The Best Digital TV Converter
To help you find the perfect digital tv converter, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable digital tv converters. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.
Runner-ups: 10 Best Digital TV Converter Alternatives
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for Digital TV Converters
Digital TV Converters Buying Guide
Subscription-based television continues to decline in popularity with each passing year. Paying a monthly cable bill, after all, is difficult to justify when you can simply stream your favorite programs online. There are some aspects of television that the Internet hasn't fully replaced yet, though. If you want to watch football, a game show or the local news, standard television still provides the best experience.
Are you paying a monthly cable bill primarily so you can have access to your local television stations? You don't need to. Your local stations still broadcast over the air -- just as they have done for decades. However, the technology that enables over-the-air broadcasting isn't the same as it once was. In the United States, most television stations switched from analog to digital broadcasting in 2009. If you have an older television that can only tune analog signals, you need a converter box to receive the new digital signals.
A digital TV converter is a box that connects to your television and enables it to display over-the-air digital television broadcasts. Digital TV converters are extremely inexpensive. If you cancel your cable service after buying a digital TV converter, you'll find that the converter pays for itself very quickly. Don't buy just any digital TV converter, though -- use our helpful guide to get an overview of the most important features that converter boxes may have.
Digital TV Converters: Key Features
Out of the box, your new digital TV converter won't allow your TV to receive any local stations. For that, you'll need an antenna. Modern digital antennas are quite different from the rabbit ears or rooftop antennas you may remember from your youth, though. A digital antenna looks much like a piece of white or black paper stuck to your wall -- and since a digital antenna is omnidirectional, you don't have to worry about turning it when you want to change stations. Simply mount it as high and as far away from metal as possible. An antenna with a 50-mile range will add about $20 to the cost of purchasing a digital TV converter. Alternatively, look for a converter that includes an antenna.
Digital TV converters are essentially small and inexpensive computers, which means that many of them can do far more than simply receive television broadcasts. The most important feature that a converter may have is the ability to record live broadcasts for later playback. A digital TV converter that can record live video may have a bit of internal storage space, or it may simply have a port for a USB thumb drive. You can expect to spend around $20 for a USB drive that can store many hours of high-definition video.
A digital TV antenna doesn't receive only one signal at a time -- it receives all signals simultaneously. The tuner in a digital TV converter isolates the signal of the station that you want to watch. If your converter has RF output, though -- and your TV has a digital tuner of its own -- you can actually tune two stations simultaneously. An RF output allows you to record one station on your converter box while you watch another station live in your television. The RF output feature is of no use, though, if your television only has an analog tuner.
When you connect a digital TV converter to your television, you'll stop using your television to select stations. Rather, you'll set your television to one channel -- usually channel 3 or 4 -- and select the station that you want to watch on your TV converter. If you don't want to stand up to change stations, you'll need to buy a converter that includes a remote control.
There isn't a great deal of difference between a digital television broadcast and a video file that you record on your phone or download with your computer. They're all digital streams, and anything with the correct software can play them. Many digital TV converters include the necessary software to play digital videos and music or display pictures. Check the specifications of a TV converter to find out what file formats it supports. If a TV converter includes a media player, you can play digital media by connecting a thumb drive with the media to the converter's USB port.
In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission requires television stations that broadcast over the air to provide parental ratings that describe the level of explicit content in programming. A program's rating is embedded within its digital signal. Most digital TV converters have the ability to detect program ratings and give parents the opportunity to block objectionable content. Depending on the specific features of a TV converter, it may allow you to block programming with specific ratings, block unrated programs and even block entire stations.
Many over-the-air television broadcasts offer surround audio encoded in the Dolby standard. If you have a surround audio system in your home, you should look for a digital TV converter with the ability to capture Dolby audio data and send it to your television or audio receiver. To send the Dolby data to your television, you'll need a TV converter with HDMI output. To send the data to your audio receiver, you'll need a TV converter with optical audio output.
Dolby Audio Decoder
Most modern televisions feature multiple HDMI input ports. To get the best audio and video quality with a digital TV converter, you should use the converter's HDMI output if you can. If you have an older television with a composite (RCA) or coaxial input, you can use the input that your television has as long as the converter box has the appropriate output. The one thing a TV converter can't do, though, is produce a high-definition image on a television that doesn't have a high-definition screen. The converter will output the broadcast as a lower-quality analog image that your television can display.
Top Rated Digital TV Converters
If you're looking into finding the best rated digital tv converter, you should probable check out the J-Tech Premium Quality 1080P HDMI To HDMI + Audio Audio Extractor Converter. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.
Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $24.95 (last checked on March 23, 2019), we do not list any other digital tv converter cheaper than the Koramzi CB-110 Converter. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.
The Digital TV Converter with the Most Reviews
With at least 1253 reviews and counting, the J-Tech Premium Quality 1080P HDMI To HDMI + Audio Audio Extractor Converter might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.
It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Vmade Converter currently sells for $39.99.
Most Clicked Digital TV Converter
If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the J-Tech Premium Quality 1080P HDMI To HDMI + Audio Audio Extractor Converter. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Digital TV Converter from the list above.
If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling digital tv converter: The Mediasonic HOMEWORX ATSC Converter for currently $29.99 on Amazon (last checked on March 23, 2019).
That's it for now, please remember that this list is updated on a regular basis.
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