The Automatic Tuning and Sorting System (“ATSS”) is an advanced system that automatically programs television receivers. It can be implemented in any device with a television tuner and may be used with both cable and terrestrial transmissions. As such, television sets of any type (CRT, LCD, plasma, and projection) may utilize ATSS. In addition, ATSS may also be utilized in other consumer electronics products such as video recorders with hard disk or other storage media support (cassette, DVD, Blu-ray, hard disk), PC TV cards, and USB TV receivers for PCs.
The ATSS feature is marketed under several different names including, Auto(matic) Tuning System (“ATS”), Auto(matic) Program(ming) System (“APS”), Automatic Installation (“AI”).
How does ATSS work?
A television receiver with ATSS contains an option in its setup menu which allows a user to select a country of use and to initiate an automatic search for television stations within range. The System automatically assigns a channel to the stations according to an order pre-established by the manufacturer and formed on the basis of the prevailing habits of viewers in the selected country. For example, in Italy, RAI 1 typically corresponds to program key number 1, RAI 2 corresponds to program key number 2, RAI 3 corresponds to program key number 3, and so on.
Similarly, in Great Britain, BBC 1 typically corresponds to program key number 1, BBC 2 corresponds to program key number 2, and so on. Generally, at the end of the automatic tuning and sorting procedure the television displays the sorted channels that correspond to specific television stations.
Using ATSS, users can also customize the order of the channels by assigning each station a number different than the default value assigned by the manufacturer. This gives users the flexibility to sort the channels on their television sets as needed.