Sirius Vehicle Tuner

People like to listen to the popular Sirius Satellite Radio service, even when they are on the move and in their vehicle. More than 120 channels of this commercial-free broadcasting, makes any journey a pleasure and also keeps you informed about the weather and traffic conditions in your city. The satellite radio channels have music, sports, news and entertainment. The coverage of this service is from coast to coast in mainland United States, and gives traffic news of 20 important cities. You have to pay a monthly subscription fee to receive this service, and also a one-time activation charge. To receive the signals of the Sirius Satellite Radio, you need a Sirius Vehicle Tuner fitted in your car.

The Sirius Vehicle Tuner has many models and many companies manufacture these, that are compatible with various head units. There are many different vehicle companies and each has their own factory head unit. Also there are many after market stereos and in-dash FM radios available. The Sirius Vehicle Tuner has to be compatible with the type of radio or receiver or stereo that you have in your vehicle. The usual Sirius Vehicle Tuner like the SCC1, is compatible with most head units, which are Sirius-ready or SAT Radio-ready. There are specific adapter cables sold separately, for head units which are not compatible with the tuner. There is also a Sirius Vehicle Tuner with an FM modulator which will be compatible with your FM in-dash radio. This type of tuner will give the audio output, on the unused frequency of your FM radio, and thus you will be able to receive all the Sirius Satellite Radio channels on to your FM radio.

The newer models of the Sirius Vehicle Tuner, are of the portable kind. These are plug-and-play devices which are very compact and rich on features and functions. This type of Sirius Vehicle Tuner can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, and also to your home. Your home and vehicle should have a docking kit in place, for you to, plug in this tuner.  The main advantage of having this type of Sirius Vehicle Tuner is that you have to pay only one subscription to Sirius, even though you are receiving their signals on different receivers and audio systems. This kind of tuner usually has a large, display LCD screen, in red or blue color. On the display you will get the standard information like channel number, channel name, category, song title, name of artist and so on. If your tuner has extra functions the display will also give information like the name of your favourite sports team and their score updates.

The Sirius Vehicle Tuner will let you preset 20 to 30 of your favourite channels so that you do not have to search for them every time. These presets are stored in groups of 5 to 6 channels which can be scrolled and tuned into from the display. You can also tune channels by directly keying in the channel number, or search for them category-wise, or scroll through the whole lot serially.

Standalone TV Tuner

The WinFast TV Pro II from Leadtek, is a Standalone TV Tuner that can be used with CRT monitors, as it supports video output at 85 Hz. This tuner comes as a package and consists of the tuner, a stand, infrared remote control, mini 9-pin DIN cable – VGA, a mini jack cable with mini- jack of 3.5mm to plug into a line-in of a sound card, a switching power supply unit of 5V at 2A, and the localized user's guide.

The Standalone TV Tuner has a neutral grey color with contrasting labels and rounded corners, and is appealing to look at. It is sleek and has dimensions of 206 x 125 x 26 mm without the stand. You can place it flat or you can use the supplied stand, and place it vertically. It has good static stability in both the positions. The control buttons are symmetrically arranged on the top and rear panels. You can use the channel and volume control buttons to navigate the menu. The connectors on the front panel are S-Video, the composite input and two RCA jacks. The back panel has the power connector, VGA Out, a mini 9-pin DIN for a video card, a line-out mini-jack of 3.5mm, audio-in mini-jack of 3.5mm, a composite video-out and an antenna jack.

The WinFast TV Pro II Standalone TV Tuner has a non-interlaced display mode. The supported resolutions to refresh rates are 640x480 at 60/75 Hz, 800x600 at 60/75/85 Hz, 1024x768 at 60/75/85 Hz and 1280x1024 at 60 Hz. The tuner supports PAL-BG, PAL-DK, PAL-I, SECAM-BG and SECAM-DK in the European version. You can auto scan for TV and cable channels with this tuner. Your screen mode can be the 16:9 wide screen or the 4:3 standard mode, as both are supported by the tuner. It has adaptive de-interlacing of enhanced 3D motion. The tuner also supports NICAM stereo decoding. A channel sorting feature is available and you can also have a favourite channel setting. It has separate controls for brightness, contrast, hue and saturation, and also supports sleep timer. You can select the language of your preferrence from the multi-language on-screen display setting. The infrared remote control has all the controls that the tuner has.

The inside of the Standalone TV Tuner has the main chips located on the same PCB on both sides. This is the only tuner equipped with a TCL MPE05 selector. It has a AL260C, video processor which is covered by a heatsink. The analog to digital conversion is done by a 9-bit SAA7113H ADC from Philips Semiconductors. The stereo audio decoding is done by the Philips TDA9874AH demodulator. The board also contains a flash memory chip of 512 Kbit, 5V, and a MRT M80641-3 micro-controller.

For configuring the settings, there is an on-screen menu of 14 single level sections, with icons arranged in two rows, which are user friendly and easy to go through. There is the Regional settings where you need to set the area or country in which you are located. There is a section for scanning channels, where you can scan either the channels or the frequencies and then fine tune them.