Clear-Cast review shows mediocre reception; overstatements

By Robb Hicken/ chief storyteller

When BBB conducted an advertising review of the Clear-Cast X1 Digital Antenna on April 9, The WireGuys, a professional antenna installation and digital television conversion company in Boise were consulted about the claims in the advertisement.

Anthony Berger, owner, said he had seen the full-page ad in the Statesman, and had already had Mike Dixon, lead technician and supervisor, order the antenna.

“We placed our order on the 12th,” Berger says.

The advertisement promised a 72-hour shipping time. On the eighth day, Dixon called the company and was told the order had not been shipped yet. On the 20th, another call was placed, and on April 23, the product arrived.

Dixon says he questioned what channels would be available in the specified zip code area, and was told he would receive CNBC, FOX News, and Hallmark Channels, along with the local and national broadcasters.

In addition, the operator told Dixon he was not going to use the product on a digital TV, and was sold a digital tuner/receiver for an extra $40.

Dixon ran a series of investigation on the tuner and antenna and his CLEARCASTDOC-1.

“The instructions told us to point the antenna towards ‘a’ city,” Dixon’s report reads. “In our market there are four cities. All of the area broadcasters radiate from the same place. That site is not in any of the 4 cities.”

Dixon used the indoor-antenna outdoors and reception improved moderately, but diminished once it was brought indoors.

“With exception of one channel, all available channels either tiled (dropped out) or simply said no signal,” The WireGuys report states. “Using the multiple broadcast formulas in our area this is an estimated 90% failure rate.”

BBB concludes the following:

  • The BBB found that the product does offer channels without cable or satellite. However BBB inquiries show that because the headline states that you can get rid of cable or satellite bills, consumers are under the impression that they will receive the same type of channeling as they would with their current provider.
  • Additionally, there seems to be some confusion about what is actually being given away for free. In the company ad it states in the headline “Free TV” and “gets rid of cable or satellite bills.” Some inquiries show that consumers are under the impression that they will be receiving a free television. Also there seems to be confusion about how many possible channels a consumer may get when using the ClearCast Digital HDTV. The company ad has indicated that consumers can receive up to 953 “Shows” and up to 53 “channels” depending on where you live.
  • The company has added disclosures that outline and explain what the consumers are actually getting, however the overall impression of the ad seems to imply differently.
  • The basic principles of the BBB code of advertisement states that an advertisement as a whole may be misleading although every sentence separately considered is literally true. Consumers are encouraged to read the ad in its entirety and despite deadlines and restrictions, to make sure the company and product is researched before buying.



Filed under Investigation

25 responses to “Clear-Cast review shows mediocre reception; overstatements

  1. hanno richter

    I am curious about first customer reports from rural areas. I myself live in ithaca ny, and have tried analog indor antennas before, wwhich all gave a very poor to no reception. I have my doubt that the signal strength in rural areas with hills and 30 miles or more away from the next big city will receive a signal of sufficient strength. In the advertisement in usa today, they clamed that if you find the first 2 numbers of your zipcode in their table, clearcast will work for you. I found them, but am still hesitant to test. Retailers of analog antennas had claimed that those would work in ithaca, but they really don’ t.

  2. Beej

    Why isn’t National Tv Processing Center listed with the Better Business Bureau?
    We just received the letter for this great digital Channel device for only $47.00 plus handling to $56.00 as noted earlier not listed anywhere in the letter of many pages…

  3. ROBB here: Here’s the link to the BBB report:

  4. Carolyn Sneed

    I received a letter yesterday from National TV Processing Center and, at first, was very intrigued and excited about the fact that I could receive tv channels that I am currently receiving from my satellite company for free. Today I called and was very disappointed after learning that I would have to pay $93 to connect each tv in my house to this wondrous “new invention”. It was at that point that I became skeptical and disappointed and chose not to order this new technology. So thankful for my computer and the internet for leading me in the right direction. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  5. SBrazingto

    I received my letter yesterday.. so happy for the internet.. won’t waste my time.. thanks everyone for the research.. saves me time and energy. When it sounds too good to be true it is….

  6. thanks for the internet,of which i am not very savy!but i read all comments i thank you all very much,should have known can’t get something for nothing…..lmj,shelby,nc.oh,i recieved my letter may,10,2012.

  7. Donna

    thank you all for your comments. I received my letter early May and was very interested. I didn’t want to do anything though until I checked it out with the BBB to see if it was legit. I know now, the letter can go out to the trash with the rest of the garbage.

  8. Rick McNally

    I ordered from Clear Cast and 15 minutes later tried to cancel which they make next to impossible. They lots of people to take orders and no one available in Customer Service to cancel an order or talk to me

  9. David Goforth

    I have 32 years experience in communications systems technology.
    I provide my customers with the best solutions possible based on all available data. I too ordered this antenna after reading a news article that stated it would only be available for 72 hours while supplies last. After testing and comparing it to other UHF antennas using a digital converter box, I have noted both pros and cons that I will pass on to my customers.
    1. The cable is longer than most portable indoor TV antennas.
    2. It comes with suction cups to use on windows or other flat surfaces.
    3. The suction cups can be easily removed and the antenna holes can be used to mount on a wall.
    4. Small size makes it easy to hide.
    1. It receives signals no better than many other over-the-counter TV antennas sold by Radio Shack, Walmart and many other electronics stores,sometimes for much less.
    2. In many cases, the Clear Cast antenna signal was weaker.
    3. The advertising is misleading although it is accurate if you carefully read and understand how free digital TV works and what is available.
    4. It did not arrive within the advertised time frame.

  10. gertrudis bootmann

    I don’t not but my feeling of TO GOOD TO BE TRUTH and I find that was correct….. TO GOOD TO BE TRUTH,,,,,Thanks to the internet that you can check

  11. Pingback: Warnings continue from BBB about Clear-Cast antenna advertising | snakeriverBBB

  12. Deano

    I was skeptical about this product and did not buy it. I did purchase a digital antenna sold by CVS pharmacy for about $20. It pulls in free channels 2-13 in almost high definition but nothing more. I got it a few years ago when Fox Channel was being blocked on Cable in the New York Metro area so that I could watch the Sunday Football games on Fox. If you have a Digital TV (almost all TVs sold today are digital), it is worth purchasing a digital antenna from CVS as backup to Cable, there is no power cord connection, it is hassle free. While it is very limited in the channels it provides, you can get about 7 Free channels in very high quality.

  13. Brooklyn Girl

    SCAM!!!! – Do NOT, NOT, NOT purchase this – whatever it is!!! I did, for $61.95 (yup, fell for the false advertisement), and it was worse than my $10 antenna (I cancelled cable some time ago), returned it, wasted $15 (their shipping cost – $10 + $5 to ship it back)… I am sure I am not the only deceived with this hoax, and it’s upsetting there’s nothing done about it… No one (including myself) is going to bother for $15, but they sure made some money… well, lesson learned…

    • Rene

      Yes, unfortunately I fell for it too. $15 plus $5 to mail it back. What a scam! It doesn’t work. Do not buy it people.

  14. Pingback: Ad Claims Free Digital TV « Smart Media Group

  15. Lawrence

    Here is my review. It worked for me. To be honest i had called them yesterday to return the sucker. Because I had in-directed the antenna which i was not suppose to (aka hooked up to vcr, video game system and etc.) and only got 3 channels. So today I hooked it up to directly to the tv. My tv detected 60 channel of pick up.

    Now i went scrolling through the channels. Here what i got.

    did i get channels with no signal – yes I got a few of those.
    Did i get lots of channels – yes i did
    Will it replace my cable or satellite- no way!!!!!
    a lot channels were weak on signal.

    Yes i picked up a lot of channels, I would at least 20 to 30, Here what i picked up. I got quite a bit of shopping channels, a lot of old movie channels, a few latino channels and a few of the rest. I got tuff tv and moxie whatever they are. Also some radio stations. I guess it depends on the position of your antenna and where your location is.

    Just to let you know, i’m in the heart of atlanta around georgia tech. I might be able to pick up better signal if i was not in between cbs and time warner and also Gps broadcasting stations. thats alot of interference. I even had a hard time picking up clear internet wireless signal and there antenna is 3 blocks from me. Even my cell phone has problems every so often. I may call back to uncancel them.

    Ps. It only took 2 mins to get in contact with them to return it. They gave me no hassel. But when I ordered it, took me almost 2 weeks to receive it lol. And they sent it fedex not ups like their site says. then fedex sends it to the post office it your area. They need a cheaper delivery system. You pay too much to get it in 2 weeks.

  16. Lawrence

    Oh yeah, reason it wont replace my cable or satellite. Didnt pick up any good channels. Like i said before mostly shopping, latino and old show channels. I like new, like syfy and spike and etc. Didnt pick up those.

  17. ed

    this is a major ripoff and how can they let them steal our money with deceptive unfair ads that are total lies yes i fell for it and now i am having to pay to ship it back to get my money back less the 9.95 i paid to have it shipped to me now i have to pay to ship to them they are making at least 5.00 on the shipping and not to mention using my money for about 2 months before i get a refund yes i am mad to be ripped off.



  19. when are we going to start a class action law suit against this scam artist company….i’m ready now!

  20. Pingback: Clear Cast antenna gets an ‘F’; Send info on National TV Processing Center | snakeriverBBB

  21. Cahrolie Parker

    I am so glad I read this. I was tempted to purchase this product for three tv’s. In my living room with an antenna from Costco and walmart I can receive 3 channels, in the other two rooms I get abc only!!! So to pay as much as they want and get the service described above makes no sense to me. I am so happy that I decided to check this out!!! Thanks to all who have taken the time to respond.

  22. Nadine Parker

    I live in Waterbury ct. I only get 3 channels. This sucks

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