Dell has unveiled a USB digital TV tuner that will turn its Inspiron Mini netbooks into tiny televisions.

The Dell USB Digital TV Tuner is designed specifically to connect to the Inspiron Mini, turning it into a Digital TV that will receive live and free over-the-air local digital and HD TV broadcasts where available.

Dell will offer regional-specific versions of the Digital TV Tuner, designed to receive local broadcast standards, including mobile digital television standards like ATSC in the US, DVB-T in Western Europe, One Seg in Japan, and the emerging CMMB standard in China.

Said to be similar in size to a USB key, the tuner includes a built-in telescoping and articulating antenna that retracts into the "sleek glossy black" case.

Dell says it expects the tuner to be available later this quarter with no pricing revealed.