Semiconductor company MaxLinear is teaming up with Hauppauge Digital, a company that makes TV tuners for computers to produce… a TV tuner for computers. But what sets the new MxL5007T apart is the fact that it’s a minicard designed specifically for netbooks and UMPCs.
The TV tuner can pick up ATSC TV signals (that’s over-the-air HD video in the US), as well as European and other standards including DVB-T, DVB-H, and DTMB. It can also handle QAM, or unencrypted HD cable video channels.
The MxL5007T consumers 350mW of power, which MaxLinear says makes it 50% more energy efficient than most competing TV tuners. And, you know… it’s smaller than your typical TV tuner, and easy to tuck away inside a netbook.
The only netbook available today with a built in TV tuner is the Dell Inspiron Mini 10. But it looks like we could see more soon. And that’s not surprising, as PC and peripheral makers are trying to figure out how to stuff extra features into netbooks in order to justify charging higher prices for some models, leading to higher profit margins.
I won’t see many netbooks plugged to cable TV… or plugged at all.
PC makers are overestimating the netbook users needs, and users are being confused by these add-ons. Keep in mind that netbook’s performance is not important… portability is.
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