Ask Sail

Analog to digital

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"Reception was good on my analog TV using a Shakespeare SeaWatch 2025 amplified omni-directional masthead antenna. But I’ve been told the new digital converter box won’t work with this antenna and that I should get a new TV. Is this right?"

-- Jack Hammond, North Carolina

Gordon West replies: The antenna is fine but make sure the converter box is on the TV side of the antenna-splitter cube; put it on the other side and the converter will be destroyed. Some converter units plug into 110-volt outlets but others run on DC and those inputs can vary. If the converter box takes 12 volt DC input, just check the plug’s polarity and then put it into a nearby 12-volt source. If the box takes only 9 volts DC, you need to buy a step-down voltage adaptor at your local radio store, and then check the plug’s polarity. Locate the TV OUT on the converter, and run the red/yellow/white plugs to the TV’s AUX input jacks. If your TV has no input jacks for sound or video, simply run the converter box coax to the TV’s F connector jack and tune to channel 3 or 4 to get the screen menu, then follow the set up instructions. Once you have accessed the back of the TV, the entire installation shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes. You will be delighted with the new digital images appearing on your TV screen.

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