About Clear TV Black Box

Based on the success of the original version, Clear TV HD Black Box is a new digital antenna that’s claimed to help you receive over-the-air digital and HD signals for free, without having to worry about contracts, monthly fees, or price hikes.

Because of this, Clear TV HD Black Box is claimed to help you stop paying cable and satellite companies to watch your favorite broadcast shows, which can save you time and “over a thousand dollars a year.”

In fact, the Clear TV HD Black Box is claimed to be fast and easy to set up—just plug it in and mount indoors on a horizontal stand, vertically on a shelf, or on an exterior wall. On top of this, Clear TV HD Black Box is claimed to continue working even if your existing cable service has been knocked out by a storm (you’ll still need power though).

Have you ever read about a “new and improved” version of a product that wasn’t much different than the original? Maybe you ended up buying this product with hopes that it would outperform the first version, only to be disappointed in the end.

But is this the case with Clear TV HD Black Box? Let’s answer all your questions one by one:

What Kinds of Channels Can You Receive with Clear TV HD Black Box?

In short, you’ll have to potential of watching local TV stations such as NBC, CBS, FOX, and more, but you will not be able to watch cable-based stations such as HBO, TLC, HGTV, ESPN, Lifetime, and so forth. In other words, you will not be able to receive the latter without a cable subscription.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that just because the Clear TV HD Black Box picks up digital signals, this doesn’t mean that all of these channels are in high definition (HD). And even if a channel is broadcast in HD, you’ll need a TV cable of receiving these signals in order to get a crystal clear picture.

With this said, what are the real-world differences between the new Clear TV HD Black box and the original Clear TV?

The Original Clear TV vs. Clear TV HD Black Box Antenna

Ultimately, based on information available on the Clear TV Black Box, there appears to be 3 primary differences between it and the original:

Original Clear TV

The color is gray, dimensions are 7 ¾” x 7 ¾” and there is no internal amplifier

The Clear TV HD Black Box

It’s Black with dimensions of 4” x 7” x 1” and it does have an internal amplifier

But what does this ultimately mean for you?

Aside from color preference, the new version is slightly smaller, so it may be less noticeable wherever you decide to place it.

Perhaps the most important distinction though is that Clear TV Black Box’s internal amplifier “boosts” any signals it receives. This means that if you’re receiving a weak signal, this amplifier can improve signal strength in order to provide you with a clearer picture.

Is the HD Black Box Really Plug & Play?

According to the Clear TV HD Black Box website, all you have to do is plug the device in and start watching TV. But is it really that easy? This depends on several factors:

When Was Your TV Manufactured?

According to the Black Box FAQ:

“Clear TV will connect with televisions that have an Antenna IN or a Cable IN port on the back of the television. Most televisions sold after May 25, 2007 are required by law to have an ATSC (Digital) tuner built-in and will receive digital broadcasts. If your television was purchased earlier, but has a menu option for scanning digital channels, then your television has a digital ATSC tuner. Check for the letters ‘ATSC.’ If it does not say that it is equipped with an ATSC tuner, you will need to purchase a converter box.”

If your TV doesn’t come equipped with an ATSC tuner, then you’ll have to purchase a converter box separately, which can cost $15 to $75+. Otherwise, your Clear TV HD Black Box will just be an expensive paperweight.

Where Will You Mount Your Clear TV HD Black Box?

Despite the clean lines pictured on the Clear TV HD Black Box website, the reality is that there will be a cable running from the device to your TV. As such, if you have a flat panel TV (as shown below), you’d have to run the cable behind the wall in order to achieve the same look.

Clear TV HD Black Box Setup Although these setups look good, it will take a fair amount of work to achieve something similar with your Clear TV HD Black Box.

On top of this, the manufacturer recommends that “Clear TV be placed by an exterior wall or near a window that is facing the broadcast towers.”

If this location is far from your TV, you’ll have to add an extension cable to make it reach, further adding to your overall costs—and you’ll still have to deal with an unsightly cable running across the room.

How Close Is the Nearest Broadcast Tower?

Speaking of broadcast towers, the product’s FAQ claims that you need to be within a 25-mile radius of a transmitting tower, regardless of whether you’re attempting to receive VHF, UHF, HD, or SD channels (you can check www.antennaweb.org or www.dtv.gov to search for the nearest locations).

While it might stand to reason that the closer you are to a tower the better your picture will be, one of the most common complaints related to the original Clear TV was poor reception, even within close proximity to a tower (we’ll talk more about this in a moment). And even if you do lock on to a channel, reception can come and go, requiring you to consistently re-search to maintain a signal.

Looking to Cut the Cord? You’ve Got Options

Finally, keep in mind that if you’re looking to free yourself from the high cost of cable by using a digital antenna, you have dozens of options, including the Mohu Leaf HDTV, Winegard Flatwave AIR Outdoor, and HD Clear Vision, not to mention devices such as ChromeCast and inexpensive subscription services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and M-GO.

In other words, you’ve got a lot of decisions ahead of you. But before you become overwhelmed, take a deep breath and read through our Cutting the Cord article.

Clear TV HD Black Box Customer Reviews

The Clear TV HD Black Box appears to have only recently gone on sale, so there weren’t any customer reviews at the time of our research.

However, among 475 HighYa reader reviews for the original Clear TV, the digital antenna had an average rating of 2 stars, with common complaints citing failure to work as advertised (only 1 or 2 channels received, fuzzy reception, etc.), poor customer service (non-English speaking representatives, difficulty obtaining refunds, etc.), and that you can achieve the same result as a pair of old-school rabbit ears.

Granted, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience the same with the updated Black Box version, but it’s something to keep in mind nonetheless.

Clear TV HD Black Box Pricing & Refund Policy

Just like the original version, Clear TV HD Black Box is priced at $19.99 plus $7.99 S&H. You’ll also be able to purchase a second unit for an additional $7.99 S&H at checkout.

Regardless of the number you purchase, all Clear TV HDs come with a 60-day refund policy, less S&H charges. This means that if you take advantage of the BOGO offer, you could lose as much in S&H charges as you’ll receive as a refund.

In addition, the Clear TV HD Black Box comes with a 60-day warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, although you will be responsible for shipping it back to the manufacturer, and will also have to pay $7.99 to have a new Clear TV HD Black Box shipped to you. Ultimately, this means it will be almost as expensive as buying a new device.

With this in mind, in order to request a refund or process a warranty claim, you’ll need to contact customer service at 973-287-5181.

Our Final Observation about the Clear TV HD Black Box

Chopping to the point: Since it’s such a new product, it’s impossible to gauge overall customer satisfaction levels for the Clear TV HD Black Box without any online customer reviews.

However, for the most part, it seems that customers were not satisfied with the performance of the original Clear TV. And it seems that customers might experience the same with the new Black Box version, since the biggest update appears to be the inclusion of an internal amplifier.

With all of this said, the original Clear TV can be found at dozens of local retailers, and it’s almost certain that the new HD Black Box model will follow the same path. This way, if you do decide to take the plunge, you can save yourself a good chunk of change in non-refundable S&H charges (and a potentially frustrating customer service experience) if you’re dissatisfied.

Have you recently purchased the Clear TV HD Black Box? If so, let your voice be heard around the world by writing a review below!

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5 Customer Reviews for Clear TV Black Box

Average Customer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 0 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 2 1 stars: 3
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Too Weak for the Price

    I live just over 40 miles from the majority of the DFW television broadcast towers. While this product managed to pull in a number of the available channels with good reception, there were more that were fuzzy or experienced periodic pixelation . In addition, one of the main local channels, WFAA, ABC, channel 8 did not come in at all, despite multiple station scans. My suggestion is that unless you live near the broadcast stations, you save your $20 and add another $20 to get one of the newer antennas that will get all of the stations strong, clear, and pixelation free.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 17 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Just gave away money

    • Cleveland, Ohio,
    • Nov 9, 2015

    After listening to the sales people who where trying to sell me timeshare, bank cards, gift cards, magazines and other stuff, finally took my order. Purchased one Black Box and received an extra one. Plugged up one to start, received less channels that my converter box. Waste of time and money. Called customer service to receive the return authorization number and they tried to convince me to keep the box and they would give me a $15 credit. No thank you, just credit my card, which will take 60 days. Scam.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 18 out 21 people found this review helpful

    It's an antenna

    • Philadelphia, PA,
    • Oct 17, 2015

    What's all the hype about? It's a damn antenna nothing more nothing less. I hate how it's being marketed as some sort of new technological break through of some sort. You can go to Walmart, Target, or BestBuy and purchase an HD Antenna and get the same results!

    You will only get your locally broadcasted HD channels, no CABLE channels like ESPN, HBO, TLC, HISTORY or any others.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Clear TV isn't worth it.

    • Fresh Meadows, NY,
    • Sep 8, 2015

    It's really not worth the price. You can only get regular TV stations, I thought you would be able to get free cable stations, but it's not really a money saver. If you could get free cable channels, it would be fantastic.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 41 out 44 people found this review helpful

    Not worth the money

    • St. Louis ,
    • Jul 13, 2015

    This Black Clear TV Box is not worth the money. No matter how many channels it reads, you're lucky to see one or two that are working. What you see the on the TV ad about this black box is fake. They got it set to a DVD player that's why it looks so clear. If you watch they never show them change any channels, because someone would know it's a fake. Don't waste your money. It's hard to get your money back, they know this. You won't send it back because it cost more to send it back. These people are rip offs because they're making millions just because us dumb people out here really think we're going to get clear channels just like with cable. It's not going to ever happen. Maybe one clear channel.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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