What is the Best Digital Converter Box?

It’s easy to believe that the days of analog TVs are over due to the high demand for digital TV and broadcasting. This, however, is not the case because many of these analog devices are still in use. Therefore, it necessary for analog TV owners to make use of digital converter boxes in order to obtain all the programming and features lost during the conversion to digital.

For instance, those with digital boxes get access to a higher number of channel choices, higher sound and picture quality, favorite channel listings, auto-power settings, programmed and real-time recording, on-screen programming, and built-in media players.

We set out to review five best digital converter boxes to help you choose the one that best serves your needs.

Best Digital Converter Boxes of 2019

ModelOur rating 
Mediasonic HW-150PVR
Editor's Choice
9.6 Check Price
RCA DTA-800B19.3 Check Price
Leelbox Converter Box9.2 Check Price
Viewtv AT-2639.0 Check Price
Digital Stream DTX99508.7 Check Price

1. Mediasonic HomeWorx HW-150PVR – Best for Playing Multimedia

This digital converter box converts Over-the-Air ATSC digital broadcast to analog televisions. It has a built-in media player function, which allows the user to play back video files on removable USB devices. You can also schedule real-time video recording to catch up on shows you missed while you weren’t home. Unfortunately, users can’t watch and record different channels at the same time. One important thing to take note of is that this converter box can only play local television programming. All other channels are not supported as the provider encrypts them. This also goes for additional services such as TIVO.

It is effortless to install due to the user-friendly design and can be connected using the HDMI, Composite, Component, or Coaxial port.


Pros

  • Parental control function
  • Offers closed caption
  • Provides a favorite channel list
  • Emergency Alert System
  • TV Tuner function
  • Electronic Program Guide and program information
  • Schedule and Real-Time recording that requires a 2.0 or 3.0 external USB hard drive
  • Autotuning

Cons

  • Dated user interface
  • Cannot watch tv while recording another program

2. RCA DTA-800B1 – An Extremely Versatile Digital Converter

For those consumers who do not want to purchase a new television set but want to keep watching TV programs, they are advised to buy the RCA DTA-800B1 Digital TV Converter. This is because it receives over-the-air television broadcasts easily and converts them to analog signals. However, an antenna is not included with the box.

The RCA converter does not take up much space as it is just slightly larger than the average book. The box has dual position functionality to fit your home’s entertainment area, meaning you can stand it up vertically or lay it horizontally. A universal remote is provided for both the converter box and the TV.

Pros

  • Displays all multicast channels
  • Displays all digital TV formats
  • Easy to set-up and use
  • Coaxial output

Cons

  • Unreliable unit
  • Inefficient remote control
  • Antenna sold separately

3. Leelbox Digital Converter Box – Best for Recording Programs

This converter box provides free local television channels by interpreting and deciphering over-the-air ATSC digital TV broadcast for analog televisions. Video output supports 1080p Full HD which isn’t seen in many lower cost boxes. Moreover, users can easily select and view pictures, movie files, recorded television programs as well as listen to MP3 files from removable USB storage devices. We recommend making the most of the video recording function by attaching a USB hard drive to the converter instead of a USB flash drive.

Pros

  • Supports subtitles, Teletext, and multiple languages
  • Powerful and highly effective 7-day EPG function
  • PVR lets you record TV programs in USB removable media
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Insufficient memory
  • Tacky keypad controls

4. Viewtv AT-263 – Best for HD Video

This compact, lightweight converter box converts a user’s digital broadcast to his or her analog television and Analog Pass-Through using Antenna. It provides a video output of 1080P, offering full HD and high-quality audio. Quickly find your must-watch programs with the built-in favorite channel list. Save power with the auto shutdown feature and prevent the TV from playing all night.

Never worry about what your children see by utilizing this converter’s channel blocking function. Stay up to date of any significant incidents in your area with the Emergency Alert System which picks up any alerts sent out by local news stations.


Pros

  • Favorite channel list
  • Parental control function
  • USB multimedia player
  • Timed start-up and shutdown
  • Full functioning remote control
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Low-quality construction
  • Slow firmware
  • Poor user interface

5. Digital Stream DTV Converter – Best for Multilingual Menus

The Digital Stream converter box display supports Spanish or English menu systems. It has a sleek, black finish, allowing it to blend in neatly with most entertainment systems. This converter box features a favorite channels list which provides users with an opportunity to access their most watched channels. Parents can also monitor the shows their children watch by using parental control features to block specific channels. This converter box requires two AAA batteries which are sold separately.

Pros

  • Features a favorite channel list
  • Parental control function is available
  • High-quality composite video and L/R audio output
  • The screen display menu is offered in English and Spanish
  • Well-designed interface

Cons

  • No HDMI support
  • Mediocre picture quality
  • Requires additional AAA batteries

Conclusion

After the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, many TV users weren’t able to watch their favorite shows or stay up to date on local affairs. Thanks to the various digital converter boxes mentioned above, viewers have regained control of their entertainment and can utilize an even higher number of features than those they had during the analog days.

No two TV viewers are the same as they have different preferences, devices, and technological know-how. However, we’re confident that one of the listed devices will be the best digital converter box for you.

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