All US television broadcasts went digital on June 12, 2009. While cable and satellite TV subscribers did not have to do anything to make the switch, those with analog TVs had to either add an adapter box to convert the signal or get a new TV with a digital tuner/receiver. We did a few articles last year about Antennas Direct’s ClearSteam line (C1, C4) of antennas specifically designed for over-the-air reception of digital TV signals. Eleven months post-digitalization, we are here to update readers with a new addition to the ClearStream family of DTV antennas. Gone are the “rabbit ears” of old. The ClearStream Micron is a compact antenna engineered and optimized for indoor use.
Cable and satellite signals are compressed so they can cram more data over the same pipe, but local broadcast signals typically are not. By using an antenna to pull the local broadcast signals directly out of the air, one can avoid the loss of picture quality from the compression/decompression that is inevitable with signals from subscription services. The ClearStream Micron has very forgiving aiming characteristics. It has more than a 70º of beamwidth across the main area of sensitivity. It also has a relatively large secondary rear sensitivity area. This means the Micron is able to receive signals from multiple directions from a fixed position.
The Micron delivers TV signals from widely located (spaced) broadcast towers, negating the need for an antenna rotator in most cases.
- Range: up to 30 miles
- Beamwidth (Horizontal Plane): 470 to 700 MHz: 70 degrees
- Front to Back Ratio: Typical 15 dBi
- Directivity: Typical 8.1 dBi Max 8.25dBi @ Channel 35
- Size Assembled: 10”h x 11”w x 4.5”d
The Micron was designed and optimized for the core UHF DTV band. The 10″x11″ face and slim profile is suitable for desktop or wall-mounted use. The stand may be used to mount the Micron flat against the wall or raised away from it.
“Many people didn’t realize how much the popularity of antennas would surge after the DTV conversion,” said Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct. “We’re seeing in our own sales data, however, that close to 50% of the 114 million TV-watching households are using an antenna to either supplement pay TV on the primary television in the home, or to get reception on secondary TV’s in the home which are not hooked up to cable or satellite.” Well, we saw it coming.