The HDTV TV tuner will soon be the dominant technology among television viewers as most people will switch to HDTV sets in the near future. It seems all the articles and news about electronic gadgets are mentioning HDTV lately. This term stands for High Definition Television, and everyone is talking about this newest format for digital broadcasting. Essentially, when you switch to this technology, it means that the image resolution of the shows you are watching will be the best available today.

Simply put, an HDTV TV tuner receives MPEG-2 encoded packets from over-the-air or cable television broadcasts. These packets are then provided to HDTV tuner software meant specifically for that purpose. There is one problem with the technology though. In the event of non-receipt of these packets, you cannot retrieve the data for they will be gone forever. Dramatically different from the way analog broadcasts perform, this turns an HDTV tuner into an all-or-nothing scenario. Analog broadcasts enable the receipt and display of even weak signals, although the pictures will appear snowy.

You must look for a few things when purchasing an HDTV tuner. It should include QAM cable tunability and PC processor compatibility. You should also understand the way it treats less strong and multi-path signals. Also, if you want to get an HDTV tuner, then price is something you need to consider.

A multi-path signal is one that is reflected by trees, houses, and other objects. In this situation, ghost pictures will be the result of a reflected analog signal. With HDTV, however, these multi-path signals may be confused, and data will be corrupted. This means the packets will be lost and you will watch shaky or flickering pictures on your screen.

One mark of a high-quality HDTV tuner is the ability to pick up strong signals while filtering out the results of multi-path fading. The presence of obstructing structures like trees or buildings in your area will cause multi-path signals in large numbers. Under these circumstances, it is highly recommended that you select an HDTV tuner with an enhanced ability to filter multi-path signals.

There is probably no escaping the need to invest in HDTV technology if you want to watch television. Just be sure that you choose the best equipment you can afford in order to get the most from your viewing experience. It's important that you understand which features are critical and which merely enhance the experience.

Whether we like it or not, HDTV technology is here to stay. The problem is that there's so much HDTV stuff to choose from, it can be difficult figuring out what's essential and what's merely nice to have.