A cable converter box or television converter box is an electronic tuning device that transposes/converts any of the available channels from a cable television service to an analog RF signal on a single channel, usually VHF channel 3 or 4, or to a different output for digital televisions such as HDMI. The device allows a television set that is not “cable ready” to receive cable channels. While later televisions were "cable ready" with a standard converter built-in, the existence of premium television (aka pay per view) and the advent of digital cable have continued the need for various forms of these devices for cable television reception. While not an explicit part of signal conversion, many cable converter boxes include forms of descrambling to manage carrier-controlled access restriction to various channels.
Cable-ready televisions and other cable-aware A/V devices such as video recorders can similarly convert cable channels to a regular television set, but these do not include advanced capabilities such as descrambling or digital downconversion.
The task of a cable box is to convert a television channel from those transmitted over the CATV wire.
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