About Clear TV Key Antenna

Clear TV Key Antenna is a small digital antenna that helps you watch broadcast television for free. Just plug it into any TV’s cable output, and you’ll be watching top-rated shows, local news, sporting events, and more on networks like FOX, NBC, CBS, PBS, etc. No ugly antenna or messy wires to worry about.

You can even use Clear TV Key in areas where other antennas might fail, such as in an RV, on a picnic, at the beach, and even on a boat.

Here at HighYa, we’ve written in-depth reviews about previous versions of this antenna, including the original Clear TV, as well as Clear TV Black Box.

Is there anything meaningfully different with the Clear TV Key Antenna? Can you expect it to work any better? Will you really be able to cancel your cable subscription? We’ll answer all your important questions below.

How Do Digital Antennas Work?

Without getting too detailed, an antenna works by picking up radio waves sent from broadcast towers, putting the electrical information back together, and then recreating an image on your TV screen.

Whether you’re talking about digital or analog signals, the process basically works the same. The biggest difference between the two? Digital signals can be recreated more efficiently (less information loss), resulting in better picture quality.

Why Do You Need a Digital Antenna In the First Place?

Prior to the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005, most TV broadcasters transmitted only analog signals. As of June 12, 2009 though, all US broadcasters were required transmit only using digital signals; something known as the Digital Television Transition.

Because analog signals would no longer be floating around in the air, this meant that you would need to purchase a new type of antenna that could pick up the new digital ones, such as Clear TV Key. Pro tip: If you purchased your TV prior to 2008, you may also require a separate box that works as an ATSC tuner.

Otherwise, if you continued using your old antenna, you’d no longer be able to get free broadcast television.

Are Some Digital Antennas Better Than Others?

We now know that if you’re looking to watch free network TV, a good digital antenna is a necessity. But is there anything that makes one model better than another?

Types of Antennas – There are 2 main types of digital antennas: omnidirectional, which can receive signals from all sides, or directional, which receive signals from just one direction. If you’re in the middle of a metro area with antennas all around you, an omnidirectional antenna might be best. Or, if you’re out in the country with signals coming only from the city, directional would likely be better.

UHF vs. VHF – Very High Frequency (VHF) signals travel farther, can’t move through most objects, and are lower quality. Ultra High Frequency (UHF) signals don’t travel as far, but are better quality and can easily move through wood, steel, and concrete (like your house). Many digital antennas can pick up both, but if you’re forced to make a choice, buy one that receives UHF signals.

Indoor vs. Outdoor – Antennas like Clear TV Key and Clear TV (more next) are for indoor use only, which means that signals can be weaker after passing through your home. You’ll also have to figure out where to put them to maximize signal strength, while minimizing their appearance.

What Makes Clear TV Key Antenna Different?

Compared to the original Clear TV and the more recent Clear TV Black Box, there are 2 major differences with Clear TV Key Antenna:

First, Clear TV Key Antenna attaches to the cable output in the back of your television. Because of this, you won’t have to worry about running a power cord to your digital antenna.

Second, Clear TV Key is much taller and thinner than the previous two versions:

  • Original Clear TV: 7 ¾ " x 7 ¾ "
  • Clear TV Black Box: 4" x 7" x 1"
  • Clear TV Key Antenna: 16" x 1.25" x 1"

What’s all this mean? Although the company behind Clear TV Key claims it “hides discreetly behind your TV,” this depends on the type of TV you own.

If your TV is 32” or smaller, it’s likely that some portion of the Clear TV Key Antenna will appear above the top. And the smaller your television, more of the antenna will show.

Obviously, this depends on where the cable output is located on the back of your set. In most instances though, the 32” guideline could be a good one to follow.

Pro tip: If you’re worried about Clear TV Key Antenna appearing behind your set, grab a tape measure, set it to 16”, and measure straight up from the cable output. Now you’ll know for sure!

What you might not be sure about is exactly which channels you’ll be able to receive with Clear TV Key.

Which Channels Can You Get with Clear TV Key Antenna? Can You Cancel Cable?

With Clear TV Key, you’ll be able to watch major networks like CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, and more. Which channels won’t you be able to watch? Premium content networks like HBO, TNT, Lifetime, HGTV, and hundreds of others. One is free, and the other you have to pay for.

The bottom line: Will Clear TV Key allow you to still watch programming if you cancel your cable subscription? Yes. Will you be able to watch all your favorite shows? If any of these shows are on cable-only networks, no.

Even with this restriction, are customers pleased with the Clear TV line of digital antennas?

Will You Experience the Same as Other Clear TV Customers?

Between the original Clear TV review and our updated Clear TV Black Box review, more than 550 HighYa readers have talked about their experiences.

What’s the result? Overall, these digital antennas had a 1.9-star average rating. Why? Usually because they didn’t live up to customers’ expectations.

Primarily, this was based on complaints of poor reception, even though customers were within the recommended 25-30 miles of a broadcast tower. Ultimately—if they worked at all—this meant they only received 1 or 2 channels, not the “hundreds” claimed by Clear TV Key's manufacturer.

And when customers decided to return their Clear TV antenna, they were often met with poor customer service and high, non-refundable S&H charges.

Will you experience the same with the Clear TV Key Antenna? It remains to be seen, but in our opinion, it’s certainly worth keeping in mind.

Let’s talk about more pricing next.

How Much Does Clear TV Key Antenna Cost?

Clear TV Key Antenna is priced at $14.99 plus $6.99 S&H. During checkout, you can also purchase a second for an additional $6.99 S&H.

Like most Tristar products, Clear TV Key comes with a 60-day refund policy, less S&H charges. Important note: If you choose the BOGO offer and decide to process a return, you’ll lose more in S&H than you’ll get back as a refund.

See Also: 3 Easy Steps for Cutting the Cord & Saving Money

Regardless, you’ll need to contact customer service at 973-287-5193 to request a return.

Is Clear TV Key Antenna a Good Digital Antenna?

Clear TV Key might be a good digital antenna option—as long as you keep your expectations realistic.

Yes, you’ll be able to continue watching broadcast TV without an expensive cable subscription. But this also means that you’ll no longer have access to cable programming, which might be a drag if this is where you watch most of your shows.

However, it seems that most Clear TV customers don’t receive the number of channels they were expecting (generally 2-3), so you might experience the same with Clear TV Key. Add to this that Clear TV Key is attached directly to your TV, so you won’t be able to move it around as much as previous versions to improve reception.

Our recommendation? The goal for most ASOTV products is to reach store shelves, so you might want to wait until this happens with Clear TV Key. This can save you a boatload in lost S&H charges if you’re dissatisfied.

In the mean time, there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of digital antennas similar to Clear TV Key, including Mohu Leaf, Winegard Flatwave AIR, and more—many of which show stronger online reputations than Clear TV products.

You’ll also find plenty of digital antennas at local stores, so you’ll definitely want to explore all your options before making a decision.

Read Next: Streaming Services: With So Many Choices, How Can You Pick the Right One?

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50 Customer Reviews for Clear TV Key Antenna

Average Customer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 5 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 2 1 stars: 43
Bottom Line: 10% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 50
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Does Not Work

    • St Louis, MO,
    • Nov 30, 2016

    Purchased the 2 for 1 offer. Clear TV Key Antenna does not work. The antenna is not stable.

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

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money.

    I was only able to get local channels on my TV plus a few other channels. When I ran the initial scan it came back only finding 14 stations. Out of the 14 channels, 4 of them just froze up. If you just want to watch TV and don't care what you are looking at this would be ideal for you. But if you were like me, expecting what is advertised, your feelings will be hurt. I would suggest getting Sling TV or Firestick from Amazon. I live near 2 TV stations so I'm around more than enough satellites and I'm not near any tall buildings, mountains or anything that would interfere. I purchased this product from a local department store for $9.99 so I'll just take the "L" for this one.

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

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  • 18 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Total Scam

    Not only that it doesn't work but you get charged $16.00 for handling. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY.

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

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  • 44 out 46 people found this review helpful

    It is a scam

    It is a scam. They don't tell you until you have opened the package that it only works within 25 miles of the TV station. We could only get one station and then it was not high quality. I am calling the investigative reporter for a television network in our area. These people should not be allowed to deceive people like that.

    I will tell everyone I know what a bad deal this is.

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

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  • 60 out 66 people found this review helpful

    Sucks, what a rip off!

    • Wadesboro, NC,
    • Oct 21, 2016

    It's no good. I bought the Clear TV Antenna high-definitely pad. Buy 1 got 1 free, paid over $60, including shipping & handling. I hooked them up to two different TVs and they could not pick up any stations.

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

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  • 36 out 65 people found this review helpful

    Love it

    • Smock Pennsylvania ,
    • Oct 19, 2016

    I don't why these clowns say it's a scam. We just bought one tonight at Walmart, yes, I said Walmart. I get better channels with the TV Key than I did with Dish Network. I have no reason to lie and tell you something that works when it doesn't. You all can take my advice and buy this antenna or you can keep wasting money on my cable and satellites companies for crap channels.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 77 out 85 people found this review helpful

    Where is it?

    I ordered this product well OVER a month ago (two for $19.99). The money and shipping have already been deducted from my account but NO product has been sent. In fact, I was told that it is 'on back order'. I dislike the 'customer service' options because a live representative does not exist. Can't help wondering if I have been 'scammed'! Until I receive my order, I can not recommend this to anyone presently.

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

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  • 47 out 70 people found this review helpful

    I love it

    I don't know what these people are doing but they are not scanning the channels correctly. I put the TV Key on my TVs in my apartment and it works great on all my TVs. I would recommend it. And make sure your TV is close to a window. It really does work.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 66 out 71 people found this review helpful

    Awful Product

    • New York,
    • Sep 30, 2016

    This is a piece of crap! It's a sham product. I plugged it in and only received five channels, compared to the 23 that I received with my other new antenna by Liger, that will attach anywhere. Don't bother. Get this other one that I just stated.

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

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  • 65 out 69 people found this review helpful

    This antenna is a joke

    Do not buy this antenna. You will get better reception with regular rabbit ears. Plus, Clear TV makes getting a refund, virtually impossible, and certainly not worth the hassle.

    I could not get ABC or FOX. I bought a regular antenna and got both.

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

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  • 63 out 69 people found this review helpful

    Does not work

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Sep 25, 2016

    It doesn't work in the house or on the boat. I would like my money back but don't have the address to send it back .

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

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