We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Choose the Best TV Tuner?

By David Bishop
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

With the proliferation of new and improved video broadcasting technologies, selecting the best TV tuner has become a more difficult process for many people. In the United States, the switch to digital technology has forced many consumers to purchase new television tuners capable of converting the high-definition video signal. Prospective buyers should first determine if they need to buy a dedicated TV tuner and then look for products that are compatible with their existing TVs, universal remote controls and antennas. The buyer also will need to decide if he or she wants to invest in extra features, such as digital video recording or enhanced programming guides.

Before making a purchasing decision, the consumer should first verify that he needs a TV tuner to view over-the-air broadcasts. If the consumer subscribes to cable or satellite service or has purchased a television since 2007, he probably will not need to buy a discrete TV tuner. Cable and satellite providers generally provide a decoder box to their subscribers for a small monthly fee, and it is usually a simple process to replace or upgrade a malfunctioning box to get the best TV tuner available. In the U.S., all TVs manufactured or imported since 2007 are required to have the capability of processing the newer high-definition broadcast signal. Many TVs made before 2007 also will have this feature, so it is important for the consumer to check the product manual before buying a discrete television tuner.

Consumers with older TVs and those wanting additional features will want to look for the best TV tuner for their situation. For smaller, standard-definition televisions, a buyer may only need a basic over-the-air digital-analog tuner converter box, which will process the high-definition signal into a pattern that can be displayed on an analog TV. This is ideal for small TVs in bedrooms or kitchens that do not need to be in high definition. The consumer should make sure the converter is compatible with his or her external antenna line and the video input jack on the back of the television.

When looking for the best TV tuner, the consumer also may wish to consider purchasing an upgraded model that adds a digital video recorder to the product. While these tuners are generally much more expensive, they will allow the consumer to record and replay many hours of standard-definition broadcast television. This can be an effective alternative to a tradition video cassette recorder, particularly for people who record several hours of broadcast television on a weekly basis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.