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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16 Consumer Reviews for Clear TV Black Box

Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 5 1 star:  10
Bottom Line: 6% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 16
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    No reception didnt work

    • Kennewick, WA,
    • Jun 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Didn't work. Cost almost $20 to send it back. Lost my keys hassling with taking to post office to send back and didn't have enough postage money.

    One local channel came in and out. Just get one at Wal-Mart, that would have been a better experience for me.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Useless

    • Yazoo City, MS,
    • May 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This product is garbage. I tried to get this antenna to work for two hours. I picked up zero channels. The only thing I got was frustrated. The worse thing I ever purchased. The number below is my UPC code because I trashed my receipt from Rite Aid thinking I was getting a good product.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Clear TV HD Black Box

    • Baltimore, MD,
    • Apr 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I really like it and so far I am enjoying this antenna. I bought it yesterday and instantly received 13 more channels than I received before I bought this antenna, so I don't know what these people are talking about, but I am VERY satisfied. And I would recommend the Clear TV HD Black Box to everyone! It worked great for me so far! But trust me, if anything changes any time soon, I'll correct this good review.

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

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  • 3 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Better than nothing.

    You get what you pay for. I just had to go back to using the box. Cable was on the privilege list, not the priority list. If I had a choice, indeed! I love watching almost anything I want, but, I can't have everything I want. At least we have remotes and no tinfoil involved. Henceforth, you get what you pay for.

    I wouldn't recommend anything to a friend. Always comes back to bite you!

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

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Garbage

    • Austin, TX,
    • Dec 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    It does absolutely nothing. I bought it two years ago while waiting on cable and nothing. I saw it recently and decided to take my time with it, still absolutely nothing. It's a complete waste of my money. It's a scam. Stay away from it. If it sounds too good to be true.

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

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  • 11 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Don't bother

    • Tiffin, IA,
    • May 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received the box from a friend because she could not get any channels when using it. I can get four channels; three are PBS stations and one is an audio channel. It is not able to even pick up are local channels for CBS, NBC, or ABC. I hoped to use it in my bedroom, but my three public TV channels go off the air before I head to my bedroom. This thing is not anywhere worth the frustration it causes.

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

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  • 12 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Garbage

    I bought a cheap antenna from Family Dollar and after a few frustrating months of constantly moving the antenna and rescanning for channels, I decided to give the Clear TV Antenna a try. I came home excited to try this new antenna that claimed to work better than any other. I hooked it up and scanned for channels and got nothing, not one. I tried again and again and again, and again. Still not a single channel. Not even the one religious station that any crappy antenna can pick up.

    Needless to say, I went back to my original antenna. I may have to move it around a lot, but at least I can watch TV.

    Don't waste your money on this garbage. You'll be sorely disappointed.

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

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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    It never works

    Darn it, this box sucks. It never works, only 5% of the time. I am tired of this box. Email me if you want, but I don't think it will help. This box sucks.

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

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  • 8 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Clear TV Black Box

    It only picked up one channel, and therefore it is a waste of money and a rip-off. So unfair.

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

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  • 13 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Clear TV HD Box

    • Richmond, Virginia,
    • Jan 5, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I thought you are supposed to be able to get other channels, plus some of the regular channels I still can't get. I paid $24.00 for this box. Very disappointed.

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

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  • 10 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Poor

    • Bensalem, PA,
    • Jan 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I receive 13 channels. About 6 are poor viewing and sound, distorted. About 4 are Spanish channels. (I don't speak Spanish). That leaves me with 3 channels in which one is a shopping channel. So it's either old western or game show channel. I'm sure it helps if you live in a home with lots of land and few obstacles like other houses but for me, it's not a good product.

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

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