ClearStream Juice Amplifier or Channel Master Amplify

Anyone try or using either one of these? I have the ClearStream 4V mounted about 15’ on my porch eve, 25’ RG6 directly to an RCA Smartboost then to the Tablo 4. The ClearStream 4V is VERY impressive on it’s own pulling in 60+ stations. However, I think I need to boost the signal a little bit more as the station I watch most frequently has some pixilation from time to time live and also comes through on recordings. Not sure which one to try out first and replace the RCA with.

Just to share a bit.

I have this antenna mounted in my attic of a two story house. The RG6 run from the antenna to my basement is about 40ft from where the antenna is placed to the side of the attic where my cable runs down the walls into the basement.

That run originally went directly into my Tablo when I was testing to see about getting rid of DirecTV. With that setup I got about 50 or so channels.

When the time came to cut the cord with DirecTV I wanted to connect all TVs to the antenna so I could at least have live TV at every unit where I was watching TV so I did some research and read the reviews and finally settled on this unit.

So far I have the Tablo and 3 Samsung TVs connected and I’m getting about 70 channels now most with full bar single strength. I’m even getting some channels that are not in my line of site of the antenna but coming in from the side.

Are you getting pixelation from uhf or vhf channels? If it’s VHF you might want to add a vhf retrofit kit to your antenna, otherwise I just added a winegard lna200 booster to my outdoor antenna and it helped a lot with the reception of 50+ miles uhf channels.

UHF. I’m pulling from Chicago towers 58mi away and Rockford towers 23 mi away. The Chicago towers are 89E and the Rockford towers are NW. The ClearStream 4v is a multidirectional antenna but it does pick up better if you home in on the towers. Since the Chicago towers are farther, I pointed it towards them. The station I’m getting pixelation from is the UHF Rockford station. I’m pretty sure a little more boost would clear it up. That’s why I’m thinking 1 of the 2 that I mentioned.

One more thing I will mention. I do live about a mile right down the street from a local FM Radio station. That could cause some problem too but I don’t know.

Directional does not work for me which is one of the reasons why I went with the ClearStream. If I go directional then I need a rotor and well, that doesn’t work out well for recording and multiple TVs. I like the distribution amp though. I will consider that once I get this problem resolved.

I use the channel master amplifier that is mentioned above. Outstanding results for the last year . . .

Did you wind up using the low setting or the high? The Channel Master has the built in FM Trap. I think most people said they got best results on the low setting as the high setting was overdriving the signal.

foxvalleyal - I took a look at my channel master amplifier, I don’t see any switch for “high” or “low” . . .

It looks like they make a couple different models. I think this is the new one. Does it look like this?

I have the unit mentioned above

which is quite different than the one you linked to. The one you linked to is a pre-amp, not a distribution amp.

Correct. I’m trying to clear up any pixelation and get the best possible signal strength before I do any splitting. I’m going to give them a call and see what they recommend.

This is the best preamp I found for my situation - the Kitztech 500:

36 db gain with less than 1 db noise. My reception environment is very difficult and the Kitztech beat the Channel Master 7777 preamp in terms of SNR. I had both and in testing /comparing one against the other I found the Kitztech slightly better. Most preamps are in the 20-30 db gain with noise figures of 2-3 db. Gave the Channel Master away to a friend. The Kitztech is also adjustable.

A friend has the Kitztech 200 (less gain and less noise - under 0.5) and it works great for him. The noise figure is important for difficult reception scenarios. Has a built in FM filter for improved VHF reception and overload resistant.

Nice!! Yeah, noise level is a definite factor. Did you get the coax powered one?

My antennas are in the attic where I have electrical connections. So I chose the one with the standard electrical wire. However my friend who has the 200 has no electrical connections in his attic so he ordered the coax powered one; he runs a coax to the attic while plugging it in the room below the attic next to the TV.

In his case the reception is much stronger than mine so he did not need the high gain of the 500. The gain\low noise factor enables both of us to split the antenna signal to 4 TVs with a simple 4-way splitter.

The traditional rule is to mount the preamp close to the antenna such as to mitigate the noise generated through long runs of coax. However in my friend’s case, we had this preamp next to the TV AFTER a 30 foot run of coax from the attic and we saw no signal degradation due to the preamp’s own low noise figure. In his case mounting the preamp close to the antenna or placing it near the TV made no difference.

Thanks for all the details. I’m 25’ RG6 from Antenna to Tablo, no split. I agree, rule of thumb is as close to the Antenna as possible but I wouldn’t think there would be much if any loss on a 25’ run. You sold me! Ordering one up now.

Got mine yesterday. Quick delivery although it came from neighboring State Wisconsin (probably could have drove there ;)). So, I hooked this up to the Tablo and it made no difference. Still getting pixilation, studdering, even sometimes it kicks out of the stream and buffers and repeats. I guess I should have tried this before but when I switched out the Tablo and went antenna direct to TV the Station is fine. Problem isn’t with the signal, it’s the Tablo. Since I was recording, I killed the recording to see if maybe that was the problem. Nope, same problem. I think the problem is weak Tuner in the Tablo. Since I have the KT-500, I might as well see if I pull in any additional stations.

The ClearStream 4V is a directional antenna. The station you mention in the original post - is it UHF or VHF and where is its location with respect to the other stations?

It’s possible that this station is just strong enough for the TV but not the Tablo because the Tablo internally splits a signal.

If this station is in another direction from the others, you could get another antenna just for this station to couple it with the ClearStream 4V. Both antennas could go through a joiner like this one:

I have three antennas pointing in different directions joined together through a Jenca that has three inputs.

If you have the time, you could even make your own antenna specifically for this channel for under $10 using dimensions for this channel frequency and wavelength (which I did for one of my inputs thus maximizing reception for just that channel).

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Well, according to Antennas Direct it’s Multi-Directional and the way it’s pulling in stations I would concur.
As stated in my previous post here, it’s UHF and yes it’s a different direction from which it’s aimed. The Chicago Towers are 90.59 Heading, 58.33 mi away. The Rockford/Freeport Towers are 319-323 Heading 34-36 mi away according to I agree, adding another antenna pointing towards the Rockford/Freeport Towers would definitely improve the signal. However, I’m finding going directly in to the TV with this KT-500 it’s pretty solid. I’m even pulling in 6 more Stations than I was previously so I would say the KT-500 is doing it’s job. I think the signal strength is on the threshold for the Tablo causing it to wack out even though it’s showing Green in the Tablo signal strength.

This really falls back to my reply to TabloTV in the Chromecast experiences Thread on building the perfect beast. If I was starting from scratch and the first thing I bought was a Tablo and then built everything around that, I’m sure I would do things different. The fact is, my current environment is more than adequate. Directly OTA Antenna to TV works fine. The KT-500 was a bonus to improve signal strength. I watch the Chicago and Rockford Stations all day long without any hiccups directly on Antenna. Could I get another directional antenna to improve signal from Rockford Stations? Sure. Do I need to? Only if I want the Tablo to record them reliably. At some point, you have to know when enough is enough.


In the meantime, the best way to squeeze the best performance out of Chromecast is to reduce your recording quality so you’re not flooding it with too much bandwidth, ensure your WiFi network is solid, that there is no interference from other devices, that your antenna signal is strong and that the device you’re casting from is powerful.


That probably leaves several people out of the race. Define “WiFi network is solid”. Like Wireless AC solid with Wireless AC devices? Define “your antenna signal is strong”. Like 5 bars signal strength on every Channel? This sounds more like building the perfect beast. Most people aren’t running the latest and greatest hardware in their environment. I know I’m not as I’m still on wireless N and don’t have plans to upgrade the rest of it around the Tablo.