What is ClearBell from Clear TV?
ClearBell from Clear TV is a fully interactive Wi-Fi video and audio doorbell that promises to help you see—and speak to—whoever’s there, whether you’re upstairs, across town, or on the other side of the country. How’s it work?
Using a sturdy mounting rack, ClearBell attaches easily near your existing doorbell and even features a chime sound.
As soon as someone activates the adjustable motion sensor or presses the touch button LED, it uses your home’s Wi-Fi network to send an alert to your phone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile device.
Then, the adjustable, wide-angle HD camera (including infrared night vision) will stream video directly to you, while the two-way speaker system allows you to speak with and hear the visitor.
Obviously, ClearBell from Clear TV represents an interesting concept. That’s why you’re here, right?
But once you weigh all the information, will you choose Clear TV or a smart doorbell from another manufacturer? Ultimately, that’s what we’ll help you decide.
To begin, we’ll take a look at ClearBell’s specifications.
What We Know About ClearBell and What We Don’t
When it comes to the overall value provided by a product, it’s often the case that small details—ones that could be easily overlooked—are what distinguish a so-so offering from one that’s outstanding.
And there’s perhaps no market where this is more evident than consumer electronics. What, exactly, do we mean?
While it’s positive that the manufacturer provides us with basic information about ClearBell (HD camera, adjustable motion sensor, two-way speaker, infrared sensor, remote access from almost any electronic device), there are a whole lot of details we’re not told about—things that the competition might consider mandatory.
We called customer service for some additional insight, and here’s what we learned.
What Does HD Mean?
While the term ‘high-definition’ tells us that ClearBell’s camera can stream detailed video, it doesn’t tell us specifically what kind of resolution we can expect. 720p and 1080p are the most common options, though, so it’s likely to feature one of these.
The customer service rep we spoke with wasn’t able to provide any details about this.
Recording & Storage Details
When speaking with support, we learned that ClearBell automatically begins recording as soon as it detects motion, and will continue doing so as long as the motion continues.
The rep wasn’t aware of any storage or time limits, although they noted that if there are any video clips you’d like to keep, you should save them to a separate device (memory card, PC, etc.).
How Do You Connect to ClearBell?
According to the ClearBell website, Clear TV provides an app that gives you to access the video feed and recorded clips, although we didn’t find any indication of the app on iTunes or Google Play.
The helpful rep advised that ClearBell customers will be provided with an access code to download the app from a third-party website after purchase, which they claimed will work on all iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones and tablets.
If you're accessing ClearBell through a PC, the rep told us that you'd have to log on to a secure website.
Installation & Security
While we learned that ClearBell will work on all doors without restrictions (as long as there is adequate space), we were told that instead of attaching permanently with screws, ClearBell attaches with a sticky tape. This means it might be easier for someone to steal.
The cordless camera works with your home’s Wi-Fi network, although you’ll have to replace batteries (or recharge them) every so often.
Also, unlike some other smart doorbells, ClearBell cannot lock or unlock your door remotely.
The ClearBell website tells us that the motion sensor’s sensitivity can be adjusted (if you live on a busy street, for example), which the representative told us is done so in meter increments.
However, we were told that ClearBell is not compatible with other home automation products, so it will have to work as a standalone device.
Based on what we learned, how do ClearBell's features stack up against other smart doorbells? First, let’s quickly cover price.
How Much Does Clear TV’s ClearBell Cost?
Clear TV priced ClearBell at three payments of $19.99 plus $7.99 S&H, or one single payment of $67.96.
Like most Tristar products, ClearBell comes with a 60-day refund policy, less S&H. To request one, support can be reached at 973-287-5138.
Now, how does ClearBell’s price compare to the competition?
Is ClearBell Competitive with Other Smart Doorbells?
While the smart doorbell market isn’t exactly flooded, Clear TV’s ClearBell is up against several reputable electronics manufacturers, including the Ring Doorbell, Vivint Doorbell Camera, SkyBell (from the same company who brought you the Nest Learning Thermostat), and August Doorbell Cam.
How do its features stack up?
|Brand||Price||Compatible with Home Automation?||Key Features|
|ClearBell||$59.97||No||Wide angle HD camera, infrared night vision, 2-way speaker, app access|
|Ring Doorbell||$170-$200||Yes||720p 180-degree HD camera, mounting bracket w/security screw, rechargeable battery or hardwired powering, echo cancelation, app access, 2+ devices on the same network|
|Vivint Doorbell Camera||Varies based on security package purchased – monthly fees||Yes – Using other products from the company (Vivint Sky)||Wide angle lens, custom alerts, app access, 2-way audio, night vision, facial recognition, 30-day clip storage|
|SkyBell||$150-$200||Yes||HD video, motion sensor, night vision, smartphone access, ability to take still snapshots, silent mode, automatic recording|
Where does all of this leave you? As you can see, many of these smart doorbell options seem to offer the same core features (e.g. HD video recording, app access, instant notifications, and motion sensing), although they each might occupy their own niche.
For example, if you’re looking for a bare-bones model at the lowest possible price, ClearBell might be difficult to beat. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a smart doorbell as part of a whole-home security package and don’t mind ongoing expenses, Vivint might be a solid option.
ClearBell from Clear TV seems to offer many of the same core options as the competition, but at a lower price. Does this necessarily mean it will deliver better value? Image credit: Tristar Products
Focused mainly on connectivity with other home automation devices? If so, SkyBell seems to offer some great features.
Or, is your main goal to gain the ability to remotely unlock and lock your door? August seems worth a look.
Granted, this is based on what we learned during our research. But what more can we learn from other Clear TV product reviews?
What Are Customers Saying About Other Products In the Clear TV Lineup?
With nearly 650 reader reviews to date, the original Clear TV was the most popular electronic device listed on HighYa at the time of our research.
Overall, customers gave it an average rating of two stars. While many claimed to have been satisfied, the most common complaints related to less-than-stellar performance (usually poor reception) and high, non-refundable S&H charges.
From a company perspective, Tristar is the second largest name in the ASOTV industry and has produced dozens of recent hits, including the Copper Chef lineup, Flex-Able Hose, and Perfecter Fusion Styler.
As with most ASOTV products (not just those from Tristar), these tend to come with two-star or lower average ratings centered on complaints of low quality and that they didn’t perform as advertised.
With all of this said, our only goal here is to provide you with a complete overview of the situation—not to insinuate that you’ll necessarily experience any of the same with ClearBell from Clear TV.
Let’s carry this thought over to the final section as we wrap things up.
Is ClearBell From Clear TV the Obvious Choice When It Comes to Smart Doorbells?
If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a thousand times, but when choosing between competing products, it’s rarely a good idea to focus only on price. Why? Because if a product doesn’t perform to your expectations, regardless of the price you paid, then it will have ultimately provided little value for your hard-earned money.
From this perspective, while millions of consumers have reported great results, the most common complaints among ASOTV products in general (from all manufacturers) relate to low quality and disappointing performance.
As we mentioned earlier, though, this certainly doesn’t mean this is what will occur with ClearBell, but we think it’s an important factor to keep at the top of your mind.
Fortunately, Tristar provides a 60-day money back guarantee on all ClearBell purchases if you’re not satisfied with its performance, although you’ll lose a not-insignificant amount in S&H charges.
Pro tip: Most smart doorbell manufacturers recommend maximizing Wi-Fi signal strength at the front door, usually by relocating your router or purchasing a wireless signal repeater. Either way, this could add time and/or money to the process.
What can you do from here? If you’re not quite ready to seal the deal, SafeWise’s Smart Doorbell Buyer’s Guide compares six of the top current models, including several options we discussed earlier.
They don’t list ClearBell, but together with what we’ve discussed today, it can help you make an empowered, informed decision about which option is most deserving of your money.
Help HighYa’s other readers gain a clearer picture about ClearBell from Clear TV by writing your review below!