DTVs and digital television equipment will have labels or markings on them, or statements in the informational materials that came with them, to indicate that they contain digital tuners. These labels or markings may contain the words “Integrated Digital Tuner,” “Digital Tuner Built-In,” “Digital Receiver,” or “Digital Tuner,” “DTV,” “ATSC,” or “HDTV” (High Definition television). If your television equipment contains any of these labels or markings, you should be able to view digital over-the-air programming without the need for a digital-to-analog converter box. (Remember, you do not need an HDTV to view free over-the-air digital programming. As long as your television equipment contains a digital tuner, you can view over-the-air digital. An HDTV is only necessary if you want to view High Definition programming in full HD quality.) You should also check the manual or any other materials that came with your television equipment in order to determine whether it contains a digital tuner.
If your television set is labeled as a “Digital Monitor” or “HDTV Monitor,” or as “Digital Ready” or “HDTV Ready,” this does not mean it actually contains a digital tuner. Thus, you still will likely need a separate set-top box which contains a digital tuner in order to view over-the-air digital programming.
Over-the-air digital set-top boxes for Digital or HD “Monitors” can be purchased at retail stores. Cable and satellite TV providers also sell or lease digital set-top boxes for their specific services. (Note: the digital set-top box described here is not the same as the digital-to-analog converter box, described above, used to convert free over-the-air digital broadcasts for viewing on an analog TV set.)
If your television set is labeled as “analog” or “NTSC,” and is NOT labeled as containing a digital tuner, it contains an analog tuner only.
If you cannot determine whether your television set or other television equipment contains a digital tuner, you are advised to check your equipment for the manufacturer name and model number, and then contact your consumer electronics retailer, or the manufacturer, to determine whether it contains a digital tuner. This information also may be available online through the manufacturer’s website.
Because most broadcast stations in all U.S. television markets are already broadcasting in digital, consumers can watch DTV today. You can contact your local broadcast stations to determine the channel numbers on which the stations are currently broadcasting digital programming. You should then ensure that your television is set up to receive over-the-air programming (as distinguished from being connected to a paid provider such as cable or satellite TV service), and then tune to the over-the-air digital channels to see if your set can receive the digital broadcast programming.