Real-World Technology Ltd

The UK's Satellite Tuner Specialist
Press Release 12.04.96 (US 4/12/96)

Cable & Satellite 96, Earls Court, London, April 15 - 17

This year's Cable and Satellite Show saw the launch of Real-World Technology's range of compact satellite TV tuner designs for analogue and digital IRDs / set-top boxes.

The small Derbyshire, England design house does not manufacture, but is looking to license volume receiver makers to build their designs as an integral and inexpensive part of the satellite receiver, in preference to buying in a ready-made tuner. They claim a cost saving of 50% is easily achieved, the total parts cost of an RWT tuner being as low as $10 (6.60) in mass-production quantities.

RWT's MD, Steve Birkill, believes that until now the perceived complexity of tuner design has prevented most receiver manufacturers from realising the economies of tuner integration. This is changing, especially in the digital IRD, where the tuner can now be seen as an extension of the channel decoder subsystem, rather than a separate assembly.

The latest RWT tuners use conventional SMD components on 2-layer FR4 substrate, and eliminate the traditional "can" by employing a 5mm-high shielding wall around the RF circuitry, the EMC integrity being completed by a clip-on lid together with the PCB ground plane. A single alignment point means that specialised RF equipment is not required on the production line.

Real-World Technology Ltd is no newcomer to satellite TV. The company claims over 5 million of their tuners already in use, having designed the tuner sections of all the Amstrad and Fidelity satellite receivers.

Details of the company and their tuners can be found on RWT's own World-Wide Web site, at where they have also assembled a growing database of useful information relating to satellite TV reception.

More Information:

RWT Background

Real-World Technology was established in 1978 and incorporated in 1987. MD and co-founder Stephen J Birkill was a pioneer of direct-to-home satellite reception in the 1970s, building his own systems to receive the ATS-6 SITE tests to India in 1975, and in 1978/79 the TV transmissions from OTS, flying test-bed for what was to become the Eutelsat system.

Through his experiments with small-dish C-Band reception he helped inspire the US TVRO boom in 1979, and became an authority on Soviet TV satellite operations.

During the mid-1980s he worked with UK company Satellite TV Antenna Systems Ltd (SATVRN), who manufactured a range of CATV head-end receivers to his designs, as well as supplying the first home satellite products (the SM-01 and SM-02) to Ferguson. He has published numerous articles in the cable and satellite press, and established the UK's first Transponder Watch column.

Prior to their work with Amstrad, RWT designed tuners for the Paytel IRD, for Wolsey's Starlet (Astra) and SMATV (BSB) receivers, and for Italian TV manufacturer Seleco.

The company's labs occupy a large 17th-century farmhouse in Derbyshire's Peak District National Park, and their landscaped dish farm is a rare sight in an area known for its strict planning regulations.

Photo: The RWTDM-2011 digital satellite tuner from Real-World Technology has a shield wall height of 5mm and an internal volume of only 8.2cc.

Photo: RWT's digital satellite tuner, the RWTDM-2011, employs surface-mount construction on one side only of a conventional FR4 PCB.

Contact Steve Birkill on 0(+44)1629 815070, fax 815071, email

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