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.
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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 BestBuy.com 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.