Clearstream 2V Long Range HDTV Antenna: Mixed Signals

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2V Long Range HDTV Antenna  Model # C2-V-CJM


(4/5)

Pros: Price @ Amazon.  Works as claimed – especially when transmitters are grouped within a 70-degree window.  Build-quality sufficient to withstand exterior applications.  Supports 1080i HDTV.  Picture and sound quality inherently superior to that of cable.


Cons: Rural reception requires the use of an optional in-line amplifier.  Hilly terrain and obstructions will adversely affect reception.  Alleged 50-mile range conditional – stations with inferior signals didn’t get that memo.

In the realm of home entertainment, there are two camps – those who live for the thrill of the latest HBO series and those who would rather read a book and generate their own pictures.  I fall into the latter group for a couple of reasons.

As a kid who subjected his growing brain to endless hours of televised drivel, I now find most mainstream visual media inadequate or unbearable to sit still for.  This could be the result of developmental-teen TV-overload, adult attention deficit or a combination of both.


3 BC

In the three years before cable at my new location, my down-time was more productive.  Reading, writing and cooking sessions were constructive, fulfilling and relaxing.  After cable arrived, I lounged, ate junk food and watched shows pertaining to reading, writing and cooking.  When the promotional price ended, so did the cable TV.

Terk vs. Clearstream


Before cable, my Terk digital rabbit-ears pulled-in all the major networks.  Trouble was, every station required a different location around the living room – making the Terk‘s telescopic footprint an unsightly, ever-moving obstacle.  I needed an attic antenna that would be powerful enough to receive what was out there, while being much less intrusive.

Cute as a bunny and remarkably efficient for its size, the Terk indoor digital antenna lives large when its telescopic ears are extended.
Cute as a bunny and remarkably efficient for its size, the Terk indoor digital antenna lives large when its telescopic ears are extended.

Mindless Drivel Redux

Of the five cable channels I enjoyed most often, three are receivable over-the-air in the Portland, Maine market.  The only channel that was consistently unavailable to the Terk is the local CW Network (hybrid of the failed WB and UPN).  Have I developed a sudden craving for routine portrayals of low-wattage teen-angst?  No… it’s just that the transmitter attached to the CW (Completely Worthless) affiliate broadcasts the coveted retro Me-TV Network (Memorable Entertainment Television) on its lone digital sub-channel.


Some Assembly Required

The Clearstream 2V Long Range 1080i HDTV Antenna is designed to receive both UHF and VHF signals.  It arrived in a spiffy box with clear, glossily illustrated instructions even I could follow.  An initial inventory of parts confirmed they were all accounted for – including a versatile J-mount mast that greatly simplified my attic installation.

The included J-mount makes quick work of a standard attic installation. [Image: Antennas Direct]
The included J-mount makes quick work of a standard attic installation. [Image: Antennas Direct]
 Assembly took less than 15 minutes.  Depending upon your installation method, some inclusions will end-up in the parts-bin – my attic venue did not require the use of the ¼ x 50mm mounting bolts or the four sticky, roof sealing pads.  Keep in mind that the only coaxial cable included is custom-sized to connect the figure-8-shaped UHF Loop Element to the top-mounted VHF Dipole Kit.  The antenna’s overall 18 x 34-inch footprint simplifies installation in tight spaces.

I made use of my home’s existing cable-TV wiring by disconnecting the television cable from the signal splitter and threading it onto the appropriate Dipole Kit connector.

Twist And Shout

Antennas Direct stresses the need to maintain your assembled antenna’s flexibility to achieve proper reception before final installation.  Using drywall screws, I temporarily mounted the antenna vertically to a section of 2 x 6 and clamped it atop a 6-ft. aluminum stepladder – allowing for unlimited rotation and subsequent television channel rescan.

When favorable atmospheric conditions prevail, I have received channels with the Terk from as far away as Providence, RI  – 170-plus miles to the south.  As a test of the Clearstream 2V, I began with a scan to the SSW and the Boston-Providence television market – with no success.  However, pointing the Clearstream due east, I was able to receive nearly every channel in the Portland market clearly with the antenna set in a single position – including the local Fox affiliate, which is located almost 50-miles away.  The introduction of a Winegard LNA-200 in-line amplifier has strengthened each signal sufficient to prevent atmospheric and weather-related inconsistencies.

Unlike some exterior-rated antennae, the Clearstream 2V appears built to withstand the elements.
Unlike some exterior-rated antennae, the Clearstream 2V appears built to withstand the elements. [Image: Antennas Direct]
 My Samsung television allows not only for an overall scan, but for manual individual channel selection.  Repeated attempts to attract the one channel for which I would trade all the networks was flat-lining – proving the signal from the local CW to be Conspicuously Wretched.

Why Are You Calling?

With the mistaken notion that the Antennas Direct Helpline could perform miracles, I called their toll-free number (which is irrelevant if you’re using a cell phone with a minutes plan).  Perhaps they could recommend a stronger, more appropriate antenna to better suit my particular application?

My short wait was continuously interrupted by a robo-voice with the assurance I was next in line.  The representative I eventually spoke with did what I had done – used the internet to locate my position at antennapoint.com and lament the specs. in regard to the weak and worthless signal emitted by my most desired channel.  Despite my coherent questions and explanation of the situation in a reasonable fashion, the rep kept asking why I was calling.  After I’d hung up, I asked myself the same thing.

I Want My M(e)TV

The Clearstream 2V has now been moved to its permanent home in a storage area behind the central chimney.  It is mounted low enough to avoid interference from the metal roofing materials, yet high enough to get the job done.  My home’s location at 763 ft. above sea level could be an advantage that creates the exception, but, with adequate amplification, this antenna works for me – though not for Me-TV.  Perhaps Perry Mason can eventually solve The Case of the Woeful Wavelength.

The Clearstream 2V is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Made in Taiwan

Antennas Direct
16388 Westwoods Business Park
St. Louis, MO  63021
Helpline:  877-825-5572

12 thoughts on “Clearstream 2V Long Range HDTV Antenna: Mixed Signals”

  1. Television hasn’t been the same since Tommy Rettig left Lassie back in 1950 something. Now, if I want to take a nap, I turn on the television – a sedative if ever there were (was?) one.

    A Goldilocks review, Mr. Fisher – not too big nor small, not too technical , but informative, and just enough humor to entertain. Your usual par excellence.

    Thank you!

    Nj

    1. Either Tommy/Timmy got tired of falling in the well, or Lassie got tired of pulling him out. I guess Tommy never got the memo regarding the fate of actors who leave successful series.

      In the city, I received 30 channels. Here, I’m happy with a dozen. Makes one want to read a book…

      1. ” But Gramps”. . he cried.

        Why, Tommy just about broke my little six or seven-year-old heart when he left Lassie. And then, when he died at the incredible age of 54 of a drug-induced heart attack. .(long sigh). . I see the futility, but it doesn’t make the pill go down any easier.

        Hope you’re enjoying your new antenna, and your expanded channels.

        Norma

  2. Great review! And congrats on the new antenna!

    With absolutely no regrets, I frugally cancelled “pay-TV service” several years ago. And, speaking of “Me-TV,” one of my Kansas City “over-the-air” broadcasters does piggyback that particular network on their primary signal, and I do find myself thereby regularly watching two “back-to-back” episodes of “M.A.S.H.” [which, conveniently, come on during my dinner hour] more often than I do their primary channel’s own present-day programming.

    Other than such “dinnertime-ambience” shows from yesteryear [and, sometimes, the national evening news], there’s little else that I watch (on TV) anymore. [I do, however, now and again use a DVD player to watch this or that “Dolby 5.1” flick (generally borrowed FREE via a rather nearby public library) in my home theater.]

    1. Yes… but owning a DVD player has its dark side. Family movie nights are the worst – recently, some puerile Narnia sequel was voted in – being underwhelmed with the fantasy genre, I went to the kitchen and baked cookies.

      Much of the Me-TV lineup is circa pre-me, but at least the writers lived in the real world and made the effort to produce something worthy of viewing in fifty-year’s time.

      Enjoy your urban TV signal strength. I am envious of your bounty…

      1. Ironically, from 1981-84 — when I lived in an isolated, ancient, wood-stove-heated farmhouse in the Kansas sticks and received but a handful of (broadcast) TV channels — I watched somewhat more television than I do nowadays. (Of course, I had no “Internet” then. But I DID have video games and, yep, books.)

        So, no need for you to “envy” nuthin’ in THAT regard! 😉

  3. Very Helpful. Well done! Thank you very much for providing us with good reading, and I hope you are always supplied with good viewing! God bless.
    Best wishes from Majenta

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