Dell's Mini 10 now ships with an optional USB TV tuner to watch high definition content on the go.
Dell's previously unveiled netbook TV tuner is finally available with new Mini 10 units shipping in the United States.
We recently saw Acer's Aspire One 571
with its own multimedia processor. Dell's built-in TV tuner makes the netbook increasingly versatile and continues the shift away from light internet machine to portable multimedia companion.
When Dell unveiled their Mini 10 netbook
earlier this year, they also announced they would release a USB TV tuner down the track.
It will be an option for customers purchasing the Mini 10, but not the Mini 10v
. In the US, the TV tuner will add US$50 to the price of the Mini 10. We're still waiting on details for pricing and availability for Australia.
In the US it works by receiving an ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) high definition signal. The digital ATSC format replaces the aging analog NTSC standard.
In addition to supporting a HD 1920x1080 resolution, ATSC also uses the Dolby Digital AC-3 audio format.The TV tuner does support DVB-T for Australia, as well as ISDB-T (Japan) and CMMB (China).
So long as the processing capability is sufficient, the new TV tuner opens up many possibilities, particularly for recording high definition broadcast media on-the-go.
Thankfully, the extended external antenna is only needed in low-signal areas. Dell has not yet announced whether it will be available in other netbooks or laptops.
Is the current selection of free to air channels available in Australia enough for you to consider the optional TV tuner? Do you think the move towards multimedia capabilities in netbooks is a step forward, or do you prefer the simplicity of a standard netbook?Full disclosure: Vuki has in the past worked as a PR rep for a marketing agency employed by Dell, but is no longer on the payroll and is instead enjoying life on the other side of the fence as a freelance journalist.