Local Television Stations are in a transition process from analogue to digital. The first is that which is transmitted full of noise, squeaks and bad images. The second delivery in a more clear, clean image. However, to take advantage of digital signal our TVs have or need a converter or a digital receiver. In this article, we will explain exactly what each of these items.

A digital converter, as the name infers, is a device that converts the analog signal into digital. This device is also known in the market as set-top box. So if you are looking for one, ask the store seller if he has a set-top box, as opposed to digital converter.

With it the "magic" happens because it divides the analog signal from the station's antennas into data packets, which are separated into three categories: audio, video and data. Each of these packets is then converted into binary code, which is used in the digital signal. Only after the information is sent to the audio and video outputs from your TV.

What is a digital receiver?

A digital receiver is directly associated with satellite dishes. We can find on the market analogue receivers, digital and HD. In this topic we will talk only of the last two. A digital receiver, while providing an image quality than analog, is not able to deliver a picture in HD, that is, with a resolution of 1280 × 720 pixels. That's because it uses RCA cables to bring the data to the audio and video outputs of the TV.

Already HD receivers can take pictures in digital signal with HD resolution, as they use the HDMI cable, which transmits audio and video over a single path. An advantage of these receptors is that they utilize DVB-S2 signal which can transmit digital signals at full HD resolution, or 1920 × 1080 pixels.

When to use each?

Digital converters should be used when you want to take a survival of an old TV, like those tube, which don’t support the digital signal by default. So, buying an external digital converter, you can connect it to your old TV by RCA cables and get the best image quality at full resolution it is able to offer. In the LCD or LED TVs, this component is already integrated into the TV.

Whereas the digital receiver should be used if you want to watch broadcast satellite channels. Thus, look for a digital antenna or HD. Our recommendation is that you buy an HD because it will give you a digital image with higher resolution.

Compatibility and Prices

Converters are compatible with virtually any TV, even the older, tube. The prices of these devices in the market range from USD 40 to USD 100, and the most expensive to bring more functions, such as recording programs and USB ports for flash drives connection and HD s external.

Now with digital receivers we recommend that you purchase one that supports both bands transmission, which is the C Band and KU Band. They are similar to antennas used by cable TV companies. Stay tuned for the size of the "dish" antenna, the higher the better signal reception will be (the ideal antennas are at least 60 cm). Thus, it will be stable even on rainy days.

As explained in the previous section, there is a difference between digital receivers and HD. The latter gets a better image than the first. So if you are having enough money, buy a HD receiver, which costs between USD 100 and USD 150.


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