Just bought a HDTV, do I still need a box?

If it is brand new, i'd hope not. there should be a FCC compliance sticker inside your owner's manual that says if it's DTV compliant or not. also it depends on if you're using satellite or cable. if you're using satellite or cable then Congrats! you're already viewing DTV (if satellite) and cable is not required to go digital, although some may anyways. ask your cable operator if you're skeptical.

The TV should work with OTA digital reception with a rabbit-ears or outdoor roof aerial antenna if the manual says something like:

"This television contains a digital tuner, so it should work after the trasition to digital broadcasting..."

One common mistake is that some people think 'DTV' and 'HDTV' are the same thing and that buying a HD set is all you need to do. that's incorrect. while most new HDTVs sold today are digital, all HDTV is, is a resolution difference and DTV is just digital broadcasting that works in SD or HD.

Keep in mind that if you want to have the best picture quality, then you need either the HDMI input on the TV connected to an HD tuner, or if your TV has one then use that, or if you're using a Cable box or Satellite, you will want to use the HDMI inputs. the standard def downconvert on an HDTV is really sub-standard and looks horrible. i'd be avoiding the RF-IN on the set.
Last edited:


Staff member
Just purchased a 42" HDTV, my question is do I still need a box?

Just one more thing to think about as well, some TVs are built with digital and analog tuners, so you'll have to actually select which tuner you want to use through your remote or at the control panel on the TV. Most TV manufactures label the button "Input" to choose between the different analog/digital tuners. :D