Antennas Direct is certainly one of the top manufacturers for both indoor and outdoor antennas, with its line of various antennas of different qualities, features, and price ranges. The Antennas Direct Clearstream 4MAX is officially listed as an outdoor/indoor antenna.
However, with its relatively big size and effective reception range of 70+ miles, it is more suited as an outdoor antenna.
It is definitely not the cheapest antenna in this range and category, but it has an excellent set of features and is very reliable in receiving and locking into signals.
Below is our complete review of the Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX HDTV Antenna.
|Product Name||Antennas Direct’s ClearStream 4Max HDTV|
|Indoor/Outdoor||Both, typically outdoor|
|Gain||UHF 11 dBi / VHF 2.5 dBi|
|Beam Angle||470-698 MHz, 45 Degrees (Horizontal Plane) Reception Pattern|
|Dimensions (assembled)||17.25″ L x 31.5″ W x 4.13″ D|
|Includes||20” mast, adjustable mounting hardware|
|Warranty||Lifetime warranty on parts replacement|
What’s In The Box?
The package comes with the Antennas Directs ClearStream 4 MAX Antenna unit and:
- 2- Antenna Elements
- Antenna Spine with 2 Short Tubes
- 2 – VHF Dipoles
- 2 – 19mm Dipole End Cap Screws
- 2 – Dipole End Caps
- 2 – 60mm Antenna Spine Bolts
- Mast End Cap
- J-Mount Mast
- 2 – 25mm Mast Clamp Bolts
- 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 Pad
In short, you basically have all you need to install the Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX HDTV Antenna both indoors or out.
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
The ClearStream 4MAX arrives disassembled, but you’ll only need a #2 Philips screwdriver, a coaxial cable (not included), an adjustable wrench, and a power drill with a 3/16” drill bit with 8 and 10mm ratcheting drivers to fully assemble the antenna.
Simply follow the well-illustrated instruction by Antennas Direct below to install the 4Max. Before anything else, first, check the reception in the area where you are going to mount the ClearStream 4MAX before attaching the J-mount mast.
Removing the secured J-mount can be difficult and you might up breaking the mount (and your wall).
To add mounting hardware to the ClearStream 4MAX, 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.
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.
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 to secure the J-Mount.
Then, you can simply place the included sealing pads over the holes and place the mount base on the top of these sealing pads. Tighten the bolts to secure the base of the surface.
Last but not least, raise the dipole antennas on the ClearStream 4MAX unit until they click in place.
Aiming the ClearStream 4MAX Antenna
The Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX is a multi-directional antenna, so you don’t need to aim it manually in the direction of TV broadcast towers.
Signal Strength, Reception, and Frequencies
The Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX has an advertised signal strength of more than 70 miles. Based on our tests, the signal strength is quite reliable up to at least 55-60 miles.
We compared it with our existing outdoor antenna that has a 50-mile effective reception range, and we get signals from stations that are located roughly 60 miles from our office that we previously didn’t get with our existing antenna.
As we switched our outdoor antenna with the 4MAX installed also 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.
It is also worth noting that the 4MAX also offers one of the best signal capture profiles when compared to other antennas we’ve tested before it.
The ClearStream 4MAX supports both UHF and VHF reception with 470-698 MHz frequency range and 11 dBi maximum gain. By supporting both UHF and VHF, the ClearStream 4Max 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.
ClearStream 4MAX Antenna Pros and Cons
- A very powerful antenna, but not very heavy and bulky
- Doesn’t require additional software, simple to install
- Supports ATSC 3.0 standard
- 45-degree wide beam angle
- Will work with future 4K Broadcasts, future-proof investment
- Reliable in picking free OTA signals
- Robust and durable against bad weathers, wind, and sunny conditions
- 70+ mile range
- Includes all the required mounting hardware
- Includes free 20dB amplifier
- Lifetime warranty for parts
- There are more affordable 70-mile outdoor antennas available, not the cheapest.
- Depending on your location, a 70-mile reception range might not be enough.
If you are looking for an outdoor antenna, then the ClearStream 4MAX from Antennas Direct is a very good pick. It offers a pretty nice set of features and provides exceptional performances with a reception range of up to 70 miles.
A really interesting highlight from the ClearStream 4MAX is its wider beam angle of 45 degrees for more reliable reception. Weighing at only under 2 pounds, it is also one of the lightest outdoor units we’ve tested.
As expected from Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX Antenna, this model also comes with all-weather monitoring hardware and an installation kit (including a 20” mast). You need to purchase the coaxial cable separately, but other than that you get almost everything you need.
Support and FAQs
You can check the official manual for the product from Antennas Direct here, 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. How High Does My TV Antenna Need to Be?
For optimal reception, it’s recommended that the antenna is installed at least 30 feet above the ground.
3. 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.
4. 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.