In this article we will review the RCA YAGI HD antenna which is an affordable outdoor antenna with great performance. We will cover all aspects of its specifications, installation, pros and cons, and our verdict for this product based on our tests.
Without further ado, let us begin.
|Range (Distance)||70 miles|
|Included||Antenna, Mounting hardware, 75ohm matching transformer|
|Dimensions||6.7H x 4.6W x 36D|
|Weight (Kg/lb)||5.28 lbs|
What’s In The Box
In the package you’ll get the following items:
- RCA Yagi HD Antenna rear section
- RCA Yagi HD Antenna front section
- VHF element
- Mounting pipe and foot
- Bonus hardware bag
- U-Bolt(2) 1
- 0/32” Hex nuts(2)
- Black plastic end-caps (5)
- 1/4” Hex nuts
- Matching transformer(2)
- 5/8” Bolts(4)
- 7/16” Washers
- 2 1/2” Screw
Basically, you’ll get all you need to install the RCA Yagi HD antenna right away and don’t have to purchase additional parts (besides tools like screwdrivers, drill, etc.)
Installing the RCA Yagi HD Antenna
Installing the RCA Yagi HD Antenna is actually pretty easy, but we’d recommend taking the time to read the instruction manual carefully before you mount your antenna.
In general, however, the installation process will include the following steps:
- In the package, check whether you have all the items we have listed above. Get all of these parts out of the boat, then start by unfolding the antenna. Start from the top to the bottom.
- Arrange the elements so that they are flat and parallel to the ground
- Place the included U-bolt into the mast clamp. Make sure the teeth of the mast clamp is facing the closed end of the U-bolt
- Insert the mast clamp (with the U-bolt) onto the antenna. Secure this by screwing the included ¼” hex nuts into the U-bolt. Don’t tighten the nut, leave it loosely screwed at the moment.
- Attach the transformer to the coaxial cable lead, then to the bottom of the antenna using the 10/32” hex nuts and washers. Make sure the transformer is properly attached to the tetra pole’s studs
- Tighten the hex nuts securely. Make sure the cable lead is properly secured.
- Insert the plastic end caps to the booms. Secure the connection.
- Insert the end of the mounting pipe to the center of the pole foot. Make sure the side with the holes for the screws is facing the right way.
- Fasten the 2 ½” screw through the pipe and foot. Use the ¼” hex nut to screw them together. Leave it loosely screwed for now.
- Insert a ⅝” bolt through the square holes of the pipe and let it out to the side of the foot. Fasten the nuts on the outside of the foot, and screw them on the ⅝” bolt to secure the pipe.
- Find the antenna’s (permanent) location, and secure the foot. Make sure the end of the pipe is perpendicular to the ground. Once you’re sure of the placement, tighten the nuts to secure the structure in place.
- Attach the antenna to the mast, and slide the U-bolt over the mass.
Voila! Your RCA Yagi HD antenna is almost ready to use. The next step is to point the antenna in the direction of the TV broadcast tower since this antenna is of the uni-direction type.
Aiming The Antenna
Since the RCA Yagi HD Antenna is a yagi directional antenna, it needs to be pointed directly at the TV transmission tower’s direction to get the best results.
To aim the antenna, you should first find the location of the nearest TV transmission tower(s) in the area. You can visit our TV station locator page to help with this process.
Optional but recommended, you can also use a level tool (there are also smartphone apps for this) to ensure the vertical portion of the J-mount is truly perpendicular to the ground to ensure optimal reception and stability.
Signal Strength, Reception, and Frequencies Review
The RCA Yagi HD Antenna has an advertised reception range of 70 miles. Since it’s a Yagi antenna, it’ll need a transformer to reduce the impedance between the coax cable and the antenna’s elements.
The package does include a passive transformer (you don’t need to plug it into a power outlet). Simply attach this transformer to the right place according to the user’s manual, and you are good to go.
Based on our tests, the antenna can indeed receive signals from around 70 miles range.
However, the optimal range is around 50 to 60 miles. In our test we were able to pick up 115 OTA stations at our location, so we can say that this antenna performs just as advertised.
Very satisfying performance.
The RCA Yagi OTA Antenna can receive both Low/high VHF and UHF signals, and supports a picture resolution of up to 4K.
Pros and Cons of the RCA Yagi HD Antenna
Here are some main advantages of the RCA Yagi HD antenna:
- Reliable cross-phase and multi-element design
- Enhanced reception technology, in our test performs really well and just as advertised
- Versatile, supports both UHF and low and high VHF channels
- Pre-assembled design, quite easy to install even for first-timers
- Has a secure lock foldout for extra stability
- UHF reflector and snap lock features
- 75-ohm transformer included (albeit a passive transformer)
However, there are also some downsides that, although they are manageable, are worth considering:
- Being a unidirectional Yagi antenna, you can’t receive signals from multiple towers that are separated by more than 90 degrees (you’ll need another antenna or get an antenna rotor)
- Range not as far as some other antennas on the market
Help and Support
You can access the official manual for the RCA Yagi HD antenna here, but here we will also cover the answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) for this antenna model:
Can I mount the RCA Yagi ANT751 indoors?
Technically, yes. Although this antenna is a primarily outdoor antenna, it is quite versatile, and provided you have enough space, you can mount this antenna in your attic or even inside the house.
Is the advertised 70-mile range long enough?
There are certainly antennas that offer a longer reception range, but with the Yagi design, this antenna is pretty reliable in receiving signals from the advertised 70-mile range, and it is optimal in the 50-60 miles range.
In most rural areas, this should be enough, but it’s best to first visit our TV station locator page to check how far the nearest TV transmission tower is in your area
Do I need an indoor or outdoor antenna?
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the elevation of the antenna, the better. So, an outdoor antenna placed on your roof will always perform better than an indoor antenna.
Also, the larger an antenna’s surface is, the more signals it will receive, and as we know outdoor antennas are much bigger than their indoor counterparts.
However, not everyone can (legally) install a roof-top outdoor antenna, for example, if you live in an apartment. The next most ideal alternative is to install an outdoor antenna in your attic.
If that’s still not possible, then today’s indoor antennas are pretty decent, and some actually are really high-quality, so they can be a nice alternative.
If you live just within a few miles of the TV transmitter (which is commonly the case if you live in a densely populated area), and the signal path is relatively unobstructed, then using an indoor antenna shouldn’t be an issue.
Does the antenna come with a preamplifier?
Unfortunately, this antenna doesn’t come with a preamplifier, so you might need to purchase one separately if:
- Your coaxial cable is more than 50 feet in length
- You are going to use a splitter to split the signal into multiple TVs
We’d also recommend using a preamplifier is:
- You are more than 20 miles away from the nearest TV broadcast tower
- You are going to mount this antenna on the attic (your walls and roofs might act as possible signal obstacles)