A USB digital TV receiver with its antenna
A DTV receiver is a set-top box that permits the reception of digital television. Its components are very similar to a desktop PC. The DTV receiver is a vital link in the chain of television system. The goal of a broadcasting system is to concentrate the hardware requirements at the source to simplify the receivers and makes it as inexpensive as possible.
It is usually connected to the TV set or incorporated in the TV set. The main features of a DTV receiver may be classified as follows:
- decodes the incoming digital signal;
- verifies access rights and security levels;
- displays cinema quality pictures on the TV set;
- outputs digital surround sound;
- processes and renders Internet and interactive TV services.
The tuner in the box receives a digital signal from a cable, a satellite, or terrestrial network and isolates a particular channel. The signal is then forwarded to a demodulator and converted to binary format. Once in binary format, the demodulator will check for error and forward the binary signal to a demultiplexer that will extract audio, video, and data from the binary stream. Once the demultiplexer has finished with the signal, the decoders will transform the digital bits into a format suitable for viewing on the television set.
As the architecture of a DTV receiver can vary in function of the network operator or the set-box manufacturer, we have chosen to divide the physical components into the following categories:
- system board,
- modulator and demodulator,
- demultiplexer and decryptor,
- graphics processor,
- CPU and memory,
- storage devices,
- physical interfaces,
- physical characteristics.
All the main hardware components of the receiver are connected to the system board. Buses are used to carry the digital TV information between the hardware components.
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