How to Hook Up a DTV Converter If You Don't Have RCA Jacks

by Michael Cox
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

On June 12, 2009, over-the-air TV stations in the United States switched from analog signals to digital. Digital broadcasting offers high-definition picture quality and more available channels, but requires a digital antenna, as well as a converter for any set without a built-in digital tuner. If your analog TV doesn't have composite RCA jacks, the DTV converter should connect using a coaxial cable like the one used to connect to cable TV. Even with an older TV using only screw-on twin-lead antenna connections, you can move into the digital age.

Step 1

Turn off and unplug both your TV and DTV converter and connect one end of the coaxial cable to the input at the rear of the TV. The coaxial connection may be labelled "From Antenna" or "ANT." If your TV uses twin-lead screw connectors instead of a coaxial input, you must use a coaxial adapter.

Step 2

Connect the other end of the coaxial cable to the DTV converter's output, normally labelled "To TV" or "Out." Tighten the threaded ring to ensure good contact.

Step 3

Connect the digital antenna to the DTV converter's input, normally labelled "From Antenna" or "In." If the antenna uses twin wire leads instead of a coaxial connection, use a twin-lead adapter to connect the antenna to your converter.

Plug in and turn on both the converter and TV and tune the TV to the appropriate channel, usually channel 3 or 4, to view the converter's on-screen instructions and begin scanning for available digital channels.


  • To prevent problems with static discharge or electrical shock, always power down and unplug your TV before connecting it to other devices.


  • If your TV has a digital tuner built in, you don't need to connect the converter and can connect the antenna directly to the TV. To determine whether your TV has a digital tuner, look for an "ATSC" logo on the TV or user manual, or an on-screen channel display with added digits, such as "4.0" or "12-1."


Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Michael Cox writes about lifestyle issues, popular culture, sports and technology. In a career spanning more than 10 years, he has contributed to dozens of magazines, books and websites, including and "Adobe Magazine." Cox holds a professional certificate in technical communications from the University of Washington.

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