Yearly Archives: 2010


Posted in Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

Cable; Too Old to Keep Up With Youth

Neil Smit

As new data becomes available on cord cutters, cable providers are quickly showing their age. Like an arthritic, blue haired old lady, they just can’t seem to keep with the youngsters and their new ways of receiving content, over-the-air and through broadband sources.

In recent research from Horowitz Associates, it seems that young people are leading the cord cutting charge. According to the research, seven percent of young broadband users are considering canceling their cable. That is in addition to the thousands of people who have already cut the cord that represent cable TVs’ largest decline in 30 years.

From our experience traveling the country on our bus tour and listening to customer feedback, the young and tech savvy are finding a monthly $100 plus cable bill too much and walking away. After the DTV transition, multicasting and free HDTV have fueled many consumers to switch. So just this once it is ok to tell the cable companies to “get off my lawn!”


Posted in Antenna Update | Comments

Clearstream Microsite in The New York Times

At CEDIA 2010, we announced our expansion into the cell phone booster marketplace. Just as with our DTV antennas, we applied the same expertise at optimizing our antennas to cell phone frequencies.

Today, The New York Times reported that changes maybe coming to cell phone booster industry. Within the story Antennas Direct’s new line of cell phone booster is mentioned as being used. The user is described as saying “I can walk around my whole home now with full strength reception…I couldn’t be happier.” The Clearstream Microsite cell phone booster will not be on the market until 2011.

Both Wilson and Wireless Extenders say their products are designed to prevent interference and do not affect cellular networks. Mr. Kirkland’s booster, a $375 Clearstream Microsite, was made by Antennas Direct, a new entrant to the market. While the company said the device was still in a public testing phase, it also had built-in safeguards against interference.

To continue reading, follow to the link: Cellphone Carriers Try to Control Signal Boosters


Posted in AD Bus Tour, Antenna Update | Comments

Charleston’s Finest Come Out for the Antenna Giveaway

Like a scene from an iPhone launch, the police were called to our Charleston antenna giveaway. Not because of the noise or because people were out of line, but because there were so many people there!

With a police estimated 2,000 people, a line had formed outside of WCSC studios by 7am, despite not beginning until 10:30. Within the first hour we had given away all $15,000 worth of antennas to the thousands waiting in line. In total we gave away more than 400 antennas! There were even reports that people showed up a day early to check for a line.

While the police did show up, they were more than accommodating for the huge crowd. It turns out that the line was so long to get an antenna, it was blocking ambulances coming and going from a local medical facility.

We’d like to thank everyone from the Charleston area who turned and all of the people who called our office asking about DTV antennas.


Posted in Antenna Update | Comments

Antennas Direct’s DB4 in Action

Today a fan on our facebook page posted a video showing just how easy it was install a DB4 antenna and test it. Notice how they make good use of the satellite dish!

* Range: Up to 55 miles
* Strong performance across UHF spectrum (Channels 14-69)
* Versatile high gain multi – bay antenna
* Efficient design allows tremendous gain in a compact size 13.7 dBi gain
* Versatile HD antenna, succeeds in difficultareas where other antennas fail
* All weather Balun included
* Designed to resist extreme wind loading
* Works great in attics. Fits easily & high gain can help overcome loss from roofing materials
* Dimensions 29″ H x 19″ W x 4″ Deep
* Product Weight: 4.5 pounds


Posted in Ask the Expert | Comments

How to Cut, Strip, and Terminate Coaxial Cable

We receive many questions about how to cut, strip and/or terminate coaxial cable. Long coaxial cables are a pain to deal with and create a mess of wires in your home theater system. Instead of having to get a cutter and a stripper and a crimper, we have a tool that does all of these — The CoaxMax. You can make coaxial cable cuts with solid, reliable sealed connections and that look like you paid a professional installer to make them for you! Literally cut the cable cord with the CoaxMax!

The CoaxMax Cable Termination Kit

  • Includes 20 low loss, lock and seal compressing fittings
  • Plus a handy wrench for F-Connectors
  • Works with RG6 and RG6 Quadshield Cable
  • Packaged in a sturdy plastic storage case
  • Designed for both professional and home use
  • Limited lifetime warranty


Posted in Ask the Expert | Comments

Help Receiving VHF Television Channels

I’ve installed the Clearstream2 antenna and aimed toward the broadcast towers. I receive most of the local stations except two. I’m most concerned about the local ABC affiliate. I should be able to receive its signal. According to their site they boosted their signal and range a few months ago to the maximum range & signal strength allowed by the FCC. What can I do? From Goody in Mustang, Oklahoma

Hi Goody,

From you can tell what channels are available in your area and what frequency they are on (see screen shot below). It looks like KOCO is your ABC affiliate and is running in high VHF. VHF television channels are numbered 2 – 13; UHF channels are numbered 14 – 83.  Although the C2 has limited VHF capabilities it just isn’t enough to adequately receive the weak stations in your area. We would recommend adding a VHF antenna like the ClearStream 5 that comes with the UHF VHF combiner that will allow both antennas to be coupled together on a single coax.

Mustang, OK - Antenna Point


Posted in Cable be evil | Comments

Looks Like a Duck, Quacks Like a Duck, Must Be a Chicken

You’ve heard the old saying, “looks like a duck, quacks likes a duck, it must be a duck!” This is otherwise known as the duck test. As unscientific as it might be this simple test is usually right, just don’t tell that to the “big chickens” at Comcast.

We are not sure if they are misinformed or plain stupid, but according to a recent report Comcast “Head Chicken” Neil Smit had some interesting things to say:

A “small number” of former Comcast subscribers did appear to be swapping out cable for a free, over-the-air signal.

They don’t seem to be planning on using the Web or services like Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, et al as a cable substitute.

While we know that people are canceling cable for over-the-air TV and web content, Smit’s statements would mean that Comcast classifies cord cutters only as people who cancel their cable for web content, not over-the-air TV.

Because of Mr. Smit’s bird brained comments, we’ve decided to implement the cable version of the duck test, “if they cancel their cable subscription, they are a cord cutter,” plain and simple.

We know he is an idiot, but we also know he is trying to deflect the obvious doom cable’s business model is facing. As cable sales continue to slide, we have been able to track our rising antenna sales in conjunction with cable’s cancellations. Our sales have closely mirrored their cancellations, and believe us when we say this is not a “small number.”

Either way, antennas, along with web video, will continue pulling people away from cable…like they are running from the bird flu.


Posted in Ask the Expert | Comments

Help with Your Outdoor Antenna if You Live Near an Airport

I live close to an airport. When smaller planes fly over my house, I loose the DTV signal for a few seconds. Is there any was to resolve this? From Todd in Sanford, Florida

Hi, Todd, thanks for asking!

Planes and Antenna Reception

In the old analog days, the effect you’re seeing would have caused ghosting or vertical rolling of the picture and was referred to as “airplane flutter” interference or dynamic multi-path interference.

With digital, we still can get the same signal problem when the broadcast signal bounces off the moving aircraft and arrives slightly out of time with the desired signal.  It’s up to the tuner to try to sort out the problem but, many times, the tuner can’t handle the distorted signal.  This is when you see the loss of your digital broadcast.

From the antenna side, there’s really only one thing that we can easily do that might remedy this problem:  Select an antenna with the narrowest possible beam width in the vertical axis.  An antenna such as our DB4 Antenna (range: up to 55 miles) or the DB8 antenna (range: 70 miles or more) has a more narrow reception window in the vertical direction than do many other antennas for UHF reception.  This helps to reduce the signal strength of the reflected signal off the aircraft while still receiving the desired signal from the towers.  Hopefully, you can find an antenna aiming point that will allow this to be accomplished.


Posted in Cable be evil | Comments Off on No Matter the Numbers….Deny, Deny, Deny

No Matter the Numbers….Deny, Deny, Deny

We’ve come to the conclusion that cable CEO’s must really like golf, because they seem to be competing against each other to have the lowest number of subscribers possible at the end of each quarter. And just like every golfer’s “hero” Tiger Woods, they plan to Deny, Deny, Deny!

“The first thing when that happens is you deny it,” Ivan Seidenberg said (Verizon CEO). “I know the drill. I have been there.” (Quote taken from the Associate Press)

They may not have crashed their Escalade into a tree, but their arrogance is definitely going to cost them much more. So, without further a due, let’s turn to the scoreboard to see the number of cable customers lost in the third quarter alone:

Comcast                               -275,000

Time Warner Cable         -155,000

Charter                                 -63,800

Cablevision                         -24,500


To continue reading more about cable’s cord-cutting denial: Cable Subscribers Flee, But is Internet to Blaim

Also read more in a site totally dedicated to cord-cutting: Big Cable is Bleeding: 500K+ Subscribers Lost In Q3


Posted in Antenna Update, Industry Update | Comments Off on Broadcasting Turns 90

Broadcasting Turns 90

Ninety years ago the first public broadcast was made from KDKA Pittsburgh delivering the results the Harding-Cox presidential election. Since then broadcasting has evolved becoming what it is today with DTV. From all of us at Antennas Direct we’d like to say Happy Birthday.

To continue reading about broadcasting’s history, follow this link to read 90 Years Of News, Entertainment, Service, where Antennas Direct president Richard Schneider is quoted about the growth of over-the-air TV:

The story quoted Richard Schneider, founder of, an online retailer of TV antennas. “We’ve seen a huge rush in orders in the last six to nine months,” he said. “There’s a perception that it’s for the elderly or the indigent, but the fastest-growing part of our business is 20-something techy kids.”

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