It is an electronic device which receives a signal when connected to an antenna [internal or external] and transforms it to a signal compatible with a TV bearing older technology [i.e. from MPEG-4 to MPEG-2]. More specifically, it receives the digital signal from the antenna and after it de-multiplexes and encodes it, it then makes it possible to be played on the TV.
Besides the TV, you can connect the decoder with other devices too [video VCR, DVD-R etc.].
The external decoder is necessary when your TV does not have an integrated receiver/decoder or if it does, when this supports older technology [MPEG-2] which makes it incompatible with the DVB-T MPEG-4 or H.264 encoding system.
The basic decoders for digital terrestrial reception are Standard Definition [SD] and High Definition [HD].
If you own a typical bulb analogue TV set or a flat screen TV [LCD/ Plasma] without an integrated digital MPEG-4 receiver and without an HDMI port, then a simple decoder with SCART or RCA [3 colors – yellow, white, red] ports will suffice.
If your TV is flat screen [LCD/ Plasma] without an integrated digital MPEG-4 receiver, but does have an HDMI port, then prefer a decoder with such a port, for maximum viewing quality.
If your TV set is a typical bulb analogue one [CRT] or LCD/ Plasma [flat screen] without an HDMI port, then a simple decoder with a SCART or RCA port will suffice.
If your TV is LCD/ Plasma [flat screen] and does have an HDMI port, then prefer a decoder with an HDMI port for optimum viewing quality.
Step 1. Connect the aerial cable [antenna] to the decoder [RF IN port] for the digital channels.
Step 2. Connect your decoder with your TV using the necessary cable [SCART, RCA or HDMI].
[Connection using a SCART cable]
[Connection using an RCA cable]
[Connection using an HDMI cable]
Step 3. Plug the decoder in.
Step 4. Using your TV’s remote, find the input port in which you have connected the decoder. They are usually labelled AV 1,2..., ΕΧΤ 1, 2..., HDMI 1, 2... etc.
Step 5. Set your decoder using its remote, after you have read its instructions. To make things easy choose automatic search/scan. If however, all or some channels are not found, perform a manual search/scan.
From now on, you can switch between channels using the decoder’s remote. The TV’s remote is only needed to turn it on/off and to set the sound, colors etc, but not to change channels.
Note: remotes that gather functions from various devices are available so that one can be used for all.
If your TV has an integrated MPEG-4 decoder, you can connect a game console with the TV using any sound and picture transfer cable [SCART, RCA or HDMI].
If your TV does not have an integrated MPEG-4 decoder and you need to connect an external decoder, use one picture and sound cable [SCART, RCA or HDMI] for the decoder and one for the game console. Of course, to do so it is a prerequisite that the TV has a port available for every device.
If your game console is compatible with the DVB-T MPEG-4 technology [you can verify this using the user’s manual], then you can use it as a decoder too.
If your TV has an integrated MPEG-4 decoder, then you can connect the DVD recorder to the TV using any picture and sound transfer cable [SCART, RCA or HDMI].
On the other hand, if your TV does not have an integrated MPEG-4 decoder, then you will have to connect the DVD recorder to the external decoder so it gets the sound and picture from there [once again, using a SCART, RCA or HDMI cable].
For digital signal reception, you can find a simple external decoder in any electronics retailer/store. Just make sure the model supports the MPEG-4 technology.
The price of basic Standard Definition decoder is approximately 30 euros, however there are models with additional functionalities such program recording, an integrated hard disk for storing the recorded programs, etc.
The reasons causing the problem may be the following:
Digital signal coverage may still not be achieved at your location.
Besides the mountainous terrain that covers a large part of the country, the digital signal may also be obstructed by trees or buildings. Ensure that there is no obstacle blocking visual contact between your antenna [aerial] and the broadcasting center from which you receive the digital signal. If you are faced with such a problem, you will need an amplifier and to check for reflective reception.
In some areas of the country interference has been spotted. These areas have been tracked and noted by our company and then pinpointed to all responsible parties so as to generate solutions, since the frequencies used by our company are defined in Joint Ministerial Decisions.
In case that many citizens in your area face problems in receiving a particular TV channel bundle or you area’s specialized technician has verified that you receive interceptions, please send us your details at firstname.lastname@example.org so we examine and determine the incident.
It is possible that some cables in your installation may have been moved due to bad weather conditions [e.g. wind, storm, etc.] or your TV or decoder due to activities [cleaning, dusting, etc.]. Check that all cables are correctly and well-connected.
There might be a problem in the antenna or its cables [cut], the mixer, the amplifier, the distributor, the end plug sockets or the internal antennas. It is recommended that you contact your local qualified technician.
For digital channel reception, receiver [re]setting is required. If you performed an automatic channel search/scan and some channels do not appear, try getting them with a manual search/scan.
First check whether your area receives coverage from the broadcasting center towards which your antenna is directed. Next, you should set the channels on your TV, the same way you did when you got it and first set it up. Refer to your TV’s user’s manual.
It is highly likely that your antenna is “disoriented”. Since you are in an area with digital coverage, try turning it towards the right broadcasting center.
It is also probable that your decoder has been filled up with “trash” which deteriorates its functionality. Try to retune/set it again to clear things up.
If after having done the abovementioned the symptom remains, consulted a qualified technician in order to solve it by installing a second aerial [antenna] or with the use of a signal amplifier.
This is an indication that the integrated receiver or the external decoder supports MPEG-2 and not MPEG-4 technology which is used for digital signal transmission. To be able to view the digital channels, your device should support the MPEG-4 encoding protocol.
If your device supports MPEG-4 technology, refer to the user’s manual to set the TV or the decoder correctly from the menu, so that it receives the digital signal. If you face any difficulties with the settings, you may contact the dealer from which you bought the device.