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Ask HDBeat: Where are the built-in ATSC turners for laptops

Matt Burns

Joshua Nelson has a big problem and needs to get it off his chest. He could not find any of his "real friends" that would care about it so he turned to us. Well Josh...we can call you Josh right...we are here to help man. See 'ol Josh here has been looking at the new Toshiba HD DVD and Sony Blu-ray laptops but they are missing an ATSC tuner. His issue is that these are supposed to be high-def powerhouses but you can't watch high-def over-the-air programming without buying something else. (kind of reminds you of those new mac commercials) We agree Josh, what's up with that?

Unfortunately though Josh, built TV tuners are just not a popular built-in option. The US is just so big and spread out that many people can only get two or three OTA stations with a roof-top antenna, let alone one that is built into a laptop. Korea, or Japan, is so dense that they are saturated with DMB signals and therefore it makes more sense having those types of tuners in everything from laptops, to cell phones, to their toasters. We don't have proof about the last one but we are sure there is a Hello Kitty toaster with a built-in TV and smoothie maker - there has to be.

But getting back to your problem Mr. Nelson, this might be an option that will become popular but the only laptop we could dig up you already knew about: the Acer 9800. It looks like it does have a built-in digital tuner which should mean ATSC. But did you happen to catch the pic to the right of the description of the laptop with the antenna coming out of it; classic. Well, we hope that helped you feel better Josh. Sorry we couldn't help anymore but if any of our vast reader base has an inside line with Toshiba or Sony, if you put an ATSC tuner in your high-def laptops, you have at least one sale - Joshua Nelson.

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