If you have an HDTV, you’ve probably heard about HDTV tuners. You might be considering buying one, too. Before you do, though, make sure you clear up any doubts and confusion first, by reading these answers to the most frequently asked questions about them.

What is an HDTV tuner?

An HDTV tuner, also sometimes called an HDTV receiver or HDTV decoder, is an accessory which helps display HD content on your HDTV. The HDTV tuner receives the High Definition signal from sources such as cable or satellite TV providers, Blu-Ray players and HDTV-capable video game consoles, then processes it so that it appears properly on the screen of your HDTV. Without an HDTV tuner, the signals will appear as regular TV signals, preventing you from enjoying the full and genuine High Definition viewing experience.

What is the difference between an HDTV tuner and an HDTV tuner card?

An HDTV tuner is a separate, external device connected directly to your HDTV, which is why it is sometimes called an external or stand-alone HDTV tuner. It is also often called a Set-Top-Box since it is usually placed on top of the HDTV monitor. On the other hand, an HDTV tuner card is a smaller device – either USB or PCI – that can be attached to a computer, which, in turn, is the one connected directly to the HDTV. Many people prefer the HDTV tuner to the HDTV tuner card since it is easier to install, although it is not always capable of recording.

What is the difference between an HDTV tuner and an HDTV converter?

An HDTV tuner is a device connected to an HDTV. It receives HD signals and allows them to be displayed properly on the HDTV. On the other hand, an HDTV converter converts digital signals into analog ones so that your regular TV can still process them and display them on the screen, though not with the same superior picture quality.

Is an HDTV tuner really necessary?

If you want to partake in the full High Definition experience, then the answer is yes. You don’t need to buy one, though, if you already own a full HDTV monitor since these already come with built-in tuners.

What is the cost of an HDTV tuner?

The cost of an HDTV tuner depends on its features and its brand. Popular brands include Sony, Samsung and Panasonic. Prices range from $80 to over $400.

How do I install my HDTV tuner?

Installing an HDTV tuner should be relatively easy. The most important thing is to connect it properly to your HDTV. Depending on the type of tuner you have, you should be able to find a port at the back or the side of your HDTV to connect it to. You should also be able to connect it to your antenna or other sources of HD content in order to receive the HD signals for it to transmit to your HDTV. When in doubt, consult your manual.

What is the best HDTV tuner?

Just as there is no single best HDTV, there is also no particular HDTV tuner that is the best for everyone. You can only find the right one for you and your HDTV. To do this, simply compare the features of various HDTV tuners, as well as their compatibility with the HDTV you own. It is recommended to buy an HDTV tuner with the same brand as your HDTV, although you can always get other, more affordable ones as long as they are compatible. Some cable and satellite TV providers have their own HDTV tuners so you can get these. Buying a Blu-Ray player with a built-in HDTV tuner is an option, too, although this can be very expensive.

Edward McKellen is an HDTV expert who writes LCD TV Reviews for HDTVreviewlab.com. To check out the latest Sony HDTV reviews or learn more about LCD TV visit HDTVreviewlab.com

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