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Best Digital Converter Boxes

5 Best Digital Converter Boxes for Every Screen and Budget (Reviewed 2022)

Updated On May 18, 2022

Digital converter boxes, or digiboxes, are broadcasting devices that combine terrestrial television with digital TV programming in the same box. Digiboxes are replacing the old-fashioned standard definition TVs in American households.

In the US, there’s a mandate that only digital broadcast TV will be allowed after February 17, 2009. Digital broadcast television, along with the transition to digital broadcasts, provides more advanced, better quality pictures via high-definition signals. They also improved sound through Dolby 5.1 soundtracks.

So what is the best Digibox on the market? Which company offers the best solution for you? You’ll want to read below from my research-based recommendations dedicating over 30 hours of evaluation for a top 5 list of best digital converter boxes.

What We Cover In This Guide

  • The best 5 digital converter boxes with their comprehensive overview
  • Evaluation of each product’s features
  • What we like and what we didn’t like in every product
  • Value Editorial & Buying debates


Quick Summary: 5 Best Digital Converter Boxes

Our editors go through and research, test, and qualify our recommended products. We receive commissions on purchases from certain links.

1. ViewTV AT-163 ATSC Digital Converter Box

Brand: ViewTV
Mounting Type: HDMI Cable, USB, Converter Box
Interface Type: USB, HDMI, Coaxial
Item Weight: 1.74 pounds
Item Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.8 x 2.1 inches

Our Pick

Style and quality in one price play all the formats and have a wide range of features.

Highlights

The ViewTV AT-163 ATSC Digital Converter Box can help you to keep enjoying your favorite tv from a resolution of up to 1080p. It provides over-the-air (OTA) access to digital channels. It supports broadcast resolutions up to 1080i and 720p, so you’ll see both standard definition and high definition programming in HD. The converter box also gives you the ability to record your OTA broadcasts at a scheduled time via an external USB flash drive or hard drive. Plus, it features an automatic program search that lets you find all available digital broadcasts in your area and stores them for easy viewing.

What We Liked

  • HDMI cable included
  • Wide range of features
  • Stylish design
  • Small enough to fit in any sized entertainment space
  • Bright LED display is visible from anywhere in the room

What We Didn’t Like

  • Remote keys are too close to each other

2. Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB ATSC Digital Converter Box

Brand: Mediasonic
Mounting Type:
Coaxial, Converter Box
Interface Type: USB, HDMI, Coaxial
Item Weight: ‎4.6 ounces
Item Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 4 inches

Runner Up

It turns any TV into a smart TV and comes in an elegant style with Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Highlights

The Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB is a digital converter box that converts Over-The-Air ATSC digital broadcast to your analog TV. The built-in Media Player function allows users to playback pictures and video files via a USB connection. You can schedule a recording like a DVR by selecting recording start time, duration, and date available with electronic program guide support. It is designed to receive an Over-The-Air signal and forward the digital TV signal via RF Coaxial output or Composite RCA output directly to analog TV, projector, or analog monitors.

What We Liked

  • It has an emergency alert system (EAS)
  • Real-Time and Schedule Recording
  • Users can control and schedule the content
  • Closed Caption
  • Users can turn any TV into a smart TV
  • EPG (Electronic Program Guide) and program information

What We Didn’t Like

  • IR remote conflicts with other devices

3. Leelbox LBX F6 1080P ATSC Digital Converter Box

Brand: Leelbox
Mounting Type: USB, Converter Box
Interface Type: USB, HDMI
Item Weight: 10.6 ounces
Item Dimensions: 1.97 x 1.18 x 0.39 inches

Excellent

Powerful and highly effective performance at an economical price with easy-to-install features.

Highlights

The Leelbox Digital Converter Box is designed for your analog TV. It converts the over-the-air digital broadcast signals to your analog TV, allowing you to watch all of your favorite shows with no monthly bills or annual contracts.

You will also be able to record live TV by connecting a USB flash drive or external hard drive (not included) to the converter box. The used USB storage device must be formatted before recording. The files will be saved in TS file format, and you can use a program such as VideoLAN player to play it on your PC.

This box also has a Multiple Timer Recording feature. This feature gives you the ability to record one program while watching another.

You can also set the digital converter box to record something later in the day while you’re away from home. With this function, you can plan ahead and still never miss your favorite show!

What We Liked

  • Free Local TV Channels
  • Easy Installation
  • Multimedia Player Function
  • Records Shows and Playback

What We Didn’t Like

  • Its EPG guide takes a long time to load

4. IVIEW-3500STBII Multifunction Digital Converter Box

Brand: IVIEW
Mounting Type: USB, Converter Box
Interface Type: USB, HDMI
Item Weight: 1.1 pounds
Item Dimensions: ‎5 x 7 x 3 inches

Excellent

An excellent tuner that supports portable drives of up to 3TB, users can watch uncoded cable channels free of cost.

Highlights

This is an all-in-one solution for converting over the air broadcasts. This Digital Converter Box is a TV converter, digital recorder, and media player “All-in-One”! Easy to set up and easy to use, this converter box lets you record your favorite TV shows right onto a flash drive or any external hard drive. You can also use the included remote to take advantage of supporting playback of popular video formats like DivX directly from your USB device.

If you have an old VCR in your home then you can connect A/V jacks to this Converter Box too! You won’t miss out on all of your favorite over-the-air TV shows with this Multi-Function Converter Box with Media Player and Recording Capabilities!

What We Liked

  • Supports portable drives of up to 3TB
  • Converts digital broadcast signals to analog signals
  • Watch uncoded cable channels free
  • Better sound quality and picture clarity

What We Didn’t Like

  • The only available format is 12/24

5. RCA DTA-800B1 Digital Converter Box

Easy hook-up
Dual-position
Smart antenna-ready
Coax output

Very Good

Low-cost converter box with all the required features. Easy hook-up – just plug in and start with displaying all the multicast channels.

Highlights

The RCA Digital TV Converter Box receives over-the-air digital signals and allows people to watch digital broadcasts through their standard TVs.

This converter box is easy to use and simple to set up. It comes packaged with an A/V cable, remote control, and a user guide. The device enables analog pass-through and delivers HDTV resolutions of up to 1080p.

It also has additional features such as viewing Electronic Program Guide (EPG), closed captioning decoding, parental control blocking, and video aspect ratio support for 4:3 and 16:9 displays.

What We Liked

  • Low-cost
  • Steady signal transmission
  • Parental Control
  • Smart antenna
  • Easy hook-up

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited Features


Value Editorial & Buying Debates

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Broadcasting Support

When selecting a digital converter, it’s essential to consider the broadcasting support you need. If you want to view analog channels that broadcast in NTSC format, you’ll need an Analog Pass-Through feature. This will allow the signal to pass directly from the converter box to the TV without being decoded by the box. As for digital cable channels, you’ll need a QAM tuner for decoding those channels, and this tuner should be able to receive conversions using a QAM standard. It’s worth noting that, with a QAM tuner, you’ll be able to watch uncoded channels only. (1)

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Picture Resolution

In order to enjoy a high-quality image, it is important to take into account the resolution of the broadcasted video signal. For example, if your TV model has an HDTV (High Definition) screen, there is no need to pay for a tuner that supports HDTV reception. On the other hand, older models can only have SDTV (Standard Definition) resolution screens, so tuners with EDTV (Enhanced Definition) and SDTV (Standard Definition) formats may be needed. (2, 3)

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Tuner Features

When we talk about built-in tuners, we usually refer to additional features, like a USB multimedia player that allows you digitally playback content from flash drives and portable hard disks. Recording allows you to save video live to the same external memory. The creation of your favorite channels list for quick access is also an important function; this way, you can easily switch between the channels you watch the most.

The closed caption function helps display it, if necessary. You can also use parental control, auto-tuning, sleep mode, or schedule the device to turn on and off at certain times.

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Interfaces and Multimedia Processing

You should make sure that your television set is properly connected to the cable and that the tuner is working properly. To do this, check the continuity of the cable and adjust the antenna if necessary.

Also, make sure you have connections for external memory devices (USB) and a television signal decoder (RF). It’s important to understand how a multimedia player works with a processor unit and how they connect to external outputs such as audio/video ports or audio jack ports.


FAQs

What Is a Digital Converter Box?

A digital converter box is a device that receives over-the-air broadcast signals and converts them so you can receive them on your television. The purpose of the digital TV transition in the United States was to free up space on the electromagnetic spectrum so it could be used for other purposes, such as wireless internet. By using a digital converter box, you can still watch TV without paying for cable or satellite.

There are several advantages to using a digital converter box. First, it’s cheaper than paying for cable or satellite. Second, it’s usually easy to install and use. Third, it gives you access to local stations that may not be available through cable or satellite providers.

What does a converter box do?

A TV or cable converter box lets you receive digital and analog television signals on a single channel or through the HDMI port on your TV.

Do I need an antenna for the converter box?

Yes, you will need an antenna to use a converter box. There are many indoor antennas that you can choose from, but first, you need to ensure that you can get signals where you live.

What channels do I get with a digital converter box?

You can get broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC through the box. Some other channels may be available depending on where you live.

Do smart TVs need a converter box?

Today’s modern Smart TVs don’t require a digital converter box to receive over-the-air broadcast signals; however, it is best to check with your TV brand and model to confirm this.


Wrapping Up

To make your buying decision easier, we developed a list of the best digital converter boxes, along with their features, descriptions, and pros & cons. Every product has its own benefits, which may suit you but may not suit others.

But if we’re talking about a box that has comprehensive features, then ViewTV AT-163 ATSC Digital Converter Box is our number one pick because of its ease of use and convenient remote control.ViewTV is a more established company that has been producing television products for many years.

The ViewTV AT-163 ATSC Digital Converter Box is compatible with TVs, Blu-ray players, and other receivers from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, and others. We hope the information provided in this article will help you find the best one as per your needs!



References

(1) NTSC format – https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/articles/00006681
(2) SDTV – https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/standard-definition-television-SDTV
(3) EDTV – https://www.webopedia.com/definitions/edtv/

Our Recommendation Again

Sale
ViewTV Digital TV Converter Box for Analog TV - AT-163 OTA DVR, PVR Digital TV Recorder and ATSC Tuner Features A Built in USB Port, HDMI and Coaxial Output, Bright LED Clock and is Easy to Use
  • Convert Digital Broadcasts to Analog TV - Ready to cut out the cable? ViewTV digital converter box allows you to record and stream local TV shows and news to a laptop, projector, HD TV, or home theatre
  • Our Modern TV Tuner Has it All - We updated our TV tuner box with hdmi output, auto tuning, electronic programming guide, recording PVR, closed caption, favorite channel list and parental control function
  • Record and Rewind Your Favorite Shows - Our DVR recorder for TV makes it easy to keep up with the shows and movies you love. The USB TV tuner even allows you to record them directly to a flash drive

About the author 

John Temple