For years I’ve been an avid Vizio TV owner, and I’ve always been satisfied with the quality and features. However, recently I noticed my TV had no coax input and I couldn’t figure out why. I was frustrated and had no idea how to solve the problem. After doing some research and trying some tips and tricks, I finally figured out what was causing the issue.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you how I solved it and some other solutions I discovered. If you’re also struggling with this issue, keep reading to find out how you can get your TV back up and running!
Why Does My Vizio TV Have No Coax Input?
Sometime around 2015, Vizio decided to release most of its TV models without coaxial input, renaming those devices “Home Theatre Displays.” These tunerless TVs tread the line of what a TV is. After all, shouldn’t a TV be able to connect directly to a satellite or cable service?
This decision affected the P-series, the M-series, and some of the E-series. If your Vizio TV came out between 2016–2017, there’s a high chance it was one of those Tuner-less Theatre Displays.
The only exception from this era seems to be the D-series, which kept its traditional QAM tuner.
Aside from the major dip in sales and general dissatisfaction with the change, Vizio was selling these displays under the guise of being TVs. However, the FCC guidelines blatantly state that if the device lacked a tuner, it cannot be named a television.
That’s why, starting in 2018, the use of tuners was reinstated in all Vizio TVs.
So, what to do if you have one of those tuner-less displays?
How to Add Coax Input to Your Tuner-less Vizio TV
Although it’s a pretty annoying problem to have, thankfully, you don’t have to sell your Vizio display and get a new one. All you have to do is to buy and install an external digital tuner.
These are called Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) Tuners and can be purchased as separate pieces of equipment. They do the exact same job as the built-in tuner in a regular TV.
Using an ATSC tuner, you can connect to an antenna from a coax port, a satellite, or digital cable. Many of these tuners support HDTV, and some of them even come with a built-in DVR.
How Do External Tuners Connect to a TV?
You can connect an external ATSC tuner to your Vizio TV via an HDMI port. This is a great feature because the signal your TV receives will be in HD, making for a sharper, clearer image.
An important thing when shopping for an external turner is to not get confused by the available USB external tuners on the market. These are meant to be connected to a PC, laptop, or another computer display, to convert the display into a TV.
Don’t try to connect one of those USB tuners to your Vizio TV as it will definitely not work.
What Are the Options for a Vizio TV External Tuner?
There are more than a few options on the market today that can do the job of an external tuner for your Vizio TV perfectly. The connection and setup process is usually very simple and doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.
Here are some of the more popular products you can find that will restore this functionality to your Vizio TV:
This is a pretty basic external tuner that connects to your TV via an HDMI cable, but also supports composite output. It does the job pretty well and doesn’t have many complicated features.
This converter box supports the same functionality as the previous one, as well as a recording feature for any program you might want to save for later. It also has a digital clock!
This digital converter box shares the main specs of the previous two options, but also supports 1080p full HD output. That means you can watch and record your favorite free TV shows with the best quality.
Having a Vizio Tv with no coax input isn’t a unique problem if your Vizio was from the P, M, or some of the E-series models released in 2016 or 2017. Although the decision was short-lived, it still impacts customers to this day.
This problem means your TV is just a display with some internet functionality. So, if you want to receive over-the-air programming on your TV, you should invest in a digital converter box, also known as an external tuner.
This tuner does the same job as the tuner that most TVs come with. It decodes over-the-air signals and sometimes supports HD image processing, recording, and other useful features.