Converter box for antenna TV

February 29, 2016
1064 El Camino Ave
Image titled Set up a DTV Digital Converter Box and Antenna Step 1

Steps

  1. Set the converter box next to the television in an unobstructed area. The converter box must be near the television as it will be connected to your television with an included cable (or cables). The converter box will also be operated by an included remote control, so it must not be behind an object that will block the remote control signal. Additionally, the converter box must be plugged in, so must be near a power outlet or power strip.
    • Read the labeled connections on the back of the converter box so you know where to connect the TV and antenna.
  2. Turn off your TV and any other connected devices. If using a power strip, also turn it off.
  3. Connect the converter box to an antenna with an RF coaxial cable. If you have an older antenna that will not connect directly to an RF coaxial connector, see the section for older TVs at the bottom of the Steps section. Any free-standing antenna can be used, but it is recommended that an antenna that is designed to pick up DTV signals be used for optimal reception. Inexpensive rabbit ears as well as more powerful wall-mounted and outdoor antennas are readily available.
    • When using a typical rabbit-ear style antenna, set the antenna near the television. Connect one end of an RF (coaxial) cable to the ANTENNA RF IN connector on the converter box. Connect the other end of the cable to the TO TV connector on the antenna. It may be more convenient to connect the RF coaxial cable to the antenna first, or the RF coaxial cable may already be connected to the antenna if it was previously connected directly to the TV. The antenna may also have a CABLE IN connector that looks the same as the TO TV connector. Be sure not to connect the TV to this connector. If the antenna is powered, plug in the included power adapter, but leave the antenna off until all other components are connected.
    • If using an external or otherwise mounted antenna, assemble it and attach it to a secure object. If the antenna is external, the RF coaxial cable that connects the antenna to the TV will need to pass through your house, usually via a hole that has been drilled in the wall. Connect the RF coaxial cable to the antenna, and connect the other end of the cable to the ANTENNA RF IN connector on the converter box.Image titled Set up a DTV Digital Converter Box and Antenna Step 2 If the antenna is powered, a segment of cable that was included with the antenna will probably need to be installed between the converter box and the antenna along the same RF coaxial cable that connects the converter box to the antenna. This segment of cable will be connected directly to the converter box ANTENNA RF IN connector, and the RF coaxial cable that runs to the external antenna will be connected to the other end of the powered segment. The powered segment must be plugged into a power adapter that is plugged into a wall socket.
  4. Connect the converter box to the television. Depending on the supplied cables, the design of the converter box, and the design of the television, there may be different ways to connect the converter box to your television. Most converter boxes will have a connector for an RF coaxial cable and connections for composite cables. If you have an older TV that will not connect directly to an RF coaxial cable or composite cables, see the section for older TVs at the bottom of the Steps section. Composite cables consist of one yellow video cable and two audio cables. The audio cable for the right speaker is red and the cable to the left speaker is white.
    • The most common way will be to connect the converter box and the television with an RF (coaxial) cable. This type of cable should be supplied with the converter box. Simply connect one end of the RF coaxial cable to the TV RF OUT connector on the converter box, and then connect the other end of the RF cable to the similar cable connector that is on the television. This connector on the television should be labeled as VHF/UHF.
    • As an alternative, the converter may also be connected to the television with one composite video cable and two audio cables instead of with the single RF coaxial cable if these connectors exist on your television (the converter box must also be connected to an antenna with an RF coaxial cable). This option is especially useful if you will be hooking up a separate audio system or self-powered stereo speakers, as the video and the audio are passed through separate cables. The composite video cable connectors on the converter box and on the television will be yellow, while the composite audio connectors will be red and white. The red cable is for the RIGHT speaker, and the white cable is for the LEFT speaker. Hook up the audio and video cable to the converter box. Then connect the yellow-tipped video cable to the yellow VIDEO IN connector on the television. Next, connect the red-tipped audio cable to the red AUDIO IN RIGHT connector on the television, and connect the white-tipped audio cable to the AUDIO IN LEFT connector on the television.
  5. Image titled Set up a DTV Digital Converter Box and Antenna Step 3Plug in the converter box. The converter box may be included with a power adapter or may have a permanent, standard power cord. If it has a power adapter, merely plug the adapter into a wall socket or power strip and plug the power adapter into the converter box. If using a power strip, plug the converter box into a powered-off power strip, then turn on the power strip.
  6. Put batteries in the converter box remote control. Batteries for the remote control may be included with the converter box.
  7. Familiarize yourself with the remote control. It controls many TV and converter box functions. If the remote included is a universal programmable remote, it will be able to control all TV functions after it has been manually set to do so.
  8. Turn on the TV and set it to channel 3 or 4. This is not done with the converter box remote, but with the TV remote or by operating the TV manually (unless the remote can be programmed to be used specifically for the TV). The converter box will only show images on the TV when the TV is set to one of these channels. The converter box must also be set to channel 3 or 4, whichever corresponds with the channel that the TV is set to. This may be done manually by means of a switch on the converter box, or using the on-screen converter box menu (see next step).
  9. Power on the converter box with the converter box remote control or by pressing the power button on the converter box unit.
    • If the converter box can be set to channel 3 or 4 using the on-screen menu, set it to the desired channel if necessary.
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    Scan for channels. Enter the on-screen menu and allow the converter box to automatically scan for channels. Automatic scanning will find available channels and exclude all others. If you don’t receive many channels, you may need a better antenna or it may be necessary to place your antenna in a different area.
    • If you know that certain channels should be received but aren't picked up right away during the automatic channel scan, you can add them using the on-screen menu, and adjust the antenna until they are received.
    • An additional channel scan can also be performed using the on-screen menu at any time to search for and add channels that were not picked up during the initial channel scan.
    • Channels that are received and were added to the channel list but are not desired can be removed using the on-screen menu using the channel edit (or similar) function.
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    Check the reception and signal strength. Bad reception using the converter box will look "pixelated" or "blocky". The antenna may need to be adjusted or put in a different location. Bad reception may also present as a "NO SIGNAL" or "NO PROGRAMMING" message on the TV screen, but this may also indicate that there is no channel to receive whatsoever. To check signal strength for a particular channel in real time, use the "signal strength" or similar option using the remote control. Adjust the antenna while using the signal strength option to see what antenna arrangement or location provides the best picture. If using an antenna that is mounted away from the TV, such as a rooftop antenna, one person can monitor the signal strength indicator on the TV, while the other moves or adjusts the antenna.

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    Set the desired picture "aspect ratio" format. The converter box may initially show the TV images in aspect ratio formats that are designed for widescreen HDTVs. There will be multiple different image sizes or aspect ratios seen on the TV depending on the channel and/or the specific show, and the aspect ratio can be adjusted via the converter box menu to better fit standard 4:3 analog TV screens.
    • Shows that are shown in widescreen format can fill the screen on the left and right sides of the TV, but not on the top and bottom of the TV screen. Even though some of the top and bottom of the TV screen is not used, this is a desirable format because more of the original filmed image can be seen on the screen.
      • To display shows in widescreen format (that fills the screen on the left and right sides), choose "letterbox" or the equivalent aspect ratio option. The "auto" option may also achieve the same result.
    • Some shows will be shown in a 4:3 format that will completely fill the TV screen. Shows shown in this format should completely fill the TV screen regardless of the aspect ratio format that has been chosen.
    • Some shows will only fill the middle of the screen (there will be unused areas of the TV screen on the left and right sides as well as the top and bottom). Such shows may be in a shrunken 4:3 format or in a shrunken widescreen format. These shows will need to be cropped to properly fill the screen.
      • To ensure that the picture will always fill the TV screen relatively well for all channels, adjust the aspect ratio to "cropped" using the on-screen menu.
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Older TVs

Older TVs and antennas that do not have RF a coaxial connectors but do have screw terminals, use transformer adapters. These simple transformers are available at stores like Radio Shack for about five dollars each.

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Source: www.wikihow.com
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