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ATI Unveils New ATSC Receiver Chips

ATI Technologies introduced three low cost, high-power chip set solutions in response to the FCC DTV tuner mandate, which requires all 25-inch and larger TV sets to include digital tuners by March 1, 2006. The ATI press release notes the new chips help solve the conundrum of high-end TV sets, which often are not connected to an antenna, having the best off-air reception while mid- to low-end DTV sets that are likely to be used for off-air reception are more likely to include an inferior, cheaper receiver--causing them to go dark when analog TV is shut off.

"We're making sure that HDTV and consumer electronics manufacturers have the best HD reception technology possible today so consumers' TV screens stay lit once the analog-off-air signals are shut off," Mike Gittings of ATI Technologies explained.

The new Theater 311, Theater 312 and Theater 314 products "provide industry leading VSB reception at affordable prices to all segments of the digital over-the-air (OTA) and digital cable ready (DCR) TV market," according to ATI. The chip sets were tested using ATSC recommended practice A/74 field scenarios for receiver performance.

The difference between the three chip sets is their ability to receive digital cable TV signals. The Theater 311 is designed for applications that require off-air reception without cable compatibility, such as satellite set-top boxes. The Theater 312 adds reception of unscrambled 64 and 256 QAM digital cable channels. For Digital Cable Ready applications, the Theater 314 adds universal Forward Data Channel reception. All of the chip sets include an interface for smart antennas.

For more information, see the ATI press release. I did not find any other technical or application information the new chip sets on the ATI Technologies ATI Web site.