Not Your Father’s Rabbit Ears

Have your experiences with “rabbit ear” TV antennas been like mine? Have you ever draped pieces of aluminum foil and copper wire off the telescoping rods in hopes of getting a slightly better picture? Maybe you’ve turned them this way and that, only to find that the image changes when you let go?

Well, the good news is that antenna technology has advanced a great deal since those rabbit ear designs first became available. I have not tested these new antennas, but Antennas Direct has announced a new model that appears to be worth a look.

The ClearStream Convertible antenna from Antennas Direct doesn't look like the typical rabbit ears.

The ClearStream Convertible looks more like a prop from a 50s science fiction movie than a TV antenna. The device is moderately directional, rated at a 70 degree beamwidth. The antenna is rated at a typical gain of 8.1 dBi. The coil portion rotates on the stand so that the unit can be mounted either on a wall or on a table top, and can even be mounted outside where you can also use the included 12-inch square reflector grid. The company claims good performance across the VHF and UHF frequencies used by digital television broadcasts, and is suitable for distances up to 30 miles from the transmitter. The antenna has a list price under $80, and is expected to be available through Best Buy, both online and in its stores.

With the cut-off date for analog broadcast transmissions just over a month away, now is the time to make sure that you can receive a strong digital signal if you rely on over the air broadcasts for your television. If you’re analog signals are weak and snowy, you may need to upgrade your antenna in order to get adequate reception of digital signals.