How to Tell If My TV Has a Digital Tuner

By Jenny Parker

Updated August 29, 2017

Newer television sets contain built-in digital tuners.
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Since June 12, 2009, all over-the-air TV broadcasts in the United States have been digital. To watch TV with an antenna, you must own either a TV with a built-in digital tuner or an external digital converter box. If you purchased your TV after March 2007, it's likely that it contains a built-in digital tuner; however, because some stores sold older TVs from existing inventory after that date, it's not a guarantee. If you aren’t sure, there are multiple ways to find out if your TV has a digital tuner.

Look for a Sticker

Look on the front and back of your TV set for a sticker or marking that mentions a digital tuner. It may say something like “DTV,” “HDTV,” “ATSC,” “Digital Tuner,” “Digital Receiver,” “Integrated Digital Tuner,” or “Digital Tuner Built In.”

Look in the Manual

Check the owner’s manual that came with your TV if there's no indication of a digital tuner on the TV set itself. If there is a digital tuner, it should be listed in the manual along with the TV’s other features.

Look at the Channels

Flip through the channels on your TV. Digital television contains sub-channels in addition to regular ones. For instance, in addition to a regular channel 5, a TV with a digital tuner may also display channels 5-1 and 5-2. If you're able to see these sub-channels, you can be sure that your TV has a digital tuner.