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TVB Tech Alert: Garmin nüvi 1490TV

OLATHE, KAN: Virtual mapper Garmin International added TV reception to its latest personal navigation device--TV reception in Europe, that is. Garmin unveiled the nüvi 1490TV last week, announcing its anticipated availability in Europe by early April--in time for the FIFA World Cup.

The nüvi features radio and DVB-T reception, Europe’s transmission standard for fixed digital television, though it’s said to accommodate mobility as well. The standard covers 14 countries in Europe, including Great Britain, which has 50 free over-the-air channels.

The 1490TV also sports stereo speakers, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, lithium-ion battery, a composite video input and a built-in antenna. Garmin said it also comes preprogrammed with “highly detailed road maps of Europe,” and various business and points of interest. Suggested retail on the new nüvi will be 299 euros, (US$423 at current exchange rates). No U.S. version is in the works, Garmin told the Kansas City Business Journal.

The nüvi 1490TV is the second combination TV receiver/navigator that Garmin’s introduced in Europe, GPS Business NewsGPS said. Garmin is currently shipping a navigator/TV receiver in China, the nüvi 1480C. The company is using TV reception chipsets from Israel’s Siano. says. The nüvi 900T, featuring DVB-H (for handheld) was rolled out in Italy two years ago, to an absence of fanfare,