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The Protron PLTV-32 only has an analog tuner (NTSC). So you need a digital to analog converter to watch OTA programming. A basic d-t-a converter will give you Standard Definition output (480i) (either on the TVs antenna in or the composite in inputs).
Since the TV can show a high definition signal (720p), you could also use an HD tuner set top box. However, these are significantly more expensive than the $40-70 SD converter boxes that were sold for purchase with the government coupon last year. Alternatively you can use a DVR with a tuner as your set top box (computer with a tuner card) to the VGA or DVI inputs on the TV.
Yes you need a digital converter box. Your model has an NTSC Analog Tuner. It doesn't have a Digital Tuner. This is why you need the converter box.
For example, many companies like Comcast or Time Warner or TCI etc used to broadcast Analog Signals through their wires. Now they have broadcasted only Digital Signals. This makes either your TV Obsolete as a Tuner or you have to get a digital converter so your Analog TV can receive the signal.
Depending on your service, it may be worth your while to get a TV with a digital Tuner.
Then again, it also depends on if you are connecting a box receiver to your TV. For example, if you have Directv or Dish, you would then use your standard Video/Audio or Composite Cables to transmit your signal OR your Out to TV Coaxial whichever works for your receiver. Some receivers have already built in converters . You should really consider all the factors to decide and determine it based on the type of service you have or want.
If your TV is the model listed in the heading, there's nothing in the TV that would give you that message either. So it must be coming from your cable converter. If it was supplied by Comcast they will have to do something about it whether they know that message or not. If it's a digital tuner you purchased on your own, check the manual or try the manufacturer's website for information. But that message can't be coming from the TV.
I do not know if you will get this message but if you do. Here goes. The protron PLTV3250 does indeed have a digital tuner that can be used with an over the air antenna. You need to push "source" on the remote until DTV is selected. With this selected and your coaxial cable from your antenna hooked up to the digital connector (not analog) on the back of this tv you can then press Menu and you will see a totally different looking menu that you are probably not used to seeing and then from there you can do an auto scan for the digital channels and it works great. I have rabbit ears hooked up to this Protron PLTV3250 and this has a beautiful picture. Far better than the picture I get from just the standard digital Directv receiver. You do not need a seperate digital tuner box to use with this TV. It does indeed have an ATSC digital tuner and it works great. You probably are selecting Source "TV" in the menu and that is not what you select for this TV to use the Digital Tuner. You need to select DTV from the source menu. Good luck and please let me know if you already knew this or if this helped you. Thanks, Tom
Possible cause of the problrm is bad/poor solder on the grounds for the tuner circuit shield an the bottom (solder side) of the circuit board. Grounds need a wire jumper from point to point. This was a common problem for those sets and ocassionally it would take out the eeprom chip with it. (Various other problems were shrinking picture/fuzzy picture and intermitt. power)
Using their online tool, select the Brand (Akai) and the Model from the list. If you cannot find your model in the list (which I was not able to for your television), they are saying that you most likely do not have a digital tuner.
All is not lost, however. As stated on the aforementioned site, you can consider one of the following options:
Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box that plugs into an existing television. The boxes, which are expected to cost between $40 - 70 will be available for purchase in 2008. Beginning in February 2008, U.S. households can request up to two coupons valued at $40 each. Each coupon can go toward the purchase of a single set-top converter box that will allow you to continue watching FREE "over-the-air" television on an analog set.
Subscribe to a cable, satellite or telecommunications service provider if all desired local broadcast stations are carried by that service.
Purchase a new television set with a built in digital tuner.
Listed on the page is further information that may help you to determine the status of your TV:
Consult your owner's manual. If that's not possible, you may be able to look up information about your TV set on the manufacturer's website. Or, you can take an up-close look at your TV set. You are trying to find out if your set has an input connection labeled "digital input" or "ATSC" (for Advanced Television Systems Committee, which is developing the DTV format).
If you bought your TV set before 1998, it probably doesn't have a digital tuner at all. Almost every TV set made before 1998 was a traditional "analog" set that can't display digital TV signals without either a special converter or a cable TV connection. If you bought a big-screen, projection TV between 1998 and 2004, it's possible there's a built-in digital tuner inside. But chances aren't great. Only a limited percentage of projection TV sets (and generally only those 42 inches in diameter or larger) included digital tuners before 2004.
If you've purchased a new TV set since 2004, your chances of having a built-in digital tuner improve dramatically. Starting in 2004, many of the TV sets sold at popular electronics stores have featured digital tuners that will let you receive the new digital over-the-air broadcasts starting in February 2009. But be wary: It's not a sure thing. Even some of the newer TV sets are purely display monitors that lack the internal circuitry needed to pick up digital broadcasts. Usually these sets have been advertised as "HD-ready" or "HDTV monitor" sets. That means they can display digital and high-definition signals, but they need help getting those signals in the first place. You'll still need a special converter or a cable TV connection.