How to Convert a Sony Watchman TV to Digital

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How to Convert a Sony Watchman TV to Digital
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Between 1982 and 2000, Sony produced a large number of portable television units the company referred to as its Watchman series. With over 65 unique production models available, the Watchman became a bedrock of the consumer television industry for well over a decade. The highly portable pocket television design allowed individuals to carry their Watchman with them to virtually any location that received television signals.

Although the Sony Watchman eventually fell out of favor when television companies committed to switching their devices to digital signals, you can still make your Watchman work by installing a digital signal converter.


Convert a Sony Watchman TV signal to digital input/output using a standard COAX cable, an RCA splitter cable and a digital converter box.

Basics of Sony Portable TV Units

Before the arrival of digital television technology, a TV received television signals using an attached antenna. The signals were transmitted at a range of 41 to 250 MHz in the VHF frequency band range. The Sony Watchman series of portable televisions relied on these signals to display programming.

By the time the Watchman was discontinued, the product design had expanded to incorporate expanded display sizes, LCD color displays and composite A/V inputs, among other innovations. That said, these advancements did not fundamentally improve the means by which a signal was received and broadcast to viewers.

With the switch to digital television, TV antennas are rarely, if ever, used. Digital TV circumvents the frequency broadcasting/receiving process entirely and relies on the transmission of a digital signal via cable or satellite instead. With the introduction of digital television, audiences had not only access to a greater array of content but also a much higher quality viewing experience.

Converting a Digital Signal

If you are adamant about keeping your Watchman in service, your device must be able to receive and interpret digital signals. Without this, there is almost no possibility that your Watchman can display TV programming. To ensure that the digital signal can be used by your Watchman, you must convert the incoming digital signal to a compatible format before it reaches the Watchman.

To do this, you need a standard RCA plug-equipped splitter cable, a standard coax cable and a digital converter box unit. As a first step, connect the RCA splitter cable to the AV out ports on the digital converter box and the port labeled in on the side of the Watchman. Without the proper configuration of this cable, this process cannot function as intended.

After the 3.5 mm cable is plugged in, connect the coax cable to the port labeled in on the converter unit and the coax output port near the antenna on the Watchman. After this is complete, you have the necessary bridge to convert and display digital signals on the Watchman. Power on the device to ensure the hardware is functioning properly. The vast majority of users are able to complete this conversion easily. However, if you still cannot receive a signal, conduct internet research to determine how others have approached the problem.