TV converter box

(redirected from DTV converter box)

TV converter box

A set-top box that converts over-the-air digital TV broadcasts to analog for TV sets that accept only analog input (NTSC, PAL). It transforms digital broadcasts in standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) to analog. Also called a "DTV, ATSC, digital or set-top converter box," "D/A converter" (DAC) or "digital TV adapter" (DTA). A similar set-top box is provided by cable companies that offer basic cable services (see DTA). See digital TV transition.

Analog Pass Through
Some 7,000 low-power TV stations in the U.S. were not required to switch to digital in 2009, and TV converter boxes may have an "analog pass through" capability that lets the viewer switch between analog and digital signals. At the end of their call signs, low-power stations have low power (LP) and Class A (CA) acronyms; for example, WWJT-LP and WTSD-CA. They may also start with K or W, followed by channel number; for example, W35BT and K36DC.

If viewers with analog TVs watch low-power analog and digital TV without the pass-through feature on the converter box, the antenna cable can be split into the antenna jacks on the TV and the converter box. The converter box is then cabled to the TV's A/V input jacks (RCA), and the TV is switched from antenna to A/V input to change from analog to digital and vice versa.

A TV Converter Box
There are myriad converter boxes to choose from such as this unit from Sansonic. Converter boxes may have analog pass-through for picking up analog signals from low-power stations. (Image courtesy of Sansonic Electronics USA LLC,
References in periodicals archive ?
I've gotten many calls and e-mails from viewers worried about buying the "wrong" DTV converter box.
Anyone in possession of a coupon card that is not needed for their own home TV can donate it, which will result in a DTV converter box being placed in the home of someone in need, the companies said.
Representatives can provide converter box installation demonstrations, help with applying for DTV converter box coupons, and can answer all DTV related questions.
Purchase a DTV converter box that will convert the digital signal into analog for an existing analog television set.
So once you've got either a whole new set with high-definition digital capability, or a DTV converter box hooked up to your older analog TV, the weak link in the chain is often the antenna.
The first thing I did was find out about the government coupon that can help viewers purchase the DTV converter box.