Antennas Direct 4MAX Antenna Review

Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX Review

Antennas Direct is certainly one of the top manufacturers for both indoor and outdoor antennas, with its various options of high quality TV antennas, features, and price ranges. The 4MAX is no exception. It is one of the top preforming indoor outdoor antennas in its price range.

The Clearstream 4MAX is officially listed as an outdoor indoor antenna and is ideal suited for both suburban and rural areas. That said, 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 category, however it has an excellent set of features and is very reliable in receiving over-the-air (OTA) TV signals. Below is our complete review of the Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX HDTV Antenna.

Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX UHF VHF Indoor Outdoor TV Antenna, Multi-Directional, 70+ Mile Range, 4K 8K UHD, NEXTGEN TV – w/ 20-inch Mast (Black)

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Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • A very powerful antenna with an affordable price and build quality
  • Doesn’t require additional software, simple to install
  • Supports ATSC 3.0 standard for excellent signal quality
  • 45-degree wide beam angle for easily receiving signals
  • Will work with future 4K Broadcasts, future-proof investment
  • Reliable in picking free OTA signals with great reception
  • Robust and durable against bad weathers, wind, and sunny conditions
  • Antenna pulls in channels from a 70+ mile range providing more TV channels
  • Includes all the required mounting hardware with quick connect assembly
  • Also features an adjustable mast clamp and pivoting base
  • Includes free 20dB amplifier (signal booster)
  • Lifetime warranty for parts

Cons 

  • There are more affordable indoor outdoor antennas available.
  • Depending on your location a 70-mile range may not be enough.

Our Verdict

If you are looking to cut the cord with an indoor outdoor antenna, the 4MAX from Antennas Direct is a very good pick. It offers a great set of features and provides exceptional performance with a long range reception of 70+ miles.

A really interesting highlight from the 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 TV antenna we’ve tested.

As expected from 4MAX TV 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.

Specifications

Product Name Antennas Direct’s ClearStream 4Max HDTV
Range70+ miles
Indoor/OutdoorBoth, typically outdoor
DirectionsMulti-directional
Frequency UHF/VHF
GainUHF 11 dBi / VHF 2.5 dBi
Beam Angle470-698 MHz, 45 Degrees (Horizontal Plane) Reception Pattern
Dimensions (assembled) 17.25″ L x 31.5″ W x 4.13″ D
Weight3 lbs
ColorDark Gray
Includes20” mast, adjustable mounting hardware
WarrantyLifetime warranty on parts replacement

What’s In The Box?

The package comes with the 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 4MAX HDTV Antenna both indoors or out right out of the box. 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.

How to Install the ClearStream 4MAX Antenna?

The ClearStream 4MAX arrives disassembled, however, the provided instruction allow for easy installation. 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 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).

Antennas Direct 4MAX Antenna Setup

Source: https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/2017-PDF-QS/C4MVJ_QS_20170413.pdf

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.

Antennas Direct 4MAX Antenna Setup

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 4MAX unit until they click in place.

Signal Strength, Reception, and Frequencies

The 4MAX TV antenna has an advertised long range signal strength of more than 70 miles. Based on our tests, the signal strength is quite reliable up to at least the 55-60 mile range. This is sufficient to pull in local channels in both suburban and rural areas. How many channels? That will depend on where you are physically located.

We compared it with our existing outdoor antenna that has a 50-mile effective reception range, and we were receiving 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.

Frequency Range

The 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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:

Which Direction Do I Point My Antenna?

The Antennas Direct 4MAX is a multi-directional TV antenna, so you don’t need to aim it manually in the direction of TV broadcast towers. Be sure to check out the YouTube video below:

What is the difference between the ClearStream 4V and 4MAX?

Both the Antennas Direct ClearStream 4Max and ClearStream 4V are multi-directional outdoor TV antennas designed for receiving over-the-air (OTA) television signals.

When choosing between these antennas, factors such as your location, the distance from broadcast towers, the types of channels available in your area, and local terrain can influence the antenna’s performance. Additionally, consider installation preferences, such as mounting options and weather resistance.

Here are is a short list of their specifications and differences:

  1. 4MAX:
    • Multi-directional design for reception from multiple directions.
    • Generally has a higher gain compared to the ClearStream 4V, which means it may provide a stronger signal in certain situations.
    • Designed to capture UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency) signals.
    • Typically comes with a 20-inch mount and all-weather mounting hardware.
  2. 4V:
    • Multi-directional, allowing for signals from different directions.
    • Generally has a lower gain compared to the ClearStream 4Max, but it may still offer good performance.
    • Designed for both UHF and VHF signal reception.
    • Comes with a 20-inch mount and is built to withstand various weather conditions.

Does the ClearStream 4 receive VHF?

The Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX is primarily designed for UHF (Ultra High Frequency) reception, and its performance on VHF (Very High Frequency) channels may not be as robust. The ClearStream 4V, on the other hand, is designed to capture both UHF and VHF signals reliably.

Is ClearStream 4MAX better than 2MAX?

The 4Max and ClearStream 2MAX are both outdoor TV antennas designed for receiving over-the-air (OTA) television signals from local broadcasting TV towers. You can check out our full review of the 2MAX here. However, let’s go over some key differences in terms of design and performance. Here are some general characteristics:

  1. 4MAX:
  • Multi-directional design for reception from different directions.
  • Typically has a higher gain compared to the ClearStream 2MAX, which means it may provide a stronger signal in certain situations.
  • Designed to capture both UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency) signals.
  • Suitable for areas where signals may come from various directions.

2MAX:

  • Also a multi-directional antenna.
  • Generally has a slightly smaller design compared to the ClearStream 4Max.
  • Designed to capture UHF signals primarily but can also receive some VHF channels.

If you have both UHF and VHF channels in your area, the ClearStream 4Max, with its ability to capture both types of signals, may be a better choice.

What is the best outdoor antenna?

Determining the best outdoor antenna depends on various factors, check out our review of the best outdoor antennas here.

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

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. You can check out our previous article on the ideal height here.

Can you connect the 4MAX to multiple TVs?

Yes, you can connect it to two TVs, three TVs, or even four with some additional hardware like a distribution amplifier or a network tuner.

I’m receiving every channel but one

Certain channels may be difficult to receive for a variety of reasons. Try 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.

I’m very close to the transmission tower, but can’t receive stable signals

A common cause of this issue is because there is interference or 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.