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Set Up Your Digital TV or Converter Box

written by: •edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 5/15/2011

You have all the equipment you need to watch Digital Television, so what next? There are a few things you need to do to setup your TV, such as scanning for channels, which we explain here.

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    With the help of the instructions in the last article, you've hooked everything up. All the connections are secure and you are ready to roll. Go ahead and turn on the TV, converter box, and if you have one, VCR.

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    Setting the Inputs

    The first thing you have to do is set up your TV and VCR to get their signal from the converter box. If you do not have a VCR, you will probably be able to set up your TV by setting it to channel three. Try four if three doesn’t work. If you used the three RCA ports instead of the coaxial cable to connect the converter and television, you will probably have set it to another input. Press the “Input" button on your TV or its remote, or set the channel to 00.

    If you have a VCR, leave your TV on the channel or input setting you use to watch videos. Set the VCR to channel three (again, try four if three doesn’t work). You might also need to change the input setting if you used the RCA plugs. If you are using any kind of switch, make sure it is set to receive output from the converter box.

    Whether you have a VCR, a switch, or not, once the inputs are set up correctly, you should see instructions from the converter box right on the TV screen. Use the remote that came with the converter box to make your selections and read through the on-screen instructions.

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    Scanning for Digital Channels

    At one point in the setup process, the converter will ask you if you want to perform a channel scan. Say yes, and do whatever it is you like doing while you wait to see if something works. It could take a few minutes, but when it is done you will know whether everything is working or if there is more to do to set up the converter box. If you got good reception from channels 2 to 59 with analog broadcasts, you will likely be able to receive digital channels without a problem.

    If you get all the channels you are expecting, congratulations, you are watching Digital TV! Just remember to run another scan after the 12th, and every now and then afterwards to make sure you are getting any new channels that come along. If you don’t get as many channels as you were expecting, or any channels at all, make sure your cables are all set up correctly and try again. Also, if the weather is particularly bad, it can interfere with digital broadcasts. If there is a storm that would usually knock out your analog TV signals, the digital probably will not work either. Let the storm clear and try again.

    If you still aren’t getting any or enough channels you probably just need to adjust your antenna, but there is a small chance you will need to spend money on a new one.

How to Get Digital TV Broadcasts

This simple guide starts off by finding out if your equipment can receive and play digital signals. If it can't, and you don't have cable or satellite TV, the guide goes on to explain everything you need to know about getting and installing a converter box and finding DTV channels.
  1. What You Need for Digital Television
  2. Choosing and Buying a Digital TV Converter Box
  3. Hooking Up Your Digital Converter Box
  4. Set Up Your Digital TV or Converter Box