Digital TV receiver – what is it, how to choose and configure

Since mid-2019, television broadcasting in Russia has gone digital. Now, in order to watch their favorite TV programs, users need to connect additional equipment to the TV – a digital receiver. Let’s figure out what kind of device it is, what functions it has, and how the buyer should choose a receiver model that suits him in terms of functionality, quality and price. The
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureincluded working receiver [/ caption]

What is a digital television receiver

A receiver (or set-top box) is a device that receives a digital signal, decodes it into a format understandable to the TV and displays the image on the TV screen, and the sound on the speakers connected to it. With it, you can watch digital TV in different formats –
cable ,
satellite or
terrestrial… There are attachments that can handle several types of signals. How to choose a satellite receiver, what to look for: https://youtu.be/hNLHLOA0-Ks This is not always an external device. Most TVs, especially modern models released after 2012, have a receiver built into the body. Usually these are simple models that allow you to watch 20 on-air channels of the federal format. But there are also TVs with built-in cable and satellite receivers.

By the way! You can find out if the TV receiver has a built-in receiver from the instructions for its operation or the description of the characteristics in the online store. If the documentation contains a section “Digital Signal Support” or the abbreviation DVB-T2, then the TV will be able to receive terrestrial channels without connecting additional equipment.


Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureDigital terrestrial receiver CADENA CDT-1651SB DVB-T2 – in the description you can see in which standard the attachment works [/ caption]

Additional functionality of receivers

Signal reception and decoding are the main functions of a television receiver. But, in addition to them, modern models of these devices are equipped with all sorts of additional options that increase the convenience of using digital TV:

  1. Broadcast control . Allows you to pause broadcasting, and after a while continue watching from the point of stopping.Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configure
  2. Delayed broadcast . It makes it possible to program the recording of the desired TV program into the memory of the set-top box in order to watch it later. At the same time, the recording is made without any user intervention and does not require turning on the TV. You just need to set a command to the device in advance, and it will start writing the broadcast at the right time on its own.
  3. Teletext . Provides the user with access to the interactive program guide.Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configure
  4. Subtitles and choice of broadcasting language . Allows you to watch foreign channels with simultaneous translations in text or audio format. Modern set-top boxes support subtitles in multiple languages.
  5. Wi-Fi module . Allows you to establish viewing of digital channels not only on TV, but also on home laptops, computers and tablets. Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureReceiver gs b5210 with wi-fi [/ caption]
  6. RF-OUT . Receivers supplemented with this connector give users the ability to view not only digital , but also analogue channels (if available). In many regions, local TV companies are still broadcasting in analogue format.
  7. Internet access . With this option, the user will be able to access social networks from the TV, to the sites of online cinemas and video services, play online games, etc.

Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configure

Important! Built-in receivers usually have minimal additional functionality. Only external models can boast a variety of additional options.

Most Russians receive digital TV services through a provider. This makes it possible, in addition to free federal channels, to view paid channels of various Russian and foreign TV companies. Providers, as a rule, provide users with their own receivers equipped with signal encryption and subscriber authorization systems. Devices of different operators are incompatible with each other, that is, for example, you will not be able to watch Tricolor-TV channels through a Rostelecom set-top box.
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureDigital receiver GS C593 from Tricolor [/ caption] However, the subscriber can purchase his own receiver with slots for connecting CI + cards. In this case, he will need to get from the operator not a set-top box, but a TV card, which he simply inserts into the desired connector of his receiver to gain access to paid channels. Receivers equipped with several slots for CI + cards allow you to view the channels of several providers, switching between them using the remote control.
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureSmart card MTS [/ caption]

Varieties of receivers

TV receivers differ not only in form factor (internal versus external). There are several more classifications:

  • by price range;
  • by the type of connection (the presence of connectors for a tulip cable, USB or HDMI cable);
  • by a set of additional options.


Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureConnecting the set-top box via HDMI [/ caption] But the main one can be called the classification according to the broadcast standard supported by the device. Today, there are three basic standards and, accordingly, three main groups of set-top boxes:

  • DVB-S (S2, S2X) – satellite broadcasting, the receiver is connected to a satellite dish installed on the facade or roof of the house, or on nearby annexes; Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureSatellite receiver of GS Group holding [/ caption]
  • DVB-C (C2) – cable broadcasting, the set-top box is connected to the provider’s equipment with a fiber-optic cable; Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureCam mts module for cable TV [/ caption]
  • DVB-T2 – broadcasting, the receiver is connected to a common house or room antenna, which receives a signal from the TV tower. Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureDigital terrestrial receiver CADENA DVB-T2 [/ caption]

The DVB-T2 format allows you to receive only free terrestrial channels, and often cannot provide an acceptable broadcast quality (in areas located far from TV towers). The remaining two formats make it possible to view a larger number of channels, but require the conclusion of an agreement with the provider and the regular payment of a subscription fee.

Important! There is a fourth category of receivers – combined. They are capable of receiving signals in several formats at once, for example, terrestrial and satellite broadcasting.

How to choose a receiver, what to look for

When planning the
connection of digital television , you must first of all decide whether the user will have enough terrestrial channels, or whether it is necessary to connect to a provider to receive more content. In the first case, it will be enough to purchase a simple receiver model designed only for receiving DVB-T2 signals. This is a good option for a summer residence, an apartment that is rented for daily rent, and other places of temporary residence.
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureModulator working with IPTV, satellite TV standards – DVB S, S2, T, T2 [/ caption]

By the way! The list of on-air channels is updated annually in accordance with the results of an open competition in which various TV companies participate. And soon the state plans to expand it from 20 to 30 pieces.

If you plan to connect to the services of TV providers, you can follow the path of least resistance and purchase from them one of their recommended set-top boxes. But in this case, when changing the provider, the user will need to buy new equipment and incur additional costs. It will be more profitable to pay attention to the commercially available models of combined-type receivers (receiving signals from both satellite and cable), with the ability to connect CI + cards.
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureSatellite set-top box MTS TV [/ caption] In this case, when changing the provider, the user will only need to replace the telecard, which is much easier and cheaper. Plus, it becomes possible to connect to several companies at once, use different types of broadcasting and keep the usual additional receiver options. When choosing a set of additional functions, it is worth starting from the planned mode of using television. For example, if several people live in the house, each of whom has tablets or laptops, you can think of a receiver with a Wi-Fi module. And if there is only one TV viewer, or the inhabitants of the house do not use additional gadgets, this superstructure will be superfluous. If you plan to watch movies from an online cinema from your TV, you should pay attention to the models of receivers with Internet access.
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureGS C593 [/ caption] Those who plan to watch foreign channels often, it is better to study in advance which translation languages ​​the receiver supports, whether it has a simultaneous broadcasting option, or only subtitles. In a word, you need to assess your needs and habits as carefully as possible, and only then proceed with the choice. And, of course, you need to pay attention to the compatibility of the selected receiver and the user’s TV set. Namely:

  • coincidence of connectors for connection;
  • coincidence of image resolution;
  • coincidence of the supported video formats.

So, if the subscriber has an old TV receiver that can only work with video in the MPEG-2 format and supports a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, it is simply pointless to buy a receiver with support for MPEG-4 or higher resolution. The broadcast quality will still depend on the TV. The purchase of a more powerful set-top box can be considered only if the user’s plans are to quickly replace the TV with a more modern one.
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureConnecting digital television using a receiver to an old TV through tulips [/ caption] Everything you need to know about a digital receiver, how to connect a digital set-top box DVB-T2 to the TV, subsequent channel tuning: https://youtu.be/TPwgZvCg8Nw

What’s the difference between a tuner and a receiver?

The receiver is often referred to as a set-top box or tuner. In the first case, there is nothing critical in such a replacement, the words can be considered synonyms. But it is technically incorrect to call the receiver a tuner. A tuner is a device that is directly responsible for receiving, decoding and transmitting a digital signal to a TV. A receiver is a device that can include one or several tuners, as well as internal memory cards, cards for providing additional options, connectors for connecting additional equipment, and auxiliary modules.

TOP 20 best receiver models for 2021

NameSupported standardsAdditional options (in addition to basic)PricePeculiarities
STARWIND CT-100   DVB-T / DVB-T2, DVB-CRadio, teletext, program guide, broadcast recording, delayed broadcast, parental controlFrom 1000Compact size, small remote control, no HDMI cable, short power cord, intermittent freezes, no display
Cadena CDT-1753SB  DVB-T, DVB-T2Playback of photos and videos from external media, recording of the air, the presence of a USB portFrom 980Support for most modern video codecs, the presence of a display, there are no cables for connecting to a TV in the kit, it often heats up and reboots spontaneously
TELEFUNKEN TF-DVBT224   DVB-T / T2 / CPlayback of photos and videos from external media, recording of the air, the presence of a USB port, a multifunctional media playerFrom 1299The presence of an RCA connector for connecting to old TV models, a display, a high-quality remote control, good signal reception in any conditions
HARPER HDT2-5010  DVB-T2Antenna input, USB, HDMI, composite output, broadcast recording, video playback from flash cardsfrom 1640Stable signal reception, bright display backlight, no HDMI cable included
Selenga HD950D  DVB-T / T2, DVB-CWatching IPTV, YouTube and MEGOGO, connecting a Wi-Fi adapter, recording and playing video from a flash drive, access to the InternetFrom 1150The set does not include an HDMI cable and a Wi-Fi adapter, it can warm up during a long time on the Internet, supports Dolby Digital;
BBK SMP240HDT2  DVB-T / T2Timer recording, TV guide, teletext, parental control, video playback from a flash driveFrom 1280Stable signal reception, no overheating and freezing, easy setup
D-COLOR DC1301HD  DVB-T / T2Antenna input, USB, HDMI, composite output, broadcast recording, video playback from flash cardsFrom 1330Demanding on the quality of the antenna (connection with an amplifier is recommended), practically does not overheat, after disconnecting from the network, you need to re-set the time and date
World Vision Foros Combo  DVB-S / S2 / T2 / CInternet access, Wi-Fi compatibility, timer recording, TV guide, teletext, parental control, video playback from a flash driveFrom 1569Presentable appearance, reliable signal reception, periodically overheats, no HDMI cable included
Oriel 421D  DVB-T / DVB-T2, DVB-C,Internet access, built-in browser, SPDIF-connector for connecting external acousticsFrom 1390Lack of support for many video codecs, frequent freezes when working on the Internet
LUMAX DV-4205HD  DVB-T2, DVD-CBuilt-in Wi-Fi adapter, powerful media playerFrom 1960Support for most codecs, reliable signal reception, audio output for connecting digital acoustics
Xiomi Mi Box SDVB-S / S2 / T2 / CBuilt-in Wi-Fi adapter, 8 GB of internal memoryFrom 5000The ability to connect to the “smart home” system, high image quality, possible overheating and freezing
BBK SMP026HDT2DVB-T2Delayed start, subtitles, teletextFrom 1340Robust case, active antenna power supply, possible problems with AC3, no display
Selenga HD950DDVB-T2 / DVB-CTeletext, Subtitles, TimeShift, Interactive TV Program, Parental Controls, YouTube AccessFrom 1188Metal body, convenient control panel, fast software, frequent overheating
LUMAX DV-2108HDDVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-T2  MEGOGO and YouTube support, automatic and manual TV channel search, parental control, favorites listFrom 1080Supports external drives up to 1 TB, compatibility with different file systems, multifunctional media player
World Vision T62ADVB-C, DVB-T2Built-in Wi-Fi, supports YouTube, Google and select streaming platformsFrom 1299High image detail, confident signal reception, unstable software operation
BBK SMP027 HDT2DVB-T, DVB-T2  Time Shift, recording the broadcast on a USB flash driveFrom 1010Confident signal reception, not very convenient menu, impossibility of channel numbering, after disconnecting from the network requires re-configuration
LUMAX DV-3215HDDVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-T2  Two USB ports, the ability to play photos, music and video from a flash driveMultifunctional media player, powerful processor, problems with playing some audio file formats
World Vision Foros Combo T2 / S2DVB-C, DVB-S, DVB-S2, DVB-T, DVB-T2  IPTV and YouTube support, built-in Wi-Fi, smart phone controlfrom 1620Convenient control panel, large remote control with large buttons, simplified search for TV channels, overheating is possible
World Vision Foros UltraDVB-C / T / T2DVBFinder app support, multiple USB ports, Wi-Fi internet accessFrom 1850Transponder support, high-speed software, Multiple playlist download options for IPTV


Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureMi Box S [/ caption]

Connecting and setting up a digital receiver

As a rule, connecting cables are included with the set-top box. All you need to do is connect the receiver to the TV in the following way:

  • the signal must enter the TV, that is, select the port marked “IN” ;
  • in the receiver, the cable is connected to the output, that is, to the connectors labeled “OUT” .
  • the antenna is connected to the corresponding socket on the rear of the decoder.

How to install, connect and configure a digital terrestrial receiver: https://youtu.be/9Uz6tUI19D4 It is most convenient to set up channels in automatic mode. Plug all the devices into the network and select the automatic channel scan function in the TV menu. The TV must find all 20 channels in two
multiplexes , after which the settings will only have to be saved.
Digital TV receiver - what is it, how to choose and configureReceiver connection diagram [/ caption] How to connect a digital receiver to a TV, you can learn from this video: https://youtu.be/KwhhnRAljYs If the receiver did not find all the channels, then the problem must be looked for in the level of the antenna signal. You can experiment with the position of the antenna, or maybe you need to supplement it with an amplifier.

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