About Clear TV

Sold by Tristar Products, Clear TV is a digital HD indoor Antenna that can help you watch live high-definition broadcast television without an expensive cable bill.

Clear TV might be past its prime, but it’s still a big seller.

Maybe you’re thinking about buying Clear TV Antenna, canceling your cable subscription (known as cutting the cord), and saving a ton of money. Maybe you bought one of these digital antennas in the past and want to know if any improvements have been made. Or, maybe you’re just confused and need some advice.

In any instance, you’ve come to the right place! Here, we’ll explain how Clear TV works, how it might help you save money, other options for cutting the cord, how you can get the most content for your money, and more.

Let’s begin by understanding the basic concept of how the Clear TV Antenna works.

How Does Clear TV Antenna Work and Where Are the Rabbit Ears?

Remember those clunky rabbit ears you had a long time ago? The ones that sat on top of your TV and were several feet long?

Well, Clear TV Antenna is essentially just a modern version of these, with one major difference: instead of picking up analog signals and displaying them on your TV, Clear TV captures digital signals floating around in the air.

What’s the difference? Without getting too technical, from a user experience perspective, it's all about picture quality.

Imagine there’s a jigsaw puzzle sitting on your desk. In order to send it to your friend across town, you have to break it smaller pieces, so they can easily fit into an envelope. Then, once your friend receives the puzzle, they’ll put it back together and see the picture it contains.

This is similar to how video is sent from a broadcast tower to your TV. It’s first broken down into smaller pieces and transmitted through the air, and pieced back together by an antenna or your cable box, forming a picture on your screen.

When analog signals are broadcast through the air, pieces of information easily get lost. On the other hand, digital signals are much more “stable.” So by the time everything reaches your TV, digital signals still contain much of what was originally broadcast, resulting in a crisper, clearer picture than analog.

You probably noticed that the Clear TV website used the word “broadcast” a lot. And we’ve used it here even more. But why?

What Channels & Content Does Clear TV Antenna Provide?

The Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 required that all broadcasters switch from analog to digital signals as of February 17, 2009. Why is this important?

This meant that if most of your favorite programming was on broadcast TV, such as NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and others, you would need to purchase a new digital antenna like Clear TV to continue watching television.

Pro tip: If you purchased your TV prior to 2007, you might also require a digital converter box.

However, premium content (e.g. HBO, TNT, Disney Channel, Lifetime, etc.) is not broadcast over the air, so it’s still a subscription-only service. What’s this mean for you?

The Clear TV Antenna gives you access to over-the-air channels like CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, CW, etc., and nothing extra. Do you enjoy shows like Law & Order, The Tonight Show, America’s Got Talent, and the Good Wife? Since these are aired on major networks, Clear TV can help.

But if you also like to watch cable-only channels like HBO, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, etc., Clear TV will not provide access. For this, you’ll need a cable subscription through companies like Uverse, Charter, Comcast, COX, etc.

In short? Clear TV can help you save thousands by cutting your cable bill, but you’ll also lose access to much of your favorite content (which might not be too bad if you didn’t watch most of your channels anyway).

Keep an Eye On Your Tower Distance & Signal Strength

Up to now, we’ve learned that Clear TV Antenna basically works like any other antenna. It picks up broadcasts sent from local towers, puts them together, and displays them on your TV. And because these digital signals don’t lose information, you’ll get much better picture quality.

Digital signals aren’t perfect though. In an ideal scenario, digital signals can reach 150+ miles, but you have to have a perfect line of sight. In normal terms? Your digital signal can be scrambled if you’re on the other side of a hill, ridge, or even a tall building.

This is why tower location is so important. Your chance of getting good reception with Clear TV depends on 1) how close you are to the nearest tower, and 2) if you’re directly in the path of its signal.

To find out how close you are to a TV broadcast tower, we’d recommend visiting AntennaPoint.com or the FCC Reception Map.

Here’s the catch though: Many Clear TV customers complained that—even though they were within range of a transmission tower—they still couldn’t get good reception.

What Is the True Cost of Clear TV Antenna?

If bought directly from the company, the Clear TV Antenna will cost $19.95 plus $7.99 S&H (you can order another antenna for an additional $7.99 S&H), plug it into your TV, and you’re good to go.

However, Clear TV is available through numerous retailers, including Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and more, for as little as $15 plus tax. This means you’d pay about $33 for two antennas, after tax (we calculated tax at a 10% rate).

Sure, this is only a difference of about $2 when compared to purchasing it directly through the manufacturer. But you’ll be able to take your antenna home immediately, it could make the return process easier if you’re not satisfied, and you’d be saving about $16 in non-refundable S&H fees!

Thinking about pay an extra $14.99 for Clear TV’s amplifier? If so, remember that amplified antennas are generally only useful if you live 50+ miles from a tower. They also won’t necessarily help you tune into channels any better, so if you’re barely getting a signal, an amplifier may or may not help.

What Is the Cheapest Way of the Getting the Most Content with Clear TV?

Taking all of your expenses together (we’ll come back around to this in the final section), this means you’d have a one-time cost of $15 for Clear TV, an $8 monthly fee for a Netflix subscription, and an $8 monthly fee for a monthly Hulu membership (or $12 monthly for a commercial-free experience), and perhaps another $10 monthly fee if you wanted HBO and its premium content through their own app.

Alright, if you wanted to go even fancier, you can always add on another monthly $20 charge for Sling TV that will bring you bring premium cable network channels such as Food Network, Travel Channel, AMC, ESPN, etc.

In total, this means you could cancel your cable subscription and still get most of your favorite content for as little as $46-$50 per month plus a one-time cost for $15 for the Clear TV antenna!

At first glance, this might seem too good to be true. Does Clear TV really provide access to free TV for this low price? In most instances, yes (more about this shortly). Is it right for you, though? This requires some explanation.

Our Review: Are Customers Bashing the Clear TV Antenna?

We can talk about the technology behind Clear TV all day, but what ultimately matters is how the antenna performs in real life.

Since writing our original Clear TV review, a whopping 575 HighYa readers have chimed in about their experiences. Overall? Clear TV had an average rating of 1.9 stars.

Common complaints revolved around:

  • Failure to work as advertised. Primarily poor signal strength, as well as very few channels; often only 1-2.
  • Low quality.
  • Poor customer service experiences. This included the high, non-refundable S&H charges (keep this in mind if you’re thinking about the BOGO offer!) and difficulty obtaining refunds.

For these reasons, a lot of people call Clear TV a “scam.” Often times, this has less to do with the antenna than it does with peoples’ expectations, since they often believe that Clear TV will allow them to cancel their cable subscription, but still keep access to all their favorite cable-only programming.

And when they call the company to complain, many are met with poor customer service, which adds more fuel to the fire and makes them feel “scammed” even more.

A Note about Installing Your Clear TV

While a relatively small number of Clear TV customers complained about the installation process, how you choose to install your antenna can make a big difference in the reception you get.

For this reason alone, you’ll likely want to install your Clear TV near a window or outward facing a wall, lay the antenna flat (horizontally), angle your antenna in the direction of the broadcast tower, use a better cable, and more.

What can you ultimately expect with Clear TV? Let’s wrap everything up.

Bottom Line: The Clear Picture on Clear TV

Since launching in mid-2013, not much has changed about Clear TV Antenna, including its relatively low online customer reputation. It has largely been a success for the company, so they’ve also released several spin-off products, such as Clear TV Black Box and Free TV Key.

But there have been some minor (and important) changes:

  • Tristar Products (the company behind Clear TV) has added an FAQ to the website
  • A longer 60-day refund policy is available, and perhaps most importantly,
  • Clear TV is available at hundreds of third-party retailers.

In a nutshell? Clear TV may not necessarily be a bad option since it looks sleek and works basically like any other antenna.

But given the product’s reputation for shaky performance, we’d recommend shopping for the antenna at a local retailer, such as Walmart, Walgreens, Target, etc. Beforehand, you’ll definitely want to learn more about other popular digital antennas, including the Mohu Leaf, Winegard Flatwave AIR, Winegard Rayzar Air, and more.

Pro tip: For help choosing the right HD antenna for you, be sure to read this Digital Trends article. And to see how Clear TV stacks up against digital antennas from other manufacturers, Toms Guide provides an in-depth look.

If you’re not satisfied, this means you can easily return it, without worrying about losing money in excessive S&H charges or dealing with any customer service headaches.

Interested in learning more about reducing your cable bills? Be sure to read our article about cutting the cord. There, you’ll learn about all the options for getting the content you want for less than you pay for cable, using services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Sling Television, and more!

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

Sign Up for HighYa Newsletter

Sign up for HighYa newsletter and get our best content delivered in your inbox as well as 3 free eBooks to help you save money and shop smarter. Enter your email below to get started!

726 Consumer Reviews for Clear TV

Average Consumer Rating: 1.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 115 4 star: 43 3 star: 27 2 star: 27 1 star:  514
Bottom Line: 25% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 726
Sort reviews by:

  • Clear TV

    • Milton, Ontario, Canada,
    • Feb 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not working at all. Not finding any channels...waste of money! I plugged it into my Smart TV and antenna is not finding even one simple channel that even my simple interior antenna found. Tried different positions and locations but nothing is working!

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • SCAM, please take seriously because I do

    • Alamogordo, NM,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I brought two Clear TV Antennas and neither worked. I connected my three TVs, had the antennas connected with a clear view of the sky, DESERT, New Mexico, no obstruction, all three did not work. IT IS A SCAM!! I guess you must live in the middle of the Gulf of New Mexico. Please do NOT waste your hard-earned money on this scam. I challenged them to show me personally it worked, no, guess no response. I do not see/understand how they can legally stay in business, a joke.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    It's a waste of money

    • Surprise, AZ,
    • Jan 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got this Clear TV Key Antenna thinking I could save some money and get rid of cable, so I got this. It doesn't work. I live on a pension and am I trying to save some money, that's why I got this. Now it will cost me $6.95 to send it back. It not worth it. It's a piece of junk.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Worst support on the planet

    • Denver, CO,
    • Jan 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I live in a small area that has trouble even receiving phone calls. I had to go through all kinds of research to find how to contact them so I could return. I purchase two. After five emails, I researched again and simply returned them with a letter. They simply refused the package without opening it and still won't respond. Obviously, their product is useless and they won't stand behind it. I am out almost $100 and can't even get the decency of a response. Multiple people in my area have also purchased their product with the same results - want to return and can't get a response.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Clear TV doesn't work

    • Florida,
    • Jan 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Clear TV antenna picks up no channel at all after scanning channel. No channels at all. I've got four of these things. A waste of money. There is very little to do with the setup but plug and pray...not working. I feel ripped off times four.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Clear TV is garbage!

    • Vassalboro, ME,
    • Dec 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    All I receive are 8 channels, and cartoon channels at that, nothing else, period. I tried at my brother-in-law's house, and he is on high ground, and still the same amount of channels. Garbage. I paid nearly $80.00 for junk. If you don't want to get screwed, don't buy it!

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Works as advertised

    • Allen, TX,
    • Dec 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I recently bought a 65” smart TV and was just rummaging through the house and came across the Clear TV antenna that my wife had gotten months ago but we never used. I open the package hooked it up and let my TV do the rest! I received more than 50 channels, which all came in crystal clear! It has been an excellent addition to what I already have.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 3 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Scam, doesn't work!

    • Reading, PA,
    • Dec 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It picked up absolutely nothing, no matter where I placed it. I couldn't even get a refund!

    So I now installed a rooftop antenna and get over 35 free TV channels.

    Do not waste your hard earned money on this hyped-up scam. Total rip off!

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Doesn't work

    • Grand Rapids, MI,
    • Dec 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Over a month ago I purchased two of the Clear TV keys for my two TVs. I work 12-hour days so I don't watch TV to begin with. Today I had a day off and decided to hook them up. I am able to get three channels! None of them are my local channels.

    Do NOT waste your money on this product!

    Unfortunately, I have to rate this product with one star because they don't have a zero rating.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Clear TV Antenna is awesome.

    • Washington, DC,
    • Nov 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased the Clear TV Antenna two months ago from Kmart. I didn't really like the wire at first, but I have learned to position the antenna near a window where the antenna works the best. I get all the channels I used to get with basic cable TV that I paid $100 for. l'm still learning the hot spots in my apartment.

    At first, I said it might not work, but now I think it's awesome. My favorite show is "Columbo," and I can see him on two different channels. I'm very very happy.

    Thank you.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Rip-off

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Oct 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just got this Key last night and it only gave me 4 channels after scanning the radius of my area. I scan it again and this time it did give no channels. When I opened the package and took a first look at it, I thought to myself that this thing couldn't be that strong, and it wasn't. Do not buy this product. It will be on sale for a short period of time until enough customers realize that they've gotten ripped off. I do not recommend it.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


Showing 1-11 of 726

Write a Review for Clear TV!

Share your experience to help others shop smarter & discover great products.

Write a Review