View Full Version : 'Clear TV'...am I missing something?


YamahaFreak
02-24-2014, 01:05 AM
(Sorry if this is in the wrong board; I couldn't decide where it fit in best.)

Okay, so I just saw a paid program for a new(?) mail-order product called 'Clear TV'. The program made it seem like a viable alternative to cable or satellite, allowing you to receive 'hundreds' of channels for free, in HD quality. The longer I watched, however, the more and more it sounded like they were hocking a glorified over-the-air ATSC broadcast antenna! There is no box or other unit that connects between your TV and the square, black antenna unit, and I heard or saw no mention of any channels being available that you couldn't get with standard OTA ATSC...which, in most areas, consists of five or six local stations, not the 'hundreds' they promise.

Seems like a scam to me!! I'll continue to watch ATSC broadcast channels on the one compatible TV I own using my 30-year-old rabbit ears, thanks.

Here is the product's website: http://www.cleartv.com/

Boobtubeman
02-24-2014, 01:08 AM
It is only for over the air digital signals And it doesnt look like it would do any good there either...

SR

DavGoodlin
02-24-2014, 11:02 AM
Yes, its a wrapped-up bowtie.
F'rinstance, it would get you about 40 DTV including sub-channels in Philly but out here only about 7, and it positively sucks for high-band VHF.

N2IXK
02-24-2014, 11:15 AM
Yes, that's all it is, a cheap indoor OTA antenna. Yes, it will receive hundreds of stations, just not at any single location. :)

As much of a scam as that "Rabbit TV" USB device that promises free TV over an internet connection. AKA a small flash drive with links to free streaming video sites you can reach with any web browser.

These kind of scams are nothing new, BTW...

http://milk.com/wall-o-shame/dish.html

YamahaFreak
02-24-2014, 10:45 PM
I thought so! I also hadn't suspected the 'Rabbit TV' device as being similarly scammy, though that's because I never really looked into it. Wow...

Jeffhs
02-25-2014, 01:05 AM
I have a Clear Cast indoor antenna. It works up to a point, but it will not receive two network TV stations in my area (both on VHF DTV channels), the subchannels of which are the two stations I watch most of the time. My antenna doesn't get "hundreds" of channels, but I will admit it gets more than I can get on cable, such as ThisTV, the SD (standard definition) feed of the Cleveland CW network affiliate, and several others. I would use this antenna in an emergency, say if my cable quit and it would take several days to have the service restored, but I'd think at least twice before using it as my primary TV antenna. The main reason for this is simply because my cable TV service is part of a 3-way bundle (cable, Internet, home phone). If I downgrade or cancel any one of those services before my contract expires, the cable operator (Time Warner) will charge me an early termination fee, which at this time is somewhere in the neighborhood of $150.

I will admit, however, that one of the claims made for the Clear Cast antenna is credible: the statement that reception of local TV stations using the antenna will be clearer than the same stations received on cable. The reason is that cable TV, especially if you have multiple services coming over the same coax, compresses the TV stations' signals, thereby degrading the quality of said signals. The same signals picked up by the Clear Cast antenna are those coming directly from the stations; there is no compression or other modification done to those signals, so you get the original, unmodified signal from the local TV stations. I've tried this with my Clear Cast antenna and can vouch for the clearer reception using it versus the same signals received over my cable service.

The problems I am having with no reception from two local TV stations (CBS and FOX) in my area may simply be due to the location of the antenna. I've only tried my CC antenna in one part of my apartment; it wouldn't surprise me if moving the antenna to my bedroom, for example, brings in the two stations I presently do not receive. I seem to remember reading that DTV signals are highly directional, and that there are likely areas in any place one uses an indoor antenna which may work much better than others. Digital TV has come a long way since the first such stations went on the air in 2006, but the problem of hit-or-miss reception hasn't yet been solved, and I'm not sure it will be any time soon. Note that the outdoor TV antenna with rotor has made a comeback in the DTV era. There are probably few if any locations in the US where an indoor antenna will work anywhere nearly as well as an outdoor one; that my Clear Cast works as well as it does, even with the two missing channels, is probably a fluke. I live about 40 miles from the transmitters of the major TV stations in Cleveland, so I was actually amazed at the sheer number of stations I was receiving using the Clear Cast. My DTV reception with that antenna is even better in spring, summer and early fall when the TV bands open up; last summer, for example, I connected the Clear Cast to my flat screen, did a channel scan, and was amazed to see stations coming in from Toledo, Ohio, Detroit, and, if I remember correctly, Windsor, Canada, along with the local Cleveland stations.

The only station the Clear Cast doesn't seem to receive here, aside from CBS and FOX, is a CBS affiliate in Youngstown, Ohio, which I understand from looking at the FCC's digital TV reception maps for my area should come in here fairly well (this station is actually supposed to be a fill-in for areas which do not receive the Cleveland CBS-TV affiliate; the latter station does have a UHF translator meant for an area 30 miles south of Cleveland, but that translator doesn't reach here :no:). If I could get that station with my Clear Cast antenna, my reception problems would be solved as far as network stations are concerned. Again, maybe the problem is the location of the antenna. One of these days, I'm going to temporarily move my flat screen to my bedroom, hook up the Clear Cast, and see what happens. Who knows? I may get the two Cleveland stations I am presently missing, and the CBS station in Youngstown as well.

dieseljeep
02-25-2014, 02:01 PM
Jeff!
Did you ever try a DTV converter on that set, with that antenna and the location, where you're using it. I'm referring to one of the higher gain DTV converters like the Zenith, Insignia and Digital Steam. Some of the others don't measure up, to those units.
I'm sure, some of the TV's, that have a digital tuner are the same. The Funai sets that I have, can't receive OTA, digital signals, unless I use an outside antenna. The Funai converters are the same.
I have several RCA's, that everyone seems to hate, receive DTV signals with just a set-top antenna. They work well and are reliable.
BTW, all my sets are CRT's.
The only flat-panel, I own is a HP computer display and I like it a lot. :yes:

ChrisW6ATV
02-26-2014, 08:40 PM
Seems like a scam to me!! I'll continue to watch ATSC broadcast channels on the one compatible TV I own using my 30-year-old rabbit ears, thanks.

Here is the product's website: (scam deleted)
Yep, it is an overpriced piece of metal encased in plastic. "Buy one, get one free", if you PAY double shipping and handling to get the "free" one. Like most of these junk products, they already make a PROFIT on the shipping "cost" alone, which, or course, is never refunded with the "money-back guarantees" these junk items usually have.

Even before the digital-TV days, there were ads for "amazing breakthrough mini-dish" antennas that were basically rabbit ears.

dieseljeep
02-27-2014, 10:14 AM
Yep, it is an overpriced piece of metal encased in plastic. "Buy one, get one free", if you PAY double shipping and handling to get the "free" one. Like most of these junk products, they already make a PROFIT on the shipping "cost" alone, which, or course, is never refunded with the "money-back guarantees" these junk items usually have.

Even before the digital-TV days, there were ads for "amazing breakthrough mini-dish" antennas that were basically rabbit ears.
I do a lot of comparisons of different antennas. I look for antennas at the various thrift shops and garage sales. I'll usually buy duplicates, if the first one I bought works well. The only ones that work well, are the amplified type.
Right now, the best working set-top antenna, I have is the Terk, Yagi design. It comes with an in-line amplifier. My home is 41 miles from The Milwaukee transmitter towers.
Another thing, with those bogus antennas is the coax cable that comes with them. There's too much loss in it, at the frequencies used for transmission.

jr_tech
02-27-2014, 02:14 PM
Right now, the best working set-top antenna, I have is the Terk, Yagi design. It comes with an in-line amplifier. My home is 41 miles from The Milwaukee transmitter towers.


Is that the one with a decent Log-Yagi design for UHF that also has an adjustable "rabbit ears" dipole in the base for VHF? One of my favorites, although the base is somewhat tippy.
jr

dieseljeep
02-27-2014, 07:33 PM
Is that the one with a decent Log-Yagi design for UHF that also has an adjustable "rabbit ears" dipole in the base for VHF? One of my favorites, although the base is somewhat tippy.
jr

I forgot about the dipoles. I put mine on the closet shelf, next to the TV. I'm using a Zenith DTV converter and the antenna is connected to it. Great results.
I haven't touched it in months. :yes:

holmesuser01
03-02-2014, 05:42 PM
I have an old UHF bow-tie antenna clipped to an old pair of rabbit ears attached to a small metal weight. The bowtie is raised about 10 feet from the floor.

With the little digital/analog converter I have, I pick up 11 channels. That's all the channels that broadcast around here.

A buddy of mine actually bought one of these clear-channel things. We hooked it up to his newer flat screen, and it only found 4 channels. He lives across the street from me. He got a refund on it.

dieseljeep
03-02-2014, 08:32 PM
I have an old UHF bow-tie antenna clipped to an old pair of rabbit ears attached to a small metal weight. The bowtie is raised about 10 feet from the floor.

With the little digital/analog converter I have, I pick up 11 channels. That's all the channels that broadcast around here.

A buddy of mine actually bought one of these clear-channel things. We hooked it up to his newer flat screen, and it only found 4 channels. He lives across the street from me. He got a refund on it.

Did he get the shipping, handling cost refunded, also. :D

holmesuser01
03-02-2014, 09:34 PM
He didn't say. Knowing him and his thrift abilities, he got a full refund.

wa2ise
03-03-2014, 05:41 PM
Even before the digital-TV days, there were ads for "amazing breakthrough mini-dish" antennas that were basically rabbit ears.

Some years ago a local TV station consumer affairs person of the local newscast showed the station's chief engineer such an antenna. He said "rabbit ears with a plastic decoration".... :thumbsdn:

YamahaFreak
03-04-2014, 03:53 PM
There really should be laws prohibiting the marketing of such things as these...

holmesuser01
03-04-2014, 04:36 PM
Was it not P.T. Barnum that said, "There's a sucker born every minute."?

wa2ise
03-04-2014, 05:26 PM
There really should be laws prohibiting the marketing of such things as these...

There are, but the FTC is occupied chasing false diet pills and such that could cause serious problems. :no:

trojanrabbit
03-17-2014, 04:02 PM
Not technical razzle-dazzle but the sheer aesthetic superiority of its elegant parabolic design make the GFX-100 a marketing breakthrough!

Definitely isn't an engineering breakthrough.

I suppose those who bought that thing got put on a special "sucker" mailing list.

Jeffhs
03-17-2014, 09:05 PM
I would not say the Clear TV DTV antenna is a scam. As I mentioned in a previous post, mine works up to a point; the reason it does not receive two local DTV channels which actually transmit on VHF high-band channels is that the stations in question actually require an amplified outdoor VHF TV antenna to be received at all in my area. I don't know why this should be, unless the Clear TV antenna was never designed to receive high-band VHF channels. (The shape of the antenna element, which is reminiscent of the old UHF bow-tie indoor antennas of the '60s-'70s, should all but scream that the Clear TV system won't work well, or in some areas at all, with high VHF channels, unless said signals are very strong.)

The advertising for this antenna states that it will receive VHF high-band and UHF signals, but from comments in this thread and from my own experience, I must agree that the antenna does not do nearly as well with high-band VHF as with higher-frequency (read UHF) signals. The antenna might work a lot better in a prime signal area; where I live, the TV signals aren't that strong, with most folks having to use outdoor antennas to get much other than the CBS and ABC affiliates in Cleveland--and that was in the old analog NTSC days.

As to the mailing list referred to by another person on this thread, I have not received any correspondence at all to date from the maker of the antenna via e-mail or snail mail. They may have started the mailing list some time after I ordered my antennas (I mistakenly ordered four of these things last year, when I only have one flat-screen DTV set).

DavGoodlin
03-18-2014, 08:46 AM
These are better than rabbit ears at least. You just need to be in a prime spot.

Boobtubeman
03-18-2014, 05:05 PM
Often wondered what a typical bow-tie antenna on a rooftop pole would offer??

SR

holmesuser01
03-18-2014, 07:36 PM
Often wondered what a typical bow-tie antenna on a rooftop pole would offer??

SR

I'm using a bowtie that is about 10 feet off the floor. I'm picking up all the local channels in my area.

I'm surrounded by mountains, too.

I'd like to try a bowtie mounted up on the chimney, too.

Robert Grant
04-11-2014, 09:15 PM
Often wondered what a typical bow-tie antenna on a rooftop pole would offer??

SR

Would usually outperform a 180" boom log-periodic/corner reflector at any point inside the house (with the possible exception of non-metallic roof attic)

In most places where many people live, low gain is not usually the cause of DTV reception failure. Most people are more likely to have a problem with multipath than with low signal strength (and autointerference - interference from the receiver itself, a bigger problem at VHF than low signal strength).