A scanner (also referred to as a radio scanner) is a radio receiver that can automatically tune, or scan, two or more discrete frequencies, stopping when it finds a signal on one of them and then continuing to scan other frequencies when the initial transmission ceases. The term scanner generally refers to a communications receiver that is primarily intended for monitoring VHF and UHF landmobile radio systems, as opposed to, for instance, a receiver used to monitor international shortwave transmissions. More often than not, these scanners can also tune to different types of modulation as well (AM, FM, WFM, etc. ). Early scanners were slow, bulky, and expensive. Today, modern microprocessors have enabled scanners to store thousands of channels and monitor hundreds of channels per second. Recent models can follow trunked radio systems and decode APCO-P25 digital transmissions. Both hand held and desktop models are available. Scanners are often used to monitor police, fire and emergency medical services. Radio scanning serves an important role in the fields of journalism and crime investigation, as well as a hobby for many people around the world. History and use Scanners developed from earlier tunable and fixed-frequency radios that received one frequency at a time.