New computer device could change HD equation

For years, broadcasters have seen their OTA audiences dwindle as viewers turned to cable and satellite for programming. In fact, some prominent broadcasters have contended that there’s an entire generation of Americans who don’t even know that television is available for free over the air.

Perhaps a new computer peripheral from AutumnWave, the North American distributor for South Korean OnAir Solution, could do more to educate Americans about the availability of over-the-air TV than anything broadcasters have done recently.

The device, OnAir GT, rides the coattails of “cool” wireless computer technology by plugging into a USB 2.0 port and receiving over-the-air HDTV transmissions, as well as providing for hookup of an unencrypted QAM source.

Using the fifth generation LG Electronics ATSC/NTSC/unencrypted QAM tuner and the NVIDIA PureVideo decoder, OnAir GT comes with a software application that will turn the computer’s hard drive into an HD personal video recorder.

The device, which the company is aiming at the laptop market for business people on the go and students, may become one of the least expensive ways for consumers who already own a computer to experience HDTV.

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