How to Get TV Reception Without Cable or Digital

By J. Johnson

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • DTV converter box

  • Coaxial wire

  • Antenna

i Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

The switch to digital television left a lot of people without any way to watch their home TVs. If you do not have cable service and do not own a digital television set, then your TV is no longer be able to pick up channels. The way to get TV reception in this case is to use a digital-to-analog, or DTV, converter box. Once this box is hooked up to your television, you will be able to receive your local channels again.

i Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

Visit your local electronics store to purchase a DTV converter box. Expect to pay between $40 and $70 for each box. You will need a separate box for each television in your home.

i Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

Purchase an antenna to use with your DTV converter box. To pick up TV reception, you will need to use an antenna. The higher up you can get the antenna, the better your reception will be. For example, you can place it in your attic or on your roof. In these cases, you will also need to purchase extra coaxial wire to connect it.

i Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

Find the “Antenna In (RF)” port on your DTV converter box. Plug the coaxial wire connected to your antenna into this port.

i Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

Use the coaxial wire that came with your DTV converter box to connect your TV and the converter box. Plug one end into the “Antenna In (RF)” port on the back of your television and the other end into the “Out to TV (RF)” port on your converter box.

i Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

Plug in your television and the DTV converter box. Follow the-screen instructions for setting up your new converter box. This will include a channel scan that will find all of the digital channels you can now receive.