New Mobile 'TV-On-Chip' Receives NTSC/PAL/Others, But Not ATSC

Telegent Systems has shipped its first generation TV receiver, the TLG1100. The "TV-on-chip" solution provides all the major functionality, from antenna input to digital video output, required for mobile TV receivers. The first generation receiver, the TLG1100, supports NTSC and PAL reception. A more advanced model, the TLG1130, introduced Monday includes support for reception of DVB-H and DVB-T as well as NTSC and PAL.

Reed Hundt, former chairman of the FCC and now a member of the board of directors for Telegent Systems said, "Telegent Systems represents a breakthrough opportunity for handset makers, carriers and broadcasters. Finally, there is a technology that merges the ease of watching broadcast television with the convenience of carrying cell phones in our hands."

Telegent Systems said the "SureTrak" technology it uses in its chips vastly reduces power consumption, allowing up to 4.5 hours of viewing on cell phones. The SureTrak multipath and Doppler compensation algorithm, Telegent Systems said, has been proven robust at speeds above 265 miles per hour while maintaining audio fidelity. While mobile reception may eventually be an option for U.S. broadcasters through enhancements to the ATSC 8-VSB modulation standard, it would be difficult if not impossible to achieve this level of performance with existing ATSC broadcast signals. The proposed A-VSB standard would, however, allow ATSC broadcasters to provide service to mobile receivers.

Although the company made no mention of ATSC, the U.S. DTV standard that will replace NTSC once full power analog broadcasting is shut off in a little over 26 months, a Telegent spokesperson said the company is a member of ATSC and is active in the standards process, including the S9 study group on A-VSB. I discussed A-VSB and its potential for providing reliable reception to mobile and cell phone DTV receivers in a recent RF Technology column. Telegent said its first generation chip was targeted at "emerging nations where NTSC and PAL are currently being supported--and won't go away in the foreseeable future" but indicated it was considering chips for ATSC.

In addition to cell phones, Telegent Systems is targeting laptops and other portable media devices. I wouldn't be surprised to see Telegent System joining the increasing number of companies offering chips and reference designs for ATSC USB tuners.