How to Use Off-Air Antenna With Direct TV

By Maya Austen

The "Off-Air Antenna" terminal located on the back of DIRECTV receivers functions as an RF pass through. Every "cable-ready" TV sold in the U.S. comes equipped with an RF input terminal. This terminal is often labeled "Antenna In" because this is the interface where the TV antenna connects. In lieu of an antenna, this interface can also be used to receive the DIRECTV satellite signal. If a DIRECTV receiver is connected to the TV's RF input, you may also want to connect an antenna to the TV to pick up broadcast TV signals.

Things You'll Need

  • TV antenna
  • Digital converter box
  • 75 Ohm coaxial cable

Using DIRECTV's "Off-Air Antenna" Terminal with a Digital TV

Step 1

Cut power to the DIRECTV receiver before proceeding.

Step 2

Connect the TV antenna's coaxial cable to the "Off-Air Antenna" terminal located on the rear panel of the DIRECTV. Oftentimes the TV antenna's coaxial cable comes attached to the TV antenna. If this cable is not attached to the TV antenna already, connect the other end of the cable to the RF terminal located on the base of the TV antenna.

Step 3

Turn on the TV.

Step 4

Open the TV's main "Menu" display. Go into the "Channel Setup" options and perform an automatic channel search for the antenna. The TV will conduct a scan for the broadcast TV signals available in the local area.

Using DIRECTV's "Off-Air Antenna" Terminal with an Analog TV

Step 1

Cut power to the TV and DIRECTV receiver before proceeding.

Step 2

Connect the TV antenna's coaxial cable to the RF "Antenna In" terminal located on the rear panel of the digital converter box. Oftentimes the TV antenna's coaxial cable comes attached to the TV antenna. If this cable is not attached to the TV antenna already, connect the other end of the cable to the RF terminal located on the base of the TV antenna.

Step 3

Use another coaxial cable to connect the converter box's RF "TV Out" terminal to the "Off-Air Antenna" terminal located on the rear panel of the DIRECTV.

Step 4

Plug one end of the digital converter box's power cord into the power jack located on the back of the box. Plug the other end of the cord into a wall outlet or power strip. Turn on the TV and digital converter box. Set the TV to channel 3.

Step 5

Open the digital converter box's main "Menu" display. Select "Channel Scan" from the available options. The converter box will conduct a scan for the broadcast TV signals available in the local area.

Tips & Warnings

  • The processes outlined here assume that the DIRECTV receiver has already been connected to the TV. To make use of the DIRECTV receiver's "Off-Air Antenna" pass through, turn on the TV but not the DIRECTV receiver. If the receiver is connected to a digital TV, change channels on the TV to tune into local broadcast TV channels. If the receiver is connected to an analog TV, change channels on the digital converter box to tune into local broadcast TV channels.