Television - coming soon to a screen (any screen) near you

16 January 2009

Watching television on a laptop is simple enough, especially if you're a fan of BitTorrent, or you've heard of the BBC's hardly-ever-advertised-at-all iPlayer. Most laptops play DVDs too, so a new development in microchip technology that squeezes a television into a computer may not seem that interesting.

Except the brains at LA-based Telegent Systems have created a chip that doesn't require an internet connection, so you can pluck television signals out the ether to view on-screen. Better yet, the TLG2300 can receive analogue signals and digital transmissions too, which opens up the likes of Freeview to the user.

The chip is fairly small, so it could probably be incorporated into netbooks. It'd certainly be a dealbreaker for many PC and laptop buyers in a increasingly crowded marketplace, though it's fairly safe to say we won't see it appear in an Apple product. Their reluctance to add even a digital radio tuner to iPods and iPhones suggests Apple are sticking rigidly to their vision of online content delivery.


TOPICS:   Cool Stuff


  • Samba123
    Won't you still need an aerial of some size though to get any sort of decent TV pic? Kind of renders it useless if you need to carry one of those too...
  • Wolfman
    I don't think its the tuner size preventing laptops/netbooks from having an integrated TV tuner, more the fact that TV/radio tuners attract additional import taxes, increasing the price of product.
  • Duke
    I don't get the point of this story. TV tuners have been available in PCs for years.
  • gidz
    Agreed Duke. I have a freecom tuner which cost me £20 and is the size of a cigarette lighter. It picks up digital signal no problem using an aerial, not sure the point of this technology, there must be more to it than meets the eye
  • mike
    The chip is built into the board not via usb pci etc.
  • Cam
    I have a built in TV reciever in my Sony laptop, which is 4 years old! Yawn!!
  • callum
    Not really much better than the USB/PCMIA cards you get now, they can get pretty tiny.
  • Kevan
    I see this as more of a 'convenience' thing rather than new technology. As has been pointed out there are already various 'plug in' devices ranging from a box with a lead to proper USB key devices. These are a pain to have to transport with your laptop and do negate that portability aspect of having a laptop/netbook. Does anybody remember the nuisance of ahving to plug in a PCMCIA ethernet adaptor? Not good having those sticking out the side even by just a small amount. The biggest drawback in this new device has already been highlighted, the aerial. If the chip is capable of operating on an ultra weak signal or the computer it is fitted to has a ready installed booster aerial then great. Digital Freeview is still very patchy in some areas of the country so a strong signal is needed.

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