Best Digital Converter Boxes

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 14, 2024
Digital converter boxes will give a new life to your favorite old TVs. These devices ensure high-quality sound and image. A weak broadcasting signal won't get on your nerves anymore. Just consider these low-price models with rich functionality. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2024
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
BROADCASTING SUPPORT
RESOLUTION
FEATURES
INTERFACES
FORMATS AND CODING SUPPORT
WARRANTY
 
PROS

Broadcast digital TV to a TV, PC, or projector with this ATSC digital TV converter and watch programs in FHD quality on the device of your choice.

CONS

There are storage limits for recording to USB.

OUR VERDICT

The ZJBOX digital TV converter box has a solid set of features, including closed captioning, auto-tuning, start-up, and shutdown synchronization. The real-time and schedule recording recording function makes it a remarkable value. 

detailed parameters
BROADCASTING SUPPORT

ATSC / QAM analog pass-through

RESOLUTION

1080p

FEATURES

EPG Guide, USB Multimedia Player, Closed Caption, Auto Tuning, Timing Start Up & Shut Down, Digital TV, Projector, and Computer Monitor, TV recording, Favorite Channel List, Parental Control Function

INTERFACES

USB, HDMI, RF In/Out, Composite Video, Composite L/R Audio, Coaxial Output

FORMATS AND CODING SUPPORT

DivX, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB, MOV

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The emergency alert system (EAS) provides information from the pre-set TV station(s). You can record TV series onto USB flash drives and external hard drives.

CONS

The IR remote conflicts with other devices. 

OUR VERDICT

The Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB will let you turn any TV into a smart TV. Using this box, you'll be able to control and schedule the content as you see fit. 

detailed parameters
BROADCASTING SUPPORT

ATSC / QAM analog pass-through

RESOLUTION

1080p

FEATURES

EPG Guide, Timing Startup & Shutdown, USB Multimedia Player, Recording Function, Parental Control, Closed Caption, EAS (Emergency Alert System), Auto Tuning, Favorite Channel List

INTERFACES

USB, HDMI, Ant In/Out (with ch3/ch4 switch), Composite Video, Composite L/R Audio

FORMATS AND CODING SUPPORT

DivX, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB, MOV

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

This model converts digital air channels to analog TVs and has convenient synchronization with ClearQAM.

CONS

There is no daylight saving time, so you have to switch time zones manually.

OUR VERDICT

The IVIEW 3300STB is both a digital converter and a media player, which means you can save media files to a USB drive and play videos or music through the port.  Also, the device supports up to 4 TB of memory, making it a great pick for those that have internet outages.

detailed parameters
BROADCASTING SUPPORT

ATSC / QAM analog pass-through

RESOLUTION

1080p

FEATURES

EPG Guide, USB Multimedia Player, Recording Function, Parental Control, Auto Tuning, Favorite Channel List, Control Closed Caption, Timing Startup& Shutdown

INTERFACES

USB, HDMI, Composite Video, Composite L/R Audio

FORMATS AND CODING SUPPORT

DivX, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB

WARRANTY

90 days

PROS

The ViewTV AT-163 ATSC looks really stylish and has a modern design. Plus, there is a wide set of additional useful features in the tuner. An HDMI cable is included.

CONS

The keys on the remote are too close to each other. 

OUR VERDICT

This digital TV converter box can play just about any format you throw at it and do that even from external drives, making it one of the best converter boxes for those looking for a device offering a strong feature set, good price and excellent quality.

detailed parameters
BROADCASTING SUPPORT

ATSC / QAM analog pass-through

RESOLUTION
1080p
FEATURES
EPG Guide, Timing Startup & Shutdown, USB Multimedia Player, Recording Function, Parental Control, Closed Caption, Auto Tuning, Favorite Channel List
INTERFACES

USB, HDMI, RF In/Out, YPbPr Output, Coaxial Output

FORMATS AND CODING SUPPORT

DivX, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB, MOV, FLV, VC-1

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

This converter box offers QAM cleaning, auto and manual search, time shift, PVR recording, EPG for extended program information, favorite channel list, and parental control.

CONS

The instructions are incomplete.

OUR VERDICT

The ability to receieve over-the-air ATSC digital TV broadcasts to your analog and digital TV, projector, and PC monitor and connect the console makes the UBISHENG U-003 converter a great choice for gamers. 

detailed parameters
BROADCASTING SUPPORT

ATSC

RESOLUTION

1080p

FEATURES

EPG Guide, USB Multimedia Player, Support Teletext and DVB Subtitle, Low Power Mode, Closed Caption, Timer On/Off Setting, Parental Control, EAS (Emergency Alert System)

INTERFACES

USB, HDMI, YPbPr Output, Coaxial Output, RF Out

FORMATS AND CODING SUPPORT

AVI, MOV, MKV, JPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMA

WARRANTY

1 year

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ZJBOX Digital TV

Quality Image Transfer

Want to watch digital TV on your analog TV set – or computer screen? You can do it easily and on the level with ZJBOX digital TV converter box.

This product captures the ATSC digital broadcast and transfers it to your analog (or digital) TV, PC screen, or projector. Yes, it’s as easy as it sounds. Now you can watch your fav TV shows, news, or sports events on your device of choice without buying a specific one to cover your needs. Protect your wallet by making the most of what you already have at home.

ZJBOX is very easy to set up and connect. It comes with everything you need and plugs into your TV by a HDMI, Composite, or Coaxial port. One thing you need to remember is to remove the protective film that covers the vents. Otherwise, the box may overheat and have a shorter lifespan as a result.

This converter box supports the 1080p Full HD output for you to watch free local TV as it was meant to be viewed. Sit back and enjoy high quality, bright, and crisp picture without the need for a more expensive TV set. Actually, with some channels, there is practically no difference between the dish and antenna quality.

Review of ZJBOX Digital TV Converter Box

Multifunctional Converter Box

ZJBOX comes with a vast range of features. The TV recording is perhaps one of the most useful among them. Missed an exciting sports match because of work? No problem, just have it recorded on an USB drive and watch it when you’ve got the time. The only problem here is that the supported drives are limited in terms of storage volume, meaning that you won’t be able to record a lot.

This box conveniently supports real time as well as schedule recording.

Another feature of ZJBOX is a favorite channel list. Don’t waste time browsing through them all – pick one instantly and spend time on actually enjoying the shows. If you’re a parent and want to control what your kid has access to, there’s also a parental control option.

But that’s not all; ZJBOX allows you to view photos and play music/movie files on your device of choice. Show everyone your breathtaking photos from a recent trip – or play MP3s using the surround sound system on your TV set.

This converter box fully supports EPG and keeps all the program information at your hand. Overall, it’s the key to your upscale TV experience at home.

ZJBOX Digital TV Converter Box in the use
Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B07Z5RGLK6

 

Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB

Sleek and Almost Imposing

The Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB is up there with the most versatile and full-featured digital converters. At the same time, the device looks much more sleek and elegant than these boxes usually look.

Measuring 5 x 1.5 x 4 inches, this box is as compact as they come. At the same time, the device weighs less than five ounces, which is pretty nice even though its weight matters very little.

The glossy front panel makes this product look stylish, while the all-black housing makes the box appear almost imposing, certainly adding character to the otherwise modest, unassuming device.

Of course, you don't buy these devices for looks alone, aesthetics are complementary but not necessary here. This device is fine with that. The people behind this product haven't been banking on looks at all. On the contrary, it is the device's functionality that sells this box.

First things first, this model features an electronic programming guide, which is something that these boxes rarely come without. The guide's menu-based system provides continuously updated menus, displaying scheduling information regarding current and upcoming broadcasts. You can even scroll backwards here.

Timing startup and shutdown are basically obligatory features these days too, so we won't be focusing too much on them. Needless to say, you can use these settings to program the TV to turn on and off whenever you want.

Review of Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB ATSC Digital Converter Box

Emergency Alert System

There are many features here that we've seen many times before. There are also some features that are pretty unique or, at the very least, rare enough to justify the spotlight.

First and foremost, there's an emergency alert system (EAS) that provides emergency information from the pre-set TV station(s).

Apart from that, you can also use this box as a TV tuner, receiving over-the-air TV channels and doing everything that TV tuners enable you to do.

You can use the recording function to record your favorite TV series onto USB flash drives. You can also use 2.5"/3.5" external hard drives. In fact, these are preferable because USB flash drives seldom let you smoothly record the content.

Parental control, closed captions, favorite channel list, automatic tuning, these standard features are naturally present as well.

Bottom line, the Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB will let you turn any TV into a smart TV. Using this box, you'll be able to control and schedule the content as much as possible. Plus, the device looks really sleek too.

Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB ATSC Digital Converter Box in the use

Additional Info

User Manual

Last updated price $29.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B01EW098XS

 

IVIEW 3300STB

Digital TV at Your Fingertips

No need to replace your old but favorite analog TV set to watch local digital channels. IVIEW converts ATSC (digital air channels) to the analog signal that your set can consume. It also captures many more channels than other converter boxes.

Why buy a new digital TV set when you can simply make the best of what you already have at home? Get yourself an IVIEW, and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite TV series or sports in Full HD (1080p). Never miss a single detail of an amazing show scene or a spectacular goal. This converter box gives you a full scale digital TV experience without having to buy an expensive home theater.

To start using this converter box, simply connect the HDMI cable to your TV set. That’s it; no complex setup or calling in a specialist. Plug in the cable, and you’re ready to enjoy the super crisp TV signal quality.

IVIEW can be your bridge between the costly cable service and free local channels. If your antenna is powerful enough, you should be able to pick all or most channels in your area. A great alternative if you’re getting tired of overpaying for the cable TV content and want to save up big time.

Review of IVIEW 3300STB ATSC Converter Box with Recording

Record Your Favorite Shows

What else has IVIEW got to offer? First of all, the very practical TV record function. If your boss wants you to work late again and you’re missing the mid-season finale of your fav show, don’t get upset. You can prerecord it using your converter box and enjoy it later in the evening. There’s also the repeated recording option for your comfort. Note, however, that the box uses the not so popular .MTS format for recorded videos.

Want to preserve all the show episodes for rewatching? IVIEW supports an up to 4 TB USB drive, which is significantly more than in other converter boxes. Don’t feel limited when recording your favorite broadcasts.

More great news? You can actually view photos, listen to music files, or watch saved videos using this versatile device. How about revisiting your birthday or holiday photo collection on a big TV screen? Or enjoying your number one artist without wasting money on a sound system?

If you have kids at home, be in charge of what they watch by using the parental control system; it’s easy, free, and safe.

To sum up, IVIEW covers all your media with ease, rewarding you with upscale entertainment every day.

IVIEW 3300STB ATSC Converter Box with Recording in the use

Additional Info

User Manual

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B089GLM4WM

 

Viewtv AT-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box

Functionality at an Affordable Price

The first thing you'll notice when connecting the Viewtv AT-163 digital converter is that there is an HDMI cable besides a composite one. It's rare to see this connectivity option among the competitors. Thus, with an appropriate socket on your TV, you can efficiently transfer high-quality images from the tuner to a TV panel.

It's a good addition considering the money it costs. Interestingly, besides perfect configuration, the manufacturer tried to provide this model with different additional peculiarities including a capacity to record any live broadcast on the external devices, an information guide, a content multimedia playback function via USB, parental control, closed-caption display function, autotuning, and the creation of your favorite channels list.

There are many reasons why this digital converter box is better than most prospects on the market right now. Among those reasons are the formats that the device supports. Sure, there's nothing impressive about this box being able to run Divx, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB, and MOV.

The FLV format that the device supports too is not as prevalent though, which's unfortunate for the devices that are missing this format and great for this particular because you're able to listen to lossless music. You'll also be able to play VC-1 videos, which is not necessarily the best format out there but there aren't too many digital converter boxes that support this format, so the ability alone is always a plus.

Review of Viewtv AT-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box

Automatic Switch

Having said all that, there is one more feature this tuner can boast - a capacity to automatically switch on and off. The feature includes an option to set a certain time for switching on and off if it is necessary.

Putting this model in the same line with its competitors, we can say that it is one of the most optimal in terms of capacity to receive signals, functionality, and configuration.

The product's only downside that we couldn't overlook is the size. Measuring 10.2 x 9.8 x 2.1 inches, it is not even remotely as compact as the device's more affordable and, in most ways, less impressive competition.

However, the box sports a fairly sleek profile that will complement any space. Sure, you don't necessarily buy these devices for looks but there's no downside to an attractive profile, is there? The box probably wouldn't work as a conversation starter but you also won't have to worry about some ugly-looking box ruining the setting's vibe.

Viewtv AT-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B00GGVPKKC

VIDEO
Viewtv AT-263 Unboxing, Setup, Review (Digital Converter Box with Recoding) OTA

What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

The actual Viewtv box is very small, about the size of an average hardcover book.

Accessories

Remote is easy to use, set-up was ridiculously easy.

Features

It will play the following formats Divx, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB, MOV, FLV, and VC-1. a great deal more than other converter boxes that will cost you more.
 

UBISHENG U-003

Your Freedom of Watching TV

Now is the time to transfer over-the-air digital TV signal to your good old analog TV, projector, or PC monitor. The UBISHENG converter box receives the local digital TV – and lets you enjoy it free, without overpaying for the cable.

Let’s start with the fact that UBISHENG supports a broad range of TV models, such as LED TV, Smart TV, HD TV, and others. If you prefer to receive the signal to your PC and use the monitor, absolutely no problem. This converter box is really versatile in this aspect.

What about the picture quality? UBISHENG provides you with a high definition, full color, crispy picture that will actually surprise you. Now you don’t have to upgrade to a new TV model to enjoy the local TV channels the way they are meant to be viewed. Impress your family with a brand new viewing experience and take in each and every detail of any TV show or sports event.

The only visible downside to this box is that the instructions could be more detailed and cover more aspects of this product. Inexperienced users will probably spend some time mastering this device and finding their way around the menus.

Review of UBISHENG U-003 Analog to Digital Converter Box

Multiple Features for Your Comfort

What if you needed to record a show and view it later? UBISHENG has a DVR function, allowing you to record in real time or set the start/stop timers. It’s very flexible and you won’t be missing out on anything, from your favorite series to the decisive football matches. You can also pause a live broadcast and continue from this very moment. Now the unexpected guests won’t spoil the crucial moment in the game.

This converter box uses a USB external drive for recording. You can watch the outcome on your TV or transfer it to the computer; the choice is always yours.

What else can UBISHENG surprise you with? It can function as a full-fledged multimedia player for viewing pictures, playing MP3files, and watching movies in DivX, AVI, or other supported formats. Enjoy your favorite artist or music band without switching to an audio system. Or revisit memorable photos from your birthday or wedding on a big TV screen.

UBISHENG supports EPG, a favorite channel list, DVB subtitles, and parental mode. What’s more, it can notify you about an emergency with a special alert system.

As evident, this converter box meets the high expectations and allows you to fully enjoy free local digital TV.

UBISHENG U-003 Analog to Digital Converter Box in the use
Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B07QTGLPBN

 

Infographics

Comparison of Digital Converter Boxes

What Is a Digital Converter Box?

After transitioning from analog to digital broadcasting, many users have faced a problem: a great number of channels they used to watch were not supported in old TV sets. They just had no capacity to receive such a signal. As a rule, most modern TV sets are already equipped with special tuners. But the old television sets don't have those and, as you'd imagine, simply buying a new display isn't always an option. Fortunately, you can solve this problem by purchasing a digital converter box. A device like that receives a digital signal that is further converted into an analog one. This way, you are able to enjoy the newest broadcasting signal, all while still using your old trusty TV set.

For those who wish to expand the functionality of their TV sets significantly and make it really smart, we suggest considering a streaming media player. But to improve the received signal you'll also need a high-quality TV antenna.

What Features to Compare

Broadcasting Support

When selecting a digital converter it's necessary to decide on the broadcasting support you will need. As we know, a digital converter serves for decoding an ATSC digital signal into an NTSC analog one. But if you still want to receive an analog signal coming from local low-power broadcasters that don't intend to transit to a digital format, you should check if there is an Analog Pass-Through feature. Thanks to this feature, the analog signal will pass directly to the TV set. If you also want to watch digital cable channels, you'll need to make sure you have a tuner in a QAM standard. It's worth noting that in this case, you will be able to watch uncoded channels only.

Image Resolution

It's very important to take into consideration the broadcasted image resolution, as it affects the quality and at the same time compatibility with a TV screen. If your TV set has a standard SDTV screen, no need to overpay for the tuner supporting HDTV video signal reception. For example, if your TV screen is 1080p, pay attention to the tuner, which should support the same HDTV (High Definition) standard. Older TV models can have 720p and 480p resolution, so tuners with EDTV (Enhanced Definition) and SDTV (Standard Definition) formats support respectively will be needed.

Tuner Features

While speaking about the tuner features, we normally mean additional functions like a built-in USB multimedia player, which allows you to play back digital content from flash drives and portable hard disks. The recording enables you to save video live to the same external memory. The next function is the creation of your favorite channels list for a quick access. The closed caption function helps display it if necessary. Other essential functions are parental control, auto-tuning, sleep mode, and the capacity to switch the device on and off at a certain time.

Interfaces and Multimedia Processing

And in conclusion, you should check the tuner connection to the TV set. It's recommended to use an HDMI connector to achieve the highest quality. If your TV doesn't have it, make sure you have analog composite audio/video ports. As for the connection with external memory, a USB connector is required, and for the antenna — an RF port. The USB multimedia player and digital signal compression standards support plays a great role as well. It's better to give preference to the tuners supporting AVI, DAT, VOB, MKV, MJPEG video, for the music it should be MP3, AAC, MP4, and for images: JPEG, BMP, PNG. In modern tuners MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 video compression technologies are generally used, therefore such devices are usually called digital television decoders.

Did you know?

The Tallest TV Tower in the World

Did you know that the tallest TV broadcasting tower was built in the Japanese city of Tokyo? It is situated in the Sumida district and is called the Tokyo Skytree. Just imagine, its height is 634 meters, which is the top height among TV towers and the second tallest construction after the famous Burj Khalifa in Dubai with its 828 meters height. Because of Japan's transition to the digital television and radio broadcasting standard, which took place in 2011, it was decided to build this tower, since the old tower wasn't tall enough.

The construction started in 2008, but the most interesting thing is the speed of constructive works. It's unbelievable, they were moving with a speed of 10 meters per week. The tower construction was completed on February 29, 2012, and on May 22 of the same year, the Tokyo Skytree was officially opened for the public. Approximately 580 thousand people were involved in constructive works on the TV tower, and its costs exceeded the amount of $812 mln.

The First

Did you know that the first American TV channel, which started round-the-clock broadcasting was the globally known CNN? Interestingly, in the USA the channel was nicknamed "Chicken Noodle Network". It's worth noting, that in the USA, CNN company is the largest one. Its audience is approximately one billion people. It's also interesting that among all the mass media CNN was one of the first companies that started digital broadcasting.

Nowadays, there are mass media giant broadcasts on six continents in four languages: English, Turkish, Spanish, and German. Among other interesting facts about television, we should mention that thanks to the UN Assembly we have an opportunity to celebrate World Television Day on November 21st since 1996.

Some History Context

It's quite difficult to surprise anybody with digital television today. But few people know how the process of transition from analog to digital broadcasting advanced. The turning point in this history was the decision taken on February 17, 2009, by the US Congress about the termination of analog broadcasting by all the TV stations. The very transition process required the conversion of about 1800 high-power transmitting centers. Among them, there were 380 public and 1378 private ones. It's noteworthy that many cable operators continued to broadcast in analog format additionally, that still allowed the users of analog television to watch their favorite channels without any tuners.

At the same time, e-stores were forbidden to sell TVs without digital tuners. So many electronics manufacturers started mass production of various TV tuners, which converted a digital signal into an analog one to let people watch their old TVs. All the while NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) tested and selected the best and at the same time inexpensive tuner models, that cost $40-70 afterward compensated by the state.

For the television reform, the government allocated about 1.5 bln dollars. It's interesting, people got special $40 coupons, 1-2 per each family, to purchase these very tuners. Many sellers had to be certified for participation in the program. At the present moment, the US government stopped issuing coupons.

Sources:

1. Robert Silva GE Smart Digital Converter Box For Analog Televisions, Lifewire. October 18, 2016.

2. Matthew Torres What You Need To Know Before Buying a DTV Converter Box, About. August 11, 2016.

3. Digital TV Converter Box Tips? HubPages. February 12, 2015.

4. Jessica Hatter How to Reset a Digital Converter Box, Techwalla.

5. HDTV or Converter Box? Antennas Direct. January 17, 2015.

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