Tv digital tuner: What Is A Digital Tuner For TV?

What Is A Digital Tuner For TV?

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Table of Contents_

  • What Does a Digital TV Tuner Do?
  • How Do I Know If My TV Has a Digital Tuner?
  • What Requires a Digital TV Tuner?
    • F.A.Q.

When the switch to digital broadcasting happened in 2009, many people probably wondered about what is a digital tuner for TV. However, to understand what it is, you have to understand what digital TV is and why it became some of the top-rated TVs. Additionally, it can be helpful to know whether a TV has a digital tuner.


  • Digital tuners allow the TV to receive digital television signals broadcast over the air.
  • TVs often include labels that indicate whether a digital tuner is present.
  • Many digital tuners still require an antenna to be used.

What Does a Digital TV Tuner Do?

Because of this, many TV manufacturers exclusively make a digital tuner that enables the TV to receive television broadcast over-the-air by local stations in the digital television format. You should now know what a digital TV is and if your TV is one. As of June 12, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all full-power broadcast stations to transmit their content digitally. You can read our article about when TV went digital to learn more about this. In addition, as of July 13, 2021, low-power broadcast stations now must follow digital TVs (DTVs.) Many channels can be watched using a TV with a digital tuner and an antenna. Additionally, these DTVs can be used with a streaming device, such as a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick. Furthermore, set-top boxes that connect to streaming services should also work with a digital TV. Finally, all smart TVs are capable of processing digital signals. However, digital TVs do not always have digital tuners. If you do not have a smart TV but want the functionality of one, you can check out the LG Smart TV Upgrader.

How Do I Know If My TV Has a Digital Tuner?

If you purchased your TV after March 2007, it’s likely that it contains a built-in digital tuner; however, because some stores sold older TVs from existing inventory after that date, it’s not a guarantee. However, there are some additional ways you can determine whether your TV has a digital tuner.

When you buy a TV, some labels indicate that the TV has a digital tuner. Owners may find these labels on their TV or in the owner’s manual. These labels include:

  • Integrated digital tuner.
  • Digital receiver.
  • Digital tuner.
  • DTV.
  • HDTV.
  • ATSC.

If the TV displays specific labels, the TV does not have a digital tuner. These TVs would need an additional digital converter and antenna to receive the broadcasts from local channels. Retailers also sell external digital tuners that can be used with an antenna and TVs that do not have an internal one. Some of these external tuners have an antenna included, but make sure this is the case for the one you are looking at if you do not have an antenna. These indicators include:

  • Digital-ready.
  • Digital monitor.
  • HDTV monitor.
  • HDTV ready.

What Requires a Digital TV Tuner?

Viewers wishing to watch over-the-air broadcast channels need a digital TV tuner, as well as an antenna, to receive the signal. However, many local stations broadcast over the air, and owners with an indoor or outdoor antenna can tune in to these stations for free. However, many cable or satellite services include these channels in their subscriptions. The FCC has an option for searching by location for digital signals broadcast over the air. Channels sometimes change their frequency, requiring users to rescan for the signal.

Digital TV tuners interpret the digital signals received by an antenna. So, TV users who want to watch digital over-the-air broadcasts require a built-in tuner, external tuner, or converter box, as well as an antenna. The user also may need to connect their antenna with the device that distinguishes channels to use these items. For some external scanners, users simply plug them into the USB port because they include an antenna. An additional antenna is unnecessary if you have cable or satellite since these stations are typically available through your service provider. It should be noted, however, that this may cause your TV to appear fuzzy, and you can learn more about why this is in our article on why is my TV fuzzy. You may not need a digital TV tuner if you know what a smart TV is and you have one.


How do I use my digital tuner with my TV?

To use the digital tuner, you will need an antenna that can receive digital signals. Furthermore, you will need a coax cable to connect the antenna and your TV or the antenna and the external digital tuner or converter box.

Do I need an antenna if my TV has a built-in digital tuner?

Yes, because the TV still needs something to receive the over-the-air signal. If you do not want to watch local over-the-air channels and only want to stream or watch something using a different device, you do not need an antenna.

Do smart TVs have built-in digital antennas?

Many smart TVs have digital tuners, but they do not have antennas. TospecificIn order to watch over-the-air TV, you will need an antenna.

STAT: If you purchased your TV after March 2007, it’s likely that it contains a built-in digital tuner; however, because some stores sold older TVs from existing inventory after that date, it’s not a guarantee. (source)



Digital ATSC TV Tuner For Air Broadcast Channels Through Antenna

Digital ATSC TV Tuner For Air TV Channels Reception Through Antenna

Digital ATSC HD TV Tuner For Air Broadcast Channels Through Antenna
This digital HD TV tuner lets you watch free over-the-air digital channels using
an indoor or outdoor antenna of your own. 

This tuner box finds digital broadcast channels in your area and decodes them into HDMI for HD output or regular composite RCA A/V and RF outputs for older tube TVs or connection with DVR or DVD recorder.

Starts enjoying free TV broadcast channels
over the air with crystal clear HD quality.

This digital TV tuner also supports
recording of TV programs.   Users can do instant recording
or schedule recording of TV program on a daily or weekly basis. USB drive is
needed for TV recording and not included.

This DTV tuner box can be a great antenna tuner module for
those LCD monitor or projector
that does not have TV tuner built in. It is also a great add-on for those analog TVs or DVR systems.

Its on-screen menu operation makes the setup
quick and easy. All the major features and functions such as closed-captioning,
parental control, EPG, sleep timer, last-channel memory or favorite channel list can be easily accessed from the on-screen menu or the supplied IR remote controller.

The TV channel quality and numbers of channels received depends on
the antenna used, location, and weather.

1080P HDMI DVI Component Video Outputs
This tuner provides HD output resolution at 720p, 1080i and 1080p
through its HDMI output in real time.  

Standard 480p output is only available through its composite RCA A/V output and RF output
to Ch4 or Ch5 for hookup with older TVs.

Clear QAM Tuner
This ATSC tuner also has the capability to decode unencrypted clear QAM channels such as local broadcast stations, public-access channels or
private QAM channels generated by modulators.
[Note]: This
tuner is mainly designed to receive over-the-air channels. Its QAM tuner portion
can NOT
work as a digital cable box for decoding those encrypted QAM channels.

TV Recording Into External USB Drive

This digital TV tuner also supports TV show recording function for its
antenna input. USB drive is needed for recording and not included.
[Note]: USB drive shall be formatted in FAT32
format. Maximum size of hard drive supported is 3TB.

Users can watch the recorded shows directly played on TV from the USB drive connected or take the USB drive and plug into a computer to watch their recordings. 

User can do instant recording or programmed recording of TV program on pre-set schedule. 

  • Instant Recording:
    simply press the “REC” button on the IR remote to record
    what is displayed on the screen.
  • Scheduled Recording By

    users can add the date/time and frequency of occurrence in the “Timer
    list for recording events.
  • Scheduled Recording By EPG:
    users can pre-schedule the recording events by pressing the EPG button on the remote to display the TV program guide on
    screen. Then select and add the desired TV show schedule to the recording list.

Great Time-Shift Function Support
The time-shift function
allows viewer to pause the live TV program. Once paused, the rest of TV program from that point on will be stored on the connected external USB drive temporarily.

When ready to watch the skipped TV show, users can simply press the “PLAY” button on the remote to watch
payback from where being left off. Users can also do fast forward or rewind using the remote control during the playback.

Easy On-Screen Setup
This DTV tuner is designed for easy operation. Its quick, user-friendly OSD menu makes getting started a snap. Simple user interface with easy on-screen guide and system menu on the screen. Users can finish the channel scan in a few minutes to get it working fully.

EPG/Electronic Program Guide Support
This digital TV tuner has a built in EPG [TV Channel Guide] giving users a full list of TV show schedule, allowing users to
easily decide when and what to watch and record.

Closed-Caption Support
This digital broadcast tuner for aerial antenna is featured with closed
caption capability to display subtitles or text on the TV screen, making it a
perfect choice for the hearing-impaired or silent viewing with no loud

Stereo And Digital Audio Outputs
This unit provides both stereo L/R audio output through its RCA connectors and digital audio output through its coax S/PDIF connector. Both analog and digital audio output are simultaneously available

Parental Control Function
This HD TV tuner supports parental control to block inappropriate TV programs to be seen by young ones through the setup using the IR remote.

Large LED Digit Panel For TV Channel Number
This tuner box can show the current TV channel number on its front panel so viewers can have good visual indication.

Digital Media Player Function Through USB Inputs

This TV tuner also supports digital media player function through its USB input. Users can connect
USB flash drive or external USB hard drive to this digital TV tuner and play video, photo,
music or recorded TV programs on TV, LCD monitor or projector for large-screen display.

All the main media player functions such as play, pause, stop, repeat, rotate, zoom, move and
capture or looping play, slideshow, thumbnail browsing and other control buttons are all accessible from the on-screen
menu using the supplied IR remote.

The supported graphic and audio/video file formats for audio video playback and photo display are as follows:

  • Video files:
    AVI, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC SD/HD,
    VOB, MOV, MKV, MJPEG format for video playback.
  • Photo files:JPEG, BMP and PNG format for photo image playback.
  • Audio files: MPEG, MP3, AAC format for music file playback.

  • Premium digital ATSC TV tuner for receiving free over-the-air digital broadcast through
    using an antenna of user choice in North America areas.
  • Enjoy over-the-air digital broadcast TV programs on your HDTV set, projector or analog TV.
  • Featured with clear QAM tuner
    built in for decoding certain unencrypted clear QAM channels or private QAM
    channels generated by modulators.
  • Simultaneous HDMI out, composite RCA and RF A/V output.
  • Maximum HD output resolution up to 1080p.
  • Supports instant real-time recording and scheduled recording
    of selected TV channel programs and
    saves recording into USB drive of user choice for playback later.
  • Supports time-shift function so users will never miss any part of the TV shows and easily skip the commercials.
  • Maximum USB external drive support up to 3 TB
    prepared in FAT32 format.
  • Large LED digit panel for visual indication of current TV channel number.
  • Supports EPG (Electronic Program Guide) for program information and closed captioning.
  • The built-in USB media player function supports playback of video, music and movie files contained in a connected USB drive.
  • Supports media player functions for playback of graphic and audio/video files.
  • Selectable aspect ratio control in 4:3 and 16:9 mode for all HDTV and standard TV sets.
  • Dual digital audio and stereo analog audio output.
  • Supports timer function for auto start and auto shutdown.
  • Supports last channel memory after power-off or power outage. Stay tuned to the last channel after
    power-off or power outage event.
  • Supports parental control with V-Chip technology, allowing users to block inappropriate TV programs.
  • Compact size with metal enclosure and full-function IR remote controller included.
  • Tuner Type:  ATSC NTIA Terrestrial with 8 VSB Demodulation
  • Front Panel:
    • IR remote receiver/sensor window
    • Push buttons for CH+ and CH-
    • Status LED indicator for power and lock mode
  • RF/Coax Input:
    • Frequency Range: 57 to 803 MHz
    • Connector: F-Type x 1
  • HD/SD
    Video Outputs:

    • HDMI output x 1
    • SD composite RCA video output x 1
    • RF Out x 1 via coaxial connector
  • Audio Output: 
    • Stereo L/R output via RCA x 2
    • Digital audio out x1 via coax S/PDIF port
  • Video Demodulation: COFDM(QPSK/QAM16/QAM64)
    2K and 8K
  • Channel Bandwidth: 6 Mhz
  • Digital Media Format Supported:
    • Video files:
      AVI, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 H. 264/AVC SD/HD,
      VOB, MOV, MKV, MJPEG format for video playback.
    • Photo files:
      JPEG, BMP and PNG format for photo image playback.
  • Audio Decoding: MPEG1, MPEG2 Layer I
    & II, Dolby Digital, HE-AAC Digital Audio
  • Audio Sampling Rate: 32 kHz, 22.1 kHz,
    44.1 kHz, 48 kHz
  • Power
    120VAC, 60HZ, 8W Max
  • Digital ATSC TV tuner box
  • IR remote controller
  • User manual

description, features, best models for digital terrestrial and satellite signals

A TV tuner is needed to receive a signal and then transfer the image to a television monitor or computer. Let’s talk about their types and selection criteria.


  • What is a TV tuner
  • Types of TV tuners
    • By broadcasting standard
    • By output type
    • By operating system support

    9 0008

  • What to look for when choosing an external tuner
  • Software is the most important thing in tuners
  • Tuner built into the TV
  • Which brands are the most reliable
  • Which external tuner to choose
    • TOP 3 best budget DVB-T2 models for terrestrial TV
    • Best budget model for satellite TV
    • The best budget model with USB for smartphone

What is a TV tuner

and displaying television programs.


  1. Record live TV broadcasts and store information in memory. The receivers have a special scheduler. It independently includes the recording of the desired image in a specific period of time. In TimeShift mode, you can move around the recording in both directions: review your favorite moments, and then return to the standard timeline. In the same mode, the user will be able to change the playback speed: slow down or speed up if necessary.
  2. An FM receiver can be built into the TV tuner, so you can listen to the radio with it.
  3. Go-TView – connection via tuner to a TV program. The user will be able to see the list of programs for the week and find a specific channel, such as “Sports” or “Culture”. With the help of synchronization, all commercials are cut out of the saved video.
  4. Scheduler. By connecting to the program guide, you can activate a special function that will remind or save an interesting broadcast at the right time. The program will automatically check if several necessary programs will overlap, and if necessary, open a menu where you can adjust the settings.
  5. Channel lock. This feature is known as Parental Control.

Varieties of TV tuners

Only digital TV tuner can be found in stores, because analog types have gone out of use, and before they were designated by NTSC, PAL, SECAM formats. Set-top boxes differ in terms of broadcast standard, type of connection to a TV or computer, and operating system support.

Broadcast standard

Digital tuner receives TV signal and decodes it depending on broadcast standards, including:

  • is an obsolete digital terrestrial broadcast format that is not used today;
  • – on-air digital broadcasting, an improved version of the previous format. The bandwidth is increased, as is the resistance to interference, which allows you to transfer the image to the screens in HD quality;
  • DVB-C – digital cable TV reception. The format is more common in the CIS, Asia and Europe;
  • DVB-S – satellite digital broadcasting;
  • DVB-S2 is an improved version of the previous broadcast with more bandwidth and resistance to interference.

By type of outlets

The equipment differs by the type of connection. In stores, you can find models of TV tuners with different outputs.

Built-in for PC:

External for PC:

  • USB is a common output that every personal computer is equipped with. Such a TV tuner can also be connected to a laptop or car radio. True, set-top boxes with a USB connection are too demanding on processor performance;
  • PC Card – bus for connecting to portable computers;
  • Express Card is the laptop standard that replaced the PC Card. The difference from the previous model is the increased speed of information transfer.
PC Card
Express Card

External for TVs:

  • HDMI – a modern port that allows you to transfer the image to the TV in the best quality;
  • RCA – two wires transmit audio (left, right), one – video;
  • SCART – digital connector for video signal transmission, often found on old technology;
  • S-Video – an outdated type of connection, but transmits a picture in better quality than RCA;
  • – connector with 15 pins. This is an obsolete type that has been supplanted by digital interfaces;
  • SPDIF – designed to transmit an audio signal to electronic equipment.

Based on operating system support

When choosing a TV tuner, consider its compatibility with the installed operating system. If the tuner is connected to a PC, then manufacturers make sure that the devices are compatible with the Windows platform, but you can also find options with Linux and MacOS.

What to look for when choosing an external tuner

When choosing the right set-top box, consider the following:

  1. Connectors. You need to select those that are present on your home computer or TV, otherwise you will have to additionally look for adapters. In order for the monitor to receive an image in high quality, it is important to have an HDMI port.
  2. PVR function available. If the tuner supports this extension, then it will be able to record any broadcasts from the TV at the appointed time. The user will independently decide how long this file needs to be stored in the equipment’s memory. Thus, it is possible to carry out delayed viewing.
  3. USB port available. Often people want to use the tuner not only to connect to digital television, but also to watch movies that can be downloaded to the TV via a USB flash drive.
  4. DVB-T2 support. You should not buy a model with DVB-T preceding it. This is a waste of money, because in the territory of the Russian Federation.

These functions are enough for the average user for comfortable viewing.

Software is the most important thing in tuners

The installed firmware is the most important part of the device, because it is the one that ensures the functioning of the device. Standard software is installed on each TV tuner, thanks to which the device will perform various functions:

  • automatically record specific programs at a specified time;
  • adjust image quality;
  • display an image on several screens at the same time.

If you need additional features, you will have to look for more expensive tuners with advanced functionality.

Built-in TV tuner

Most of the latest TVs (except the very low end ones) have a built-in TV tuner, so there is no need for an external one.

The built-in decoder can be used to receive several broadcast standards. You will need an external device if you already have a TV, but the installed tuner does not support the required standards.

Professionals recommend buying TVs with only if it supports the desired format (terrestrial, cable, satellite – depending on the chosen operator). This way you can avoid additional costs for the purchase of external equipment.

Which brands are the most reliable

To buy a quality TV tuner, you need to pay attention to popular brands. Their reliability has been tested by time. You can look for models from manufacturers that were active back in the era of DVD players. They felt at ease on the market, and therefore tuners produce high-quality and at an affordable price.

Brands to look out for:

  • D-Color;
  • BBK;
  • Supra;
  • AVerMedia Technologies;
  • Harper;
  • World Vision.

Which external tuner to choose

There are a sufficient number of tuners with various parameters in electronic equipment stores.

If you’re trying to figure out which tuner model you need, be sure to check out our .

Judging by the online reviews, the following devices have proven to be the most reliable in their price range.

TOP 3 best budget DVB-T2 models for terrestrial TV

World Vision Premium. Easy-to-handle device. A large display is mounted on the front side, from which it is easy to read information. The TV tuner control panel is ergonomic. Power supply built-in. During operation, it will not get very hot.

Harper HDT2-1202. Connects to old and new generation TVs. A miniature model that will not take up much space when installed on a TV receiver located in the kitchen or in the children’s room.

Selenga HD950D. Equipped with MStar 7T01 processor, which improves the channel switching speed compared to other similar models. It comes with a smart remote control that can be configured to control other TVs.

The best budget model for satellite TV

World Vision Foros Combo T2/S2 is a suitable and convenient option for connecting to satellite TV. Hassle-free, simple and inexpensive, this receiver’s recipe for success is simple. On the equipment, you can watch videos from a flash drive in HD in any format thanks to the built-in player.

Thanks to the supported T2-MI standard, the user will be able to view federal channels from satellite for free. This is a useful feature for people who live far from telecentres.

Best Budget USB Model for Smartphone

AVerMedia Technologies Mobile 510 is a compact model that runs Android and turns your smartphone or tablet into a full-fledged TV.

Antenna comes with a suction cup, with which the structure is attached to glass or directly to a phone or tablet.


Set-top boxes a

On April 15, 2019, the Russians said goodbye to analog television. Now everyone has the opportunity to watch 20 channels of digital television in good quality for free. To do this, you need to purchase only a tuner and a decimeter antenna.

What is a digital set-top box

A digital set-top box, also known as a TV tuner, also known as a DVB T2 receiver, is a device that allows your TV to receive and broadcast free digital TV channels. Simply put, the receiver receives a signal from the RTRS towers through a decimeter antenna and broadcasts it on your TV in analog or digital quality (depending on how modern it is).

Combs, tulips, HDMI?

How to choose a set-top box based on the capabilities of the TV? To do this, simply study which connectors are hidden on the back of your TV.

Modern televisions manufactured after 2015 mostly have a built-in receiver. They can receive digital channels on their own, so there is absolutely no need for a set-top box. To find out if there is a receiver, use the instructions for the TV or enter its model in the browser search engine. On the official website of the manufacturer you will definitely find detailed technical specifications of your model.

Less newer TVs have an HDMI (ash-di-um-ai) connector. This means that the prefix must have an appropriate slot.

Older TVs have either a “comb” (scart connector) or “tulips” – three slots in white, red and yellow (AV connectors). For successful collaboration, you will need a set-top box with a slot of the second type. To use the set-top box with a TV with a comb, simply buy an adapter.

How to choose

First, the choice of digital set-top box should be based on your needs and the capabilities of the TV. The wide functionality of an expensive receiver runs the risk of remaining inexhaustible due to the failure of the TV. But it’s not worth saving on a prefix.

For an analog TV (with “tulips”), it is worth considering simple TV tuners with a convenient remote control, good signal and, preferably, control buttons on the set-top box itself.

For digital and smart TVs, the requirements for set-top boxes are increasing markedly. The TV tuner may also have a slot for memory cards for recording programs or movies, as well as for viewing videos and photos. It is possible to connect the Internet via cable or wi-fi adapter. Then, with the help of TV, you can visit sites and watch videos online, download games and make video calls.

Secondly, look at the quality of the set-top box itself. Experts advise choosing a heavier receiver, because here, as elsewhere, the amount of metal is important.

Country of origin. Almost all TV tuners presented in Russia are made in China. If you don’t find a European model, don’t be discouraged, the Chinese factory assembly is almost in no way inferior to Europe.

We select an antenna

To receive a digital TV signal, you will need a decimeter antenna. Unlike the meter, its elements are much shorter – 15-40 cm. Such an antenna is also called a broadband one.

Home or street?

It directly depends on how far the transmitting center is from you. This can be found on the website of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (see number.rf). If you live no further than 15 km from the tower, on a high floor, then feel free to take an indoor antenna. If the tower is located far away, your house is surrounded on all sides by tall buildings or forests, you should consider a more serious antenna.

Connecting and setting up the set-top box

As you have already understood from the above, the set-top box is connected to the TV through the slots available on the TV. To do this, you additionally need special cables such as “tulip”, “tulip-comb” or HDMI.

Set the TV to AV mode and go to the receiver settings. We click on automatic search, and in a few minutes we can enjoy twenty free TV channels in digital quality. For any questions regarding digital television setup, you can contact the direct line RTRS – 8-800-220-20-02.