With the recent transition from analog to digital TV broadcasts, many people are looking for ways to pick up these new digital signals and get rid of their expensive cable and satellite bills. Apart from a few HDTV indoor antennas, most of them also require some outdoor installation which can be impossible in places where trees or even tall buildings block your line of sight to the broadcast towers.
Keep the issue faced by the users of modern times; the innovators came up with Digital TV antennas to curb the issue. In this blog post, I will be covering a holistic view of Digital Tv antennas and the most important and frequently asked question, “Are they worth it?”. So, stay with me and read it till the end.
What is a Digital TV antenna?
The ClearStream 2V is an attractive outdoor/attic-mounted antenna that features a unique bowtie-shaped reflector panel. It claims to pull in both VHF and UHF signals (separately) with equal clarity while requiring no assembly other than unfolding the reflector legs.
So does this $55 antenna live up to its claims? And how well does it work in the real world?
Important Specification to keep in mind:
Before we get started, let’s take a look at some specifications for the ClearStream 2V:
Max Gain 20.3 dB Front to back ratio 26 dB VHF Reception Range 60 Miles UHF Reception Range 50 Miles Size (Unfolded) 31″ x 5.5″ Size (Folded) 11″ x 5.5″ Weight 1 Pound Color White/Gray Price about $55.
My Experience with Digital TV Antennas:
Now that you have an idea of what this antenna is all about let’s see how well it works in the actual world. Installation was pretty simple. I found an excellent area to mount it on my roof – but before doing so, I tried to hook up a cheap set of rabbit ears I had laying around to see how well that would work. It didn’t.
Before attaching it to the roof, I did some quick testing inside the house (with my antenna hooked up directly to our Tivo box). I wanted to know what kind of reception we could expect in our area with a traditional indoor/outdoor antenna.
The FCC requires you to use your own words when describing signal quality – so here is what I came up with: Digital signals tend to come in “waves” or “peaks.” On, there will be something on TV. In between, there may be a few seconds of snow or nothing. Then suddenly, more peaks come in with signals – but the same problem remains – they keep coming and going.
In other words, you can get something from time to time when you find exactly the right spot for the antenna. And even then, it will be hard to predict when a signal will come through and what quality it will be at a particular moment.
Digital TV Antenna Review:
Installation & Results After going through all that testing, I was excited to see what kind of difference an outdoor antenna could make. So I installed this ClearStream 2V on my roof, where it had a pretty clear view of the broadcast towers less than 20 miles away in any direction.
Using this ClearStream 2V Antenna is simple – you need to put it up high on your roof (or attic) and plug it into your TV.
I had my doubts about the ClearStream 2V’s claim to work well within 60 miles of the broadcast towers, but after performing some tests, I found out that it has a pretty good range for receiving digital TV signals.
The signals were overall much more vital than with any indoor antenna, and I was able to receive all major local channels (including PBS) without any problems throughout most of my house, including many rooms that are located on the other side of the house from where I installed this antenna.
One channel came in weakly, even at its most vital point (this channel is only broadcast at low power) – but other than that, all other stations came through very clearly, without any pixelation or dropouts.
So for an antenna that costs less than $50 and is easy to install, the ClearStream 2V delivers above-average performance.
Gets all major local channels with no signal problems Great value @ under $55 Easy installation.
If this antenna had been available when I bought my house last year, it would have been my first choice. And if you’re looking for a way to cut the cable cord without losing access to your favorite TV shows, it might be worth considering too!
Higher priced than many indoor antennas Range not as good as advertised (60 miles) Lower gain can sometimes require you to get a better line of sight from your nearest broadcast towers.
Digital TV Antenna Review: Is It Right for You?
The ClearStream 2V is an excellent choice if you want to pick up all the major TV channels in your area without having to pay expensive monthly fees for cable or satellite service.
If you are looking for an outdoor antenna, this should work well within 60 miles of your broadcast towers (in most areas). It comes with everything you need to get started – including an amplifier if needed. The only downside I’ve found is that it’s higher priced than many other antennas on the market, but it does have a good range and works well.