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ROVIC INTENNA, MK II, £28.00, ***

 

Why’s it here: Actually this is second time around for the Intenna, we first saw it a couple of years ago. Since then Channel 5 and digital terrestrial broadcasting has begun so Rovic, the UK manufacturers, decided it was time for a Mark II version. The basic concept remains the same though; it is a flat plate design -- reminiscent of the old BSB Squarial -- but intended for indoor use. However, the point is it can be hidden away behind pictures or cupboards and the makers say it 'outperforms' other indoor models, we shall see…    

 

Any unique features: The big change on this latest version is the addition of an amplifier module, built into the coupler plate that attaches to the bottom edge of the Intenna. The outfit includes a power coupler, which plugs into the aerial cable, and a mains power adaptor. One side of the Intenna is coloured black, the other is white, and this side is also laminated with a clear plastic sheet, so you can use it to hold a photograph or, as Rovic suggest, a piece of wallpaper, that that it blends in with its background…  

 

Being only a few millimetres thick it should be easy to conceal, though it is important to avoid putting it behind anything made of metal, as this will reduce is effectiveness. It is worth trying it our in several different locations as which way it is facing makes a big difference to reception quality. The dangling lead can look unsightly. Also bear in mind that it needs to be in easy reach of both the TV and a mains socket, for the power supply module. Although not essential, we would have liked to have seen some

sort of power-on indicator.

 

 

How does it perform: Well, not too bad, compared with our benchmark aerials (a Woolies cheapie costing £4.99 and an unnamed set-top aerial with a built-in battery-powered booster amplifier). The extra amplification on the Intenna didn't have any noticeable effect on noise levels in good to marginal signal areas. Channel 5 came in loud and proud with the Intenna pulling in a slightly cleaner picture than its test rivals did. It is very directional and it takes a little while to get the orientation and position right for all channels though provided the transmitter or transmitters are all broadly in the same direction -- i.e. face on to the plate -- it should be okay.

 

Our Verdict: Intenna certainly did better than our test set-top aerials but it wasn't enough to get excited about. The main selling point is the flat construction, which makes it easier to hide. Don't expect miracles and it's definitely not a substitute for a proper rooftop aerial.

 

Rovic Communications, telephone 0181-907 8600

 

UP CLOSE

 

Features                     Flat TV aerial, built-in amplifier, aerial cable, power adaptor and plug-in mains supply included  

Sockets                       male to female coaxial

Dimensions                 405 x 380 x 3.5mm

 

Picture Quality            ***

Sound Quality            ***

Build Quality              ***

Features                     **

Ease of use                 ***

Overall value              ***

 

Rival Buys

Labgear Teletop £30, Maxview Contour Plus £20, Teleste TV Top £20

 

CAPTIONS

The transparent pocket on the white side can be used to hold photographs or pictures

 

The black coupler module at the base of the Intenna contains a microchip amplifier, to boost signal strength in marginal areas

 

The little silver box is the power adaptor that supplies power to the amplifier via the aerial connector; the outfit also includes a 4-metre length of coaxial cable and a mains adaptor  

 

 

 

 

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Ó R. Maybury 1998, 1812

 

 

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