A New ‘Unconnected’ ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV Tuner Is Now On the Market





A new NextGen TV Box is available for customers looking to upgrade their viewing experience to ATSC 3.0 without buying a new TV — and it’s the first that doesn’t need an internet connection.

The new Zinwell NextGen TV Box standalone tuner from TV hardware company Channel Master lets users grab a NextGen TV feed even if their TVs don’t have built-in ATSC 3.0 tuners.

The $149 box is the first ATSC 3.0 tuner that doesn’t require an internet connection to view the DRM encrypted channels, which has been a sticking point for customers. Another key benefit is the tuner will continue to pick up a signal event if your online access gets knocked out during or storm or service-related outage. That’s particularly important if you need access to local news for information during an emergency.

The new tuner also comes with a universal learning remote control, supports 4K broadcasts, enhanced Dolby audio, and access to broadcaster applications and emergency alerts. The device is also compatible with all TV antennas. The tuner has built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections as well as a coaxial cable input and HDMI output.

While at the time of publication, the tuner’s product page says that 4K broadcasts and Dolby Audio have yet to launch, but a Pearl TV spokesperson said the enhanced audio is available. Viewers will still have to wait for 4K.

“4K will come eventually – but not until ATSC 1.0 is turned off and every broadcaster has their own ATSC 3.0 signal,” a Pearl TV spokesperson told Cord Cutters News.

Tuners like the Zinwell box are important to driving people to upgrade to NextGen TV. While it’s been out for years, public knowledge of the over-the-air standard remains low. But having new products like Zinwell, as well as more availability across the country is helping.

“Now that NEXTGEN TV is reaching three out of four TV viewers across America, the timing is perfect to introduce new affordable upgrade accessory receivers like the Zinwell NextGen TV Box. Broadcasters are delighted to see another viewing option available for consumers who’d like to upgrade, without having to buy an entirely new TV set,” Anne Schelle, Pearl TV’s managing director, said in a statement.

This comes as ATSC 3.0, considered the new standard for over-the-air TV, NextGen TV wants to refresh the broadcast TV landscape and give viewers a “future proof” way to watch local channel.

Over the last year, more TV stations and households alike have been upgrading to the new standard, which covers about 75% of the country in more than 75 markets.

The standard provides viewers with more news and entertainment choices while providing broadcasters with a more compelling and interactive way to deliver their content, according to Pearl TV.

So far, the free service broadcasts bring higher quality video, better volume control across channels, enhanced voice clarity with Dolby’s Voice+, improved internet content on-demand, expanded and hyperlocal news, dual language capabilities, and more.

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