A converter box is a tuner that converts a signal from digital to analog so that a digital television (DTV) broadcast can be used with an analog television. However, instead of buying such a device, you might consider getting an HDTV to cut out the middleman.
If your TV has a built-in ATSC (digital) tuner, which it probably does, then you can get your local stations in HD using an antenna.
Note: DTV converters are so named because it is a digital television converter . However, they are also known as a DTA for digital television adapter , as well as a fair converter box .
Advantages and disadvantages of a DTV converter box
If you have an older TV that only accepts analog signals, then yes, get yourself a DTV converter box. That’s really your only option, as all analog TV broadcasts ended in mid-2009.
However, you don’t want this technology attached to your HDTV because it will lower your picture quality. HDTVs are just that: high definition; making the signal analog is a waste of the TV’s main purpose of serving high-definition content.
On the other hand, if you have an HDTV, you only need a DTA if you use a VCR. If you buy a converter box, make sure it has analog pass-through only in case you have a Class A, low power, or translation station in your area.