How do I set up converter on old tv?

That's the part of the transition that sucks, big time. there's no way to upgrade an existing Portable TV unless it possesses some sort of A/V connection or 'Ext Ant' port. sadly you will need to buy a new portable if you don't have that option. either way, using it on batteries will prove useless post-transition since converters require AC juice. that means you will also need a new digital portable. expensive, too.

Many Vans/RVs will have the same problem unless they have at least VCR or DVD to make use of the built-in sets.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
I take that back it does have an external port but it might be for the just the radio. It looks like a microphone mini jack, isn't there some sort of coaxial adapter?
That's a jack for external antenna for both the radio and TV. you can get an adaptor at Radioshack that changes that to a standard A/V-IN port, which would accept a converter box, but the problem being if the power goes out (which is where the portability comes in handy and probably the only worthwhile use for a portable TV) the converter won't work on batteries and you're in the same boat. i don't think you want to lug around a deep cycle car battery and power inverter unless you use it while hunting or something. plus you'll be unable to use the TVs built-in rod antenna with the converter, which means the added payload of another antenna as well, so unless it sits in a boat or van, you're better off with a new digital portable set.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
nah i use it in the kitchen so il be fine. The tv gets its own power from a 120v house outlet so power shouldn't be a problem. I think I can manage buying a new little indoor antenna for the converter box. Thanks for the advice, that is what I was going to do but I could not figure out which adapter I needed.

Jason Fritz

Staff member
the adapter you'll be looking for is at Radioshack or other electronics store. it converts a standard headphone type external antenna jack to two RCA-type A/V ports, which allow you to use the A/V ports on the converter box with the TV. most converters today come with the A/V cables, too.

I don't know the real term for the 'earphone' jack since it's the same type of plug but if you brought it in i'm sure they can fix you up.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
I think there might be an adapter for the old antenna. I can unscrew it and use it as one if there is some type of adapter for the old antenna. If there isn't I'll just use one of my old indoor antennas or I'll buy a new one.
i'm referring to the external antenna port being used as the input to hook up the converter box. the antenna you'll use with the setup will just plug into the box instead of the TV. the TV will need to be tuned to VHF Low, and channel 3. with some mechanical type tuner portables that can be a challenge as they're not exact.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
yah I knew all that stuff and I don't really plan on using this tv on the go so I'l be fine. And I was just talking about if I wanted to use my old antenna for DTV. By the way I did say runs off of house current.
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I don't think you understand. the antenna is useless with a converter. you'll need the converter connected to the TV. the converter can use any antenna so long as it's plugged into the converter. but the converter needs to have a way to connect to your TV.

There's a jack similar to a headphone jack on portable TVs labeled 'EXT ANT', 'AUX' or 'A/V IN' among other names. Radioshack sells adapters to allow A/V cables from a converter box or other external Audio/Video source to connect to the tiny jack in portable TVs. the jack is basically the portable equivalent to a coax RF jack on any normal TV. the same rule applies, you hook the converter to the adapter using the shipped A/V cable, plug the adapter to the portable TV, tune the portable TV to channel 3 or 4 (most have mechanical tuner knobs so you'll just have to guess until it has a picture from the Converter) and then enjoy!

Obviously the built-in rod antenna is going to be no good to you unless you still need the radio.
I have a few portable tv's in my basement and when I wanna hook up something with an RF cable I have these little adapters that plug in the back of them.

It looks like a headphones port. Then I just screw a balun to it and voila.

I can watch vcr tapes on a 5" screen!


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Step 1: First you need to connect the TV antenna into the antenna in port on the digital converter box using the coax cable (screw on type with a single prong in the middle).

Step 2: Next, you will need to plug the cable from the TV output on the converter box into the back of your TV. You may use either the RCA cables (red white and yellow) or the coax cable (screw on type).

Step 3: If you used the 3-color RCA cable, you will need to set the TV to AV (also might be called input, TV/Video or device) channel. If you used the coax type cable, you will need to have the TV set to channel 3 or 4 depending on what the converter box is set to.

Step 4: Keep in mind; you will now be changing the channels and volume with the converter box remote and not the TV's remote. You will still have to use the TV remote for power.

If you need further clarification please feel free to contact Tech Support at 1-866-374-4625 ex 2208.