Channel Master CM-4228HD Antenna Review

Channel Master CM-4228HD

With a reception range of 80 miles, the popular CM-4228HD has a reputation for being one of the strongest receivers you’ll find.

Despite being on the market for many years, it has retained its popularity among cord cutters for its durability and high gain.

It sports a lightweight, aluminium design that’s makes it easy to set up in different places around the home, and is purpose-built to serve areas of fringe reception with line-of-sight obstacles such as trees and hills.

Channel Master is a U.S. brand and its website also offers a fairly good set of supporting documentation and training videos.

Features

High Antenna Gain

The CM-4228HD has a bowtie design, which typically offers good reception of UHF frequencies.  This 8-bay antenna offers a gain of 12 dB, the highest for this antenna type by Channel Master.

As a multidirectional antenna, it can theoretically receive signals from broadcast towers within an arc of 180 degrees in relation to your location. I say “theoretically,” since your reception characteristics may vary due to local conditions.

Combining Antennas

If for any reason you can’t pick up multiple towers at less than 180 degrees apart, or want to receive stations farther apart, you might consider getting an additional CM-4228HD and combining them.

When combining UHF antennas on the same mast, don’t forget to leave 2-4 feet of separation between them. You could use a signal combiner like the Channel Plus 2532 Two-Way Splitter Combiner on the coaxials of both antennas.

Non-Amplified

As is typical of long-range, multidirectional antennas, the CM-4228HD isn’t amplified, so you may consider getting a preamplifier separately if you’re not setting it up on the roof, or if your coaxial is longer than 50 feet.

The antenna comes with a built-in 75-Ohm PC balun for reducing impedance between the antenna’s elements and the coaxial cable.

You’ll need to purchase your own coaxial cable as it’s not included.

Frequency and Channel Types

As previously mentioned, the antenna is optimized for UHF (radio frequency channels 14-69) reception. But it’s also advertised for high VHF (radio frequency channels 7-15).

The CM-4228HD also supports full HD 1080p picture quality.

Assembly and Installation

Easy Assembly

The antenna comes preassembled, meaning that you simply fold the various elements out and tighten them into place with the supplied wing nuts.

It’s rather large (a few feet long in height and width) but is lightweight for its size (10 pounds) and is optimal for mounting on the roof or on the side of the house.

Its size apparently doesn’t prevent people from installing it in the attic, where adequate reception is generally reported.

Installation

It comes with two U clamps allowing you to attach it to a mast of up to two inches diameter. You should ensure the antenna is firmly fixed in place in case winds shake it, though it generally has a low wind profile.

If using a pole, you should consider attaching it with guy wires if the pole is longer than 12 feet.

Despite covering stations potentially spaced up to 180 degrees apart with respect to your location, it’s nevertheless line of sight, so you should carefully aim its front (the side with the X-shaped elements) towards transmission towers.

If trying to pick up from two towers, try to aim it in between the towers.

Armed with a local signal report from TVFool.com, you can use the magnetic azimuth heading of the towers to aim the antenna with a compass or compass smartphone app.

Lastly, if installing the antenna outdoors, you should ground it using either a coaxial grounding block or lightning arrester. See our guide on grounding antennas for more information.

With permission from Antennas Direct

Weatherproof Features

The antenna’s aluminium parts are rust free and its plastic elements are UV resistant.

It comes with a rubber boot for the coaxial cable connector, which you should use if mounting outdoors.

Connecting Several Televisions

As with other antennas, you can use a splitter if connecting multiple television sets in your house. You attach the splitter to the antenna coaxial cable, and connect the television coaxials to each output port of the splitter.

Keep in mind that connecting several TVs can cause signal loss along the coaxial.

If this is the case, you may consider amplifying the antenna coaxial cable by installing either a preamplifier (typically on the antenna mast) or a distribution amplifier — either before the splitter, or via a combo amplifier/splitter.

Alternatively you can use a streaming device to send television signals to any device in your home with WiFi capability (such as an iPad or monitor).

Examples of streaming devices include Xbox One and HDHomeRun, to which you can directly connect some types of TV antennas.

Such streaming devices often provide a programming guide and allow pausing of live shows.

Pros

  • Optimized for reception of UHF frequencies (RF channels 14-51)
  • Sturdy, weatherproof design
  • High antenna gain (~12 dB)
  • Comes preassembled for easy set-up

Cons

  • No reception of low VHF frequencies (RF channels 2-6)

Verdict

Overall you’ll find the CM-4228HD to offer good value in terms of reception strength and multidirectionality.

Channel Master has designed a durable antenna that’s easy to set up and generally doesn’t need amplification.

Known by its other brand name EXTREMEtenna 80, this is a preferred antenna for cord cutters living outside of urban centers and who are looking to maximize their OTA programming reception.

NOTE: For a comparable product that's similarly multidirectional, you might want to check out the  ClearStream 4 Indoor/Outdoor HDTV or the Pingbingding Amplified Digital Outdoor antennas.

CM-4228HD Manual

In case you want to check out more technical details about this antenna, I’m including the CM-4228HD installation manual.

Specs

Design

Direction

Multidirectional

Coaxial cable length (feet)

Dimensions in inches (H x W x L)

41 x 5.5 x 33

Preamplifier

Reception

Antenna range (miles)

80

Channels

Full HD (1080p)

Frequencies

UHF/VHF

Help & Support

Warranty

90 days

Email support

Phone support

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