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Microtune Performing Tuner-Related Verification Testing for Set-Top Boxes

Microtune announced that it’s using its own test-verification facilities to assist customers in confirming their converter set-top box designs meet the NTIA tuner-related technical specifications necessary for participation in the government’s converter-box coupon program.

“We believe that Microtune has one of the few facilities in the world that can test a converter set-top box to the difficult tuner-related requirements demanded by the NTIA,” said James Fontaine, president and CEO of Microtune. “We have used our facilities and suite of test scenarios for our own ATSC A/74 testing events, and we can confirm compliance with applicable NTIA tuner specifications, including those of sensitivity, dynamic range, phase noise, co-channel rejection, adjacent and taboo channel rejection, burst noise immunity, and single static echo performance.”

Fontaine said that he believed that by providing such testing and generating a full report of tuner-related testing, the design risks for the company’s customers would be minimized. He said that the program would also decrease product time to certification and to market.

Microtune is currently evaluating tuner-related performance in customers’ converter box designs using its 3-in-1 tuner (the MT2131), with plans for submission for NTIA approval. Microtune said the MT2131 is designed to exceed the RF performance requirements specified by NTIA. The tuner supports analog (NTSC), digital (ATSC) and cable (digital-cable-ready) reception.

The announcement pointed out that while none of the ATSC receivers tested at the FCC were able to fully achieve the ATSC A/74 recommended performance requirements, none of the samples tested included Microtune technology.

An option for companies not using Microtune tuners and wanting to do their own ATSC receiver testing is the KTech ATE-1000. This unit fits in a single RU and was on display at KTech’s booth at NAB2007.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.