PROS / The reception was better than any other antenna.
CONS / The amplifier has to be plugged into a power source.
VERDICT / This is the best HDTV antenna in our lineup. It is great for homes in both rural areas and the city.
One of the best ways to cut ties with the cable company and get live TV is to get an HDTV antenna. The best HDTV antenna to do that with is the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse. No other antenna in our review received as many channels as the Eclipse. Not only was there an abundance of channels, but the reception was great as well. This easily earned our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
We tested each of the HDTV antennas in two different locations. The first was our downtown office. Our testing lab is in the bottom floor of our office building, making the surrounding buildings and trees even more of an obstacle for TV signal to reach the antenna. Trees and buildings interrupt TV signal and can cause bad reception and breakup.
After we connected the Eclipse to the TV, we maneuvered it around and scanned for channels to find the best place for reception. The Eclipse was able to receive 32 channels. This was the most out of any HD digital antenna we reviewed. The second best came in at 26 channels.
In some cases, when a digital HD antenna grabs a large number of channels, many of the subchannels from major networks have poor reception. This was not the case with the Eclipse. There wasn’t one channel that had interference. All of the channels, including PBS, ABC, NBC and CBS, had great HD picture quality.
Our second location was a second story apartment a few miles south of our downtown office. Outside of the apartment there are no structural obstacles, in fact, it’s an empty field. This is more of a simulation of a rural or suburban area with few structural obstacles.
As in our office, we connected the antenna and moved it around to find the best place for reception. In the apartment, we were able to receive 33 channels. This was among the highest in our group. Here we were able to pick up an extra local channel that had some light breakup, but was still watchable.
The great thing about this receiver is it doesn’t matter if you are in a downtown metropolitan city or in a rural area, you’ll be able to receive free TV with top notch reception. It is important to keep in mind that the number of channels you receive will vary based on your location. Our experience should only be used as a reference.
The Eclipse sports a different design than other indoor HDTV antennas. Like many of them, it is made with paper-like material, but instead of a rectangle design, this antenna has a circle shape that starts out thick up top and narrows toward the bottom. It comes with a sticky grip strip to mount the antenna. The Eclipse Sure Grip sticks to clean, smooth surfaces like a window or wall, which is convenient.
The Eclipse is an amplified receiver. This means it has an additional power source that needs to be plugged in for it to operate properly. When plugged in, it searches for TV signals in a 50-mile radius. That’s the best search radius in our comparison.
Finally, the included coaxial cable is 15 feet long. That provides plenty of leeway to find the sweet spot in your home for reception. The cable is detachable, so you can purchase an additional cable for more length if needed. A handful of HDTV antennas we reviewed feature attached 5 foot cables, which can really limit you from finding the best spot for reception.
Help & Support
There are few companies that are willing to offer a lifetime warranty on their products. Antennas Direct believes in its product enough to offer just that. If the Eclipse HDTV antenna suddenly stops working for no apparent reason, you are covered. That’s a great feeling knowing that you don’t have to worry about the lifespan of the product.
You won’t find a better indoor HDTV antenna than the ClearStream Eclipse. It searches up to 50 miles for TV signals and provides great reception whether you are downtown or in a suburban or rural area. If you are finally ready to cut ties with your TV subscription, this is the HDTV antenna you want.