Antennas Direct Clearstream 2V Long Range HDTV Antenna Model # C2-V-CJM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
16388 Westwoods Business Park
St. Louis, MO 63021