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Technical Requirements and Measure

Methods for Digital Terrestrial TV Tuner

Hanqi Zhang
Vice Executive Secretary General of China DTV Council
Background of this field

Tuner plays very important role in the DTV STB or iDTV. Some of the
parameters such as C/N or sensitivity were decided by the quality of the
TUNER.

Full-NIM TUNER Half-NIM TUNER Silicon TUNER

NIM: Network Interface Module

In the Full-NIM or the Half-NIM era, there are too many discrete electronic
components and the parameters should be adjusted by stirring the inductors.

The consistency of the Silicon TUNER is the best.


Background of this field

Performance: Some years ago, the RF part should be shielded by a metal


shell or can. That is why we call this kind of tuner as CAN-TUNER.
Price: 10 years ago, full-NIM TUNER ~10USD/pcs; 5 years ago, half-NIM
TUNER ~5USD/pcs; At present, silicon TUNER ~1.5USD/pcs
Technical Requirements

Basic Designing Requirement


No. Items M. or O. Technical Requirements

1 RF Input Interface Mandatory Conform to product's spec.

2 RF Loop-through Interface Optional Conform to product's spec.

3 Input Resistance ─ 75Ω

4 Output Resistance ─ 75Ω

5 IF Output Interface Mandatory Conform to product's spec.

IF 32MHz~44MHz

6 IF Frequency ─ Low IF 4MHz~10MHz

Zero IF Base band IQ

7 Control Interface Mandatory I 2C

Control Voltage should conform to product's


8 IF AGC Control Mandatory
spec.
Technical Requirements
RF Receiving Requirement

Parameters
No. Items Unit
VHF UHF
48.5~92; 167~223;
1 Input Frequency Range MHz
470~566; 606~870
2 Coverage Margin MHz ≥2
4MHz; -4MHz ≥3
a 4.5MHz; -4.5MHz
Out-band Attenuation ≥15
3 Amplitude-Frequency Characteristic dB
5MHz; -5MHz ≥32
In-band Flatness (±3.78MHz) ≤2
4 Total Power Gain dB ≥85
5 Difference of Power Gain dB ≤8
6 Control Range of AGC dB ≥85
7 Noise Figure dB ≤5.5
8 Maximum Input Signal Level dBμV ≥100
9 Image Rejection Ratio dB ≥60
1kHz ≤-70
10 Phase Noise 10kHz dBc ≤-85
100kHz ≤-95
11 Input Reflection Loss dB ≥5
12 Max. Output Level of IF Vp-p ≥2
13 Frequency Offset of IF kHz ±1
a-taking the central frequent point as the basic frequency and the basic voltage point as the 0 volt. See diagram 1.
Technical Requirements
Diagram 1: Out-band Attenuation

RF Loop-through output performance


No. Items Unit Parameters
1 Loop-through Gain dB 一1~+3
2 Noise Factor dB ≤8
3 Reflection Noise dB ≥8
4 Rejection Ratio of Second-order Inter-modulation dB ≥50
5 Rejection Ratio of Third-order Inter-modulation dB ≥55
Measurement Method
Best Testing Site
Shielded room
Environment Conditions
Ambient temperature: 0 ⁰C~40 ⁰C
Relative Humidity: 25%~90%
Stabilization Time
At least 15 minutes in the measurement environment
Measurement Channels
VHF band: both ends channels
UHF band: both ends channels and a middle channel
Standard RF signal level
60 dBμV at the central frequency point of the measurement.

Measurement Instruments
No. Devices Requirements
Single frequency signals with variable amplitude and
1 Standard Signal Generator
variable frequency can be generated
2 Frequency Meter Single frequency signals can be measured
3 Frequency Sweeping Signal Generator Frequency sweeping signals can be generated
4 Network Analyzer Reflection loss can be measured
5 Frequency Analyzer Signal frequency spectrum can be measured
6 Noise Factor Tester Noise Factor can be measured
Measurement Method
Receiving Frequency Range

Standard Signal RF.IN IF.OUT


Tuner Frequency Meter
Generator

Notes of the measurement steps:

1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to the central
frequency of the lowest-frequency channel of the operating UHF frequency
band and the output electrical level to the standard RF signal.

2. Adjust the tuning control of the tuner and make the frequency meter show the
intermediate frequency.

3. Repeat step 1 and 2 at the highest-frequency channel of the operating UHF


frequency band.

4. Repeat step 1 to 3 in the VHF frequency band.


Measurement Method
Coverage Margin
The block diagram is just the same as previous one.

Notes of the measurement steps:


1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to be 2 MHz lower
than the central frequency of the lowest-frequency channels of the operating
frequency band and the output electrical level to the standard RF signal level.

2. Adjust the tuning control of the tuner and make the frequency meter show the
intermediate frequency.

3. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to be 2 MHz higher
than the central frequency of the highest-frequency channels of the operating
frequency band and the output electrical level to the standard RF signal level.

4. Repeat step 2.
Measurement Method
Amplitude-Frequency Characteristic

Frequency Sweeping RF.IN


Tuner
Signal Generator
RF.OUT

Notes of the measurement steps(Out-band Attenuation):

1. Adjust the frequency sweeping signal generator to generate RF frequency


sweeping signals of which the frequency is the central frequency of the channel to
be tested.

2. Adjust the tuner to work on the tested channel and then modulate the tuner properly.

3. Adjust the sweep width and the output amplitude of the frequency sweeping signal
generator and make the monitor present the appropriate waveform.

4. Set the electrical level of the IF central frequency as 0 dB and record the decibel
value of the electrical level at the measured point as the out-band attenuation value.
Measurement Method
Notes of the measurement steps(In-band Flatness):
1. Adjust the frequency sweeping signal generator to generate RF frequency
sweeping signals of which the frequency is the central frequency of the
channel to be tested and the output voltage is the standard RF signal level.

2. Adjust the tuner to work on the tested channel and then modulate the tuner
properly.

3. Adjust the sweep width and the output amplitude of the frequency sweeping
signal generator and make the monitor present the appropriate waveform.

4. Set the central frequency as the intermediate frequency, take the electrical
level of the in-band highest-amplitude point of ±3.78 MHz bandwidth as A
dBμV and that of the lowest-amplitude point as B dBμV.

5. Then, the value of the In-band flatness is C=A-B.


Measurement Method
Total Power Gain:

Standard Signal RF.IN IF.OUT


Tuner Spectrum Analyzer
Generator

Notes of the measurement steps:

1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to the central
frequency of the tested channels and the output electrical level to the standard RF
signal level.

2. Adjust the tuner working on the tested channel, and the RF.AGC and the IF.AGC
are set to be the nominal value regulated by the product specification.

3. Gradually lower the output level of the standard signal generator till the tuner
output level B dBμV and the generator electrical level A dBμV are synchronously
lowered with 1 dB as the step length (AGC disabled).

4. Total Power Gain: C=B-A


Measurement Method
Difference of Total Power:

The block diagram is just the same as previous one.

Notes of the measurement steps:


1. Measure the power gain among the range of all the receiving channels according
to previous part: Total Power Gain.

2. Identify the channel of the highest power gain and denote its power gain as A dB.

3. Identify the channel of the lowest power gain and denote its power gain as B dB.

4. Difference of Total Power Gain: C=B-A


Measurement Method
The Control Range of RF.AGC
The block diagram is just the same as previous one.

Notes of the measurement steps:


1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to the central frequency
of the tested channels and the output electrical level to the standard RF signal level.
Make the IF.AGC fixed.

2. Set the RF.AGC voltage to the maximum value regulated by the product specification.

3. Gradually lower the output level of the standard signal generator till the tuner output
level B dBμV and the generator electrical level A dBμV are synchronously lowered
with 1 dB as the step length (AGC disabled).

4. Then set the RF.AGC voltage to the minimum value regulated by the product
specification and record the IF output level as C dBμV.

5. The control range of RF.AGE: D=B-C


Measurement Method
The Control Range of IF.AGC
The block diagram is just the same as previous one.

Notes of the measurement steps:


1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to the central frequency
of the tested channels and the output electrical level to the standard RF signal level.
Make the RF.AGC fixed.

2. Set the IF.AGC voltage to the maximum value regulated by the product specification.

3. Gradually lower the output level of the standard signal generator till the tuner output
level B dBμV and the generator electrical level A dBμV are synchronously lowered
with 1 dB as the step length (AGC disabled).

4. Then set the IF.AGC voltage to the minimum value regulated by the product
specification and record the IF output level as C dBμV.

5. The control range of IF.AGE: D=B-C


Measurement Method
Noise Factor:

Noise Factor Tester Tuner Noise Factor Tester

Notes of the measurement steps:

1. Adjust the tuner to work on the tested channel. The RF.AGC and the IF.AGC are
set to be the nominal value regulated by the product specification.

2. Read the noise factor figure on the noise factor tester.


Measurement Method
Maximum Input Signal Level:
Standard Signal RF.IN IF.OUT
Tuner Spectrum Analyzer
Generator

Notes of the measurement steps:


1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to the central frequency
of the tested channels and the output electrical level to the standard RF signal level.

2. Adjust the tuner to work on the tested channel.

3. Increase the output of the standard signal generator and modulate the control
voltage of RF.AGC and IF.AGC. The input signal level of the tuner is the maximum
input signal level in case that the tuner input level increases by 2 dB while its output
level only increases by 1.5 dB.
Measurement Method
Image Rejection Ratio:
Standard Signal
Generator 1

Mixer
RF.IN RF.OUT Spectrum
Tuner
Analyzer
Standard Signal
Generator 2

Notes of the measurement steps:


1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator 1 to the central
frequency fc1 of the tested channels and the output electrical level to the standard RF
signal level, shut down the standard signal generator 2.
2. Record the useful signal level A dBμV of the tuner input terminal and the amplitude B
dBμV of the useful signal level on the screen of the spectrum analyzer at this time.
3. Open the standard signal generator 2 and modulate its output frequency to be the
central frequency of the image channel fc2=(fc1+2 x IF)
4. Change the output level of the standard signal generator so as to fix the input level of
the tuner to be D=90 dBμV and record the signal level C dBμV of the tested
channels on the spectrum analyzer screen.
5. The image rejection ratio of the channel E=(D-A)+(B-C)
Measurement Method
Phase Noise:
Standard Signal RF.IN IF.OUT
Tuner Spectrum Analyzer
Generator

Notes of the measurement steps:


1. Adjust the output frequency of the standard signal generator to the central
frequency of the tested channels and the output electrical level to the standard RF
signal level.

2. Set the tuner to work on the tested channel and modulate the tuner properly.

3. Record frequency signal level A dBμV in the spectrum analyzer and noise level B
dBμV under 1 kHz frequency deviation at this time.

4. Phase noise: C=B-A-10lg(RBW). RBW is known as the resolution bandwidth of


the Spectrum Analyzer and it is measured by Hz.

5. Repeat step 3 and 4 to measure the phase noise at the frequency deviations of
10kHz and 100 kHz.
Measurement Method
Input Reflection Loss:
RF.IN
Network Analyzer Tuner

Notes of the measurement steps:

1. Adjust the network analyzer, fix the scanning frequency band of the analyzer to be
40 MHz~1 GHz and then select the reflection loss test.

2. Record the value of the strongest reflection point in the entire operating frequency
band.
Results of Conformance Test

The conformance test is conducted by Chinese National Digital Video, Audio and
Multimedia Products Quality Supervision and Inspection Center.

Up to June of 2015, there are 14 kinds of the silicon tuners and demodulators
passing the conformance test. From June, 2015 to May, 2016, another 10
combinations have passed the test.

Silicon Tuner Demodulator or SOC


No. Year
Type Provider Type Provider
1 Si2151 Silicon Labs ATBM8880 ALTOBEAM 2016
2 LG5845 LG (Silicon Labs) LGE5342 LG (MSTAR) 2016
3 LG5845 LG (Silicon Labs) ATBM8891 ALTOBEAM 2016
4 LG7845 LG (Silicon Labs) ATBM8881 ALTOBEAM 2015
5 LG7845 LG (Silicon Labs) LGE5342 LG (MSTAR) 2015
6 ATBM2030 ALTOBEAM ATBM8881 ALTOBEAM 2015
7 CXD2871A SONY ATBM8880 ALTOBEAM 2015
8 TDA18275 NXP Hi3751V500 HISILICON 2015
Results of Conformance Test

Silicon Tuner Demodulator or SOC


No. Year
Type Provider Type Provider
9 MXL661 MaxLinear T968 Amlogic 2015
10 M88TC3800 MONTAGE M88DD6301 MONTAGE 2015
11 Si2150 Silicon Labs ATBM8881 ALTOBEAM 2015
12 Si2151 Silicon Labs HD2312A HDIC 2015
13 Si2158 Silicon Labs MSD6180 MSTAR 2015
14 Si2178B Silicon Labs ATBM8881 ALTOBEAM 2014
15 Si2151 Silicon Labs ATBM8881 ALTOBEAM 2014
16 Si2148 Silicon Labs HD2312 HDIC 2014
17 MXL661 MaxLinear AVL6381TB AVAILINK 2014
18 TDA18275 NXP ATBM8880 ALTOBEAM 2014
19 MXL661 MaxLinear ATBM8880 ALTOBEAM 2014
20 MXL601 MaxLinear ATBM8880 ALTOBEAM 2014
21 TDA18275 NXP ATBM8879 ALTOBEAM 2014
22 MXL661 MaxLinear ATBM8879 ALTOBEAM 2014
23 Si2178 Silicon Labs ATBM8879 ALTOBEAM 2014
24 Si2176 Silicon Labs ATBM8878 ALTOBEAM 2014
Q&A