PROS / This TV picked up more channels than any other HDTV antenna.
CONS / The feet don’t lock into place, making the stand flimsy and unreliable.
VERDICT / This is a great antenna for both city and suburban areas.
The Antennas Direct ClearStream Micron HDTV antenna is our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner. It has a much different design than many flat HDTV antennas do today, but the results are great. This antenna receives lots of channels and delivers them with great reception. This is certainly one of the best HDTV antennas in our lineup.
In order to get a good idea of how these indoor HDTV antennas perform in different scenarios, we tested them in two different areas. The first was in our downtown office. We tested the HDTV indoor antenna on the bottom floor of our building. This is important because surrounding our offices are taller trees and other buildings that obstruct TV signal. Since we tested on the bottom floor, it makes these obstructions more prevalent to disrupting TV signal.
In our office building we were able to receive 26 total channels, the second best total, only behind our best-rated HDTV antenna. With the ClearStream Micron, we received all of the major networks: CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS. There was some minor breakup in the signal from time to time, but overall, it was good HD quality streaming. We were also able to pick up a handful of local channels and their subchannels. All of these channels were received with minimal breakup.
Where our downtown office simulated receiving TV signals in a city, our second location – a second-story apartment – simulates being in a suburban neighborhood. Outside of the apartment there are no structural obstacles that would disrupt the line of sight for the TV signal. Here we received 39 channels with the HDTV antenna. This was the most channels out of any antenna in our comparison.
Much like our downtown office, we received all of the major networks, this time without breakup. We also received a handful of subchannels that no other antenna was able to pick up. Those few channels didn’t have the best quality, but the rest of the local channels came in with HD clarity. Overall, we were impressed with this antenna's showing in both downtown and suburban areas. Keep in mind that the number of channels you receive will vary upon your location.
When you first plug your HD digital antenna in to your TV, you should move the antenna around to find the best spot for reception in your home. The ClearStream Micron comes with an attached 9-foot coaxial cable. This gives you some leeway to find a good spot, but not a ton. There are other antennas that come with 15 or more feet of cable so you can truly find the best spot in your home for reception.
This digital HD antenna is not made of the paper-like material that others often are designed with. It is a thicker piece of hard plastic that is meant to stand upright on a table top. The Micron comes with two small feet that stand the antenna upright on a table top. The feet slide into grooves on the back of the antenna. The problem is that they don’t latch on or grab on to the antenna. If you grab the antenna by the top and lift it up, the feet will fall off. This isn’t a great design and it's one of the only drawbacks to this antenna.
This is an amplified antenna. Amplified antennas require an additional power source, so the Micron will need to be plugged in to a wall. Generally, amplified antennas search in a greater radius than non-amplified antennas, but that’s not the case with the Antennas Direct Micron. Usually an amplified antenna will search in a 50-mile radius, but the Micron only searches in a 30-mile radius. That is a little disappointing, so bear that in mind if you live far away from a TV tower.
Help & Support
Antennas Direct offers a lifetime warranty on the ClearStream Micron. That is impressive. The standard antenna warranty length is one year. The lifetime warranty shows the company has confidence in its products and gives you peace of mind that if your receiver ever suddenly stops working, you have nothing to worry about.
This HDTV antenna gathers many channels and gets great reception. In our testing it worked great in both downtown and suburban areas. It doesn’t have a large search radius range like most amplified antennas, but if you live within 35 miles of a TV tower, this antenna is worth heavy consideration.