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Lifewire / Jonno Hill
The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna is a high-performance antenna that offers a real upgrade from simpler indoor designs.
The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna is so cumbersome, unsightly, and complicated that I secretly wanted it to fail. Despite my attempts to judge this book by its cover, however, it was one of the best TV antennas of all the ones I tested. Serves me right I suppose.
If you live far enough from your local TV signal source that other indoor antennas have failed you, the ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna might actually provide some help. Buyers should probably make sure that they can’t get away with a smaller, cheaper, simpler solution first, but if or when that fails, this antenna definitely gets the job done.
The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna looks something like what I would imagine a space prison to look like. It’s far larger than any of the other antennas that I tested, and during every step of the assembly I kept thinking to myself “well that part can’t possibly be necessary.” From the comically long antennas and giant metal grate, to the bulbous hollowed out spheres, there is a lot going on here.
Setup of the ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna has by far the most complicated setup of the antennas that I tested in our roundup.
As you’ll see later though, this is because the ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna doesn’t really care about looks. Everything is 100% about function. There are, however, a few little elements from a design perspective that help make the ClearStream a somewhat thoughtful device nonetheless. Once assembled, all the parts fit together nicely like a lego set.
Setup of the ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna has by far the most complicated setup of the antennas that I tested in our roundup. The instructions that come included have illustrations that show how everything fits together, but it isn’t outlined in the simplest manner possible.
Like a piece of IKEA furniture, the specific orientation of a lot of parts matter, even if they appear to fit together multiple ways. The manual doesn’t do a fantastic job of explaining this, and I could see it leading to some frustration. Once you get the cage in place and secured, the rest of it comes together fairly easily though.
Once the entire device is assembled, the real work begins in my opinion. Now you have to figure out how and where to mount this beast of an antenna. Antenna’s Direct has you covered here, including a hefty bracket and swiveling mast that will help you mount the antenna to just about anywhere with a flat surface that you don’t mind screwing some bolts into.
The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna might be an unsightly space jail, but it sure gets good reception. I tested the antenna indoors along with the rest of the suite of indoor antennas, and in the same orientation. Perhaps it would have benefited from being placed outside, but in the interest of fairness I gave them all the same treatment.
The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna might be an unsightly space jail, but it sure gets good reception.
In my channel acquisition test, the ClearStream managed 76 channels consistently, far and away the best result from any of the devices I tested. The worst antenna I tested picked up just 47 channels, and the second best, 69. Needless to say, all the wires, cages, and bulbous plastic spheres are clearly doing something here, because this was the best result I saw.
The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna is rated for up to 60 miles. These ratings are generally based on relatively unobstructed paths between the signal and your device. There is a lot less than 60 miles between me and my local TV broadcast source, but if the other results are any indication, the ClearStream has a fighting chance at living up to these claims.
The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna has a list price of $120 and a 90-day rolling average price on Amazon of $83. This is significantly more than any of the other antennas I tested, some of which could be had for around $25. If you live far enough that you need a better performing antenna, however, it could easily be worth every penny. I would only caution buyers to make sure they really do need this performance before pulling the trigger on this very large antenna.
I figured it might be interesting to compare the cheapest antenna to the most expensive antenna. If you are living inside of a city, fairly close to a signal source, you can probably get away with a cheaper antenna like the $25 amplified antenna by manufacturer 1byone. This flat, simple antenna takes up far less space and still managed to get 59 channels. It also maintained a clear picture on all of the major network stations just fine.
If you live further or in a more obstructed path, however, the 1byone probably wouldn’t cut it at all. It’s rather all-or-nothing. If you do genuinely need a more capable antenna, it could be make or break for your TV-viewing experience.
Great performance for those that need it.The ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna isn’t the cheapest or best-looking antenna on the market, but it gets the job done better than any of the other antennas we tested. Buyers who know they need an antenna with better range and performance will find this to be a noticeable bump from cheaper indoor antennas.