Does HDTV Need a Digital Converter Box?

By Lauren Tyree

When broadcast television made the switch from analog signals to digital content, many viewers were required to purchase digital converter boxes in order to adapt to the change. These converters are rendered unnecessary in some cases, depending on your equipment.

Digital Television (DTV)

You shouldn't have to deal with analog signals anymore.

Digital TV (DTV) signals are now broadcast into virtually all United States homes with a television, since Congress mandated the analog-to-digital switch on June 12, 2009. TV content is now dependent on a digital television receiver, which is either built into the TV display itself or is a part of a special converter box which is attached to your analog TV.

High Definition Television (HDTV)

HDTV signals are received by compatible devices.

High Definition Television (HDTV) is a higher-resolution, higher-quality broadcast; many viewers prefer to watch their programs with the help of this technology, particularly because it provides extra channels invisible to analog receivers. Televisions receive HDTV signals using a built-in tuner; an HDTV-compatible television or antenna is required.

High Definition Televisions and Digital Content

HDTVs pick up digital signals with the help of a built-in tuner.

High Definition TVs are devices with built-in tuners designed to receive high quality digital signals. If these modern displays were not equipped to transmit these signals to the viewer, they would necessitate the use of digital converter boxes. Since the built-in tuner is digital-ready, there is no need to purchase a converter box in addition to the HDTV. Only analog television (older models) require the use of a converter box.