Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- What looks like a legitimate newspaper article in Thursday’s Post-Standard, is really a full page advertisement. We’ve heard from many of you wanting to know if the product is legitimate. The ad claims Central New Yorkers can get rid of monthly cable and satellite bills and get free TV just by buying a device that costs $38.
It’s touted as an amazing new invention. The ad for Clear-Cast describes the device as a razor thin indoor digital HDTV antenna that delivers television without cable or internet. The best part, the ad says, is its advanced design, which allows you to get channels broadcast in your area for free – no monthly bills.
Well, that's what all TV antennas are supposed to do.
“There’s nothing really new about TV antennas," NewsChannel 9 Broadcast Engineer Jeff Hartman said. "An antenna is an antenna. It might be a new package design, but the antenna inside is the same thing that people have been using for years.”
Television antennas deliver free over-the-air programming. The ad claims you will get close to 1000 shows with the device. That may be true, but those shows won't come from cable channels. You'll still be getting those same over-the-air channels.
Hartman knows all about digital TV signals. He helped NewsChannel 9 in its conversion to high definition. We asked him if there could possibly be a TV antenna out there that’s much better than the rest. He says that is unlikely. When it comes to an antenna, he says it’s less about brand and more about location.
“The thing to remember is you want to go through as few obstacles as possible. An outdoor antenna is going to work better than an indoor antenna. A higher antenna is going to work better than one that's lower to the ground,” Hartman explains.
NewsChannel 9 spoke to a manager at Brilliant Built Technologies, the company selling Clear-Cast. That person admits to also hearing concerns about the ad. We’re told Clear-Cast is marketed to people who can’t have an outdoor antenna, and that Clear-Cast is just meant as an alternative product for those trying to grab over-the-air channels. So don’t be fooled, you will not get cable channels with the device.
Clear-Cast costs $38. A quick check locally found a similar antenna for less at Ra-Lin, Best Buy and Radio Shack.