How do I know if my TV has a digital tuner?

In the United States, since June 2009, all of the over-the-air TV broadcast shifted to being digital. Hence in such cases if you are watching TV with a TV antenna, there is a need to have a TV that is either built-in with a digital tuner or you may need an external device called as the converter box. For those of you who have purchased TV after March 2007 would most probably be having a digital tuner built-in the TV unit. But there were still few TV which were sold after that and did not contain a digital tuner.

In the United States, since June 2009, all of the over-the-air TV broadcast shifted to being digital. Hence in such cases if you are watching TV with a TV antenna, there is a need to have a TV that is either built-in with a digital tuner or you may need an external device called as the converter box. For those of you who have purchased TV Antenna after March 2007 would most probably be having a digital tuner built-in the TV unit. But there were still few TV which were sold after that and did not contain a digital tuner.

Where is the Tuner? When you are checking in the older analog TV then most probably the digital tuner would be in the DTV converter box. But if you are watching the broadcasting digital signals on your digital TV then the tuner would be located inside the TV. However, there would be an exception if the digital TV is a digital monitor. In case of satellite or cable providers, the tuner would be located in the set-top box which you must have got from the provider.

How to check for tuner in a TV?

  • Firstly, check for a sticker. You would need to look out on the front or the back of the TV for any sticker. If not a sticker, then there may be a marking which would mention it as digital tuner. The markings or sticker would be like, ATSC, Digital Receiver, DTV, Integrated Digital Tuner, HDTV or the Digital Tuner Built-in. If there are any of these type of indications, then it means that the TV has a built-in digital tuner.
  • You can also look out for the details in the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual would normally come along with the TV. Hence if there is no clear indication or sticker on the TV set about the tuner then the best place to check for the same is manual.
  • You can also flip through the channels present on your TV. The digital television normally contains sub-channels in addition to the regular ones. A TV having a digital tuner would also be displaying the sub-channel. In case if you can see these sub-channels then it means that there is digital tuner built-in.
  • If not, then you can locate the model number of the TV. Check the specifications on the manufacturer’s website.