A digital television adapter, (DTA), or digital-to-analog converter (box), or commonly known as a converter box, is a device that receives, by means of an antenna, a digital television (DTV) transmission, and converts that signal into an analog television signal that can be received and displayed on an analog television.
On June 12, 2009, all full-power analog television transmissions were taken down in the United States. Viewers who watch broadcast television on older analog TV sets will need to buy a digital television adapter. Since many of the low-power stations will continue to broadcast in analog for years to come, consumers will need an adapter with an analog passthrough feature that allows the viewer to watch both digital and analog signals. Viewers who receive their television signals through cable or satellite will not be affected by the change and will not need a digital television adapter. Additionally, viewers who have newer televisions with built-in digital tuners will not need an external digital television adapter.
The United States government has set up a program to offer consumers a $40 coupon which can be used toward the purchase of a coupon-eligible converter box.