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Old 01-22-2016, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Why are there no ATSC android usb tuners?

I am curious if there is some technical reason that ATSC usb tuners do not exist that are compatible with Android tablets/phones etc. There are DVB tuners for Android devices, there are ATSC usb tuners and drivers for Windows and Linux PCs which evidently can be used on some Windows tablets with a bit of effort.

I would think these products would be available if there were no legal or technical barriers, but I can't think of a reason why there would be any.

Anybody venture a guess?
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Old 01-22-2016, 02:32 PM
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My guess is it's partially due to the open-source nature of the Android OS. With something like 12,000 Android devices running various forms and flavors of Android, it's almost impossible to code the device specific OS to work reliably with all of the available USB tuners, and considering how often the Android devices receive an update it's a huge problem. It's called device fragmentation and is one of the downsides of having an OS that is very customizable (sp?).
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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That's an interesting thought, but there are DVB USB tuners that work in Android, and Linux is of the same nature, its just a matter of having the drivers. USB tuners have a pretty standard protocol. Other USB products such as cameras are available and don't have that problem. I can't see how drivers or the API would present a problem. But, like you say, maybe there are challenges with building compatible apps.

I'm still feeling there is some other barrier.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:24 PM
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Not USB but does work with Android... https://www.silicondust.com/
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post
That's an interesting thought, but there are DVB USB tuners that work in Android, and Linux is of the same nature, its just a matter of having the drivers. USB tuners have a pretty standard protocol. Other USB products such as cameras are available and don't have that problem. I can't see how drivers or the API would present a problem. But, like you say, maybe there are challenges with building compatible apps.

I'm still feeling there is some other barrier.
It could be the way the European protocols are designed that make it more difficult with North American tuners. USB is fairly standard as a connection protocol but the actual workings of the DVB/ATSC protocols could be the stumbling block. Considering the amount of extra baggage that the Android OEMs and phone carriers put on their devices to make them unique and feature-laden it's not too far of a stretch. Pure Android is a very robust OS, but once all that baggage is added on top, and that baggage can vary considerably.......
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:06 PM
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There is at least one. I have the Geniatech PT681 and it works well enough in my Samsung Galaxy S3.

The Android device has to support host-mode USB, so this will work with only a limited number of Android devices (there is a compatibility list on the AliExpress page listing the unit). I use the Pad TV app on the phone to provide the display.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:33 AM
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I don't think ATSC 8VSB is massively more closed than DVB-T/T2 - but I think the real reason there are more DVB-T/T2 tuners on the market, whether they are Android USB, iOS USB, PC USB, WiFi hubs etc. is that DVB-T/T2 is a lot more popular than ATSC 8VSB in the areas it is used in, and it is used in more areas.

In the UK DVB-T/T2 is still the TV system with the highest market penetration - i.e. more people have a working DVB-T/T2 receiver than cable or satellite. (Lots will have both) As a result the market for Android/iOS/PC USB DVB-T/T2 tuners is potentially a lot bigger? (People are happy with the channel line-up on DVB-T/T2)

Also because DVB-T/T2 is used in more than just a handful of countries (ATSC is kind of really limited to North America and Korea), there is a bigger global market for DVB products (Every country in Europe, Russia, much of Asia, Australia, New Zealand etc. are all DVB-T/T2)
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post
Anybody venture a guess?
Supply and Demand...not a lot of tablet/smartphone users are interested in watching OTA ATSC in America...DVB-T is more popular in European-based consortium.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXer01 View Post
There is at least one. I have the Geniatech PT681 and it works well enough in my Samsung Galaxy S3.
Wow, I searched a lot and never found that. Thanks. Most phones have OTG now, so the compatibility list should be growing. With the advent of more Android based media players, I would think demand for these types of tuners would be rising.

Last edited by DanPackMan; 01-23-2016 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post
Wow, I searched a lot and never found that. Thanks. Most phones have OTG now, so the compatibility list should be growing. With the advent of more Android based media players, I would think demand for these types of tuners would be rising.
There are a few Android players appearing with integrated ATSC tuners - like the Wetek Play.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:46 AM
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I believe it's simply that demand is so low for modular tuners for Android. And that many Android devices don't have built in support for decoding mpeg2 that is req'd for the ATSC.
As olyteddy mentioned, SiliconDust makes a few solutions that work acceptably for Android to stream ATSC from where you may have a fixed antenna. I've had an ATSC tuner that creates a 802.11 wifi network to stream to my phone. Samsung also had a phone model that could tune ATSC-M/H and there was a tablet. Neither did well.
These gadgets seem to have satisfied most who would have pushed demand in the US.

The whole thing about Android is it's mobile... and yeah, you may travel a lot and stop places where you'd like to tune, but overall atsc doesn't do so well while actually IN motion.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:52 AM
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OF course there is also the SD Extend tuner, that has a hardware MPEG2-->H264 transcoder

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Old 01-27-2016, 04:59 PM
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Most I-N (Wi-Fi or Data Service) Videos that ANDROID Mobile Phones/Tablets are currently displaying are MUCH Lower Rez and/or Lower Data Rates than OTA ATSC....so they would need to be capable of processing a LOT more data...at HIGHER MPEG2 Data Rates....which draws down the Battery life.

ANDROID devices are inherently MOBILE....which means a Built-In Antenna with very NEGATIVE Gain...which means very spotty reception....if at ALL. Can you imagine wearing even a SMALL TV Antenna on your head....like a "Fascinator".....

MOBILE Phone/Tablets are frequently used while MOVING at more than 25-mph, such as a automobile passenger and on Trains & Busses.....which KILLS ATSC Reception.....ATSC M/H (Mobile/Handheld per ATSC A/183) was designed to provide much more robust performance, incl. in fast moving vehicles. But the expensive Distributed Transmitter Network that is needed for adequate coverage and general lack of interest in viewing Low-Rez Video has detracted from wide spread adoption.....perhaps ATSC 3.0 will have better acceptance when it hits it's stride in the next 5-10 years.
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I get that nobody will be using ATSC tuners while moving and that would be problematic, but you aren't always moving. You have mobile devices with you when you are stationary as well. While camping, tailgating, hanging in the garage or backyard, etc, there are times when some people might want to use one.

I was sitting in the car a few weeks back waiting for my daughter, missing the football game that was locally broadcast. Would have loved to have had a tuner to temporarily connect to my tablet.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post
I was sitting in the car a few weeks back waiting for my daughter, missing the football game that was locally broadcast. Would have loved to have had a tuner to temporarily connect to my tablet.
You've hit on the reason there's little demand. Other than that one game (which was probably available on local radio) what is there to watch? When you pare it down to just people in stationery vehicles at the times they're likely to be in that situation, you're talking primarily about syndicated daytime fare or reruns on local television. Everything else - including most sports - is available via streaming. No additional equipment and a signal that's not nearly as prone to issues as ATSC. So, an ATSC add-on is only attractive to people who might need it on seldom occasions. That doesn't scream mass market to me.
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