Best Buy Now Selling Portable ATSC Receivers

Until this week, you could buy an ATSC TV to put in your house or a small USB stick to provide ATSC DTV reception on your computer, but you couldn’t easily buy a handheld TV receiver for receiving U.S. DTV broadcasts. That has now changed, with Best Buy’s introduction of two small ATSC receivers under its “Insignia” brand.

The receivers are currently listed on the Web site at less than $200 each. Enter “Insignia - 7” Portable Standard Definition Digital LCD TV” (including the “ ” symbols) in the Best Buy “Search For” box and the first listings that pop up should be the 5-inch and 7-inch standard-definition digital portable TV sets.

Best Buy makes it clear these are not portable “HDTV” sets, as can be seen from the title, although it appears they will downconvert HDTV to fit the smaller, lower resolution screens. The 7-inch screen has 234x480 pixel resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

As I don’t have a Best Buy nearby, I’d appreciate it if readers could let me know if they see this receiver in their neighborhood store. It is listed on their Web site, and it appears that both 5-inch and 7-inch receivers are available now. If you purchase one, please let me know how it performs, in terms of both sensitivity and multipath performance. Perhaps it is based on the cardboard mock up I reported on in my March 7, 2007 RF Technology column.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.