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Most digital converters provide two types of output: an RF output that connects to the antenna input of your TV and left audio, right audio, and video outputs that connect to the corresponding inputs of your TV. The RF output connection produces a digital picture on channel 3 or 4 (selected by you at the converter) with your TV set to the appropriate channel. The L/R audio and video connection produces a better quality picture. Choose one or the other, but not both. The picture you provided shows three possible inputs for the L/R audio plus video arrangement.
Yes in July I do not recall the date you will need the digital tuner for this TV, A rule of thumb look at the manufacture date on the back of the set if its earlier then 2007 you need a digital converter. There are two types of digital QAM signals one is called TRUE QAM and the other is STANDARD QAM the old standard was foe things like DVD's and the like and not OTA "over the air" I hope thisdoes help but you do got a good TV there but if you buy a converter you be gald you did!!!
Please do not shoot the messanger and rate a good rateing as we do not get PAID to answer these free questions :)
To answer your direct question, yes it has a digital tuner. To answer your real question, NO it WILL NOT receive the new ATSC (digital) broadcast stations. The tuner itself is a digital one but works only for analog signals. The changeover in February will change the broadcast signals to a new digital format that will require a converter for your set to continue to function. Please note that the converter is only required if you receive your signal from rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna. If connected to cable or satelite, no change will be seen and no converter is needed.
Over air reception = need converter
Cable or satelite = no converter
Joel, you may be a knowledgeable do-it-yourselfer, but do you know solid stae Electronics servicing. From the description of your problem, it looks like the Vertcal oscillator / output IC has failed.
If you knoe S S Electronics, replace.