ATSC, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, is a digital standard that was established in 1982. This standard is also used in Canada, Mexico, and other countries are adopting it as well. ATSC allows for the widescreen 16:9 format, and images up to 1920×1080 pixels. Along with the hi def signal, multiple standard definition channels can also be transmitted on the same 6MHz channel. ATSC also integrates a higher audio standard. Using the Dolby Digital AC-3 format, ATSC can provide you with 5.1 channel surround sound.
So in most cases you would want to purchase an HDTV with an “Integrated ATSC Tuner”. Whether built-in to your television set, or an external receiver/tuner, this element will work to decode the transport stream (which may be better understood as a broadcast signal), so that images display on your set. Those of you who have televisions that don’t have built-in ATSC tuners will need an external receiver/tuner to receive and decode the signals. These receivers can be purchased from most consumer electronic stores, or rented through cable and satellite providers.