Antennas

ClearStream Micron Over-the-Air Indoor DTV Antenna

ARTICLE INDEX

In Use

I started out by pairing the Micron with the HDTV in my bedroom. The TV sits on a dresser; behind it is a window, and behind the window is a tree. I placed the Micron on the dresser and slid it around while monitoring the signal strength of a few DTV stations. Once I found a good spot, I initiated a full scan on the HDTV. A total of 70 channels were found (the count includes all the sub-channels). Most of the channels, including some with average signal strength, came through without any picture breakup. Reception of channel 12 was good most of the time, but it did hiccup at times. Two channels, 7 (ABC) and 30 (KQED), however, had intermittent reception issues. Unfortunately my HDTV set made the tweaking exercise somewhat cumbersome: if it were unable to lock on to a channel for a few seconds, it would automatically delete the channel. Adding the deleted channel back required a rescan.

The dresser is 31 inches tall. I wanted to see if raising the antenna would improve the situation. The only available option was to perch the antenna on the frame of the window blinds behind the television set. I took the base off, situated the antenna on the frame and leaned it slightly against the wall. Re-examining the signal strength showed an improvement for most of the channels. Reception of channels 7 and 12 was now solid; channel 30, however, still showed occasional picture breakup. Note that channel 30 is also a problem channel in my theater room, which is served by a rooftop antenna.

Next up was the living room. This area is pretty open. Here I hooked up the antenna to the DTV tuner input of my DISH receiver. The antenna sat on top of the media cabinet, which is about 86 inches above the floor. I monitored the signal strength of a few channels while sliding the antenna around on top of the cabinet. Like in the bedroom, once I found a good spot, I did a full channel scan. The tuner locked on to almost the same number of channels as the bedroom. Signal strength in general was higher compared to the same channels in the bedroom. The one channel that was somewhat problematic in the bedroom, channel 30 (KQED), came through with excellent signal strength. Signal strength of channel 44 was on the lower side; there were times when the picture broke up, but most of the time it came through just fine. On the flip side, channels 7 (ABC) and 12 (NBC), both VHF, which came through fine in the bedroom, were absent from the scanned channel list. I tried another re-positioning exercise at a later time and found a spot on top of the media cabinet where the DTV tuner picked up a weak signal on channel 7, but the picture kept breaking up.

I briefly hooked up another indoor antenna I had on hand to check whether I could receive the two problematic channels. This antenna from Philips is an integrated VHF/UHF antenna. With this antenna placed on top of the media cabinet, I was able to receive channel 7; channel 12 showed up with a weak signal, but the picture kept breaking up. On the channels that the DTV tuner locked onto with both antennas, the signal strength was generally higher with the Micron.