Digital TV Tuner

Television is currently undergoing its most significant change since the introduction of color pictures. Digital broadcasting is rapidly replacing the old analog system that has been used since television was first invented. A digital TV tuner is essential for viewing these new digital broadcasts. It is a small box that is placed next to the television, and is used to change the channel instead of the internal tuner. Older televisions that do not have a digital TV tuner will only show static after the change to digital is complete, but they can still be used for watching cable channels and DVDs.

The main reason for buying a digital TV tuner is to use an older television to watch digital broadcasts. Most flat screen televisions sold today have a digital tuner inside them, but many of the early models did not have one. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars to replace a perfectly usable television, it is much cheaper to just buy a digital tuner and use it with the television. The only downside to this setup is the need to use two remote controls, but almost all tuners have a volume control so the old remote is only required for switching the television on and off.

It is a good idea to switch to digital when it become active, even in places where the old analog broadcasts are still available. Digital broadcasts provide better picture and sound quality, and they do not suffer from static or other forms of interference. But if the signal strength drops too much, the picture will cut out completely. In most cases, the existing television antenna can be used to receive digital broadcasts. A new antenna may be required in outer areas that have poor signal strength. The two types of digital TV tuner are the standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD).

Standard definition is the least expensive type of digital TV tuner because it has inferior picture quality compared to high definition. Standard definition is still as good as watching a DVD in widescreen, and it is certainly better than watching an old analog broadcast. While standard definition appears sharp and clear on a small screen, it becomes blurry when stretched to fill a large screen. The only way to improve picture quality, and avoid seeing a blurry picture on a large screen, is to use a high definition tuner.

High definition is quickly becoming the standard way to watch television broadcasts. Practically all new televisions have an integrated high definition tuner. It provides better picture quality than standard definition, but most people can only see the difference when it is viewed on a large screen. For screens that are less than forty inches across, it does not really matter which type of digital TV tuner is used. There is only a slight improvement compared with standard definition in things like background detail and facial features. An expensive high definition tuner is not necessary for a small television but it is essential for a large television.

Besides the ability to receive high definition broadcasts, there are a few other features to consider when choosing a digital TV tuner. The front panel should have a display that clearly shows the current channel number. The back panel should have a set of composite (RCA) connectors, along with other connectors such as HDMI. Not many tuners have an RF output but it is essential for older televisions that do not have composite connectors. A well designed remote control is also important, since it will be used in place of the old remote after the tuner is installed.

Many people enjoy watching digital TV on their desktop and notebook computers. They can even record programs without having to buy an expensive digital video recorder. While the set-top box is the most common type of digital TV tuner, it is bulky and troublesome to use with a computer. Thankfully, there are special expansion cards that fit inside a computer and provide the same function as the set-top box models. There are also external tuners that resemble a thumb drive which can be plugged into any USB port. Many of these computer tuners also come with a remote control, which makes them even more convenient to use.

This Digital TV Tuner Review is Written/Updated on Oct 26th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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