Category: Ask the Expert

Q&A with the antenna experts now


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Antennas Direct To Attend SXSW This Year

SXSW is one of the most attended, preeminent interactive conferences in the world and it happens in Austin, TX every March.
Richard Schneider, President of Antennas Direct, announced today that his company would be attending the original music, independent films, and emerging technologies event.
We will keep you informed on our dates of involvement.


Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments Off

First Person: How We Cut The Cord And Now Enjoy (Almost) Free TV!

Again, more and more people have had it with the rising rates of cable providers. This Yahoo! contributor explains how to cut the cable cord and what they did to enjoy (almost) Free TV.

Read the full article here:  First Person: How We Cut The Cord And Now Enjoy (Almost) Free TV


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Painting Your ClearStream 2 Antenna

Question: I’m getting ready to install my ClearStream 2 antenna. My Housing Authority doesn’t allow antennas that are not in the same color theme as housing development. Can I paint the antenna? Is so, will it degrade the performance of the antenna? Thanks, Chris

Hi Chris,

Your question is one that actually comes up quite often. The answer is quit simple. As long as you paint the antenna with any non-metallic paint, you will not cause any damage or loss of performance to your antenna. Great question and good luck Chris!


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HDTV or Converter Box?

This is a question that comes up often. What do I need to start receiving HDTV, especially the local channels, in my area on my TV? Digital Converter Box has published a great article regarding this question.

“With the growing popularity of HDTV, viewers are increasingly the evolution of HDTV. To cope with this, broadcasters are at a faster pace than ever for high definition programming.

Since there is a period of 17 February 2009 for all broadcasters to switch to HD, the popularity of this mode of travel has increased. Families coping with their old TVs that are not compatible with this new technology have to buy a digital-analog or high definition antenna gain!

If you decide on getting an HDTV, it is advisable that you do considerable research to find out what exactly is acquired on the market and you need to discover more about hd. Once you’ve purchased your device, you’ll need to decide on a cable provider that offers digital cable service and Hi def is part of their package.”

“Be aware that if you select a cable / provider Dish for HD may charge you more for your local stations. The average fee for receiving your local HD stations via your provider is about per month in addition to your regular statement.”

“The easiest and cheapest (free) to receive the high definition home delivery is via an antenna. True, only the initial cost of an HDTV antenna is all that is spent to acquire the HD signal! The choice you have an HDTV are unimaginable. You have plasma, LCD (liquid crystal display), DLP (digital light processing) or LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon), which are all types of monitors.”

“Remember the type of display also … rear projection, front projection and flat screen will be choices you’ll see when shopping for a TV. Many consumers HDTV as the monitor display wall, either plasma or LCD.”

“But be prepared, you will pay a price for these games in high definition, especially the larger screens of 55 “. If you are looking for something less pricy and not willing to compromise on the size, then look at the LCD displays that are 42 inches or less in size.”

“In the end, everyone across the country will eventually make the transition to HDTV! Either by choosing to get high definition signals via their cable / dish company or more likely the 30 + million consumers to the old-fashion analog antenna type will choose to stand on their roofs and exchange fees on HDTV designed antenna.”

Make sure to browse our website and find the antenna that is right for you. Join the 30 + million that have cut the cord and started watching HDTV for free!


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Installing a Clearstream2 Antenna in San Jose, CA

Question: I have a 1996 Magnavox Analog TV, and I connected the Clearstream2 antenna to it. However, I’m not getting any reception or channels after rescanning the TV. Do I need a special tuner or any other equipment to get the channels?  Thanks, Mel

Hi Mel,

The reason why you are not receiving any reception when you hook up your Clearstream2 to your 1996 television is because your television does not have a digital tuner built in, so it can not read the over-the-air signals that are now broadcasting digitally. Your older television was made to pick up analogue signals. Since the digital switch in 2009, you need a converter box to convert these signals on your specific television.

So you have two options. The cheaper option is to go find/buy a digital to analog TV converter box that hooks to your television and your antenna. Converter boxes can range in price from around $40 – $70. Now you can even find some used on

The other more expensive option is to buy a new television that has a digital tuner already built in. All new televisions in stores should be ready to pick up digital signals. Most television made after 2007 also have digital tuners. However, even with a new television you will need to hook up an antenna to it to receive free over-the-air TV.

Hope that helps! Thanks!


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How to Receive UHF and VHF OTA Channels

Question 1: I’m not sure which antenna is best for my area since most channels are UHF but two of the popular ones are High VHF. Also I need a digital converter box, do you know where I can get one? Thanks. From Anton, in Alhambra, California.

Question 2: I need an antenna that will give me both VHF and UHF reception. What is the best antenna that you recommend? – The length of cable will be about 50 or 60 ft. Do I need PreAmp? From Aubre in Howell, Texas.

Hi Anton and Aubre,

Since you both had questions regarding how to receive both VHF and UHF reception, I can address both of you in one answer.

We would recommend going to Here you are prompted to put in your location and you can see exactly where your broadcast signals are coming from. To recommend an antenna we have to factor in how far you are away from your broadcast towers and also the geographical terrain near by. For instance, someone living in the city close to the broadcast towers might experience more interference because of the tall buildings, as opposed to someone living outside the city, but without all those tall buildings, might receive better reception.

For the most part, all of our antennas can function as UHF/VHF antennas, but their success may be limited especially if you are trying to get channels on the very low end of VHF (channels 2-6). So Anton, since you indicated that you have high VHF in your area we would recommend you consider the distance between you and your broadcast towers and any impediments you may have.

Otherwise, we would recommend using the ClearStream5 antenna as a great high powered antenna that can pick up both of these signals.

And for Aubre who is using a 50-60 foot coaxial cable, you will probably need to use an amplifier to overcome the length of your cable. Here are a few blog posts about amplifiers that we recommend.

Do I Need an Antenna Amplifier with my Antenna?
What is the Difference Between an A Distribution Amplifier and a Preamplifier?


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Setting Up a Television Antenna on a Truck

I am trying to set up a TV in my hot dog truck. I recently bought a clearstream2, I live approx 35 miles north of New York City. Just tonight I bought a new 19″ sylvania HDTV. I only get 3 channels. Does it matter where I am located for a good signal? From Joseph in New York.

Hi Joseph,

Unfortunately the digital transition in 2009 was not kind to people watching over-the-air television while traveling in cars, trucks and RVs. From what we have heard is that most people can receive digital signals when they are stopped, but almost none when they are in motion (which is probably a good thing).

Yes it one-hundred percent matters where you are located. This will determine how good of a signal you receive. It not only matters where exactly your truck is parked but also what direction your antenna is pointing and what structures might be in the way of the signal path such as buildings and trees.

Sorry Joseph, you have many things working against you here. We would recommend putting your ClearStream2 digital antenna in your house and looking into RV antennas that can be elevated above your truck roof.


Posted in Antenna Update, Ask the Expert | Comments

Using Existing Cable Units for Your OTA Television Antenna

I have the same situation as with Helena. Mom of four boys and just tried to make ends meet got rid of cable expense. Interested in the DB2 with the J post to be located in the attic. My house was pre-wired so cable company just came in and connected service. Now that my service is gone…can I use that same box on the side of my house where they hooked up their cable and connect it to the DB2 up in the attic? There are 8 cable outlets in the house…would it still work and what kind of amplifier should I use? From Mariel in Richmond, VA

Hi Mariel,

Since it sounds like you already have coaxial cable running through the house it might be worth it to see if there is or is not a single network of coax inside the house. If it is not a single network, you may not receive reception on all of your TVs.

Also, when using the leftover cables you must ensure all of the distribution items installed by the Dish company are removed such as splitters and diplexers because they could interfere with your reception.

Amplifiers are sometimes necessary to overcome signal loss related to splitters and junctions. Remember that an amplifier does not create a signal. It will only enhance a signal that is already there, but may be weak when split to different televisions. Here are some previous blog posts that might help.

Do I Need an Antenna Amplifier with my Antenna?

What is the Difference Between an A Distribution Amplifier and a Preamplifier?

How to Cut, Strip and Terminate Coaxial Cable


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Difference Between a Distribution Amplifiers and a Preamplifier

What is the difference between your PA18 and CPA19 preamplifiers and what is the difference between a distribution amplifier and a preamplifier? Thanks! From Paul in Union, MO

Hi Paul,

A distribution amplifier is helpful if you have a good signal at the splitter, but not after splitting. Distribution amplifiers are usually one piece and are meant to be used indoors. They are used to overcome splitter loss and meant to “distribute” TV signals to multiple locations.

A digital antenna preamplifier can be used outside with your outside antenna. It usually comes as a 2 part unit with the amplifier mounted at the antenna and the power supply mounted in the house. A preamp is meant to overcome signal loss due to long cable lengths between the antenna and your TV or splitter.

The CPA19 has a slightly lower noise figure than the PA18 and was designed specifically to compliment the Clearstream line of antennas.

View some of our most popular television amplifiers and click on images below for more information.

Pre-Amplifier Kit

CPA19 ClearStream Pre-Amplifier Kit

Pre-Amp KitPA18 UHF / VHF

PA18 UHF / VHF Antenna Pre-Amp Kit


Posted in Ask the Expert | Comments

Cellular Antenna Help and Products

I have a very weak AT&T cell signal even with a booster w/ outside antenna. I do also have DSL but would prefer to cancel that in favor of cellular. What products do you have that may help? From Jim in Innsbrook, MO

Hi Jim,

We have been working on products to boost cell phone signals. Our Wi-Fi antennas will replace a router’s existing antenna and distribute the Wi-Fi signal through four to eight ports plugged into cable outlets. The Clearstream Microsite is a cell phone booster that features built-in safe guards against interference. However, it is still in public testing phase and will not be on the market until 2011.

This new product was actually featured in the New York Times recently. Stay tuned for the release date. In the mean time, check out the NYT article.

Sean Kirkland, an executive vice president for sales and marketing for a company that plans corporate meetings and events was featured in this article and is one of the few that is using the Clearstream Microsite while it is in its testing phase. Check out what he said about it on Facebook.

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