Free TV Key Review: Free HD Television?
• Clear television picture
• No wires or mounted antenna
• Doesn't receive cable channels
• Clearance may be problematic on some wall-mounted TV's.
• Can't be moved to get optimal picture
Free TV Key
Free TV Key is a second-generation television antenna from the makers of Clear TV.
Note: This review refers to “Free TV Key” which is usually marketed in the US as “Clear TV Key.” It is still marketed in some areas as Free TV Key. They are the same product, other than the words “free” and “clear” being substituted.
Claims & Features
- Receive free HD broadcast television programming
- Reduce cable and satellite bills
- Plugs into any TV – no antenna
- Clear picture
- No wires
- Just plug it in
Cost & Availability
Free TV Key costs $19.99 + $7.99 shipping for a total cost of $27.98. A second product can be added for an additional $7.99, which totals $35.97. Unlike some As Seen on TV products, the second unit is not mandatory.
You will probably have better luck buying Clear TV Key on Amazon, where the cost varies from about $13 – $20.
The current product website is cleartvkey.com. The original website used in advertising was freetvkey.com, which now redirects to cleartvkey.com.
Free TV Key is brought to you by TriStar Products, one of the major players in the As Seen on TV industry. The company currently holds an A rating with the BBB, although there have been a number of (resolved) complaints regarding advertising or problems with the product or service. See the full BBB listing for more info, which also details legal action taken against the company in 2016.
Free TV Key Commercial
The TV commercial below was posted to the Clear TV YouTube channel in August 2015.
Transcript of the television commercial above:
Are you tired of paying expensive cable or satellite bills month after month? Now you see ’em. Now you don’t! You don’t need expensive cable or satellite anymore. All you need is the Free TV Key from ClearTV. Now you can watch your favorite broadcast network shows for free! That’s right. Forget about paying hundreds of dollars a year for satellite or cable-only channels.
The Free TV Key hides behind your TV, and is easy! Just plug it into your TV’s cable input – no wires, no unsightly antennas! Your television will instantly receive top-rated network shows, local news, and weather, sporting events, and more! All for free in vivid HD and digital signal.
If we’re just off the coast here in the Gulf of Mexico receiving free network broadcasts, HD TV, imagine all the free channels the TV Key can unlock for you!
Thanks to federal government mandate, all broadcasters are required to broadcast a digital TV signal through the airwaves. Cable and satellite services can cost you up to $80 a month. That’s $960 a year, and almost $10,000 over a ten-year period. With the Free TV Key, there’s no contracts, no monthly fees, and no unexpected rate increases. Watch again! Just plug it in and get free TV. Call or go online now to get your Free TV Key HD Digital Antenna for just $19.99!
“I took my Free TV Key out of the box, plugged it in to the cable input, and now I get to watch all my favorite broadcast channels for free!”
This compact design is perfect for an apartment, ideal for college dorm room or boat, or on your RV. And forget about paying monthly fees for extra receivers. Order right now and you can add a second Free TV Key, just pay separate processing and handling. That’s two Free TV Keys! A $40 value all for only $19.99! Not available in stores. Order now!
Free TV Key Reviews
Free TV Key could be described as the second-generation product by Clear TV, which has advertised almost constantly over the past 2+ years. Although Free TV Key doesn’t seem to offer any new functionality over its predecessor, it does present one design upgrade: the elimination of wires and a mounted antenna. That advantage, as we’ll discuss later, could also be one of its biggest disadvantages.
Free TV Key plugs into the back of a television and will receive local over-the-air broadcasts. Where Free TV Key (and any TV antenna) shines is that the signals it picks up tend to be (slightly) superior to that of cable, which compresses video signals. Free TV Key does not compress signals. The lack of wires and a mounted antenna are nice additions to this product which Clear TV did not have.
One issue which is sometimes misunderstood by consumers is that Free TV Key does not receive cable channels, but only those which broadcast over the airwaves in your area. This typically includes major networks and PBS. Sports and news channels do not broadcast over the airwaves and would not be picked up by Free TV Key. One interesting note in the commercial above is that it briefly shows the cable channel HLN, which would not be picked up by Free TV Key.
A potential concern with Free TV Key that was not an issue with Clear TV is that of mounting. While the reduction of wires is a nice feature, Free TV Key appears to need an inch or more of clearance in the back of the television, as can be seen in the commercial above. TV’s mounted to the wall may or may not have that much clearance. How your TV is mounted may affect whether or not Free TV Key will have enough room to be properly installed.
Additionally, the placement of Free TV Key can’t be adjusted to achieve an optimal picture in the manner that standard TV antennas can. Most users familiar with placing rabbit ears know that it can be a trial and error process when placing an antenna in the best spot. This is not possible with Free TV Key, as it is attached to the TV and cannot be moved. If you live in an area where local channels may be far away or otherwise weak for some reason, Free TV Key may not be a good fit.
If the wireless feature isn’t important to you, the original Clear TV can still be found on As Seen on TV shelves for less than Free TV Key, when shipping is factored into the equation.
Free TV Key functions the same as its predecessor, Clear TV. Both products are essentially modern rabbit ears which can still be purchased at stores such as Radio Shack for under $10. While the function is the same as standard antennas, Clear TV and Free TV Key do offer a more sleek appearance.
There are a number of other options, including plug-in TV antennas of varying sizes and shapes, which you may want to consider before making your final purchase.
Free TV Key is the next-gen TV antenna from the makers of Clear TV. While it functions the same as a pair of cheap rabbit ears, the lack of wires and mounted antenna may be aesthetically superior. Clearance on wall-mounted TV’s could be a problem for some consumers.
If you’ve used Free TV Key, please give it a star rating and comment below.
Updated April 2017.