How to Watch Local TV With an Inside Antenna

By Christopher Carter

As of June 12, 2009, all major TV stations switched from analog to digital transmissions. This switch barely affects households that have a TV with a built-in digital tuner. Most TVs manufactured after July 2005 come equipped with a built-in digital tuner. However, TVs with a built-in digital tuner require cable or an antenna to receive local digital TV programming. Households with analog TVs must purchase a digital converter box to allow an analog TV to receive digitally transmitted signals. A digital converter box may cost anywhere from $40 to $60.

Things You'll Need

  • Indoor antenna
  • Digital converter box
  • Coaxial cable

Step 1

Unplug the TV from the power outlet. Unplug the coaxial cable that connects the indoor antenna to the TVs "Antenna in" port.

Step 2

Connect the coaxial cable from the indoor antenna into the "Antenna in" port on the back of the digital converter box.

Step 3

Run another coaxial cable from the "TV out" port on the digital converter box to the "Antenna in" port in the back of the TV. The digital converter box should come with a coaxial cable. If not, coaxial cables are available at consumer electronics stores.

Step 4

Plug the TV and digital converter box into a power outlet. Turn on the digital converter box and TV. Turn the TV to channel 3 or 4. Scan the available local channels that broadcast a digital signal by following the on-screen set-up guide. Adjust the indoor antenna to receive the best possible picture for viewing local TV stations in your area.

Tips & Warnings

  • For TVs equipped with a built-in digital tuner, plug the indoor antenna into the "Antenna in" port on the TV. Adjust the indoor antenna to receive the best possible picture for viewing local TV stations.