05.04.2009 11:00 AM
New Indoor Antenna Optimized for DTV Reception
ST. LOUIS: Antennas Direct is rolling out a new indoor/outdoor antenna specifically targeting DTV signals in the UHF band. The new ClearStream Convertible, resembling an up-ended Frisbee, is being proffered as a replacement for venerable rabbit-ear antennas. The tapered-loop unit articulates 90 degrees on a small pedestal that can be mounted on the wall or placed on a flat surface. It has a 12-by-2 inch removable reflector. Range is said to be up to 30 miles, with gain of 8 dBi and beam width of 70 degrees.
“We expect the ClearStream Convertible to be an extremely popular alternative to rabbit ears,” said Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct. “We generally recommend installing our antennas outside to achieve optimum lock-in of digital signal. But if you live within 30 miles of the transmitting towers and your rabbit ears don’t work, this may be the one you need.”
The ClearStream Convertible is “coming soon” for a list price of $79.99. The model will be sold initially at Best Buy stores an online at Bestbuy.com, and later in other retail outlets. No specific release date was given.
Some of the antennas initially offered up as HDTV models were no more effective than rabbit ears from Radio Shack. Pete Putman, lecturer, HDTV expert and TVB contributor, has been periodically reviewing antennas for DTV reception over the last five years. His latest entry compares the $50 RCA ANT1450B, the $60 Terk HDTVa and the Shack’s $12 passive rabbit-ear/loop model 15-1874. Based on Putman’s results, Television Broadcast headquarters uses the Terk HDTVa indoors on a Samsung 1080p set in the Los Angeles market.
“If I had to go with one of the test antennas,” Putman wrote, “I’d pick the Terk HDTVa. It did the best overall job on UHF DTV and analog VHF signals, and the internal amplifier (although not a low-noise design) does make a difference--plus, it works a lot better than the in-line amp module RCA ships with their ANT1450B.” – Deborah D. McAdams