As many people face the problem of receiving digital signals to their old analog TVs, there are special converters on the market which represent ideal solutions to solve this. Modern TVs don’t require such a device as they usually already have the needed tuners. If, for some reason, you still want to enjoy new signals on your old TV set, perhaps investing in this kind of converter would be a wise choice. They will take the digital broadcasting signal and convert it to an analog one. You might also be interested in our articles about the best VHS to DVD converters and the best android tv boxes.
Before you go looking for the right converter, it’s important to analyze the essential feature that your digital TV converter needs to have. The aspects to evaluate are:
1. Pass-through feature
Digital converters take ATSC digital signals and turn it into an NTSC analog one. That’s the basic idea behind them but sometimes you might still need to receive an analog signal from a low-power local broadcaster so you are going to need pass-through functionality. This is the ability that enables you to send the analog signal directly to the TV set.
2. Image resolution
It’s a highly recommended to take into account the broadcasted image resolution because this affects both the quality and the compatibility with your TV. If your set only contains an SDTV screen, getting an HDTV video signal would be pointless. Those who own 1080p TV screens will most likely need a more advanced converter which has a compatible image resolution.
3. Extra features
Some models can do more than digital-to-analog conversion as they also have extra abilities. For example, they can come with recording capabilities. You can save video live to a portable hard disk or a similar external memory device. Another interesting feature is an integrated multimedia player for accessing some digital content from various external drives. More expensive converters should only be considered if you think you will really use these features.
With these considerations in mind, let’s move on and check out the following list of products. From basic converters to more advanced ones, in here you will be able to find exactly what you need. The market for these devices can be a bit confusing so hopefully, this article will clear things up as just the most cost-effective products have been selected. You’re almost guaranteed to discover some capable digital TV converters and you can more carefully analyze their features before arriving at a conclusion.
Best Buy Digital TV Converter Box
This model from Mediasonic, called Homeworx HW130STB is a fairly advanced digital converter which offers real-time recording and media playback functions in a compact and performant package. It can receive an Over-The-Air digital broadcast, it has an HDMI 1080p output as well as many other handy connectivity options.
This converter has a built-in media player which can be a great entertainment feature if you wish to play back various media files over a USB connection. Recording ability is also integrated enabling you to record any important TV program for later viewing. Both the playback and recording will require a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 external storage drive. It’s recommended to use a hard drive as it has a larger capacity and you can store more recordings and files.
As this unit is created for receiving over-the-air signal, it’s worth mentioning that it will not replace a cable box. You will be required to use an external antenna for receiving signals. In the package, you’ll find, besides the AV cable and the AC power adapter, a handy remote control which simplifies the way you use the converter box. When it comes to connectivity, this unit provides multiple output options including HDMI, composite out and coaxial. For checking out the program information you can look at the EPG or the Electronic Program Guide.
Other great abilities are the favorites list which contains only the most liked channels, the parental control function, and the Emergency Alert System. The latter is used for receiving alerts from a TV station. A sleep timer could be useful for many and it’s available for this unit. All in all, the Mediasonic HOMEWORX HW130STB works well and provides a good picture quality. There are lots of enjoyable features for its cost so if you’re in the market for a good digital TV converter, you could try out this one. Everything is simple to hook up and the remote is also very handy.
- Over-the-air conversion
- Real-time recording
- USB multimedia player
- Parental control
The Digital Stream DTX9980 is one of the best options for a digital TV converter box as it offers pretty much all the functionality you could need for a reasonable price. It’s ATSC compliant and is capable of offering Dolby signals through an HDMI connection. Auto tuning, closed caption, and program guide represent the other interesting features included.
The instructions that come with this model are nicely designed making the whole installing process a breeze. A universal remote is included in the package and you’re quickly ready to bring any old TV back to life. It picks up most major networks and it has no issues with getting some HD channels too. Changing the channels is done very easily and the menus, as well as the channel info, are displayed in a clear manner.
One interesting feature of this unit is the update channel feature which basically removes the need for rescanning all channels every time you wish to find new ones. You won’t ever lose channels that you can already pick up. The on-screen electronic program guide is another handy feature as well as the support for closed caption. Other converters could be plagued by issues during storms, but this converter is capable of maintaining a clear and stable signal. If you can’t receive a certain weak signal, is nice that the converter doesn’t just display the poor image anyway but instead it will warn you about it.
In conclusion, this is quite a basic converter box but it does a solid job for its purpose. The Digital Stream DTX9980 has a nice interface, reliable tuning performance, and it’s easy to figure out. At this price, this represents a valuable investment if you want a digital converter for an old TV.
- Full ATSC compliant
- Receives MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 free channels
- Auto Tuning
- Closed Caption
- HDMI connection with Dolby signal
One great combination if you’re looking for a reliable digital converter box is the eXuby DCB-MCRF which comes complete with RF and RCA cables. It can handle 1080p full HD resolution and it has recording capabilities. Another attractive feature is the 7-day program guide and the convenient LCD screen. There are some great connectivity possibilities for this converter thanks to the HDMI, coaxial, and RCA outputs. Watching digital channels for free on a multitude of devices like HDTVs, LEDs, projectors, and others is a straightforward process. It depends on your particular location as well as the power of your antenna, but usually, you can receive quite a lot of channels.
In terms of viewing quality, you can enjoy crystal clear 1080p full HD video or you can always adapt the resolution according to your preferences. There’s a handy recording function included though it requires external storage in the form of a USB device which you will need to purchase separately. The LCD screen is a nice bonus for checking at a simple glance what channel you’re watching. There are some good user-friendly features worth mentioning. You’ve got the favorite channel function which basically creates a special list for browsing just the most relevant channels you like.
Another handy feature is the parental control which is useful if you have small children and want to prevent them from watching inappropriate content. To receive the best picture quality, there’s also a capable auto signal tuning ability that tunes each channel for your convenience.
Considering all that this unit can do, it’s safe to say that the eXuby DCB-MCRF is a reliable digital TV converter. eXuby also has a very prompt customer service and they’re able to assist you in case of any issues with the product. The set-up is fairly easy to do anyway but you will need to read the manual carefully if you want to fully take advantage of all the functions.
- Multiple outputs including HDMI
- 1080p Full HD resolution
- Recording ability
- Electronic program guide
- LCD screen
A more different alternative for your converting needs is this model from Prozor. It’s able to take coaxial or Toslink digital audio signals and swiftly convert them to both analog 3.5 mm audio or Left/Right RCA. As it’s relatively easy to install and operate and with many applications, this could be a solid converting solution.
This little converter can support LPCM digital audio signal in full uncompressed quality and it’s compatible with various sampling rates including 48KHz and 96KHz. On the left and right channels, the incoming bit stream is rated at 24-bitS/PDIF.
It’s important to set the audio output to either LPCM or PCM as this unit is not compatible with 5.1-channel audio. The converter can offer a transmission free of electromagnetic noise. One thing that’s nice about this model is the compact size which means you can carry it around with ease.
Installing and operating this is not a difficult process and it’s compatible with a wide range of products including gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and home cinema systems. It has a connector for a separate device like an amplifier. You can either use the standard 3.5mm jack cable or RCA jacks.
An optical cable with protective plastic caps is included with this converter. This goes into your TV in its digital audio out port with one end and the other end of the cable needs to be inserted into the converter box, into the port that’s labeled “SPDIF”. Keep in mind that this is a converter for audio only.
If you’re in need if a converter box to connect headphones to an old TV which doesn’t offer the 3.5mm port, this unit from PROZOR works without a flaw. It’s easy to go through the setup process and the device is nice and compact. For such a small cost, this represents good value.
- Converts digital audio to analog
- Toslink and Coaxial inputs
- Supports sampling rates from 32 to 96 KHz
- Easy to install and operate
- Noise-free transmission
For a good combination, you could try this digital converter box from eXuby which comes with a flat antenna and an HDMI cable. It boasts full HD resolution to enjoy a reliable image quality and if you pair it with an external storage device, you can have it record and save your favorite shows in no time.
This converter is able to receive quite a lot of stations and for some, it might even be a pleasant surprise. It works without issues with old TVs and it’s nice that you can always just use it as a basic DVR. The recording feature is pretty neat as you only need to connect a device like an external hard drive and then you’re good to go and start recording programs over the air.
The instructions can be difficult at first, they’re not the most intuitive, but with a bit of perseverance, you can get the hang of it. For some extra user-friendliness, this converter comes equipped with a convenient LCD screen which is bright enough to let you know in any situation the current channel you’re viewing.
Getting the best image quality can be difficult with a manual tuning converter but this unit features auto signal tuning. The device can automatically tune each channel so you will only get the best viewing experience. If you like having a custom list with your favorite channel, that’s also an included function of this converter.
An important aspect of a converter box like this one is that it requires an antenna and knowing exactly what type you need is not difficult, but it requires a bit of research. A good starting point would be the FCC DTV Reception Map.
The eXuby DCBM7-ANTHD kit might be just what you need as it conveniently packs an antenna and an HDMI cord alongside the converter box. It receives a decent amount of channels and works fine with all compatible TVs. All in all, this one is worth checking out.
- Flat antenna
- HDMI cord included
- 1080p resolution
- Electronic program guide
- Multiple outputs
Best Digital To Analog TV Converter Box
6. 1byone 212NA-0001 Digital Converter Box – Currently Unavailable –
Another good converter to consider is the 1byone 212NA-0001. It’s equipped with powerful features for its cost and it has the ability to provide 1080p digital broadcasts to your old analog TV. Besides recording and Live TV pause, it also supports multimedia playback using a USB storage device.
This unit can convert over-the-air digital broadcasts for playback on any old analog TV. The whole process works even better with the help of your TV antenna and this box allows you to receive any local broadcasts at no cost. Channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and much more can be broadcasted with ease.
When it comes to extra features, this converter is well equipped to cover more demanding needs. It offers scheduled show recording to view your preferred programs at a later date. You can set a future recording time without too much hassle. Just make sure that you connect an external USB storage device.
The same storage device can be used for multimedia playback as the unit has an integrated player for music and video files. Additionally, you can pause Live TV with this converter and also create parental controls if you need to do so. With the help of the programming guide, you can also check out ahead of time what will be on your favorite channels.
In terms of connectivity, this converter provides multiple options for breathing some new life into your old TV. If your device lacks an HDMI input, you can use either the RF cable or the AV cable. The RF cable is for connecting the box to your antenna and the others are for the TV.
Overall, the 1byone 212NA-0001 is a capable digital converter box for your TV. It performs as expected and that’s pretty much the most important thing to know about it. There’s a solid amount of extra features like the USB recording and playback which could be welcomed by many. For this price, this is an excellent choice.
- 1080p digital broadcast
- Over-the-air conversion
- Record and pause Live TV feature
- USB playback
- Parental Controls