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If I bought a digital tv would I still need the converter box because we only have local stations?

Paige2905 recently posted a question on our forums:

At this time I have an analog tv and bought the converter box, we live in a rural area without cable or satellite, only local programs. If I bought a digital tv would I still need the converter box because we only have local stations? Or can you receive digital programming on a digital tv with only local programs?
Also, can I set up my converter box now or do I have to wait until next February?

Hello Paige2905, and thanks for visiting,
Are you going to purchase a brand new TV from a store?

If so, then yes, 99% of the new TV’s that are sold now contain digital converters. You’ll want to probably verify though just by checking if the TV contains a “ATSC Tuner” which decodes over-the-air digital television signals.

The only TV’s I’ve seen as of lately that do not contain a digital tuner are the left over “mobile” television sets sold in audio stores for cars/trucks.

Stores and manufaturers are also required to put labels on television sets that do not contain digital tuners, but a recent story ( FCC Relaxes Rules on Digital Television For Retailers ) about the feds relaxing those restrictions has caused some confusion and controversy.

If you’re buying a used TV, you just need to make sure that the television set contains an “ATSC Tuner”. You may want to check out Information about DTV and Your TV to see which years of TV’s have the best chances of containing a digital converter.

In regards to your question, can I set up my converter box now? Check out Begin Watching DTV Today for your answer.

Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

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