One of the biggest advantages of streaming TV shows is that you can watch on your phone or tablet. But to do that requires not just an app, but either to be paying for a cable/satellite subscription or a monthly fee to an online service. That’s annoying to those who’ve cut the cord and are using an over-the-air (OTA) antenna, because while it can give you channels you want to watch for free, it can’t put any of them onto your mobile device. Not to mention letting you pause or rewind the streaming video as it plays. You just can’t do it. Until now, that is, because the Clearstream TV Over-The-Air Television Digital Tuner WILL let you do it.
So how complicated and expensive is it to be able to stream TV from stations like ABC or CBS or NBC or FOX or PBS, ION, The CW and others? Not hard at all. The only prerequisite (besides getting the ClearStream TV of course) is that you have an OTA antenna hooked up to your TV. These antennas vary in price and indoor/outdoor functionality so there’s plenty to choose from, should you not have one already. So let’s get the cost of the ClearStream TV out of the way — just $99.00 and that’s a one-time payment.
The two other requirements are that it has to be used within range of the wireless router, and you’ll need to be using a free iOS/Android app made by ClearStream. That’s it. It can also integrate with some streaming devices, for example Roku (although you lose pause/rewind capabilities) and to Smart TVs that don’t use Android TV OS operating systems: in all cases the device must allow for the integration of ClearStream’s app, ruling out devices that can’t accept it. But what you definitely can’t do is access the ClearStream TV’s video stream outside of the local wireless network, although that doesn’t preclude you taking it on any road trip where Wi-Fi and an OTA antenna can be found.
With all that understood, now to get started. You take the connection cable from the OTA antenna and screw it into the input on the ClearStream TV. Then the power plug goes into an AC outlet. That’s it. For those technically inclined to wonder, TV channels from the antenna are now being received (like it was the TV) and then is being streamed via 802.11N Wi-Fi through your home network. The app then takes over and basically functions as if it was the TV: you use a program guide to select the channel to watch, then go to it and watch it. And with the added convenience of being able to pause and rewind the video back up to an hour at a time through use of local storage capabilities (keeping in mind that there is no DVR functionality here). The video resolution is 1080 for HD and 480 for standard-def, with availability of Dolby Digital 5.1 if present.
The Clearstream TV Over-The-Air Television Digital Tuner is a one-person-at-a-time device, but that only means first-come first served, since it’s not “locked” into being used only with any one particular device all the time. As long as you can get a good signal with your OTA antenna and the Wi-Fi is strong and stable, it’s streaming video as good as if you were seated in front of your TV. Now that’s real cord-cutting.