Low Power and Border Channels
Another feature you should be aware of when choosing a converter is analog pass-through. While all standard over the air stations are going digital, low power, which includes Class A and translator stations, can remain analog. If you watch these channels, you might want to choose a converter with analog pass-through. This will allow you to watch both digital and analog channels through the same cable connecting the converter and TV.
Otherwise, you will have to use a splitter, an extra cable, and possibly a switch to watch both analog and digital broadcasts without having to unhook the converter box. The need for a switch depends on if your TV or VCR has the RCA inputs described in the next article. If it does, you will only need a splitter and an extra cable. In addition, you will be able to switch from watching digital to analog and back with the remote control of your TV or VCR.
If your TV does not have RCA inputs, you will also need a switch, and you will need to physically flick it to go back and forth between analog and digital. You will not be able to do this from the remote. If that does not appeal to you and you do not want to give up hockey, Mexican soaps, or low-power channels, choose a converter with the analog pass-through feature. It is quite common.
You can tell if a channel is low-power by its call sign. If there are numbers in with the letters (letter number number letter letter) or the letters –CA or –LP appear at the end (letter letter letter letter – CA or letter letter letter letter –LP), it is a low-power channel. Canadian channels start with a C, and Mexican channels start with an X.