When you’re looking to get a long-range TV antenna, the options are seemingly endless. You’ll come across various options, from different brands – you’ll even come across DIY options that you could try yourself. One thing those DIY options do? They copy the design of ClearStream’s antennas. This speaks volumes to how good the ClearStream actually is. You can also see our guide on the best long range tv antenna here.
This is why we have decided to make our ClearStream 4 Outdoor Long-Range TV antenna review, because this is one of the best long-range antennas you can get. Even though it’s fairly expensive, it’s actually pretty much worth it. Without wasting any more of your time, let’s take a look at why is it so good.
The first thing you’ll notice with the ClearStream 4 is the design. You may be surprised, but the unique loop design is actually patented. It has a 180-degree reception angle, which results in a very broad reception of UHF frequencies. With a multidirectional reception, the need to have it facing exactly at the antenna is somewhat negated.
It’s not just the distinctive loops – the mesh wiring behind the loops are actually signal-enhancing reflectors. They focus the receptive power of the antenna, which doesn’t only minimize signal multipath interference, but helps with the power and range quite a bit.
One interesting things that should be mentioned, is that the ClearStream 4 can be painted if you want it to match your home’s exterior. This isn’t too much in terms of functionality, but for aesthetics, it goes a long way.
When you get the ClearStream 4, you’ll find that it advertises a 70-mile range. With most outdoor (and some indoor) antennas, the advertised range can be achieved only in perfect, near laboratory-level environments. Even a single tree, or a single building, can have a massive impact. That’s why almost none of those 150-mile antennas actually give you 150 miles. With the ClearStream, things such as obstructions do have an impact, but it is actually much less noticeable. In great
conditions, you have 70 miles. In sub-par, that may drop to 55 or 60, which is
truly a small difference. As we mentioned with the design, the multi-directional elements help quite a bit with the reception.
In terms of the signal, 12.25dB is plenty, and you’ll be able to receive UHF channels. The output to your TV will come in 1080p, full HD, which should be pretty good – but you should also have good signal reception for that.
The last thing isn’t that much of a feature, but it’s important. ClearStream give you a lifetime warranty on the antenna, which is one of the reasons why it’s so expensive. If anything goes bad, they’ll replace it for you and you’re good to go.
The ClearStream 4, for obvious reasons, does not come preassembled. However, assembling the frame, reflectors and loop elements is very easy. All you need is a Philips screwdriver, as well as an adjustable wrench, and you should be done in no more than half an hour. This is a lightweight antenna, so mounting it on a mast afterwards shouldn’t be an issue.
An interesting thing to note is that the antenna is also reported to work indoors – whether it’s in a room, or in the attic. If you can’t mount it outdoors, this is another option. Note, though, that because of the construction of your home, the thick walls and metal roofs, you may actually end up losing up to 40 or even 50% of your signal.
Once you’ve got it installed, you’ll want the front end to be aimed towards transmission towers. The two panels are actually rigid, so you’ll need to aim it yourself when you’re installing it on the mast. Setting it up shouldn’t be too difficult, and something like TVFool can help you quite a bit, too.
The ClearStream 4 is a very interesting proposition. On one hand, it costs a lot. On the other hand, you’re getting excellent range, a 180-degree design, all packaged in a lightweight antenna that works admirably.
If you’re going to be using the ClearStream 4 indoors, there are better options. You’re pretty much halving your range, and you’ll almost never see all the benefits of the antenna. If, however, you need it for outdoor applications, few can do better than the
ClearStream, and even fewer with all the extra features. It’s certainly a great buy.
Almost every time you mention buying an omnidirectional antenna, you’ll get comments along the lines of “you’ll never get good reception” or “you don’t have broadcast towers surrounding you”. And while these may be right for some folks, there are others, that live in densely populated areas, that could very much use an
If you’re one of those folks, we’ve got an excellent suggestion for you – the Lava OmniPro HD8008 review. We’re taking a look at one of the best omnidirectional antennas you’ll come across on the market nowadays, and it’s one that doesn’t cost too much either. Without wasting any more of your time, let’s take a look at the details of the OmniPro HD8008, and see whether this should be your next investment.
Kicking things off with the outside, we have to be honest – the design isn’t really impressive. It looks very simple, and yes, we don’t want to use “ugly”. When you mount it, you have a circular antenna with two metal pieces sticking out. However, the design of the OmniPro isn’t meant to look good. Instead, it’s meant to be functional, and be able to receive signals from all directions. There’s one more thing here – the antenna has anti-UV coating and is completely waterproof. If you’re worried about the weather damaging it, you shouldn’t be. And, it’s also shielded, to
reduce interference as much as possible.
Inside the box, it will also come with a mounting pole. The pole has an adjustable angle for the base pivot, which lets you set it up for flat, vertical or angled use. There are also wall mounts and brackets, if that’s the route you want to take with your antenna. It’s one of those options that let you set it up basically any way you want it.
Oh, you can also rotate it 60 degrees to get even better reception.
Now, we’re talking about an “omnidirectional” design all the time. But what is that, anyways? Well, with a regular antenna, you’d have to point it towards the direction of the broadcast tower. However, if you have an omnidirectional one, it is able to receive
channels from any direction. This makes it much better for densely populated
areas, where there are a lot of surrounding towers, and plenty of objects for
the signal to bounce from.
And while this design does come with one big loss – range, the HD8008 actually deals with this quite well. The ideal distance is anywhere between 40 and 80 miles, depending on the conditions, as well as the signal and the surrounding objects. If you give it ideal conditions, though, it can easily reach over 100 miles of range. For an
omnidirectional antenna, this is truly impressive. What helps quite a bit here,
actually, is the built-in amplifier. It has high gain, but very low noise, which allows it to function very well.
A functional design and excellent specs “on paper” don’t make an outdoor antenna great – the functionality does. The antenna has a built-in dipole that allows you to receive both UHF and VHF signals, as well as FM, making for a very versatile option. There’s also DVB-T, DMB-T/H, ATSC and ISDB-T. With this, you can expect both 1080p, Full HD image, as well as 4K images on your TV set.
Just like with most large items you could order online, the HD8008 doesn’t come preassembled. However, assembling it and setting it up on the pole should be a piece of cake. All the components are included, so you can get things up and running in no time.
A huge benefit is that you don’t have to aim for the broadcast towers. With an omnidirectional design, you should be able to receive channels regardless of how you set it up.
As we mentioned in the beginning of our Lava omnidirectional TV antenna OmniPri HD 8008 review, an omnidirectional antenna isn’t good for everyone. If you live in a rural area, and find that you don’t have many towers around you, a directional antenna may do a better job.
However, if you live in a city, or other urban area with a lot of tall buildings the signal could bounce off of, and you have a couple of towers surrounding you, you’re actually pretty much set to go with the HD8008. You’ll get a lot of free channels, and chances are you’ll be able to completely cut the cord!