Tested 3 units quickly tonight. RCA ANT1500, RS DA-5200, Philips MANT940
Heavy rain and storms just passed a couple of hours ago, overcast now. None of these antennas picked up everything solid at my extremely difficult location, but they all surpassed the MANT510, the RCA unamplified, just barely.
Early impressions of the RCA ANT1500 are pretty positive with one big negative, the coax is permanently attached, meaning you have to use a female to female connector to lengthen it, instead of just substituting a longer coax cable. Also the cable is white, I dont care for that much either. Before I bought this, I thought this unit was internally amplified, but it is not. However its large size pays off and it shows. Picked up my PBS at 23 miles clean with no dropouts/pixelation, this station has 2 subchannels, all good. Acknowledged all stations but only locked video on my strongest channel at 45 miles with moderate dropouts. UHF analog was impressive as well, I have a couple of UHF analogs that I pick up from other markets , not just duplicates of the digitals I receive, and it brought those in impressively clear, including channel 11 VHF Hi analog, which is 100 miles South in Savannah GA at 316kw. Hooked up RS-5200 amp and that combo beat everything I checked out tonight, brought in my weakest 2 channels with moderate dropouts. Comes with a little guide and a nice stainless steel bar that slips into the back of the unit to make a stand. Mounting options are nice, with 2 vertical screw/nail head mount holes, as well as the stand and also bumps in the plastic in the backside for laying flat. Very lightweight.
RS DA-5200 impressions are very positive. This is the smallest of the 3. Great simple one piece articulating arm design, solid versatile mounting system with quality hefty steel and ABS plastic materials. Pretty strong high quality off board in-line amplifier. Even came with screws and wall anchors, 20ft of or so decent coax and a nice little folded guide. The antenna box itself is small and light, and didnt do much without its amplifier. With it's amp, it swept the field of 3(excepting for when I attached this units amp to the RCA ANT1500), bringing in my 2 weakest stations at 45 miles with heavy dropouts. Strong UHF analog performance, also.
Philips MANT940's mounting system while a bit more complicated than the RS DA-5200 (3 pieces not including the antenna box) is versatile and very usable, however it didnt have the heft or simplicity of the RS DA-5200 unit, and it is tough plastic. It came with the longest run of coax, and good instruction booklet, pretty good accessory kit like the RS 5200. Its amplifier was not as strong, or perhaps just a good bit more noisy(probably both) as the RS unit's amp, Its performance was non existent without an amplifier(23 mile PBS station), and with its amplifier, it came in second above the unamped RCA unit for digital picking up a couple of 45 mile stations, but came in third for analog UHF with really dismal analog UHF performance compared to the other 2.
Vizio VP322 Plasma / Vizio GV42LF LCD / Denon 2200 Silicon Image DVD / Panasonic S97 Faroudja Genesis DVD / Oppo 970HD Mediatek DVD / Oppo 983H Anchor Bay DVD / Panasonic LX-600 Laserdisc / Aiwa MX100 Multi-region VCR / JVC S7600 S-VHS / PS2 / Sega Genesis / Nintendo SNES / Roku 2 XS & HD-XR / Realistic STA-90 Reciever / Realistic Minimus 7 / Antennacraft G1483 Hoverman / Belden 7915A RG6 / Channel Master 7777 Titan 2 UHF/VHF / Panasonic AX-200u / Optoma Graywolf 92" / Draper Luma 92"