Learn About DTV
Audio & Video
Watching DTV with a Converter Box
Chapter Three - Watching DTV With a Converter Box
VO: This video is furnished by the Federal Communications Commission.
Remember, you’ll need to get a converter box for each analog TV in your home that receives over-the-air signals.
Your new converter box should come with a coaxial wire, a remote control, AND an instruction manual. We urge you to follow the instructions that come with your particular converter box.
You can also call us or visit our website for detailed information.
But hooking up your converter box up should be fairly simple. First, unplug your TV from the wall. Then, remove the antenna wire that is currently plugged into your TV, and plug it into the "Antenna In" port on the box. Then, plug one end of the new wire into the "Out to TV" port on the box, and the other end into the "Antenna In" port of the TV.
If your antenna wire looks like this, not to worry, just remember to purchase the necessary adaptors that will make it possible for you to use the coaxial ports on the converter box.
Plug in and turn on your TV and converter box. Tune your TV to channel 3 or 4, and using the remote that comes with the converter box, make sure to follow the on screen set-up guide which will scan for available DTV channels in your area and set your TV up to receive them.
You should re-scan for available channels periodically during the transition, in order to capture those stations that change to digital or change their location after your initial set-up.
Even with this new set up, remember that you are still getting your signal from an antenna. Generally, an outdoor antenna gets better reception than an indoor antenna. If you already have an antenna and are getting good quality reception on channels 2 through 51, your antenna should work fine for digital. Some antennas that get poor reception with analog—or can’t get stations above channel 14—may need to be upgraded. But you do NOT need to purchase a special DTV or HDTV antenna to receive DTV signals. You should always try your antenna first, before upgrading. You may, however, need to adjust where your antenna is pointing to get the best signal.
You can call us at 1-888-CALL-FCC for more information on antennas. Or go online at www.DTV.gov.
So to re-cap…
- Step 1: Unplug your TV from the wall
- Step 2: Remove your Antenna wire from the TV and plug it into the "Antenna In" port on the box.
- Step 3: Plug Coaxial wire into the "Out to TV" port on your converter box
- Step 4: Plug the remaining end of the coaxial cable into "Antenna in" on TV.
- Step 5: Plug in your TV and turn on the converter box.
- Step 6: Tune your TV to channel 3 or 4 and follow the on screen set-up guide
Your VCR will work with your analog TV after the transition. If you want to use a VCR to watch videotapes you won't need a converter box. If you want to use a VCR to record a DTV program, you can hook your VCR to a converter box and it will record your program. Again, you can call us or visit the FCC website for more information.
With a converter box, you can watch closed-captioned programs like you did before. Also, with some converter boxes, you can change the size, font and color of your digital captions.
You can start getting ready right now for the DTV transition. The sooner you act, the sooner you will be able to start enjoying all the benefits of digital television!