Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX Antenna Review

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX Review

Antennas Direct obviously needs no introduction as one of the top manufacturers of antennas of different qualities and price ranges. For the ClearStream 2Max HDTV Antenna, the key highlight is its relatively big size with its rather bold design when compared to other typical flat indoor antennas.

It should be noted, however, the design and size aren’t purely aesthetics as they also contribute to the ClearStream 2Max’s ability to receive and lock into signals.

Although it is relatively expensive compared to its competitors, based on our tests the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2Max HDTV Antenna is one of the top performers in its class.

Here is our complete review of the product.

Specifications

ModelC2MVJ-5
Product Name Antennas Direct’s ClearStream 2Max HDTV
Range60+ miles
Indoor/OutdoorBoth, typically outdoor
DirectionsMulti-directional
Frequency UHF/VHF
GainUHF 8.7 dBi / VHF 2.6 dBi
Beam Angle470 to 700MHz: 60 Degrees (Horizontal Plane) Reception Pattern
Dimensions (assembled) 17.25″ L x 31.5″ W x 4″ D
Weight1.8 lbs
ColorDark Gray
Includes20” mast, adjustable mounting hardware
WarrantyLifetime warranty on parts replacement

What’s In The Box?

The package comes with the Antennas Direct’s ClearStream 2Max HDTV antenna unit and:

  • Indoor Antenna Stand
  • J-Mount Mast
  • Mast End Cap
  • 1 – 25mm Mast Clamp Bolt
  • Mast Clamp and Back Plate
  • Wing Nuts and U-Clamp
  • 2 – 40mm Hex Bolts and Nuts
  • 4 – 50mm J-Mount Bolts
  • Mount Base
  • 4 – Sealing Pads

In short, you basically have all you need to install the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2Max HDTV both indoor or outdoor.

If you want to use the included indoor mount, simply slide the mount onto the bottom of the antenna. The package also includes many different outdoor mounting options, or you can easily attach the antenna to a pole if you want.

No matter the mounting option, you can connect the coaxial cable out the back of the antenna to your TV, then start scanning for OTA TV channels.

Assembly and Installation

Indoor Installation

If you want to use the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2Max HDTV indoor, then the installation is pretty simple:

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX Assembly 1

Step 1: Connect the coaxial cable to the antenna, then connect the antenna to the included Antenna Stand (2).

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX Assembly 2

Step 2: Raise the dipole antennas outwards until they click into place, then you can start searching for OTA signals

Outdoor Installation

Installing the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2Max HDTV outdoor is relatively more complex than the indoor installation, as you’ll need an adjustable wrench, Phillips screwdriver (#2), 3/16” drill bit, and ratcheting drivers (8mm and 10 mm) depending on where you are going to mount the antenna.

To add mounting hardware to the ClearStream 2Max HDTV, first, remove the long bolt from the back of the antenna. This should be pretty easy to do if you have the right tool.

Then, use the same long bolt with the included Mast clamp bolt to secure the mounting back plate, look at the image below for a clearer instruction:

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX Assembly 3

Then, you should first assemble the J-Mount by attaching the J-mount mast to the mount base. Use the included Hex Bolts and nuts, as shown below.

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX Assembly 4

Next, mark the mount base on the desired surface, and drill the pilot holes. You should drill 1” deep plot holes for each of the 50mm J-Mount bolts, as shown below.

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX Assembly 5

Place the sealing pads over the holes, then place the mount base on top of the sealing pads. Tighten the J-mount bolts to secure the base of the surface.

Finally, raise the dipole antennas until they click into place.

It’s important to first check the reception in the location where you are going to mount the antenna before attaching the J-mount mast, not only to ensure efficiency, but since removing the attached J-mount can be difficult.

Aiming The Antenna

Since the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2Max HDTV is a multi-directional, wide beam-angle antenna, you don’t need to aim it directly at the broadcast towers. However, it’s always a good idea to know which direction your signals are transmitting from and aim your antenna at that largest cluster of towers.

If you are unsure which direction the broadcast towers are in your area are, or which channels you should be able to receive, then we recommend checking out our TV Station Locator Tool page.

Our YouTube video below shows you how to use this tool.

Signal Strength, Reception, and Frequencies

Signal Strength and Reception

The Antennas Direct ClearStream 2Max HDTV has an advertised signal strength of more than 60 miles.

Based on our tests, the signal strength is quite reliable up to at least 50 miles since we can get signals from DC stations that are located roughly 50 miles from our Baltimore office that we previously couldn’t get with our existing indoor antenna.

As we switched our indoor antenna with the 2Max HDTV (placed outdoors), our channels line up went from only 29 channels to 44 clear channels, all of them are clear and we can get 1080i resolutions without any issues.

The 2Max also offers one of the best signal capture profiles when compared to other antennas we’ve tested.

Frequency Range 

The ClearStream 2Max HDTV supports both UHF and VHF reception with 470-700 MHz frequency range and 8.7 dBi maximum gain. By supporting both UHF and VHF, the ClearStream 2Max offers a versatile antenna that can receive signals in virtually any condition.

Also, it is a 4K-ready antenna, making it a very versatile, future-proof option.

Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

 A very powerful antenna, but not very heavy and bulky

  • Doesn’t require additional software, simple to install
  • Reliable in picking free OTA signals
  • Robust and durable against bad weathers, wind, and sunny conditions
  • 60+ mile range
  • Supports ATSC 3.0 standard
  • Will work with future 4K Broadcasts
  • Includes all the required mounting hardware
  • Includes free 20dB amplifier
  • Lifetime warranty for parts

Cons

 Relatively expensive

  • Depending on your location, a 60-mile reception range might not be enough

Verdict

While the ClearStream 2Max might be too big when used indoors, and there are other options with more affordable price tags, it is a great antenna that is intended to be installed outdoors.

Reliable at picking signals from the advertised 60+miles coverage range, and during our tests can receive all the major networks at up to 1080i resolution.

Great as an outdoor antenna, but if you are planning to use it strictly indoors, there are more affordable options that can also cover 50 to 60 miles range.

Support and FAQs

You can check the official manual for the product from Antennas Direct here, and the official video from Antennas Direct below:


And here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the product:

1.   I’m not getting any signals at all

There are several possible causes for this:

  • You might have an analog-only television, and you’ll need a digital converter box to use the antenna. Check whether your TV is manufactured before 2007, and if that’s the case, you’ll need to use a converter box and perform the signal scan on the converter box (not the TV).
  • If you are already using a digital TV, then you might need to configure the TV. Check your TV’s manual for proper instructions, but here are a few tips:
    • Press the Input button (or similar names) on your TV remote, and make sure to set the input to ‘TV’
    • Press the home button/menu on your remote, and set the signal type to ‘Antenna’, ‘Broadcast’, ‘Air’, ‘OTA’, or similar names
    • Within the TV’s menu, select ‘Channel Scan’ or just ‘Channel’ to perform scanning
  • Make sure you are positioned within 60 miles of the nearest TV transmission tower since this product only has a 60+mile coverage range
  • If you are installing the antenna outdoor, it might be blocked by other buildings and don’t have a clear line of sight to the nearest TV tower. You might need to put it higher or move the antenna to different locations. Avoid placing the antenna near high trees, buildings, or directly facing a roof.
  • Similarly, when placed indoors, avoid placing the antenna near thick materials like metal siding, bricks, radiant barrier, or stucco. If you are placing the antenna in the attic, you might as well want to move it outdoors.
  • Check all coaxial cable connections, ensure for a tight fit. Check all outdoor cables for corrosion or water/moisture damage

2.   I’m receiving every channel but one

You might need to rescan, and if you are using a converter box, rescan the converter box. If it still fails, the channel you aren’t receiving may have its transmitter lower on the transmission tower or is distributed from a different tower than the other transmitters.

You might need to place the antenna in a more elevated place or moving it to another location. Make sure to rescan as you move the antenna to different locations.

3.   I’m very close to the broadcast tower, but can’t receive stable signals

A common cause of this issue is because your TV is receiving interfering signals. Move the antenna so it’s not placed near other antennas and/or metal objects. If this is still not successful, a larger/stronger antenna might not solve this issue, and you might need the use of an attenuator pad.