How to Connect your DTV Converter Box

August 13, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV, HDTV Tech, How To, The Big Switch

Basic Instructions on Setting Up Your Digital-to-Analog Converter Box

This Fact Sheet from the FCC describes the installation of a digital-to-analog converter box with your current antenna and analog TV. This guide will help you prepare so that when you purchase a converter box you will know what to expect and whether you may need help setting it up.

Coaxial Wire ConnectorSupplies: You will need your analog TV, the antenna you have been using (indoor or outdoor), and the coaxial wire that currently connects your antenna to your TV (as pictured on the right). Your new converter box will come with a coaxial wire and a remote control. Before you begin the installation of the converter box, you should unplug your TV.

Step 1 - Unplug the existing coaxial antenna wire from your TV “Antenna In (RF)” port.

Step One - Unplug coaxial wire from your TV

Step 2 - Plug the existing coaxial wire into the “Antenna In (RF)” port on your Converter Box.

Step Two, plug the existing coaxial wire into the “Antenna In (RF)” port on your Converter Box.

Step 3 - Using the coaxial wire that comes with your Converter Box, plug one end into the “Out To TV (RF)” port on the Converter Box. Plug the other end into the “Antenna In (RF)” port on your TV.

Using the coaxial wire that comes with your Converter Box, plug one end into the “Out To TV (RF)” port on the Converter Box. Plug the other end into the “Antenna In (RF)” port on your TV.

Step 4 - Plug the power cords on your Converter Box and TV into a power outlet, and turn on your TV and Converter Box. Using the instructions that come with your Converter Box, tune your TV to channel 3 or 4. Using the remote that comes with your Converter Box, follow the on-screen set-up guide to scan for available DTV channels, and begin enjoying the benefits of Digital Television!

  • If your Converter Box includes an "analog pass-through" feature, this set up will also allow you to receive any stations that still broadcast in analog in your area. Follow the instructions that come with your Converter Box for how to tune analog channels.
  • For instructions on how to connect your converter box if it does not include an analog pass-through feature or for instructions on connecting your converter box to other components such as a VCR, go to www.dtv.gov or contact the FCC by e-mailing dtvinfo@fcc.gov; or calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY.

DTV Television Shopping Guides

June 21, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV, How To

Comments Off on DTV Television Shopping Guides

DTV.gov has provided some helpful educational materials to help you shop for a new DTV TV.

Print this pocket guide and take it with you to the store with you while shopping for a digital TV. The pdf guide is available here in English (download), and is also available in Spanish (download) too.

The following information is excerpted from the FCC's Consumer Advisory - Buying the Right TV: What every consumer should know

What Consumers Considering the Purchase of a TV Set Should Know

When buying television sets and other TV equipment such as DVD players, consumers should know whether or not the equipment includes a digital tuner. (TV equipment that includes a digital tuner is sometimes referred to as a "digital receiver.") Consumers who want to continue to receive their local full-power broadcast television stations after February 17, 2009 must either purchase a TV set equipped with a digital tuner or purchase a digital-to-analog converter box that will convert those over-the-air digital signals into analog so that they can be displayed on an analog device. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services.

Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program

Between January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of digital-to-analog converter boxes. As described above, these converter boxes are designed to make over-the-air digital television signals viewable on analog-only TVs, and thus are not intended for analog-only TVs hooked up to cable or satellite service. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is running the coupon program. For more information, visit the NTIA Web Site at www.dtv2009.gov .

Some Sets Being Sold May Have Analog Tuners Only - Look for the Label

Although, by law, the import or interstate shipment of any TV device containing an analog tuner is now prohibited, unless it also contains a digital tuner , some stores may still have in their inventory TV equipment with only analog tuners. A television set or other TV equipment with only an analog tuner will not receive over-the-air local full-power broadcast TV station programming after February 17, 2009, unless it is connected to a digital-to-analog converter box .

The Commission has required that retailers fully inform consumers by prominently displaying the following text if they are selling TV equipment with only an analog tuner:

This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air-broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation's transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission's digital television website at: www.dtv2009.gov.

Consumers are urged to look for this label when shopping for a new TV set or other TV equipment and to take into consideration the limitations of analog-only TVs when making purchasing decisions. For more information about the DTV transition, go to www.dtv.gov or contact the FCC's Consumer Center by e-mailing dtvinfo@fcc.gov; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554.

Free HDTV converter coupons – $40 off DTV Converter Box

January 2, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV, How To, The Big Switch

Update: The Coupon Program has ended on July 31, 2009. You'll need to purchase a DTV Converter for sale without a coupon now.

The U.S. government program to provide free coupons for $40 off the cost of the purchase of an HDTV tuner / converter set-top-box began today. Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households who wish to keep using their current analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. This program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes. This is a great time to request your coupon, as the program just started today.

Click here to go to the U.S. government DTV tuner coupon page , click on item 3, and request your coupon.

(updated June 23, 2008 with the information below)

The list of Authorized Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes .

You can browse DTV Converter Boxes on our site, or buy an HDTV Tuner.