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Radio Antenna Tuner vs TV Antenna Tuner | Difference between Radio Antenna Tuner and TV Antenna Tuner

This page compares Radio Antenna Tuner vs TV Antenna Tuner and mentions difference between Radio Antenna Tuner and TV Antenna Tuner.

The device antenna tuner is connected between antenna and transceiver or transmitter or receiver. It matches impedance of transceiver with the impedance of the antenna. Hence it minimizes any mismatches which results into proper transmission and reception of the EM signal.

An antenna tuner is simply network of variable inductors (coils, L) and capacitors (C). By adjusting L and C, effects of inductive and capacitive reactances can be canceled. Once the reactances are canceled, antenna impedance is matched to impedance of transceiver (i.e. usually 50 Ohm).

Radio Antenna Tuner

Radio Antenna Tuner

The antenna tuner used for radio is known as radio antenna tuner. It is located between radio unit and antenna unit as shown in the figure-1. Radio antenna unit is designed to pick radio station frequencies. Refer Amateur and HAM radio frequencies>>.

There is parameter called SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) which is ratio of reflected wave to forward wave. SWR should be less in order to have ideal transmission or reception with less reflections. Due to tuner, SWR decreases and hence radio unit produces good sound quality due to perfect match between antenna and radio unit connected on feed line.

There are manual and automatic antenna tuners available. Manual requires knob to be tuned manually which varies L and C values. Automatic tunes requires either push of a button which sets L and C according to the frequency at the input from antenna or L/C are set automatically with the sense of received frequency.

Low Frequency Antenna Tuner

Low Frequency Tuner Circuit

The figure-2 depicts low frequency tuner circuit. It consists of Inductors (L) and Capacitors (C) discrete components which operates at lower frequencies. It uses following equation to determine value of L and C based on frequency to be tuned or received.

resonant frequency equation

For radio frequency of 500 KHz, inductance value of 1 mH and capacitance value of 100 PF is required in the tuner circuit.

L, Pi and T Type Antenna Tuner Circuits

L, Pi, T, Antenna Tuner Circuits

The figure-3 depicts different configurations used as tuner. Based on their shape, they are known as L-network, π-network and T network respectively as shown. Inductors and capacitors are arranged as shown in the figure.

TV Antenna Tuner

TV Antenna Tuner

The antenna tuner used for Television is known as TV antenna tuner. It is located between TV set and antenna as shown in the figure-4 above. TV antenna unit is designed to pick TV channel frequencies. Like radio, TV antenna tuners are also manual and automatic type.

TV Signal consists of picture and sound. The TV antenna tuner consists of RF amplifier (usually LNA,Low Noise Amplifier), Mixer and LO (Local Oscillator). The tuner selects the TV channel frequency to be viewed. Moreover it converts modulated picture signal to appropriate intermediate frequency (IF) as per design. As shown LO frequency is usually higher by IF value compare to incoming TV signal frequency.

There are two types of TV antenna tuners as per TV bands viz. VHF tuner and UHF tuner. VHF antenna tuner usually consists of low noise FET based RF amplifier and mixer. UHF antenna tuner usually consists of GaAs FET based RF amplifier and mixer.

High Frequency Antenna Tuner

High Frequency Tuner Circuit

The figure-5 depicts high frequency tuner circuit. There are two main types of receiver viz. Homodyne vs Heterodyne. Also refer RF mixer tutorial which covers RF mixer basics, its use in rf circuit design, mixer terminologies,RF mixer types etc.

Antenna related links

Antenna Tutorial.
Table of Antenna types and gain equations.
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Set Top Box basics
TV Antenna Booster
Satellite Dish Antenna
Mobile Antenna
Antenna Installation

Antenna Calculators

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Antenna G/T Ratio calculator
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