When is an antenna not an antenna? When it’s the ClearStream VIEW Amplified UHF/VHF Indoor TV Antenna, is the answer. We all know what to expect when looking at an over-the-air antenna (OTA), right? If it’s indoors it’s most likely rectangular and has a flat appearance and is found attached to the wall near the TV. But that’s not what you get here, because the designers decided to go a different route.
Now let’s get the basics out of the way first. The VIEW is designed to connect to a TV’s “TV” input via a 15 foot cable. After having placed the antenna on the wall and done the connection, you go into the TV menu that cycles through the various digital TV channels that can now be picked up. These are free channels because they’re coming from broadcast towers sending high-definition TV pictures and surround sound (in many cases). No cable channels, obviously, but also no monthly $$ cost. Once the cycling is finished, you go to a TV channel and start watching.
So that pretty much describes what these OTA antennas can do, but doesn’t say much about how they look. That’s where the VIEW is different: it’s a wall frame with photos for all practical purposes. So you’re (not really) hanging one of those collage-type picture frames on the wall, not an antenna. It sure looks like a picture frame, what with a white matt on the back, glass in the front whose 14.25” x 18.25” size accommodates 9 photos — 4 3.5” in x 5.0”, 2 3.5” x 4”, 2 3.5” in x 3.5” and one 3.5” in x 5.5”. The back of this “photo frame” is easy to open for inserting/changing pictures and has a keyhole slot for simple horizontal wall placement. The shape and black finish of the VIEW screams “here’s some photos to look at,” but you know better.
The ClearStream VIEW Amplified UHF/VHF Indoor TV Antenna has a 50+ mile range to get you those TV channels and includes a wide beam angle to pull in the signal, be they UHF or Hi-VHF frequencies. The multi-directional design means it doesn’t have to be “aimed” at those broadcast towers either. A USB signal amplifier is included (being part of the connection between antenna and TV) and gets power via the USB port on the TV’s back. Or through the included USB wall adapter.
Now all you are paying for is the one-time cost of getting it, which has a retail of $69.99. So for those who want to “cut the cord” without giving up on television, yet cringe at the thought of having an antenna stuck on the wall spoiling the decor, this changes everything. And for the better.