By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Audiovox has begun the rollout of its RCA-branded indoor TV antennas, targeting new DTV purchasers and set-top converter box users making the transition from analog to digital reception.
Under the RCA line, the company is planning a total of seven indoor antenna models this year, ranging in price from $14.99 to $99.99. Five of the planned models feature a new omnidirectional square flat design, which makes the antenna easier to place out of sight, and blend better with the look of today's flat panel TVs.
"One of the things we at Audiovox set out to accomplish was [to] redefine what antennas look like," said Hank Caskey, Audiovox, reception VP. "One of the things we hear at the consumer level was that people don't like the way antennas look."
The first model to hit the streets is a midrange RCA ANT1500 flat indoor antenna ($59.99 suggested retail). The antenna, which measures 10.5 inches square, is designed to minimize the "cliff effect" of digital TV reception with a multidirection capability. The unusual design enables placement flat on a tabletop or wall mounting, Audiovox said.
The line is also comprised of several models that come with additional external amplifiers that connect to the end of the coaxial cable for areas where signals are more difficult to tune. By separating the amplifier from the antenna, instead of building it in, Audiovox reduces the potential of over saturating the signal, which can add to noise and block reception. This way users can take the antennas home to determine if they really need the additional amplification before attaching it.
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