Most helpful critical review
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
ClearStream C2 antenna - not sutable for use in area with VHF digital signals.
on December 3, 2008
My initial visual impression of this product was that it's design might not be suitable for use here in the SF Bay Area where we have one major (network) station who's digital signal is on the (high) VHF band with another scheduled to move it's digital transmitter there when analog transmission is shut off on Feb 17, 2009. This, in spite of the advertising claim that it is for both UHF and high VHF (digital) use.
However, I was convinced that it would in fact be useful for all digital reception by what the president of the company; Richard Schneider, wrote on the HDTV Magazine web forum ( [...] )in response to a critical discussion of that antenna.
I quote relevant part of his responses here:
"I guess I didn't make it clear, one of the primary reasons we are migrating to the Clearstreams was to improve our capabilities on high VHF. Trust me, I have the list, We are very aware that 24% of the DTV stations will be on the high VHF band, post 2009 (about 400 stations). The necessity to cover both bands was why we started this project in the first place.
While it won't have the same range as on UHF, The Clearstream 2 offers modest performance of about 3.7 - 4.4 dB between 174 -216 MHz. (less than the VHF performance of our larger combination antennas) The single hardest part of the entire effort was trying to cover both bands with one design while not compromising the UHF performance...."
On the strength of that 4db claim for hi vhf I purchased one and tested it first indoors side by side against my existing Terk HDTVi (with low noise preamp)The C2 was setup right next to the Terk connected through the same preamp as the Terk. Unlike the Terk HDTVi I could not pick up analog channel 7 or 9, and with only a VERY snowy picture on ch 11 and no trace of digital 12 at all with the ClearStream 2.
By comparison, I have been getting a quite watchable, but grainy picture with the Terk on analog ch 11 and almost as good picture on ch 7 and 9. Clearly the C2 is not even as good as this indoor antenna I have been using and certainly not worth trying to install in the attic. (I am renting )
Bottom line; the claim that the C2 would give a gain on high VHF of approximately 4 db is evidentally not true as the 'rabbit ears' portion of the Terk has (unamplified) a unity gain of 0 db and yet performs much, much better than the Clearstream on all high VHF channels.
AS for performance on UHF, the Clearstream seemed to be quite good and did get one additional digital channel in my test, thus tending to substantiate the published figures of 10db for ch 14 - 69. Therefore I can ONLY recommend this antenna for use where there are no vhf digital channels, either presently of scheduled for after the analog shutdown.
Thus I cannot give this product a rating of more than 2 stars