmlessly. The RCA antenna's design is more susceptible to damage.
Installation is fairly easy. You just plug in and do a channel scan and your antenna picks up as many channels as it can. If you have any problems with it, you can email RCA through its customer support page. On the contact page, there is no choice for live operators or live chat, limiting how fast you can contact RCA. This antenna comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The RCA ANT1600F falls a tad short of expectations. RCA says it can deliver up to a 40-mile range, but it does its best work in a 20-to-30-mile radius. The design isn't that bulky, although ultra-thin antennas mesh better with most designs. RCA offers a limited one-year warranty, but it does not have live chat or a toll-free number on its contact page.