Clear TV Key Review: This As Seen on TV television antenna is advertised as a way to receive free broadcast TV channels. We investigate.
What is Clear TV Key?
Clear TV Key, sometimes referred on the website as Free TV Key, is merely a television antenna which plug into the back of a TV. It is advertised by the makers of Clear TV, which is a popular As Seen on TV antenna that began advertising back in 2013.
There two two domains currently being used to advertise the product: freetvkey.com and cleartvkey.com, both registered in August 2015. Freetvkey.com currently forwards to cleartvkey.com.
Be sure to watch the embedded Clear TV Key video review at the bottom of this page.
The television ad below has been airing as of this writing – note that it still advertises the freetvkey.com domain. It also features the same pitchman as seen in the original 2013 Clear TV spots.
As with Clear TV, the advertising asks if you’re tired of paying expensive cable and satellite bills, then you may want to invest in a Clear TV Key to reduce your reliance on those services. “You don’t need expensive cable or satellite anymore. All you need is the Free TV Key from Clear TV,” the ad states.
Clear TV Key costs $19.99 plus $7.99 P&H per antenna. This comes to $27.98 if you only purchase one unit.
As of this writing, Clear TV Key has only been seen in select stores or on Amazon, where you can get it for about $13-$20. It is expected to arrive on shelves in 2017.
There are a number of products which perform the same function as Clear TV Key. First, you can find its parent product, Clear TV, at retailers such as Bed Bath and Beyond or KMart for about $20. Another antenna which is has advertised is HD Free TV. Finally, any standard television antenna will also function the same as Clear TV Key.
Does it Work?
Regarding the claims that Clear TV Key receives broadcast channels, the advertising is completely correct. Because Clear TV Key is essentially a standard television antenna, there is not much to it other than receiving television signals in your area.
Perhaps the most obvious caveat, however, is that Clear TV Key only picks up over-the-air broadcasts, which means you are limited to whatever channels are available in your area. This typically amounts to a small handful of network and public broadcasting affiliates. Large cities may get as many as 50 channels, although many of these are of limited interest.
You will not receive popular cable channels such as CNN, FoxNews, ESPN, E!, or any other channel which is cable-only.
There are, however, several reasons why you would want to keep a working television antenna on hand. First, the picture of your local broadcast channels is likely to be superior to cable because the signal is not compressed assuming you have a strong signal. Sporting events, for example, may look better through Clear TV Key. Another reason to have such a product is when the cable or satellite provider has an outage. Finally, you may want to put a Clear TV Key on televisions in your home which are not connected to your cable or satellite service.
Perhaps one advantage of Clear TV Key over other television antennas is in its design, which is hidden discreetly behind the television set. It plugs into the back of the TV, as opposed to connecting with a wire. While this design may be aesthetically superior, placing a television antenna outside or near a window is optimal, so there may be instances where the antenna is not in an ideal location to receive a TV signal.
Some mounted televisions may not have enough clearance to accommodate Clear TV Key. Those that do may still have to be removed from the wall in order to correctly plug it in to the proper input.
Below is a screen shot of the Clear TV Key website from December 2015. Note that the name on the top left reads “Clear TV Key” while the embedded commercial reads, “Free TV Key.”
Clear TV Key is merely a standard television antenna in function, although it does boast a sleek, discreet design. You won’t receive cable-only channels, although broadcast signals in your area are likely to be superior to that of cable. There are inexpensive options locally that can perform the same function.
Have you used Clear TV Key? What did you think of it? Share your experience with us in the comments below.
Updated April 2017.