Many people still own and treasure the good old analog televisions. However, they cannot use them with the DVD players because they lack proper A/V input. What most of them don’t know is that the TVs are still usable but with the help of a small electronic box called an RF modulator. This electronic box is designed to convert A/V (audio and video) output of a DVD or gaming console into an RF signal that’s compatible with your TV’s receiver.
While there are numerous RF modulators, the following are the top 8 best RF modulators available on the market.
Top 8 Best RF Modulators
1. RadioShack 15-2526
If you want to kick-start that long weekend with your family or friends with some fun TV shows or games from your analog TV, then you need an external RF modulator that will serve you just right. And that’s where the RadioShak 15-2526 comes in.
Featuring a compact design, this RF modulator allows you play video games and watch your favorite DVD movies from any TV. It has the capability to convert video and stereo audio from any A/V component into a coaxial cable output.
To ensure that you set it up just right, it comes with a user’s manual that contains all the instructions. Once you are done with the set-up, turn on the modulator.
A red LED light indicates that it’s connected to AC power. The red LED light should turn to green once the modulator receives a signal from an A/V source.
- Very affordable
- Easy to set up
- Converts RCA input signal to coaxial output
- Ideal for use with analog TVs
- Does not come with RCA cables
- No remote
2. fosa Digital RF Modulator
The fosa Digital RF Modulator is a VHF / UHF Signal Amplifier that allows you to convert the AV inputs into RF output signals.
The RF modulator provides a clearer picture and is suitable for satellite receivers, video cameras, video game consoles, CCD cameras, VCR, DVD and more.
- Comes with a channel digital display
- Compatible with all local CATV system
- Support VHF / UHF operating frequency
- Very affordable
- Compact design
- Not computer programmable
3. The Cimple Co RF
If you are looking for a compact, sleek, yet affordable RF modulator that can display your DVD movies on analog and regular TVs, then the Cimple CO modulator is worth a shot.
This compact and state-of-the art modulator lets you to connect an A/V component to any TV, PS4, XBOX, Camera, Laptop, or Dish Network. It’s however ideal for DVD players and gaming.
Unlike most RF Modulators, this modulator can be cascaded and used with a HDMI to AV converter to get a coaxial signal.
The modulator supports 480i to 480p A/V inputs and automatically switches when it detects any incoming video. It’s however important to keep in mind that this unit does not support HD, 3D, or 4k.
- Sleek and compact
- Can be used with HDMI to AV converter
- Great for gaming
- Does not support HD, 3D, and 4k
4. Vecoax Minimod-2
The MINIMOD-2 is one of a kind RF modulator that you would want to bet your money on.
Featuring a built-in color LCD display, the MINIMOD-2 has the capability to convert a HDMI video signal into 1080p video so it can run over coax cable.
This makes it easy to transmit video signals over a considerably longer cable run as opposed to HDMI without the need for extenders or signal boosters. As such, this unit is designed to integrate a HDMI source into an RF-video system.
The unit supports HD video signals of up to 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. It is also easy to set up and is compatible with any regular digital TV.
- Great picture quality; Full HD
- Easy to set up
- Connect to any HDMI source
- Quite pricey
5. AoeSpy Professional RF Modulator
Simple and compact, the AoeSpy Professional RF Modulator is designed for use in homes, schools, and in commercial settings.
The modulator has the capacity to generate RF and TV signals from audio and visual sources and then transfer the signal to your analog or regular television via a channel.
The unit supports a VHF/UHF frequency in the ranges of 47 to 868 MHz and features a high performance circuit design that ensures perfect image reproduction.
The unit’s humanized design makes it easy to set up and operate. It’s also compatible with any CATV system.
- Simple and compact
- High performance circuit design
- Easy to set up
- Compatible with CATV system
- Build quality
6. Nippon America Universal RF Modulator
The Nippon America Universal RF Modulator is a popular RF converter that offers great functionality and features.
This RF converter converts Audio/Video RCA devices to televisions without RCA type inputs.
Just like most RF modulators, the Nippon America Universal RF Modulator is compact, lightweight, and easy to set up. You do not need new cables to set it up because it includes everything you need in the package. All you have to do is plug n’ play whenever you want to set it up.
It also comes with a detailed menu system to assist you in making any format changes. If you need a longer signal transmission just use a coaxial cable.
- Comes with Selectable Channel 3 or 4 Output
- It’s compact and lightweight
- It’s easy to set up
- Output picture quality is not great
7. AoeSpy RF Modulator RCA Coaxial Adapter
Besides it being compact, the RCA RF modulator is one of the popular and probably the cheapest RF modulators on this rundown. But what makes it so popular?
First, this compact modulator features a high performance circuit design. This type of circuit design ensures that you are getting the perfect picture reproduction. Moreover, it lets you connect an A/V component such as a TV without a video jack.
What’s more, this modulator is capable of converting audio and video to RF using channel 3 and 4. It’s a great choice for DVD players and gaming and mounts effortlessly on the wall.
- Compact and lightweight
- Plug & Play design
- High-performance circuit design
- Supports NTSC TV formats
- A/V component can be connected to a TV without a jack
- It’s cheap
- Does not come with remote control
8. Dynex WS-007 RF Modulator
If you thought that your analog TV is no longer usable simply because it does not have an audio or video jack, then you must have been very wrong. With a modulator like Dynex WS-007, you can get it back and running in a matter of minutes.
The device features an S-video input for better image quality and also includes channel 3/4 output to prevent interference. There’s also a power adapter that helps amplify the signal.
With its compact design and sturdy construction you can rest assure that this modulator will continue to give you years of service.
- S-video input gives better image
- Has signal amplification
- Can be used with analogue televisions
- Faster set up
- Very durable
- Basic modulation
What to consider when buying an RF Modulator
When shopping for anything, it’s vital to always have a budget. Of course you do not want to go spending money on any RF modulator that you lay your eyes on. You must consider what it promises to offer and how much you are willing to spend. RF modulators cost as much as $500 but that does not mean you cannot get a good one at $100 or even $20.
You do not want to keep pressing the button on your RF modulator. Therefore, when shopping consider an RF modulator that comes with a remote control. However, this should not stop you from purchasing a good model if you find one.
Consider an RF modulator that’s quick and fast to set up. You do not need a unit that you’ll have to spend hours making connections. While on that, ensure that there’s an instruction manual in the package.
Consider an RF modulator that can convert HDMI signals into RF signals. This does not only increase your application options but also ensure that you get better quality images.
Most RF modulators come with a distribution amplifier. The role of the amplifier is to ensure that there is no loss in signal strength. As such, the higher the amplification the stronger the signal. RF modulators with 25dB and above work with minimal interference.
Frequently Asked Questions about RF Modulators
What is an RF modulator?
An RF modulator is electronic equipment that’s used to alter signals of other electronic equipment’s such as DVDs and VCRs into a format that’s compatible with the device intended to receive an RF signal. For instance, a TV antenna.
Simply put, the modulator converts V/A signal of a VCR or DVD into an RF signal (commonly indicated as 3/4 signal).
What is a coaxial cable?
This is a special cable designed to transmit RF (radio frequency) signals. It’s made from copper and shielded with metal to prevent blocking of signals.
What does UHF and VHF mean?
UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency and VHF is Very High Frequency. Both UHF and VHF are used to denote two different bandwidths and are numbered 2-13 (54-216MHz) for VHF channels and 14-51 (470-890MHz) for UHF channels.
Which is the best RF modulator?
The best RF modulator is that which is functional, reliable, and meets your needs.
As you can see, there are many RF modulators available on the market as well as factors to consider when buying one. We hope that this guide will help you make the best decision as you take the next step.