Why do I need an HDTV Tuner and Which One is Right?

Projectors and professional displays do not have built-in TV tuners, in-order to receive modulated signals, there must be a tuner for those devices. Tuners can also be used to monitor live camera feeds or over the air broadcasts. Presentation room switchers often need a dedicated tuner that can be routed to displays on demand. Tuner/Controllers provide all the features of a tuner with the ability to pass control commands to the display devices for power on/off, input selects, and volume.
Tuner Compare 2017
ATSC/QAM tuners provide the following functions: selective tuning, demodulation, transport stream demultiplexing, decompression, error correction, digital-to-analog conversion, AV synchronization and media reformatting to fit the specific types of TV screen optimally.

Contemporary Research shares eight questions to ask when considering which tuner is right for your AV installation.

What kind of content could I tune?
Any kind of HD content can be sent over a site’s RF coax network, including cable/satellite news and information, local off-air programs, live event video, and digital signage. While programs could be distributed over IP, the network may not have the bandwidth or technology to stream video. RF coax is still the most effective medium for sending content facility-wide.

What modulation formats does the tuner support?
ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) standards are used by off-air channels, NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) and Clear QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) are used for consumer and commercial cable channels. A commercial tuner should be able to tune both formats.

What encoding formats are available?
MPEG2 is used for off-air and cable channels, while satellite channels are encoded in MPEG4/H.264 format. Many (but not all) new HD TVs and tuners can decode both types.

What kind of video outputs do you need?
While HDMI is the common output, some applications require Component, RGBHV or Composite video. Broadcast applications often need HD-SDI video.

How can the TV tuner be controlled?
IR is fine for consumers, but full two-way RS-232 or IP control is preferred for commercial control applications. Onboard Web pages are essential for remote control over Ethernet.

Do you need closed captioning?
TV tuners can display on-screen captioning, while closed caption data is carried via the composite video output or SDI.

Where is the TV tuner made?
When a tuner is manufactured overseas, options are limited for knowledgeable support, updates or repair. When you call a company that makes the tuner right here in the U.S., you are talking with support staff and engineers who know the product intimately, can answer questions knowledgably, and resolve issues in short order.

Is the TV tuner designed for integration?
An integration-capable tuner has a metal enclosure that can be installed in a 19” equipment rack, and features RS-232 and IP control, as well as onboard Web pages for setup and control. Two-way control and status should be easily enabled by approved integration modules from AMX, Crestron, Extron and RTI. Integration-centric support should be available from the manufacturer. Consumer products are designed for occasional use and low cost, while commercial tuners are made for 24/7 operation over many years.

With constant changes in technology, professionals need to stay current with their AV equipment. Contemporary Research is proud to continually innovate their products to provide the most up-to-date features. Their latest TV tuners help customers save time and money. With Contemporary Research ATSC Series Tuners, the answer to all of these questions is yes!

As a leader in large-scale video distribution and control technology, CR will help you choose the right product and support you throughout its use. Contact us at 972-931-2728 to learn more or click on the links below to learn more about our products.

Compare ATSC Series Tuners

232-ATSC 4

ATSC-SDI 4 HDTV Tuner

ICC2-ATSC 4S Tuner Controller