You can plug your converter in and use it now. I still have a few related problems and questions about the impact the converter box has on my TV and other devices (DVD, VCR, etc.) but it does work and the picture is very good!
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Use an Antenna that Provides Good Reception of All Channels
Most existing antennas used by consumers will provide good reception of DTV signals. (Before making any changes, try your existing antenna first to see of it allows you to receive all the stations you normally watch.)
For watching DTV signals, you will need an antenna that provides good reception of both VHF signals (channels 2-13) and UHF signals (channels 14-51) to reliably receive all of the digital signals broadcast in your area.
Many antennas are designed only for reception of either VHF or UHF signals (but not both). For example, the commonly used “rabbit ears” indoor antenna is only suitable for receiving VHF signals. To receive UHF signals, an indoor antenna should also include a wire loop or other feature for reception in that band.
The reception capabilities of TV antennas also vary considerably, so be sure to talk to retail consultants and look at information on the packaging and/or the Internet to make sure that any new antenna you may choose provides good reception of both VHF and UHF channels. In addition, if you use an indoor antenna and receive signals on VHF channels, you may need to use an antenna with amplification.
Many antennas currently being sold as “HDTV Antennas,” perform best at receiving UHF signals; some of these models state that they provide reception of signals on channels 7-13 but actually perform less well receiving those channels. If you obtain one of these antennas, be sure it provides good reception of all the VHF channels as well as the UHF channels.
Check that your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television is connected properly. Make sure your antenna is connected to the antenna input of your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television. If using a digital-to-analog converter box, also ensure that the antenna output of your converter box is connected to the antenna input of your analog TV. Refer to the owner’s manuals of your components if you are unsure of the proper connections.
Ensure that your components are plugged in and have their power turned on.
If you have a digital-to-analog converter box, tune your analog TV to channel 3. You should see a set-up menu or picture displayed on your TV screen. If you do not see a set-up menu or picture, tune your TV to channel 4. If you still do not see a set-up menu or picture, recheck your connections.
Perform a Channel Scan
Digital-to-analog converter boxes and digital televisions have a button, usually on the remote control, that is labeled “set-up” or “menu” or some similar term. Press that button to access the set-up menu. Using the directional arrow buttons on your remote, scroll to the option that allows you to perform a “channel scan.” The channel scan will automatically search for digital broadcast channels that are available in your area. Consult the owner’s manual of your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television for detailed instructions on how to perform a channel scan for your device.
Once the channel scan is complete, you will be able to tune to the digital channels received by your antenna. You should perform a channel scan periodically to check whether additional digital channels have become available.
Adjust Your Antenna
Small adjustments to your antenna can make a big difference in the number of digital channels you can receive. If you have an indoor antenna, try elevating it and moving it closer to an exterior wall of your home. After adjusting your antenna, perform another channel scan to see if your reception is improved.
While adjusting your antenna, it may be helpful to access the “signal strength meter” on your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television to determine whether your adjustments are improving the signals’ strength. The signal strength meter is usually accessed through the menu feature on your remote control. Refer to the owner’s manual of your device for detailed instructions on how to access its signal strength meter. Remember to do another channel scan after you have adjusted your antenna.
Television stations broadcasting in digital use both the VHF band (channels 2-13) and UHF band (channels 14-51). Many indoor antennas use “rabbit ears” for the VHF band and a “loop” or “bow-tie” antenna for the UHF band. Make sure you are using an antenna that covers both the VHF and UHF bands and have connected it properly.
If You are Still Having Difficulty:
Until June 12, 2009, some stations will be operating at reduced power levels. If you are not receiving certain digital TV stations, this does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your antenna or digital-to-analog converter box or digital television. Check with the TV station to find out whether they are planning changes that will improve reception.
When an analog TV signal is weak or receives interference, static, snow, and distortion will often appear on the screen. Digital broadcasting will provide a clear picture; however, if the signal falls below a certain minimum strength, the picture can disappear. This “cliff effect” means that if you watch analog TV stations that have static and distortion, you may have to adjust or upgrade your antenna system.
Simple indoor antennas provide minimal performance that may not be suitable for your location. If you are unable to obtain satisfactory DTV reception with your current indoor antenna, you may wish to obtain an indoor antenna that includes features for better reception of UHF signals, as well as VHF, and/or an amplifier to boost the received signal (often referred to as an active indoor antenna).
Generally, an outdoor antenna will get better reception than an indoor antenna. However, the performance of outdoor antennas can degrade over time due to exposure to the weather. If you are having problems, check for loose or corroded wiring, broken antenna elements and that the antenna is pointed in the right direction.
Try to keep the length of wire between your antenna and digital-to-analog converter box or digital television as short as possible for best reception.
“Splitters” that are used to connect a single antenna to multiple digital-to-analog converter boxes or digital televisions reduce the amount of signal available to each device. If you are having problems, check whether reception is improved without the splitter. In some cases an “active” splitter that includes an amplifier can solve the problem.
If you are near a station’s broadcast tower, reception of that station, as well as other stations, can be impeded by strong signal “overload.” Consider using an “attenuator” or removing amplifiers to improve your reception.
If you decide to replace or upgrade your indoor or outdoor antenna, many types are available from electronics retail stores at a variety of prices. Websites such as www.antennaweb.org provide information on the locations of broadcast towers and the types of outdoor antennas appropriate for the stations you wish to receive. If you need assistance with upgrading your antenna system, check with a local antenna retailer or antenna installer.
If you are receiving digital signal and channel is fuzzy, something wrong. Only Analog signal is fuzzy. With Digital it is great picture or nothing. For channel 6, check to see if they are broadcasting in digital yet. If they are not, this is why you are not getting a signal. If they are broadcasting in digital, then you need a stronger antenna.
Best solution would be to use an outdoor antenna with an amplifier(booster)--but in some areas you may get by with an amplified set top antenna. Just all depends on your location..
In perspective, I have an outdoor UHF dish and 10 foot VHF antennas with an amplifier and still i get only fair reception on outlying digital stations that normally come in clear on analog.
Also--this converter box must complete the autoscan with an antenna attached, or else you'll receive NOTHING; not even by manually selecting a known digital channel.
This #@!! box automatically locks out what it considers to be unused or weak channels. It makes the decisions and you're left with 'no signal' messages and nothing to do but try a rescan.....and you cannot add channels to any it has already found.
First unplug your current antenna from your tv and plug it into the "Antenna In" coax port in the back of your converter box. Then take coax and run it from the only other coax place on your converter box back to where your antenna was previously hooked in on your tv. If after you run "scan" on your converter box it is saying " no signal " or "signal lost" or something along those lines, go to www.antennaweb.org to see what type of antenna will best fit your location then print it off and bring it to a local store that sells antennas, they should be able to direct you to the right one.
Rabbit ears are not strong enough to pik up the digital signal. You need to buy a DIGITAL antenna. You can pick a powered one up at Wal-Mart, or any retailer for around 20 bucks. Once you have the proper type of antenna, go through the setup sequence again and then you will be in the "digital age". You will wonder why they didn't do this sooner!
do you have your converter box hooked up to an antenea? If so, if you move the antenea, then you may have to reprogram the channels through the converter box. This happened to us. So, we played around with the antenea until we found the most channels came through and marked the area around the antenea (you can use tape, or if you do not care a permanet marker like us. Note our antenea sits on top of our tv.) We have not had any trouble since. We marked the place for the antenea, in case someone moves it or so we can try to get more channels when the final switch happens. We gain a lot of stations, but lost only one.
Buy a hdtv antenna to autoscan program channels which should bring in a lot more then reconnect with the older antenna afterwards and if you're still not getting all the channels then each source needs a strong hdtv antenna that can be adjusted manually.
Currently, your switch box likely has several inputs, which as you said are occupied by your DVD Player, XBOX, and your television source. The output of the switch is then fed to your TV.
What you will need to do is insert the DTV converter box BEFORE the switch box. If you have an analog antenna on your TV (rabbit ears) you will need to put the converter box between your antenna and the switch box (the cables, not the box itself) so that your wiring goes like this:
Antenna ---- converter box ---- Switch box XBOX ---------------------------------switch box DVD -----------------------------------switch box
And the switch box still goes to the TV. However, you do not NEED to use the converter box until February of 2009.