TV converter box

Also found in: Dictionary.

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,
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Consumers have several options to transition into digital broadcasting: keeping their existing analog TV and purchasing a TV converter box; connecting to cable, satellite or other pay services; or purchasing a TV with a digital tuner.
Since TV converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 at participating retailers, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program.
New York: TVs, monitors, computers, laptops, printers, cell phones, TV converter boxes, DVD players, faxes, game consoles, keyboard, mice, MP3 players, scanners, satellite or cable receivers, VCRs
Sales of mobile phones and related equipment were strong in the fourth quarter, but demand was weak for TV converter boxes, video game systems and batteries.
The federal government is offering $40 discount coupons for consumer purchase of digital TV converter boxes. Request them online at or call 888-DTV-2009.
The company saw strong sales of mobile phones and related equipment in the fourth quarter, but demand was weak for TV converter boxes, video game systems and batteries.