Finally, a portable ATSC tuner, now if it will only work well

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mxl5007tExpect to starting seeing ATSC tuners in notebooks, netbooks, and UMPCs soon. MaxLinear and Hauppauge Digital are working on a minicard that should tune in ATSC, QAM, DVB-T, DVB-H, and DTMB signals. The small card also consumes 50% less power than other tuner cards, and the small size means that it can make its way into more packages. Sounds great, right? I’m just doubtful that it will pull in ATSC signals without a large antenna and therefore killing the any portability.

What makes you think that this small tuner will pull in ATSC signals better than your HDTV with just a tiny antenna? Go try it. I’ll wait. Just hook up a small wire to your COAX tuner and see what happens. Nothing, right? Yeah, the same thing is going to happen with these tuners. It sounds great on paper, and will probably work great with DVB-type signals that aren’t used here in the States, but ATSC is notoriously hard to pull in without a good antenna. And a little cell phone-ish expandable antenna isn’t a good antenna.

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