How to Tell If My TV Has a Digital Tuner

by Jenny Parker, studioD

Since June 12, 2009, all over-the-air TV broadcasts in the United States have been digital. To watch TV with an antenna, you must own either a TV with a built-in digital tuner or an external digital converter box. If you purchased your TV after March 2007, it's likely that it contains a built-in digital tuner; however, because some stores sold older TVs from existing inventory after that date, it's not a guarantee. If you aren't sure, there are multiple ways to find out if your TV has a digital tuner.

Step 1

Look on the front and back of your TV set for a sticker or marking that mentions a digital tuner. It may say something like "DTV," "HDTV," "ATSC," "Digital Tuner," "Digital Receiver," "Integrated Digital Tuner," or "Digital Tuner Built In."

Step 2

Check the owner's manual that came with your TV if there's no indication of a digital tuner on the TV set itself. If there is a digital tuner, it should be listed in the manual along with the TV's other features.

Step 3

Flip through the channels on your TV. Digital television contains sub-channels in addition to regular ones. For instance, in addition to a regular channel 5, a TV with a digital tuner may also display channels 5-1 and 5-2. If you're able to see these sub-channels, you can be sure that your TV has a digital tuner.

About the Author

Jenny Parker is a New England-based entrepreneur who has been writing since 1995. Parker writes extensively on creative self-employment and genealogy; her work has appeared on and She also has self-published several short story collections and is currently working on her first non-fiction book chronicling the history of her ancestors in America.

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