How to Set Up a Digital Converter Box

Wondering how to set up a digital converter box? It's actually very simple, and the digital to analog converter will do a lot of the work for you.

Connecting the Box
There are two coaxial cable ports on the back of a digital converter box. There may also be RCA connectors for video and audio. To connect the box to your TV, you simply unplug the antenna from your TV, plug it into the converter box "Antenna In" port and run a coaxial cable from the "Out to TV" port to your television's "Antenna In" port.

Alternately, you can plug the antenna into the "Antenna In" on the box and use RCA cables to send video and audio to your TV. Nearly every television made since the 1980s has RCA inputs. Video is usually a single cable with yellow connectors on either end. Audio is a pair of red and white cables that must be connected red to red and white to white, or you won't get any sound. If you have a mono TV, you only need a single RCA cable to connect it, and the correct port should be labeled on the converter box.

Getting Channels
Once your digital converter box is hooked up to the television, turn on the converter box and your TV and tune your TV to either Channel 2 or Channel 3. From here, you can use menus in your converter box to scan for broadcast signals in your area. You should scan every few weeks, as more and more channels are being added to the digital lineup. Once the scan is complete, which should take about three minutes, the channels will be saved and you can tune them in using the remote that came with your converter box.

Note that you won't be using your TV's remote to change channels anymore. Your TV will need to stay tuned to one channel (or Video In if you're using RCA cables) to get the signal from the converter box.

Converter Troubleshooting
If you cannot watch television, first double check your connections. Make sure the cables are connected properly and that all connections are tight. Make sure that both the TV and the converter box are turned on, since you need both running to get a signal. 

Tune the television to Channel 3, or switch the input source if you've used RCA cables. You should see a setup menu. If not, tune the television to Channel 2 or Channel 4, or cycle through the input sources on your TV. Once you find the menu, you'll know which channel or input source to use.

If you are not getting all of the channels you should be getting, try adjusting your antenna. Even a small adjustment can add more channels. Elevating the antenna, relocating it away from obstacles or changing its direction can help you pick up more channels.

If you do not have a good UHF antenna, you may need to get a new one. Digital television broadcasts on UHF channels (14 through 68). Older antennas may only have a small, bowtie-shaped antenna for picking up UHF signals. If you're in a rural area, a long-range UHF antenna might be needed to receive all the channels in your area.

If the picture is blocky, freezes or if the audio skips, it's a sign that the converter box isn't getting enough signal. This can happen as a result of weather or because the antenna isn't positioned properly. Try adjusting the antenna to improve the picture quality.

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