Portable DTV Sets More Available

RadioShack's Accurian 7 can be found at most Radio Shack stores.

Portable battery operated TV sets have long been an important source of news and information during hurricanes and other natural disasters.

In the Wilmington, N.C., early analog shutdown, one analog transmitter stayed on the air, ready to provide emergency information in the event of a hurricane. USB DTV tuners for laptop computers are widely available and inexpensive, but they are not as easy to use as small portable battery operated DTVs.

The good news is that battery operated DTV sets are now available at reasonable prices. While many of these portables are available only on the Web, RadioShack's Accurian 7 (catalog number 16-454) can be found at most Radio Shack stores.

I had a chance to test one while in Phoenix this week and was impressed at the number of stations it received in an inside office with only three bars of cell phone signal. Although I couldn't do a direct comparison, it appeared to be far more sensitive than the Insignia portable DTV I bought two years ago.

In the article Battery-powered televisions getting digital capabilities, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Bill Husted talks about the 7-inch RadioShack Accurian and suggests readers do a Google search to find more DTV sets. I found a search on the words “ATSC portable TV battery” (do not include the quotes in the search) provided several other options.

The battery operated portable DTV receivers available now and the receivers for ATSC M/H expected to appear late next year and in 2010 provide a way for residents in areas prone to natural disasters and power outages to continue to receive emergency information by TV. As part of their analog shutdown announcements, broadcasters should inform viewers their battery operated analog TV won't receive full power TV stations after Feb. 17. Otherwise, viewers may be disappointed when they turn their battery operated TVs during the next power outage.

Read more of Doug Lung's RF Reporthere.