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Re: No antenna reception with digital converter box.
I have found that with an ordinary antenna connected to the converter box it can receive nearly all channels, however I have run into cases where I had to use an amplified TV antenna to pick up signals. I have started telling folks that when they install their converter boxes to try to use the plain old rabbit ears antenna, but if that does not work, use an amplified antenna, and that usually does the trick.
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No, the Ematic AT103B is an over-the-air digital ATSC tuner and will also can convert the digital signal to analog NTSC for older TV tuners. It will not work with any cable service and is for "cord-cutters". The AT103B requires an antenna to receive your local OTA channels. Depending on where you live, you may get some channels with an indoor antenna. You will get better reception with an outdoor antenna. See http://www.tvfool.com or http://www.antennaweb.org for details on the channels you can receive with an antenna pointed in a particular direction.
The Ematic set top box does provide an HD signal output and a DVR (time-shift function) so it is more advanced than the first generation OTA converter boxes. The original (available with the government coupon) converter boxes only gave an SD output.
I hope this helps.
(antennaweb.org gives a very conservative list of available channels but assumes an external antenna. tvfool.com lists the channels that are likely to be received with a variety of antenna strengths. An antenna signal amplifier can improve the reception. (Digital stations will not be seen if the tuner can't lock onto the signal.) However, when the amplifier fails, you may find some channels will not be received at all.)
1) Connect the converter box to a good digital TV antenna and position the antenna as high and as close to a window as possible.
2) Set the converter box 'output switch' to an unused channel for your area. (Usually 2, 3 or 4.)
3) Connect the output of the converter box to the 'antenna input' on the TV.
4) Turn on both units and set the TV channel to the same output channel selected above.
5) Now select TV channels using the converter box remote only. The TV should receive all converted channels on the preselected channel.
6) Adjust the TV antenna for the best reception for all channels.
You need a digital box. If the TV is connected to the Digital Box & you have it setup correctly you should be able to get Digital channels. An internal antenna is not the best idea unless you are in a good reception area.
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.
Make sure you have a good connection from the antenna to the converter box. Set your TV to channel 3 or 4. The converter won't improve reception in any way, and it's possible you might need to relocate your antenna or get an exterior antenna hooked up to improve the signal strength. If you have enough antenna cable, and you're only using rabbit ears, hang them out the window or up on a curtain rod and see if that improves things. Some people have good luck with the new digital style set-top antennas. I think you'll have best luck, though, with an old roof-top antenna that's set up to feed your converter. Best of luck to you!
Many stations are not at full power for their digital broadcasts since they are broadcasting on analog as well. The signal srength should increase after the changeover. In the meantime, placing the antenna at the highest point will help. Also, changing the antenna to one designed for digital reception will help.
Ok first I can save you some money. Take your "HDTV" antenna back. There is nothing different about the antennas needed receive analog and digital signals. If you got reception without your converter box, use the same antenna with your converter box.
Next let's see if there is a problem with the box. Hook up a television with the antenna. How many stations do you get? Now hook up the same television & antenna, but this time put the converter box between the antenna & the TV. Do not turn on the box. Now how many stations do you get? If the number is different, the box is not allowing the antenna signal to pass through. That is bad. You want your signal to pass through the box so you can still pick up stations that don't broadcast digitally. Some areas of the country will not be covered by digital stations from all major broadcasters when the changeover happens in Feb.
My suspicion is either you did not have the antenna hooked up to the converter box when you searched for channels OR you are in an area that is not yet broadcasting digitally.
I hope this helps you solve your problem. Thank you for using FixYa and feel free to add more questions here by using comments.
Make sure those 6 channels are also being broadcast in Digital format also, otherwise your converter box won't have a digital signal to convert for your TV. The switchover date is early next year I believe.