Inside, or out, these large HDTV antennas work where others fail
For distant signals, beyond 60 miles, your best bet will likely be a large roof or attic-mounted antenna. While we don't cover those in this report, we touch upon how to find the right choice for your location at the end of this section. But before you go there, and as long as you are willing to put up with an antenna that won't be as easy to hide or ignore in your viewing room, there are some good alternatives that are worth a look.
Its size is certainly an issue for those that plan to use it indoors, but if that's not too much of a concern to you, we saw some good feedback for the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V (Est. $100). This is a large two-bay UHF loop and scatter-plane reflector antenna, coupled with a VHF dipole antenna for complete coverage of all HDTV channels. The UHF loops are the same receiving elements used in the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse (Est. $40), profiled in the section on Best Indoor HDTV Antennas.
Despite being able to receive signals over a fairly large angle, the design is fairly directional, so it's not the best choice for those looking to receive signals from widely spaced bearings. However, the chief drawback to this antenna is its size. Measuring 20 inches long by 35.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep, there's no missing this antenna in a typical viewing room. Some rationalize that with this (and similar antennas) if you look at it just right, it could be passed off as a modern art sculpture, but still… Another alternative is to place the antenna in your attic and run cabling to your set, an approach favored by many.
At the end of the day, however, if you can live with this antenna's aesthetics, it outperforms just about anything short of a large rooftop mounted antenna, at least within its specified 60-plus-mile range. This antenna gets tons of user reviews at sites like BestBuy.com and Amazon.com and enjoys high levels of satisfaction - at least in comparison to other TV antennas. Solid Signal reviews this antenna on its blog, comparing it to its own HD-Blade indoor antenna (Est. $30), and reports excellent results.
Feedback is more limited, but the Channel Master STEALTHenna 50 (Est. $30) gets a shout out from Peter Putnam at HDTVExpert.com. It's tested with and without an accessory amplifier, and either way scores well (albeit tied with a UHF only bow tie antenna - see our discussion of for more information). The antenna includes receiving elements for all current TV bands, including low-band VHF. It uses a Yagi design - similar in appearance to many UHF/VHF roof antennas, but smaller - and is somewhat directional, taking in signals over a 90 degree arc.
Though called compact, at 23.5 by 22.6 inches will be hard to miss if used indoors. "It's small enough to sit in a closet or attic space, or even in a room - think of it as functional art, " Putman says. It's rated for a range of 50 miles.
As noted user reviews are good, if limited. Price is certainly a selling point, but most are pleased with performance. In just over a dozen reviews at Amazon.com, it earns a 4.8 star rating.