TV tuner: how to choose the best

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Sometimes you want to make an entire multimedia device with great capabilities from your stationary computer or laptop, turning it into an advanced TV. In this case, you must use an analog or external TV tuner that can receive a signal in the standards DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-S, etc. Some devices of this type are designed to be installed in a stationary computer, others are equipped with a USB port and fit for laptop. In addition, there are devices that work without a PC – they only need a monitor, speakers.

What is a TV tuner

This device is a kind of television receiver, the main function of which is to receive a television signal in various broadcast formats with the image displayed on the monitor. Simply put, it is a PC board or set-top box. Reception of an analog signal and digital television channels is provided by an external or internal antenna from satellite or cable TV. Most modern television receivers of this type are capable of receiving FM radio stations and can be used as devices for capturing video.

Why do i need

An analog or digital tuner for a TV, first of all, is able to provide viewing of television programs, including from satellite channels. You can watch them both on the full screen of the PC, and in a reduced form. In addition, the device can catch the radio and record – one of the most attractive reasons for buying the device. Depending on the recording mechanism, it can be used to record radio or video in the so-called. manual mode. Some TV tuners have a scheduler that records interesting TV shows without user intervention.

External TV tuner in hand

How does it work

Thanks to the reception function, the tuner is able to receive television signals in various broadcast formats. It is used to receive channels of the European standard for digital terrestrial broadcasting (DVB-T, DVB-T2), American (ATSC), Japanese and South American (ISDB-T), etc. As for the operating principle, the receiver receives a signal from an external source, after which transfers it to the demodulator. The latter separates and extracts signals from the carrier signal. To watch TV on a PC, you need to install the appropriate software on the computer.

The scheme of the TV tuner

Best TV tuners

When planning to buy a TV tuner for your TV, get acquainted with the current situation in the modern market. Prefixes of this type can be internal, i.e. installed in a computer, external with a USB connector, which are used in most cases for working with laptops and external hardware devices. The latter do not have a USB connector, but they are connected to the gap between the monitor and the video card – a computer is not needed for their work. The most popular are internal video tuners – they are more advanced in terms of capabilities. Finishing and video output is implemented by software.

TV tuner with antennas

Analog tv tuner

As a rule, modern manufacturers almost no longer produce pure analogue consoles, because they have been replaced by hybrid video tuners. Such devices are capable of receiving both analog and digital signals. You can order a suitable device with mail delivery in any specialized online store. An excellent mobile device for viewing cable and satellite channels is:

  • model name: Vga MTV box;
  • price: 1600 r.;
  • characteristics: dimensions – 12.5×7.5×1.8 cm, output frequency – 37 kHz-75 kHz, video input – 1Vp-p (psl / ntsc), resolution – from 800×600 to 1920×1200;
  • pluses: built-in speaker, good functionality;
  • cons: no.

Vga MTV box hybrid tuner kit

The next receiver is a portable analog video tuner with a switching timer, calendar and other auxiliary functions. It is relatively cheap:

  • model name: HDTV HD LCD TV Box;
  • price: 1102 r.;
  • characteristics: dimensions – 12.5×8.5×2 cm, weight – 103 g, output frequency – 37 kHz-75 kHz, regeneration speed – 60HZ, video input – 1VP-P (PAL / NTSC), resolution – from 800×600 to 1920×1200;
  • Pros: stable and clear picture;
  • cons: no.

Analog Video Tuner HDTV HD LCD TV Box

Digital

With the development of digital television, portable devices that can receive signals in digital standards DVB-T and DVB-2, DVB-S and DVB-S2, etc. are becoming widely used. On sale in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities of the country find a lot of devices of this type, some of which are sold with good discounts. Alternatively, you will be interested in an external TV tuner:

  • model name: Top box AM-01;
  • price: 1400 r.;
  • characteristics: performance – external, support for HD – 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 16: 9, digital standards – DVB-T2, dimensions – 168x35x102 mm, weight – 500 g;
  • Pros: works without a PC, recording timer;
  • cons: dimensions.

External digital video adapter Top box AM-01

The next prefix has a universal control panel, a power cord and a bracket with a cable for the hard drive. This standalone video tuner costs an order of magnitude more expensive than analogues:

  • model name: Openbox SX9 Combo HD;
  • price: 9500 r.;
  • characteristics: execution – external, operating system – Linux, HD support – 720p, 1080i, 1080p, digital standards – DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-C, DVB-S;
  • Pros: many additional options, there is a display;
  • cons: expensive, no video capture for that price.

Standalone Openbox SX9 Combo HD Video Tuner

External TV tuner

A good choice is the external tuner T2, which in its functionality is practically no different from the internal counterpart. To connect an external set-top box, drivers and related software are also required. The reception quality of the channels is highly dependent on the particular modification and sometimes it may not be very good. A plus is the ability to connect without opening the PC. It’s inconvenient to use for laptops, as takes up extra space. One of the category devices:

  • model name: Dexp HD 1702M;
  • price: 1150 p.;
  • specifications: support for HD – 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 16: 9, dimensions – 148x35x70 mm;
  • pluses: display, delayed viewing mode;
  • cons: no.

External video adapter, model Dexp HD 1702M

Pay attention to another external option – Top box AM-06 with an autonomous type of connection. You can find out how much a TV tuner of this type costs below:

  • model name: Top box AM-06;
  • price: 1030 r.;
  • Specifications: HD support – 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 16: 9, dimensions – 115x22x75 mm, weight – 200 g;
  • pluses: there is a delayed viewing mode, a timer for recording;
  • cons: no.

Standalone external video adapter Top box AM-06

Interior

To watch digital and analog television, you can purchase an internal device that is installed directly on the PC. This is very convenient in terms of saving space, but TV shows in this case can only be watched with the computer turned on. To work, you need to install drivers and software. One of the multifunctional options:

  • model name: TBS 6680;
  • price: 13940 r .;
  • characteristics: connection method – PCI-Express, compatibility – Windows XP / Vista / 7/8/10, Linux, dimensions – 145×104 mm, weight – 122 g;
  • pluses: you can connect an external IR sensor, a dual CI slot;
  • cons: expensive.

Multifunctional, built-in tuner for computer TBS 6680

In general, internal TV tuners are considered the most multifunctional, they can receive television channels, both from an antenna and from cable TV. The next set-top box is connected via PCI-Express. A distinctive feature is the capture of analog video, more details:

  • model name: Beholder Behold TV T8;
  • price: 5500 r .;
  • characteristics: support HD – 720p, 1080i, supports analog and digital standards, compatibility – Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / MCE / Vista / 7/8 32/64 bit;
  • pluses: there is an FM tuner, recording timer, video capture;
  • cons: expensive.

Embedded video adapter for computer Beholder Behold TV T8

For tv

There are consoles that can be connected not only to a stationary computer or laptop, but also to a TV. One of them is BBK SMP123HDT2. This device, specially developed by BBR, is capable of transmitting a signal from the receiver to the TV using a composite video output or an HDMI connector. More about product parameters:

  • model name: BBK SMP123HDT2;
  • price: 1290 p.;
  • specifications: external digital, HD image output, HD support – 720p, 1080i, 1080p, dimensions – 120x30x115 mm, weight – 210 kg;
  • pluses: good functionality, reasonable cost;
  • cons: firmware supports few audio codecs.

Universal tuner from BBK, model SMP123HDT2

The D-Color DC921HD digital receiver has high-quality components and the latest software. It is capable of transmitting a bright and clear picture, and support MPEG4 AVC H.264 SD / HD video format:

  • model name: D-Color DC921HD DVB-T2;
  • price: 889 r.;
  • characteristics: external, connection type – autonomous, maximum resolution – up to 1920×1080, dimensions – 116x32x100 mm;
  • pluses: low cost, there is a recording timer, teletext;
  • cons: poor reception, sometimes freezes.

Digital Video Adapter D-Color DC921HD DVB-T2

For computer

There is a whole category of TV tuners for computers. To save on their purchase, look for stores that carry out all kinds of promotions and sales. An excellent purchase can be an internal TV tuner for the Technologies Nova T2 2.0 computer from AverMedia with HD image output:

  • model name: AVerMedia Technologies Nova T2;
  • price: 3890 r.;
  • specifications: PC connection – PCI-Express, there is capture of analog video, compatibility – Windows 8.1 / 8/7 / XP (32/64-Bit), weight – 51 g;
  • pluses: availability of teletext, recording timer, good quality;
  • cons: unfinished software, expensive.

Tuner for the computer AVerMedia Technologies in the package

Check out another PC device, the Espada ESP-DVBT2. Unlike the previous one, this TV tuner is external. It has support for multiple audio tracks and Time shifting:

  • model name: Espada ESP-DVBT2;
  • price: 1827 r.;
  • characteristics: connection to a PC via USB, there is an FM tuner, supported television standards – DVB-T2, DVB-T, DVB-C, dimensions – 28x16x91 mm, weight – 110 g;
  • pluses: teletext, timer, compatibility with third-party software;
  • cons: no.

USB video adapter Espada ESP-DVBT2

For laptop

USV TV tuners can be used to connect to a laptop. This option is no less convenient and popular compared to the rest. The main thing is not to be mistaken with the choice of a suitable set-top box, which will transmit the picture and sound to the laptop monitor clearly and richly without hangs. Pay attention to the Rombica tuner with support for Windows 8 and ProgDVB and the ability to record broadcasts on a schedule without loss of quality. The device can receive analog DVB-T, DVB-T2 and digital radio with stereo sound:

  • model name: Rombica Pro DVB-T2;
  • price: 2990 r.;
  • characteristics: execution – external, connection to a laptop and PC via USB, analog video capture is possible, HD support – 720p, 1080i, 1080p, compatibility – Windows 8/7 / Vista / XP (32/64-bit),
  • pluses: the presence of a recording timer, teletext, high-quality picture, low system requirements;
  • cons: no.

Video Tuner with Remote for Rombica Pro DVB-T2 Laptop

AVerMedia Technologies TD310 is another external-tuner TV tuner with USB connection. In addition to the device itself, the kit includes a compact folding dipole antenna and a remote control with batteries:

  • model name: AVerMedia Technologies TD310;
  • price: 3250 p.;
  • characteristics: performance – external, USB connection, supported television standards – DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-T2, HD support – 720p, 1080i, compatibility – Windows 8.1 / 8/7 (32/64-Bit);
  • pluses: a good picture, there is a recording timer and teletext, ease of connection;
  • cons: no.

USB video tuner with antenna for AVerMedia Technologies TD310 laptop

How to choose a TV tuner

If you are planning to order a TV tuner for a monitor, computer, laptop or car, check out the selection criteria. A competent and thorough approach will help you to choose a truly optimal video tuner that will receive TV channels from a car antenna or satellite and cable TV. To do this, pay attention to some useful tips:

  • Decide between analog and digital device. The first option is perfect if you are going to make the usual on-air television, which you take on a collective or indoor roof, or you have cable TV at home. This type of customizer is the most difficult to implement because It should provide good reception quality under different conditions and protection against interference. Digital may be the preferred option, as Digital television has become widespread today. Often you can find hybrid models that can support several types of signal.
  • Choose between internal and external TV tuner. The first takes up a minimum of space, because installed inside the PC, but for this you need to open the computer case. More convenient in this regard is an external device with a USB connection.
  • Pay attention to additional functions. It will be good if the selected model can capture video, receive signals from FM radio stations, etc..

For digital television

If you are interested in digital TV, then pay attention to DVB-T tuners. Compared to analog broadcasting, digital is able to provide high quality pictures regardless of various kinds of interference. The digital stream often includes several audio tracks, including multi-channel. In addition to DVB-T, digital video tuners include DVB-S / S2 and DVB-C – the former are satellite, and the latter are cable. You can immediately purchase a kind of mega-hybrid TV tuner that combines analog and two digital types of television broadcasting.

External TV tuner for digital television

For analog television

The TV device selected for analogs must necessarily be able to provide an acceptable level of quality in different conditions and have developed signal processing mechanisms. True, not all models of analog tuners can meet these requirements. Some devices have extremely limited functionality and provide the user with pictures of unsatisfactory quality. Of particular importance is the functionality and usability of the software. An ideal choice would be a hybrid version of the TV tuner, which can also be used for digital TV.

TV tuner for analogue television

For auto

Active antennas installed inside the cabin on the windshield gained great popularity. Such antennas are compact in size. To increase the functionality of this type of device, select the appropriate TV tuner. Digital DVB-T2 models used to receive different communication channels are also in demand. Thanks to them, you can watch your favorite shows at a high level. Among the well-known automotive digital receivers can be identified INCAR DTV-16, BGT-TV-Box, MyDean DTV-1519, etc. However, their cost exceeds 11-12 thousand rubles.

Tv tuner for car

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