Splurging on a TV antenna comes with loads of benefits. You can effortlessly pick extra channels in your location and enjoy all over-the-air channels included in local packages. Digital antennas are especially great when looking for crisp pictures for your favorite sporting event or movies.
However, a digital antenna is not the only piece you need if you haven’t cut the cord yet. You also need the best digital converter box to avail the digital signals transmitted by the antenna to analog formats playable by your Television.
This process of finding the best converter box should be easy, especially if you already know what stations you want to watch. Also, the number of channels you can play varies from one box to the other. This feature can also help you know the model to go for.
Here’s a detail-rich digital converter review with features, pros, and cons of the most popular models in the market to make your search easier.
Top 10 Best Digital Converter Box
Coming at the top of our digital converter box reviews and a slightly cheaper price tag is the eXuby digital converter box. This release is one of the eXuby latest and best digital converter box —and it’s impressive, compact, and durable. eXuby has reimagined the key parts of this digital box to give it a simple setup with a low learning curve and a well-thought-out interface.
The front is a power button and a simple light that signals when it is on or when the channels are on search mode.
But that’s not all. This box comes with 1080 Full HD resolution for pristine video quality. Using the remote controller included in the package, you can adjust the resolution to your heart’s desire to either 1080i, 576p, and 720p. The front surface also consists of a USB port for a USB flash drive and a hard disk drive. You can plug either the USB or insert a flash disc and watch your preferred movie at the comfort of your couch.
- 1080p HD resolution: the device comes with 1080p HD resolution to provide high-quality images for you to watch. Besides, you can adjust the resolution to 1080i, 720p, or 576p to be compatible with your TV.
- Output options: the digital converter box is compatible with multiple TVs, including LCDs, conventional tube TVs, etc. You can choose between output options such as components, HDMI, coaxial, and RCA. Plus, it comes with a USB slot, which ensures easy recording.
- Program guide: the device comes with a program guide that helps you navigate what TV shows to watch. You will be able to scroll up to 7 days to ensure you don’t miss any of your favorite shows.
- Compatible with the external hard drive and USB flash drive: You can record live TV with this box. The shows are saved in this storage device and replay on your computer or via a digital converter box.
- Automatic receiver for fast load time
- Captures almost all over-the-air channels included in your packages
- Plays high-quality videos without any blur
- A bit larger compared to other eXuby releases
Anything your HDTV TV can do, this ATSC Digital converter box will do slightly better. It also sits below HDTV in terms of power usage, so you can always cut the packages in your electric bill. ATSC digital converter plays full 1080p videos and 720p so that you won’t worry about poor quality output anymore. And as if that is not enough, it also accepts HD TVs, projectors, and monitors. But that doesn’t mean it’s a replacement for your cable box.
HDTV digital converter box can receive up to 100 channels—the number of channels fluctuates based on the location. To make the best out of it, make sure to align your antennae to the booster. It also doubles as a USB multimedia player with playing formats such as AVI, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VOB, MOV, FLV, VC-1, and H.264/AVC.
Some other features that make it your ideal bet include; auto-tuning, closed caption, PVR recording, program guide, Parental Control function, and channel list navigation.
- Buttons and Remote: the converter box features buttons that allow you to navigate channels and alter the volume. With the help of a remote, you only need to make show changes while sitting back on your couch.
- Additional features: the device comes with additional features, including parental control, auto-tuning, favorite channel list, closed caption, and electronic programming guide. You can enjoy good functionality because of these features.
- USB storage devices: the digital converter box has a USB device to allow you to store your files for later viewing. It is flexible, as you can view files such as MKV, Divx, VOB, MPEG-4, AVI, FLV, H.264/AVC, and VC-1.1080p HD
- Lower power consumption
- Versatile for use with monitors, projectors, analog, and digital TVs
- Play videos in almost all formats
- Quick start buttons and remote control programming
- The internal power supply can fry off easily when the power surges
This ATSC Digital Converter by ViewTV is surprisingly quiet, super-fast, and the kind that delivers faultless videos you will ever watch. It’s an essential purchase if you’re looking for a fantastic decoder with minimal loading time and a smoother video play transition.
You can use it as a personal recorder, a digital signal converter, and a recorder for the USB drive. Additionally, it’s compatible with computer monitors and uses HDMI to connect to the projector.
This ViewTV flagship decoder is apt in its parental control setup and program guide. Should you be looking for a decoder that can keep your children off specific channels, here it is. It also allows you to set your favorite channel list, so you don’t have to search for them every time the signal fluctuates.
The number of channels you can receive with this digital TV converter fluctuates from place to place. Under strong antenna alignment, you can receive up to 150 over-the-air channels. It works with an upgraded remote controller, which is not included in the package.
- Loop Through Mode: with this device, you can watch and record video with the Loop Through Mode. You need to use the time shift function to pause, rewind and forward your live TV to avoid commercials.
- USB drive: since the box doesn’t have any built-in memory card, you can connect an external memory. Additionally, it has an ATSC tuner to output live TV to a projector.
- Additional features: to enjoy the functionality of the converter box, it is equipped with a program guide that shows the weekly schedule, Closed Caption, parental control, favorite channel listing, and a recording feature.
- Smooth video play even for fast-action movies
- More than 150 channels
- Substantial power and multiple settings
- Cheesy build quality
- The remote uses infrared, so you must align it with the device to function.
Mediasonic is a next-gen brand that takes a radically different approach in its premium releases when it comes to design tweaks. The brand is keen to make its models as appealing and highly functional as possible. This one of the best digital converter box is not only visually appealing but also very compact.
It only weighs 0.29 pounds—significantly lighter than most releases in the market. Added to its high frame rate, super-fast loading time, and ray tracing option, this device won’t in any way compromise value for your buck.
This Mediasonic digital converter also works with monitors, projectors, and digital TV. It plays USB multimedia and supports music, photos, and video playback. However, what makes it more unique is its HDMI 1080p output that you can play as either composite or coaxial output. Consequently, you can achieve impressive and increased resolutions with fluid video transitions. It performs a 4K resolution on an HDTV, making it the best for watching series and high-resolution football matches.
- USB hard drive: the digital converter box allows you to record and watch later your favorite shows. You need to connect your external USB hard drive to store movies. It offers extra storage space for you to store multiple movies. You can change channels at a distance using a remote control.
- Easy installation: you can easily set up the box within a few minutes. You need to attach it to your TV using an HDMI or coaxial port. It allows you to watch local TV channels over the air and supports 1080p. You will enjoy watching quality pictures on your analog TV.
- Extra features: the digital converter has features including a favorite channel list, parental control function, time display, and TV tuner function. It allows you to use the box in a way that suits your needs.
- Many crystal clear stations
- Compact design that sits nicely on the counters
- Cheap with good value for the buck
- The DVR recorder gives jitted videos when used with some flat screens.
The fifth in this review is another premium release by ViewTV, and for a good reason. This device is much smaller and compact, with a durable outer case for longevity. It’s a bit more powerful and comes with a broad scope of features than most releases by the same brand. At the sides are grooves that provide grip when transportation should you be moving out.
If you’ve ever owned a digital TV converter that doesn’t receive all the channels in your area, then it’s time you give this a thought. ViewTV ATSC digital converter receives both analog and digital channels. With proper antenna alignment, you’re likely to receive more than 200 different ATV and DTV channels at your disposal. Plus, it works with 1080p and 720p HD resolutions to relay vivid images that are faultless. This converter supports some other outstanding features: parental control guide, remote control support, LED time display, closed caption, favorite channel list, and a lot more.
- Multimedia player: with this feature, you can view photos, play music, and view movies files and recorded TV programs from the storage device. You can record your favorite show and play it on your computer or TV.
- Compatibility: the converter box can be connected to analog TV and used as a personal recorder. With the help of HDMI, you can connect it with HD TVs, monitors, or projectors.
- Extra features: it comes with additional features such as a favorite channel list, recording PVR, auto-tuning, closed caption, and parental control. It helps you to choose one that suits your needs.
- Play vivid images and videos in different formats
- The LED display provides customizable screen resolution
- It effortlessly scans all local channels with a quick load time
- It may take longer to load channels in some zones.
Sindave HDTV digital cable converter earns the sixth badge on our list of the best digital converter box because it’s a mix of affordability and high-performance. The sub-$30 pick won’t break the bank as it comes in handy with plenty of nice-to-have features that set it apart.
It provides excellent color saturation, customization, great brightness, 1080 and 720p HD resolutions, external USB hard drive support, and multiple video formats. You can also customize the screen size to auto 16.9 pillar box, 4:3 letterbox, 4:3 Full, 16:9 Widescreen, and a lot more.
The smart converter box comes in a sleek grey frame that blends seamlessly with modern décor. It balances effortlessly on a table stand, so you can easily perch it on a counter out of the reach of small children. But should you be looking to reserve a space, compact design is its second name. Some other excellent features worth your attention include Parental Guide Control, closed caption, PVR recording, favorite channel list, and program guide.
- Multiple TV Tuner: with this digital converter box, you can play your favorite movies, shows, and pictures from a USB flash drive or external hard drive. Additionally, it supports various file formats.
- Records live shows: the device supports DRV function, ensuring instant real-time recording for scheduled TV channel programs and saves into your USB drive to replay later. It also pauses live shows to prevent you from losing your favorite show.
- Compatible with other devices: with this box, you can connect to your Analog TV, Projector, smart TV, and computer. You will receive free local TV channels.
- Super-versatile for use with monitors, projectors, analog, and digital TVs
- Great brightness and screen resolutions
- Sleek grey aesthetics perfect for interior decor
- Compex menu makes it not an ideal fit for starters.
You don’t have to spend a lot of cash to get quality TV resolution—especially if you’re the kind of person that prefers something small and compact. However, this doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality for affordability. Vmade ATSC-F6 comes with a 30pf screen resolution function that supports both the 1080 and 720p outputs. It provides a near-perfect way to watch and record free-to-air videos at the comfort of your couch. What’s more, this next-gen tech device fully supports USB video, music, and photo playback. Whereas the CD-ROM insert enables you to play your favorite music or video from a blue-ray CDS.
If you’re the sort of person who prefers subtitles, especially when watching foreign videos, Vmade has you covered with fluid subtitle support. This way, you get to enjoy wonderful visual and auditory aspects. It also supports Dolby audio and Teletext. You’ll also get 1 remote control, 1 digital receiver, 1-user manual, and 1 AV cable in the package.
- Output resolution: this device allows you to receive over-the-air broadcasts to your analog. It has 1080p output resolution, which will enable you to watch and record quality pictures.
- USB Multimedia playback: interestingly, you can playback your favorite music, photos, and video from your USB external hard drive. It supports all file formats such as VOB, avi.mpg, Mkv, and jpeg.
- Vmade Multimedia Subsystem: with the help of this feature, you will receive all high-definition TV channels with just a single cable connection. It also has additional features such as a TV Recorder, Multimedia Splitter, Media player, and TV Tuber.
- High-end design with striking visuals
- It comes with sub-titling functions
- Plays Dolby audio and Teletext
- Offer a range of screen resolutions and sizes
- The User manual comes in small, almost unreadable texts
When cash isn’t your primary concern, you can spend on the most luxurious device, which is undoubtedly the HUKTEC ATSC converter box. Thanks to its striking combination of grey and black color, this device is a piece of art that can enhance your interior décor for the better.
That’s not all, though; when in use, it produces a series of orange and red lights that can enhance your room’s theme, especially at night. The boot light will let you know when the device is powering, while the searching channel will display whenever your antennas receive signals for new channels.
HUKTEC produces crisp and clear videos in both 1080p and 720p from almost all local free-to-air channels. It also records instant live TV and supports DVR functions. And should you like to pause your videos midway, this is the best device to go for. This way, you can catch any series or videos you recorded later in your free time. The USB playback and various screen size customization make it a better option when looking for a versatile device for use at home.
- USB drive: with the help of this box, you can record and pause live TV since it is equipped with instant real-time recording and save your favorite programs. You can playback later from the USB drive as it records all scheduled shows.
- Multiple TV Tuner: the converter box allows you to play your favorite movies, photos, and videos from your external hard drives. In addition, it supports multiple file formats to play.
- Additional features: it has various features, including Closed Caption, Parental Control, Auto-Tuning, Recording PVR, and Program guide.
- Multiple tuners for both videos, pictures, and audio
- Apt pause and record function
- Crisp and clear videos in various resolutions
- It has a higher price tag compared to most variants on the market
Though the QFX-CV 103 digital converter box is larger (at least for a small counter or TV stand), it’s worth creating a few extra inches—if you want highly functional and apex quality. It receives both 1080p and 720p signals and converts them to viewable analog format, its speedy load time. The resolution and LED display are also excellently detailed with a glamorous contrast and color option. What we love most about this device is its quick refresh rate. It effortlessly keeps up with the fast action scene required when watching sports games and high-action movies without a single blur.
The USB support feature allows you to plug in a tertiary device and stream video and audio content, whereas the CD drive makes it your best bet for watching from vinyl. A jack pin at the front allows you to connect your cellphone and enjoy your audio list. To top it up, you’ll also get a fantastic parental guide, channel list, favorite channel list, video pause, and record functions. Overall, it’s worth your dime.
- Free local TV: the device broadcasts your analog TV, Computer, Smart TV, and Projector by receiving over-the-air ATSC digital TV.
- Multiple playbacks: the digital converter box has a USB drive to allow you to store your favorite music, videos, photos, and movies. You can play later since it supports various file formats.
- Electronic program guide: with this program guide, you know what you are playing, and it helps you not miss your favorite movies since it is scheduled 7 days in advance.
- It comes with a jack pin for connecting your cell phone
- Pristine images and videos with no blur
- A quick refresh and load rate for channels
- The extra-large size requires extra storage space
You can’t go wrong with this piece from V made for a simple, chic, and reasonably priced HDTV converter box. The unit comes in 1.18 inches high, making it a solid bet when looking for something that you can easily slip in the thinnest counter ever. It also weighs only 15.8 ounces; added to the sleek, compact design, there’s no doubt that you’ll find it highly portable. Even though you only have one black color option to choose from, Vmade has designed this device with sleek edges and cool aesthetics that will complement your home’s beauty.
This Vmade ATSC Digital Converter Box is compatible with monitors, projectors, Analog TVs, and Digital TVs. It converts the digital signals and avails them in both 1080 and 720p resolution. You can also choose a screen resolution of your desire—from coaxial, composite RCA to A/V outputs. Additionally, it lets you customize the screen size into 16:9 widescreen, 16:9 pillar, 16:9 pan, 4:3 pan, 4:3 letterbox, and 4:3 full. Some other features include auto pause and record function, USB flash and external drive, parental control support, channel list, favorite channel list, and closed caption.
- Free-TV channel: the digital TV converter box will broadcast to your analog TVs. You can watch TV channels on your Computer, Projector, and other devices.
- USB Multimedia playback: you can play your favorite music, videos, photos, and moves from your USB flash driver or external hard drive. Plus, the converter box supports all file formats to play.
- Additional features: you will enjoy all the features these devices come with. They include a Program guide, Closed Caption, Recording PVR, Parental Control, and Favorite Channel list.
- Easy to install and program
- Three customizable screen resolutions and various screen sizes
- Sleek and compact design
- Instructions in the user manual aren’t very thorough
What to Consider When Purchasing a Digital Converter Box
Choosing a converter box is not as complicated as many people think. Like other devices, you need to consider the vital factors to help you find the best digital converter box that suits your needs and preferences.
You need to know that not all converters are supported on every TV, and you won’t be able to watch specific channels at all, or you will watch them in a lower resolution.
For instance, if your Television has a high resolution than 1080p or 720p, you should choose a converter box that supports high definition. Also, if your TV has low resolution, you will need to purchase a digital converter box with 480 p.
The more output options on the device, the more versatility. Make sure you understand the 2 essential connectors before buying one.
You should choose a converter box with HDMI output if your TelevisionTelevision has an HDMI input. It will allow you to receive high-quality pictures. On the other hand, if you have an analog TV with coaxial input or RCA jacks, choose a digital converter box with RCA output.
If you choose a digital converter box with extra features, then the device tends to be more valuable and attractive. You may consider a converter box with additional features such as a Program guide, Multimedia player, or Digital recorder.
- Multimedia player: you need to consider a digital converter box that can connect to an external hard drive through USB to playback videos and photos. However, different converters also support various file types.
- Digital recorder: some boxes allow you to record directly via the recorder. With this device, you don’t need to set up a recording for every program.
- Program guide: make sure you choose a digital converter that uses a remote. The converter box has a program guide for easy operation to help you navigate between channels easily with your remote.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I get my converter box to work?
If your converter box has stopped working, here are steps you can try to troubleshoot. First, check the power to ensure it is getting power. Second, check the connections to make sure all cables are correctly connected. Next, check the channel and source input. Now, configure the DTV converter box and, lastly, align the antenna properly.
Can you still get a free digital converter box?
No. This is because you won’t receive broadcast signals without purchasing a new TV or a converter box. The US federal government program offered a coupon for a free digital converter box up to 2009. Currently, you cannot get a free digital converter box.
How much does a digital converter box cost?
Having a converter box allows you to receive the digital picture from over-the-air broadcasts on your analog TV. It is connected between the TV and the antenna. A standard digital converter box costs $ 40 to $ 50.
Do you need to have a converter box to watch TV?
Depends; if your TV is analog, then you need a digital converter box. Although they are not being made, if you have one, then you need a converter box to watch HD TV on your analog TV.
Do you need a converter box for a digital TV?
If you have a digital TV, you don’t need a digital converter box to watch various channels. The best thing is to check the fine print of the TV brand and model to know if you need one or not.
What does a digital converter box do?
A digital converter is designed to convert channels to analog RF signals on a single channel or various outputs for digital TVs, including HDMI. Most modern TVs are digital and have a built-in converter.
It’s always a good idea to check the number and types of channels your new digital converter box offers before buying. Also, if you’ve already mounted a terrestrial antenna, your choice is limited since you must go for what the antenna is compatible with. Luckily for you, you can choose any of these premium models’ best digital converter boxes we’ve detailed as they come with receivers that capture hundreds of channels at your disposal.