How do I know if I already have a digital TV or DTV?

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Digital TVs have labels as “Integrated Digital Tuner,” “Digital Tuner Built-In,” “Digital Receiver,” or “Digital Tuner,” “DTV,” “ATSC,” or “HDTV” (High Definition television). If your television equipment contains any of these labels or markings and it contains a digital tuner, you can view over-the-air digital programming without the need for a digital-to-analog converter box.

The only televisions that have DTV turners are those that since about 1998, have been sold as having an integrated or “built-in” DTV or HDTV broadcast turner. (An HD set sold as a “monitor” or “HD-ready” is capable of displaying HDTV but does not have a built-in HDTV turner) Most TVs with analog turners are now required by the FCC to also be marketed with built-in or separate DTV or HDTV turners – this will soon be a requirement for all TVs.

If your television set is labeled as a “Digital Monitor” or “HDTV Monitor,” or as “Digital Ready” or “HDTV Ready,” this does not mean it actually contains a digital tuner.

If your television set is labeled as “analog” or “NTSC,” and is NOT labeled as containing a digital tuner, it contains an analog tuner only.

If you cannot determine whether your television set or other television equipment contains a digital tuner, you are advised to check your equipment for the manufacturer name and model number, and then contact your consumer electronics retailer, or the manufacturer, to determine whether it contains a digital tuner. This information also may be available online through the manufacturer's website.

Some of the TV's manufactured from 2004 to 2006 were advertised as “HD-ready” or “HDTV monitor” sets. That means they can display digital and high-definition signals, but they need help getting those signals in the first place. You’ll still need a special converter or a cable TV connection.

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