Top & Best Decoder Review 2022 – How to Select Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Top & Best Decoder: What is best for your TV in 2022?

Welcome to mypricesaving.comTo make your television work perfectly, there are many options for devices on the market. Do you know how to choose a digital decoder, converter or receiver? If the answer is no and you don’t even know the differences between them, rest assured!

Since Brazilian television began its transition from analog to digital, much has been said about devices like these. Today, there are many reasons for you to have one in your home. In this article, we will bring you several guidelines and information about each one of them. You will be able to purchase the best model for your needs.

First, the most important

  • The decoder is a device that receives a TV signal by subscription and transforms it to be displayed on the TV. It also has several other multimedia and programming control features that are very important.
  • Unlike a decoder, receivers and digital converters can also be very important, each in its own way and with its uses.
  • Using a set-top box to receive a pay-TV signal without subscribing to one is a crime and can result in serious legal penalties.

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The best decoders: Our opinion

Throughout the article, we will teach you how to choose the best device for your television. But, to make this decision a little easier, we selected some of the best models to present you:

  • The complete decoder
  • For those looking for the best image of open channels
  • The decoder for OI TV subscribers

Buying Guide

Now, calmly, let’s take each of your doubts about decoders, receivers and digital converters! It’s time to talk about what each of these devices can offer you!

We selected the most frequently asked questions we found on the subject and put together an ideal shopping guide to bring you lots of useful information.

What is a decoder?

Decoders, converters and digital receivers are devices capable of transforming a signal that comes from an external source, usually an antenna or cable, and transforming it into an image for television.

Having one of these devices is basically indispensable nowadays, since practically every television needs an intermediate device for tuning in channels, making the old practice of connecting it directly to the cable that goes down the antenna rare.

Those who have older televisions need to transform the digital image to be compatible with the analog system, and those who subscribe to cable or fiber optic services need a device that decodes channels and displays them in a manner compatible with the contracted plan.

Thus, almost all homes have a device such as a decoder, converter or digital receiver. To receive quality image, you need to understand which is the most suitable!

Did you know that cable TV in Brazil emerged from a decree? In 1988, then President José Sarney regulated what at the time was known as the “Special Pay-TV Service”.

Initially, channels offered their services on a loose basis. The first launched were the so-called Canal +, which retransmitted the North American ESPN content, and the Super Canal, compressing CNN, RAI and TVM.

What are the differences between decoder, receiver and digital converter?

We talk a lot about the existence of digital decoders, receivers and converters. It is time, then, for us to explain what the differences are.

    • Decoder: It is mainly related to pay TV services. It is the device that receives the signal and transmits it to the television, allowing different types of adjustments and configurations.
    • Receiver: Device similar to the decoder, however, related to the satellite dish. It can be analog, digital or HD, depending on the characteristics of the television. It also offers some configuration possibilities, but less than a decoder.
    • Digital converter: It is the device responsible for receiving a digital signal and transforming it into analog. Important for old television sets since the end of analogue transmission in Brazilian territory.


Therefore, although physically similar, the devices have different functions. We prepared a table to explain the subject in a slightly more didactic way:

Which of these devices is ideal for my home?

To find out exactly what device you need to have in your home, there is a question to ask: What is the source of the television signal it receives?

If it is via pay-TV, you need a decoder. Most of the time, operators already offer this device for free, but eventually you may want to make an improvement.

For satellite dish, the receiver is the right choice. And there are some subdivisions: Analog, digital or HD models.

If you have an old television, the analog receiver is ideal. For models that are already compatible with digital signals, but not so modern, opt for digital. And if your device is really modern, an HD can work miracles with the image!

The digital converter is used for traditional signal, via common antenna, and for old television sets, compatible only with the analog image.

Nothing prevents you from having more than one device! For example, if you are a cable TV subscriber, but with only one point, you can have a decoder for that point and a converter for an old television that is in another room.

What are the advantages of a decoder?

Having a good decoder can bring you a number of advantages. Image quality, security and control of TV settings are the main ones.

You will need to purchase a set-top box if you are already a subscriber to a pay-TV operator and want to upgrade the equipment yourself. In that case, it will need to be compatible with the television set and can greatly improve your experience.

The decoder can bring images with much higher definition, it can allow you to block inappropriate channels for children, it can help you with recording or replaying programs, it can guarantee you access to image mosaics and much more.

It does not perform the functions of a receiver or converter (unless it is a two-in-one or three-in-one device), so you need to choose the correct device.

Often, the operator itself already offers a good decoder, which may make investment in a new one not recommended. Make this purchase only if you feel you really need to improve your equipment a lot.

See the table below for the main advantages and disadvantages of a decoder:

What types of decoder are legal 

It is perfectly legal to buy a set-top box compatible with your cable TV operator, enter your user data and use it in place of the device originally provided by the company. In that case, you are just making an equipment upgrade.


Using a set-top box without subscribing to its cable service is illegal.

However, there are some situations in which the use of the decoder is illegal and may result in criminal action against you. This happens, of course, if you are not a subscriber to any cable TV service.

There are some decoders that promise to be able to receive the signal from pay TV operators without you contracting the service. Anyone using one of these models can be prosecuted for piracy and copyright and image infringement.

How much does it cost and where to buy a decoder?

Digital set-top boxes, receivers and converters are devices with similar price ranges. The former are a little more expensive, varying between R $ 300 and R $ 500. The rest rarely exceed R $ 250, with most models staying at R $ 150.

Stores specializing in electronics and telecommunications devices may have good models of receivers, converters and decoders. You can also make your purchase over the internet: Brazilian Amazon has excellent options, as well as international Amazon and Mercado Livre.

Purchasing criteria: What to consider when choosing a decoder

In addition to knowing which device is right for your home, it is also important to know what are the main technical criteria involved in decoders. Therefore, we selected four fundamental questions:

  • Television compatibility
  • Operator compatibility
  • Appetizer
  • Multimedia resources

Below, we discuss each of them in more detail:

Television compatibility

It makes no sense to buy an ideal receiver or set-top box for HD TVs if you don’t have one. Regardless of what type of device you need, it must always be compatible with your television!

Read carefully what are the compatibility specifications of the device you will buy. Is it ideal for analog televisions? LED? HD? Full HD? This way, you will not be at risk of choosing something that does not work and of having a completely unnecessary loss!

Operator compatibility

When choosing a set-top box, compatibility with the television is not the only thing that matters: The set also needs to fit your cable operator. A model indicated for use with Oi will not work with NET, and so on!

The device must also be compatible with your plan’s passkey. If the identification is made via smart card, for example, it must have the entry for the accessory.

Check whether the decoder is suitable for your operator, as well as whether it uses the same technologies applied in your contracted plan!


Technology continues to evolve and there are more and more types of inputs in multimedia devices. A recent television has several possibilities for connections and experiences for the user and any device that connects to it needs to be at least somewhat aligned with this modernity.

Inputs like HDMI and RCA are important in decoders and receivers.

If you are going to buy an HD decoder or receiver, it is important to check for the presence of important inputs such as HDMI and RCA. They guarantee better image and sound quality, since their transmissions are very efficient.

Ethernet and USB ports can also help if you want to add dimensions to your device and allow them to have the ability to connect to the internet.

Multimedia resources

The more multimedia features a decoder has, the more it can help you. This ranges from functions that help in everyday practicality, such as program recorders, mosaics and programming diagrams, to more serious matters such as parental control.

The best decoders allow specific channels or programs to be blocked and can only be accessed with a password, preventing children from having access to inappropriate content, and allowing parents to know what was recently watched on a particular television.


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