Do I need a Digital TV Converter? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-23-2011, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I've always referred to this site for amazing info, but never posted on it.
I'm just looking for some assistance with receiving over-the-air digital signals.

I purchased a digital TV converter and digital antenna so I can get the local tv stations. It works... but not terribly great quality when compared to regular digital when I had the digital cable box. The audio isn't great either.

My setup is:
- digital antenna to digital converter, RCA-out (analog)
- analog RCA-in on my Harman Kardon 3600, converts & up-converts it back to "HD" digital for my LCD

My question:
Do I really need to convert to analog so that my receiver can handle the signal? Reading my question now, it just seems more logical that I can just send the digital signal straight to a digital video input on the receiver and avoid lossy conversions...but how? Any suggestions? ideal setups?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-23-2011, 05:17 PM
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What make/model "digital" converter?
What make/model TV?

I think you've made some assumptions. You're not getting a true HD signal from the tuner to the TV.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-23-2011, 06:05 PM
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A little more detailed info is needed. First of all, if you bought a digital converter box like the ones that were sold during the digital transition (Insignia is one brand), those will pick up the digital signal but that's all. They are not HDTV converter boxes. I have a couple of those (back bedroom analog tv, garage analog tv) and all they have are RCA outputs (red, white, yellow cables). Quality will be ok on a small crt tv but a new LCD, probably not. Second, there is really no such thing as an HDTV antenna. You just need a good antenna that can pick up UHF-VHF signals depending on your area.

The digital tuner should be connected directly to the tv if the tv is HD-ready (no built-in ATSC tuner). Running a digital signal only to the AVR will not convert it to HD.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-23-2011, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, sorry I should have been a little more concise. I'm not really looking for a true HD picture, I'm just wondering if using the converter to convert the digital signal to analog, and then using the receiver to convert it back to digital is unnecessary. Can I skip the analog conversion altogether, and capture the original digital signal and send right to my receiver without the interim step?

I'm using:

Philips SDV6225T/27 digital antenna --> Access HD DTA1030D TV converter --> Harman Kardon 3600 (via RCA) --> Samsung LNT4061FX (via HDMI)


Thanks again
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-23-2011, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cronin84 View Post

Thanks guys, sorry I should have been a little more concise. I'm not really looking for a true HD picture, I'm just wondering if using the converter to convert the digital signal to analog, and then using the receiver to convert it back to digital is unnecessary. Can I skip the analog conversion altogether, and capture the original digital signal and send right to my receiver without the interim step?

I'm using:

Philips SDV6225T/27 digital antenna --> Access HD DTA1030D TV converter --> Harman Kardon 3600 (via RCA) --> Samsung LNT4061FX (via HDMI)


Thanks again

If your Samsung has a built-in ATSC tuner all you need to do is run the antenna to the cable/antenna input of the tv and then run an optical cable out from the tv to the optical in of the AVR (if it has one). That's what I do. I get full HDTV and 5.1 discrete audio out (when broadcast) thru the AVR. If you don't have optical out, just use the tv speakers or whatever audio out you have to the AVR.

I just looked up your tv and it has an integrated ATSC/NTSC tuner so you don't need a digital converter box. The antenna has a cox output so just connect that to the antenna input of your tv and follow the tv's instructions for OTA viewing. Unless I missed something or looked at something wrong, this is a very simple and easy setup. If you don't want to place the indoor antenna close to the tv, just use a longer run of RG-6 coax. BTW, the best reception is to use an outdoor antenna if possible. Indoor OTA reception can be hit and miss at times.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-23-2011, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cronin84 View Post

Thanks guys, sorry I should have been a little more concise. I'm not really looking for a true HD picture, I'm just wondering if using the converter to convert the digital signal to analog, and then using the receiver to convert it back to digital is unnecessary. Can I skip the analog conversion altogether, and capture the original digital signal and send right to my receiver without the interim step?

I'm using:

Philips SDV6225T/27 digital antenna --> Access HD DTA1030D TV converter --> Harman Kardon 3600 (via RCA) --> Samsung LNT4061FX (via HDMI)


Thanks again

I, too, am confused as to why you are even mentioning using a digital converter box when your set has a digital tuner. Just hook your antenna directly to the TV, and the TV's digital audio out to the receiver. If the receiver doesn't have an optical digital input, use the analog audio out from the TV.

Why do you want to use the converter?
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-24-2011, 07:02 AM
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There's no reason at all to use the DTA1030D. It actually is preventing you from getting digital TV channels in "true" HD and degrading the audio from Dolby Digital to analog stereo. Remove it from your setup.

As suggested earlier, the TV has a built-on ATSC (digital) tuner. Connect the coax directly to the TV's antenna input (ANT 1 IN/AIR) and perform a channel search/scan (refer to the TV's manual for directions). Also, the HK receiver has optical inputs. Run an optical cable from the TV's optical output (Toslink) to the HK receiver's optical input. (refer to the HK manual for setup and input assigment).

You will be very pleased with the results.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-24-2011, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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The antenna defintiely works straight to the TV's tuner, works great. Thanks, it was a good test to see what converting did to the signal. The DTA1030D is going back. I am very pleased with how it looks.

Now, for one last piece of advice. Instead of sending just the audio to the receiever as suggested above, how can I send the whole shebang? ...video and everything.
Would I need a buffer device, like the TV's integrated ATSC tuner in order for the receiver to handle the signal from the antenna? The reason I want to do this so I can assign it as a source on my receiver (set up is getting complicated for the rest of the household!)

Again, thanks you've all been a great help.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-24-2011, 08:08 AM
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There's no reason to send video to the receiver.

Check your receiver's manual. You should be able the "assign" the optical input accordingly for "TV". That's all that needed for audio.

Example:
Turn on the TV.
Select the desired channel.
Turn on the receiver.
Select "TV".
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-24-2011, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

There's no reason to send video to the receiver.

Yep. If you have a good ATSC tuner, then OTA will more than meet your needs. In fact, it can be even better than cable or sat at times. Less compression. In your case (and mine), just use the receiver for your audio. My BD player goes thru the AVR for audio only with nothing done to the video signal being fed to the tv.

Follow Ratman's advice.
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