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$127.29 list()
1. Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 (Model
$140.59 list()
2. ATI Technologies 100-714127 HD-TV
$128.24 list()
3. Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB 2.0 (Model
$86.44 list()
4. Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 Personal
$199.88
5. HUMAX Digital ATSC TV Tuner for
$151.04 $123.25 list($179.99)
6. Tv BOX9 1280X1024 Res Pipfeatures
$140.59 list()
7. ATI Technologies 100-703205 Tv
$82.12 list()
8. HAUPPAUGE 1020 WINTV-USB2
$83.92 $74.99 list()
9. ATI TECH TV WONDER USB 2.0 ( 100-703156
$149.99
10. MIGLIA TECH AlchemyTV DVR w/ Remote
$156.12 list()
11. Hauppauge WINTV-NEXUS-S/SATELLITE
$229.95
12. Sage TV Dual Tuner Bundle w/ Remote
$84.54 list($99.99)
13. Avermedia ULTRATV USB 300 TV Tuner
$58.65 $53.97 list()
14. ATI Technologies TV Wonder Pro
$88.34 list($99.99)
15. Pinnacle PCTV USB2 ( 210100387
$195.69 $168.20 list($249.95)
16. ViewSonic NextVision 6 Video Processor
$65.87 list()
17. Hauppauge WinTV-Radio (Model 401)
$119.69 list($169.99)
18. Adaptec ADAPTC VIDEOH DVD MEDIA-CENTER
$71.02
19. StarTech.com TV JOCKEY - WATCH
$83.92 list($94.99)
20. XtremeTV PVR Hardware TV

1. Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 (Model 980)
by HAUPPAUGE

our price: $127.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006HWX4
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: HAUPPAUGE
Sales Rank: 1534
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

WinTV-PVR-250 with Remote ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Compared to ATI... WOW!
I gave up after having an ATI product for about 1 week, and seeing all the negative reviews for their product, abandoned ship and went for the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 (Model 980).Flawless install, flawless operation.The software is much better than ATI's MMC software, but I've had a TIVO for the last five years and the Hauppauge interface was clunky in comparison.So I checked out SnapStream's Beyond TV and am very impressed.Surpasses the elegance of TIVO.I had the DirectTV TIVO and have now cancelled that subscription because, just using the PVR to catch broadcast signals provides me with enough news and entertainment to basically have a customizable 24 hour network.Moreover, I can watch / stream and transfer te standard MPEG files over a network.Simply amazing.I gave the ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 a 2/5 stars.The WinTV-PVR-250 gets 5/5.To get the full experience, you should get Beyond TV (google it, there's a free trial available from the developer site.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Card - No Questions About It!!
I have been doing a lot of research of what to buy and what not to buy and came across HAUPPAUGE. I started to look up there cards and their customer reviews (which are much better than ATI's). So I started looking for the card. Which apparently is not very easy. I wanted a good price!! So just before I bought it from Amazon which has the best brice I went to Micro Center and I got an awesome deal. Only because it was on the clearance reack b/c someone had trouble installing it. Just a word to all those wanna be computer people please don't. These cards are can be very difficult to install. IT took me an hour to get everthing working awesome. But the ones who talk bad about this card is probably thinking its going to be easy. ITS NOT!! Installing hardware or software can be tricky. Don't always assume its just going to magically install itself and start to work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait
I'm on my second PVR-250.I spent a few hours trying to get the first one to work, but it never did.I sent it back, but unfortunately because of a lack of supply, it was almost two months before I got my replacement through Amazon.However, it was worth the wait.The second card installed easily and immediately started working.Turns out the first one was just defective.I should not, I'm not running MCE, and I have heard that you'll need to do driver updates to resolve compatiability problems, but, on the other hand, you should be doing driving updates anyway.

As other reviewers have noted, the bundled software isn't the greatest.If you're planning on using this as a Tivo replacement, you're probably going to want to look at some aftermarket software like Beyond TV or Sage (or, if you're running Linux, the free MythTV).The bundled WinTV2000 is serviceable, but it does feel somewhat clunky, has an archaic interface, and generally seems out of place considering the higher-end nature of the hardware you're paying for.If you're planning on using this card primarily for capturing VHS to DVD, then the bundled software is more than sufficient (but you are missing out on a whole world of PVR experiences).

The hardware, however, is great.Picture quality is quite good for a computer based capture card, and there's virtually no impact on your CPU because of the onboard encoder.There is no comparison between this product and, say, ATi's TV Wonder card.My experiences with ATi's line have left me thinking that ATi should stick with making graphics cards, because their capture cards are terrible.Also, if you're on an nVidia graphics chipset, you should definitely stay away from ATi cards.Either way, it is definitely worth the extra money for a Hauppauge.This card does everything you would probably ever need a capture card to do (well, other than let you watch two things at once or record something while watching something else, for that you'll need another card, just like with any capture card).

After you record something, you should experiment with your playback options (if you're playing directly from the computer and not burning to disc).I noticed, for example, that playback in Winamp tends to be a fuzzy, and there is noticeable artifacting, whereas play back in Windows Media Player is much smoother on my system.

The remote control is servicable.It sometimes feels sluggish in its response time, but it gets the job done.The functionality of the remote will depend a lot on what you're using it in.For example, if you're using it in the bundled WinTV2000 application you will find that it's nice to be able to use the red button on the bottom row to "force focus" back to WinTV2000 if you're in another application.So, for example, if you walk away from the computer and the highlighted window is Internet Explorer, you can hit the red button and WinTV2000 will become the highlighted window (allowing you to use the remote again).

On the other hand, if you're using a program like Beyond TV, you will unlock a lot of the potential of the remote by being able to navigate and make use of other buttons.However, you'll lose (as far as I can tell) the ability to force focus via the remote (which means you have to come back and use the mouse to click on Beyond before you can use the remote).

This seems like a design flaw that they should address in the software.Who knows, maybe they'll make a patch for it.

I would like to mention that Hauppauge has *great* customer service.They respond to emails (usually within a day or two), and not with some of prepackaged garbage that you see from other places.You can tell that someone at Hauppauge is actually sitting down and reading your email and writing an intelligent response to it.Also, when I talked to them on the phone (trying to get my first card to work), they were very patient and knowledgeable.I think that kind of service is a hallmark of a great company.

So, my conclusion is; Customer Service is Great, Hardware is Great, Software is outdated but servicable, Remote Control works but could work better, Playback and Functionality are Great, and compared to the competition, this card is everything you'll ever need (well, other than another one, so you can record and watch at the same time!).

If you're going to buy a tuner/capture, this is the one to get.Yes, it's a lot more expensive than a lot of the other cards on the market, but it's worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for an average computer.
As this device capture and encode video with a hardware encoder, it is not necesary to have a powerful computer to capture DVD quality video, mine is just a Celeron 1.2 Ghz. Very Good TV picture, software included is ok. Very good product for the price.
Need to get last motherboard drivers from internet and last Hauppauge drivers to prevent incompatibility problems, just like any other capture device.

5-0 out of 5 stars PVR250 running under Linux
I have been running the PVR-250 under Red Hat Linux for a while now, and using the Open Source MythTV application I have been able to record television shows, scheduling and watching them while at home, or on the road via MythTV's web interfaces.

The quality is quite amazing for the price, there are occasional minor artifacts in the resulting movies, but they are minor and hardly noticable when recording at the highest quality.

I have not used this card in Windows, but I would assume the quality is just as good under that operating system. I recommend this card to anyone who is interested in building their own PVR (Personal Video Recorder) system under Linux. ... Read more


2. ATI Technologies 100-714127 HD-TV All-in-Wonder
by ATI Technologies

our price: $140.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002K6VWE
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies
Sales Rank: 5847
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

HDTV Wonder Remote Control Edition ... Read more

Features

  • Product does not receive satellite or cable HDTV transmissions
  • PCI card for analog TV, free-to-air digital TV, and full quality free-to-air HDTV reception
  • Includes NTSC (analog) and ATSC (digital) TV tuners
  • Offers personal video recorder capabilities, with the controls to watch, pause, and record all forms of TV to hard disk or to CDs and DVDs
  • Includes DTV antenna, ATI's Multimedia Center software, and a Remote Wonder remote control

Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars Product "ok", support awful
I purchased several of these boards at once in order to watch HDTV from my PC.However, I've had some problems in using the boards and the company seems designed to make customer support difficult; the support web site does not work, with my having waste 1.5 hours in trying to type up a support incident ni several different "interfaces".

4-0 out of 5 stars Works For Me Which Makes It OK In My Book
I took a chance and purchased the HDTV Wonder.Many of the reviews talk about installation problems and what not.I think it may have been buggy when introduced in the summer of 2004 but if my experience is anything to measure by they've ironed out most of the bugs.

As with any new hardware product early adopters can face problems with rough drivers.I got mine in March 2005, went to ati.com and downloaded the latest drivers, ATI multimedia center, etc... This should be done when installing any new hardware.Installation required installing the card and several reboots as the software & dirvers was being installed.It all went fairly smooth.The card does as promised.No problems recording over the air HDTV.I set one program to record at 9PM on Mondays and it automatically records every Monday at 9PM.ATI uses their own 'library' software to catalogue what's recorded.The library is also used to export the HDTV to other formats such as DVD or VCD mpeg files.DVD's require authoring (ie, menus and chapters) and burning in programs (as far as I can tell ATI hasn't included DVD authoring or burning software).... I use TMPGend DVD author since it's so easy and Nero to burn.Discs look great on my Infocus X1 projected to 100".

The card does have some rough edges (hence only 4, not 5 stars).It doesn't work with the Guide+ for HDTV programming (you have to manually program day and time to record HDTV).My PC also is sluggish during and after recording (I'm using an Athlon 2400XP w/1 gig of RAM) so it is a resources hog.Still, it does what I got it for...records pristine HDTV off the air.

4-0 out of 5 stars Works great with XP SP1
Worked right out of the box the first time with Windows MCE 2002 SP1. After 2 days of trying different configurations, I could never get the machine upgraded to SP2 and still have the card work - just got a "No Signal" message.

So stick with SP1, install the drivers off the CD that comes with the card, upgrade with Catalyst 5.2 and the new ATI MMC from ATI and turn off automatic updates so you can skip SP2 incompatibility.

1-0 out of 5 stars It worked once...
But then I ran into a snaffu (and this might show an example of when you start from the ground floor with all current software). I lost my original Windows XP installer CD (the pre-SP1 one). So basically when my computer went to pot I had to buy a new copy of Windows XP. This time it had SP2 streamlined into the CD. Woohoo! Anyway, with the first install it was great. I got HDTV and TV working without a hitch. I install everything as directed this time and I'm running into problems similar to what people are having here. DX, sound, drivers, etc. And it keeps insisting that my USB hard drive isn't DMA enabled. I haven't found out how you enable DMA on a USB hard drive since it's not on the IDE bus of the motherboard.

Bottom line: ATI software sucks the big one. I give it one star as a warning for others to stay away from all ATI products. I have no hope ATI will get their act together since thier bottom line is profits and competing in profits with nVidia.

Stay away from ATI.

This is an honest review from a guy who's fed up with ATI's BS.

1-0 out of 5 stars HDTV WONDER NIGHTMARE
I spent days and nights trying to install this card on my computer even when my computer over pass all the hardware and software requirements.The image quality was not that good after all and the image also keeps flitting and freezing.I rather keeps watching my regular home TV and save the money and the frustration. ... Read more


3. Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB 2.0 (Model 941)
by HAUPPAUGE

our price: $128.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AL8XX
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: HAUPPAUGE
Sales Rank: 1746
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

WinTV PVR2 USB Personal Video Recorder ... Read more

Features

  • Capture high quality still video images in many formats
  • Digital video recorder and player
  • Live TV-in-a-window (any window size up to full screen)
  • Record TV shows or home videos to hard disk
  • Pause live TV with instant replay.

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy and reliable
After having some significant issues with an Avermedia PCI card, I went with an external box thinking it would be easier to troubleshoot. So far, however, I haven't needed to do any troubleshooting.

Prior to installing, I downloaded the latest drivers and apps from the Hauppauge website. The device took roughly 10 minutes to install and then fired right up - no problems. I didn't even bother installing the drivers from the included CD, I just used the ones from the website.

Video quality is good, even thought I am connected to a older USB 1 port. There is some graininess to the picture, though I am not sure yet whether that is the device or my cable feed to it (I suspect the latter).The included TV app is pretty good, though a bit unintuitive. At least it has a 'stay on top' function, something the Avermedia app lacked.

I have not tried the PVR functions yet, as I have two connected to my satellite dish already.

Oh, and the radio comes in load and clear with the included FM antenna.

4-0 out of 5 stars Happy so far
I've had my Hauppage WinTV-PVR-USB2 for about three weeks now, and have been quite happy so far.I installed the software on my Fujitsu laptop (P4 2Ghz, 512MB RAM, 60GB 4200rpm HD, Windows XP Home) without any problems.The CD-ROM I received in the package already had the latest versions (which I checked against Hauppage's website).My only gripe: the installers install over a dozen start-up programs which make your PC's start-up time a little longer and also consume some memory.

Operationally, the product is pretty easy to use and works well.The PVR program is not all intuitive, and the printed user's manual (a thin booklet) is poorly written, but it doesn't take too long to figure out.(One thing I still don't get is the one-touch-pause [OTP] feature, which doesn't seem different from the regular pause button.)You can resize the TV window however you want, and you can pick where you want your videos saved and the quality you want.The default quality works pretty well.

One thing that does bother me a little, and hence the 4 stars instead of 5, is when you hit the pause button, the recording seems to take a second to get going.I cannot tell if that means one second of the full program gets dropped.It would have been nice if the pause starts instantaneously.

Overall, the package feels it could be polished more.But so far it's been totally stable and I recorded a TV film for 2.5 hours without problems.I then downloaded the movie to my new Sony PSP and watched the widescreen film on the subway ride.Sweet!

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappoint product for the hype
Was hoping that this would be a great product from a very well know company in the industry of tv tuners as well as for the mpeg 2 compression in the box but was extremely disapointed in the results.The audio video sync was off as well as the video was glitchy.I dont recomend this for the laptop user nor the desktop seeing as it wouldnt even work on it, in fact it wouldnt boot with it attached.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid product & easy to install
I initally bought the Avermedia MDVDEZUSB External Video Capture Device.That thoroughly depressed me with the concept of USB video capture since I couldn't really do anything with it.

I returned that, and then decided to spend a little more money to get this product.This thing took all of 10 mins for me to install, and in no time I was watching TV on my computer.The quality of the pictures was really good, even in full screen.I also transferred some footage from a VCR tape to the computer without trouble and then proceeded to burn a DVD - all of this was smooth and easy.I have USB 2.0 connections, which may have helped (the box says USB 1.1 will limit the ability of this device slightly).

The product is a little pricey, but you get what you pay for I guess.The previous product I got was just $50 or so, but since it didn't work at all, the extra expenditure in this case seemed well worth it.

I would definitely recommend this product.

UPDATE: Well, after 3 months of use the thing stopped working!The computer wouldn't recognize it anymore, and even trying to install it on my office laptop didn't work, pointing to a problem with the unit itself.I called tech support, and they asked my to mail it in.5 days later, they called to tell me they are mailing me a new one.Despite the problems I had, I would give this product 6 out of 5 stars if I could, simply because of the excellent customer service.

5-0 out of 5 stars New User
After looking for a PVR/Video Capture device, I found most of the reviews rather unhelpful. I hope to update this in the future as I learn more. Day One: Very Easy to Set Up. Connect cable to device. Takes a few minutes to recognize all the channels. Tested the software. Viewing and recording very easy. Used Titan TV for advanced recording, very easy. Quality looks good so far on small window. Some lost of quality in larger size windows on computer.A slight delay (a couple of seconds) from live tv.FM Radio software sounds/works ok. Haven't yet burn to disc or imported from VCR. So far I am pleasently surprised considering reviews I have read on the web.
Day 2: Problems (1) It appears that you need to use the same usb 2.0 port you install on, otherwise a failure occur. (2) When rebooting computer make sure you don't plug it in until reboot iscomplete. -- Update: Seems to reboot ok now, maybe because I am using the same port. (3) Ulead software has aborted 2 of 3 times. Update: Burned a copy of a tv program using SVCD, looked real nice on tv. Still working on efficient editing with Ulead (4) Tried two other programs (Nero/showbiz) to import, but they do not work with device. This is not a big problem since wintv2000 produces mpg files that these programs can use. Otherwise, so far so good. ... Read more


4. Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 Personal Video Recorder (1045)
by HAUPPAUGE

our price: $86.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006FS2IQ
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: HAUPPAUGE
Sales Rank: 2603
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

WinTV-PVR 150 Personal Video Recorder, PCI ... Read more

Features

  • dbx-TV stereo decoder, for great TV sound. (Nicam stereo on PAL models)
  • Watch TV on your PC screen using a 125 channel cable ready TV tuner.
  • Record your TV shows to disk using the built-in hardware MPEG-2 encoder.
  • Pause your live TV shows with instant replay, fast forward and rewind.
  • Composite/S-Video and audio inputs, to connect to VCR or camcorders.

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Product - does what it says
I wanted to put a TV in my child's play room, which also had a computer.This device enables me to use the computer as a TV.It works great, my 4 year old has no problem using it.

I installed the device in my only PCI slot, hooked my cable coax into it, started my PC, and the drivers automatically loaded.I have XP SP2.The whole process took about 10 minutes.The software then starts and after about 5 minutes, goes through the cable channels to store the channels.Then, you are ready to go.

The unit is equipped with a remote.The remote points to an "eye".The eye is attached to a medium-sized small cord that is attached to the PCI card (under the coax cable).You are able to position the eye where you want it, although the cord the eye is on is not long.If you have a desktop sitting on the floor, it will barely reach the top of a computer desk.I taped the cord just under my keyboard shelf, so the remote needs to be pointed low.

The functionality of the software is great.You can change the channel with the computer or remote.There is a button to enable "full screen" on the computer, but not on the remote.The picture is excellent.The ability to pause live TV, or record ad-hoc or timed works extremely well.

This is a great product.

5-0 out of 5 stars 30 sec Skip on Remote ?
Is there a 30 Second skip button on remote control? Does it work with other pvr projects? ... Read more


5. HUMAX Digital ATSC TV Tuner for HDTV Reception
by Humax

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007OWAS4
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Humax
Sales Rank: 6372
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The surprisingly affordable Humax HFA100 is a full-featured, ATSC-compliant digital television (DTV) receiver capable of decoding and displaying free, over-the-air digital TV broadcasts that use the VSB modulation standard. These broadcasts include both standard-definition television (SDTV) and high-definition television (HDTV) programs with digital audio, multiple language tracks, and electronic program guide (EPG) information.

Not viewing in high-def yet? No sweat--you can use the HFA100 with both HDTV-ready and analog TVs that accept any of the 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i DTV display formats. You can connect the HFA100 to virtually any available HD monitor, regardless of brand or connector type, using the receiver's wide array of output connections, which includes component-video, RGB (PC), and a pure-digital HDMI interface.

Boasting both a full-screen and mini EPG, the HFA100 also lets you manually add channels that were not detected during the guided channel set-up. Additionally, this is one of the smartest HDTV tuners on the market: when not in use the HFA100 automatically seeks out newly available digital channels while in standby mode.

With DTV, you can listen to both Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio through your sound system, as well as multiple language tracks where available, In addition, DTV will allow you to interact with your television, choosing programs from a detailed electronic guide or accessing ancillary data about a program.

Other features include direct channel access, aspect-ratio control, and parental lock-out controls. DTV stations broadcast on both VHF (2-13) and UHF (14-69) channels. Make sure to use an antenna that works at the desired frequencies so the HFA100 can pick up any DTV broadcasts on those channels.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a lossless, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface to link the receiver with a compatible TV or monitor. HDMI supports standard-definition (SD), enhanced definition (ED), or high-definition (HD) video, plus multi-channel digital audio--all using a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports up to 8-channel digital audio, with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements.

What's in the Box
Receiver, remote control, remote batteries, and a user's manual with warranty information. ... Read more

Features

  • Always On Scan
  • Simple Intuitive User Interface
  • On Screen Guided Set-up
  • 7-Day Electronic Program Guide
  • Unmatched Channel Mapping options

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Humax HFA 100 Tuner and Broadcast Digital TV
I have been interested in over the air digital TV for some time. I bought the Humax HFA100 Tuner as a fairly inexpensive way to find out how good reception would be at my location around 60 miles north of Boston. I have a rooftop antenna with a preamplifier and a rotor. Details follow later. I have no basis for comparison, but I am generally pleased with the Humax. I do not yet have a HDTV display so I am connected to a conventional TV using the provided component video and stereo cables. The tuner provides the choice of several types of connections for HDTV. The tuner was fairly easy to set up by following the on screen menus. The operating manual could be more detailed, but the menus are fairly intuitive and after some trial and error I am now adept at using the various features. You can download the manual from (...)if you want an idea about the features. The tuner does not have a cooling fan so noise is not an issue. I had read some complaints online about noise problems with other brands. The remote control feels very sturdy and aim is not critical. I was able to program it to perform the basic funtions for my TV set: on/off, video source, volume, mute and analog channel changes.For my sets other settings I use its own remote and menus. Although the tuner is called a set top box (STB) the cabinet designs of many newer TV sets do not provide enough "set top" to accommodate the unit which is about 12 inches wide inches by 9.5 inches deep. I had to design my own support shelf on top of my TV. The Humax receives ATSC/VSB signals only so in cases where a channel'sdigital signal is too weak for reception you will need to use your sets NTSC tuner to get the analog signal instead. There is no antenna output so you cannot daisy chain the Humax tuner with the antenna input on your TV. To get the antenna signal to your TV will require a splitter or coax A-B switch so you can direct the antenna signal to the Humax and/or your TV set or VCR etc. Some other tuners do have an antenna output which is a bit more convenient.The free onscreen 7 day program guide is a handy feature.No phone connection is required as the information is taken from a special broadcast signal. The information is sometime lacking for a channel or is incorrect, but that is the fault of the posting service and not the tuner. You can highlight a listing, get a detailed description, and if you want to see the program it is one click away. You can also see a reduced imagewith sound of each channels offerings as you go down the listings. I stumbled on this by accident. Somewhere there must be users guide as to how to use all the features of listings screen. During set up the tuner can automatically scan for available channels and will store those with good signals.Since I am surrounded by stations I had to first point my antenna in the direction where I expected the most hits. (Towards Boston). If I rotated my antenna in another direction and performed another automatic scan then the previously stored channels could get lost. Fortunately there is a menu for scanning for channels manually one at a time so I could test for good signal and add it the list. Deleting unwanted channels is easy.I currently have the tuner programmed for 17 channels with some duplication of network affliations. Eachchannel can simulcast up to 4 programs at a time. Only PBS and PAX seem to make much use of this capability. On analog TV my PBS stations only have children's programs during the daytime hours. With digital I can now also get a choice of three programs for grownups. It should offer some relief during long PBS fund raisers as well. PAX does a combination of paid and religious programs. I can't vouch for its HDTV performance, but the tuner converts 1080i and 720p signals to 480i for my TV just fine. For 16:9 images you can either watch"letter boxed", or at full width but vertically stretched to fill the screen, or cropped to 4:3full screen . I can't vouch for Dolby 5.1 audio performance either as I do not have a "home theater" sound system. I recently watched a "Live From Lincoln Center" concert on PBS and the video was sharp as a tack and the sound through my stereo system was of CD quality. I am glad I decided to gain access to free digital broadcast television. The tuner supports closed captioning with a choise of fonts and sizes, alternate audio, and parental controls with a password. The Humax HFA100 got me into the game at competitive price. After about a week of watching I have been spoiled by the quality of digital TV provided by the Humax tuner and will now only watch analog if I can't get the digital signal. If you are ready to give broadcast digital TV a try I recommend it. What follows are some more general observations about the vagaries of digital TV reception, antennas etc.
As I said, I bought the Humax as a way to find out how well I could pick up over the air digital television. No local retailers, including the big box stores, had any tuner boxes in operation. Everything is run off cable or satellite feeds. Only a few even had any tuners for sale even though they sell lots of so called HDTV displays that have no built in tuner of their own. No sales people could report any feed back from customers about over the air reception. Everyone has cable or satellite service. A few salesmen tried to convince me that I would need a special "digital antenna" which is untrue. I am not ready to buy into an HDTV display because of the current cost and because the technology is still changing rapidly. Many cannot really display 1920 by 1080 resolution. Good old tube type HDTV sets are still the best deal for price and performance. The big screen sets (30 inches and up) weigh a ton. I knew that I would have to do something before too long since the plug is supposedly going to be pulled on analog broadcasting in the next year or two and I would need a digital tuner in any case.I was also having some reception problems on analog TV that I hoped a digital tuner might cure which it did. Ironically some of it was due to interference from digital TV signals on the same channels as analog ones. I have a large combination VHF/UHF rooftop antenna. (Equivalent to the current Winegard HD7084P) It is about 25 feet above the ground and is equipped with a mast top preamplifier (Equivalent to Winegard'sAP-8780) and an old Alliance rotor ( No longer in business). I am getting channels from up to 60-85 miles away.Antenna direction is much more critical than with analog signals. My old rotor works in 10 degree steps and sometimes just one step can be difference between reception and no reception. Unlike analog, where you can watch with a poor signal, digital is pretty much all or nothing. Reception seems do vary due to atmospheric conditions and time of day. I searched on the internet to find the power output of the transmitters in my area and can see that the channels with low power are the ones for which reception comes and goes.The Humax can give a signal strength display on screen and I cansometimes see it jump up and down over short intervals of time. I use it help me position my antenna. Sometimes antenna direction is more critical than at other times. At this time of year (June) my antenna is "looking" through heavy foliage on surrounding trees. I suspect that reception of weak signals might be less fussy in the winter after the leaves are down. I can get WMTW, which has its transmitter 85 miles away on the top of Mt. Washington at 6300 feet, with just about any antenna position so the height of a transmitter is definitely is a factor. With analog TV there comes a time during the summer when I get distant stations "skipping" in on top of local one which can create a video and audio mess. I will be curious to see how the digital tuner handles the problem. If you live in an urban setting with tall buildings then multi-path (reflected) signals can be a big problem. The same signal is arrives at your antenna at different times and the tuner has to sort out which one to use.The ATSC/VSB (Advanced Television Standards Committee/ Vestigial Sideband Modulation) tuner chips have been improved over the year to deal with this problem. The latest are the so called "fifth generation" chips, but good luck trying to find out what is in a given tuner. LG/Zenith supposedly uses the latest technology in some of their HDTV models.Winegard markets their `Square Shooter" antenna which has also been engineered to deal with multi-path problems in an urban location. I don't believe it is meant for fringe reception. You should also realize that although currently the UHF band (14-69) is being used for digital broadcasting, some stations that have analog VHF (1-13) allotments plan to keep them and will switch them to digital when the time comes so you may still want an antenna that can get VHF. Many of the old antenna companies are long gone- "killed by cable." Terk is now marketing rooftop antennas which I believe are supplied by Winegard.Just about all the homeowner type rotor companies are gone as well. The Channel Master type rotor design is sold under several brand names and unlike my old Alliance rotor it can be positioned more or less continuously for more accurate aiming. Winegard has announced their "AccuMax" rotor which has some interesting features, but it is not yet in production. If you get a rooftop antenna stay away from chimney mounts. It's structurally bad for the chimney and bad for the antenna because of corrosive smoke and fumes. I have my antenna connection arranged so that I can easily disconnect it when a thunderstorms threaten or when I will be away from home for more than a day or two. Sorry that this commentary has turned into "War and Peace", but I would have appreciated similar advice in the past.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great HDTV STB for $200
This is my first HDTV STB and I'm very happy with my buy. My setup includes this box with my Toshiba 46" (46H84), I am using the HDMI connection. The Humax does not come with an HDMI cable, but the box includes component, composit and S-video cables. The only problems i had was getting a good signal, this wasn't the Humax's fault, my apt is tall, thick and faces away from the towers. When i tried an old uhf/vhf antenna, I could receive most channels, but every couple minutes the signal would fallout, it would usually come back within a minute. So, I went out and bought the terk hdtvi antenna and now the system works great. The signal fallouts are gone. The picture and sound are great. The remote is easy to use and program. I really like having the 7 day program guide. I had been looking for a HD receiver for a few months and one of the features I was looking for was the HDMI connection (my tv has HDMI input), there were only a couple models out there and they were either $300+ or an unheard of brand name. After, reading up about Humax, seeing their dedication to reliable products, and seeing that they make alot of TIVO systems, I felt confident that I wouldn't be disappointed. Visit www.humaxusa.com for more product info. ... Read more


6. Tv BOX9 1280X1024 Res Pipfeatures External Tv Tuner
by AVERMEDIA
list price: $179.99
our price: $151.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00017X2KM
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: AVERMEDIA
Sales Rank: 4228
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

TVBox 9 turns any LCD or other VGA-compatible monitor into a TV/multimedia center with plug-and-play convenience without having to connect it to a PC. ... Read more

Features

  • One year linited parts & labor warranty
  • Use PC as multifunction TV set
  • Supports Resolution up to 1280 x 1024 (SXGA)
  • Multiple Channel Preview (Up to 13 Channels)
  • Picture-in-Picture (PIP) Function

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly.
I am using this with a Sony 19" LCD monitor connected to the s-video output from my Directv cable box -- and the TV pictures is as clear as any LCD TV I have ever seen, especially in full screen mode at 1280x1024.All modes work perfectly.With PC on or off the picture is great.Sound is good too.PIP and translucent mode are crystal clear too.Clear as a bell.The first (positive) reviewer here gave tons of info and he is right on all counts so I will not repeat the specs and features.
The only (very small) bad thing is that the cables attach to the same side as the remote control sensor on the unit so you have to point them toward you.
I had previously tried an ATI all in wonder pro but I returned it because window mode was fine but the full screen mode was blurry.This avermedia tvbox9 is always crystal clear, even at full screen mode.
This was a perfect solution for the extra room in my house that we use as the combination computer/guest room.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great product that delivers what it promises
I got this for my 92-year-old dad who, perhaps surprising, still uses his laptop a lot. Last year we got him a great monitor and then followed with the TV Box 9. He's not technically savy in the least, yet there was no problem installing it and he has had no problems whatsoever using this product. I was blown away with the quality of the image it produced.

1-0 out of 5 stars bad product, bad company
1) this product sucks, do not buy it.
a) screen quality was horrible
b) this thing is full of bugs
c) the flicker makes it totally unusable
d) the actual product performs SIGNIFICANTLY differently then the images on the box
2) the company sucks, do not buy anything from them, ever
a) all my technical support requests go unanswered

5-0 out of 5 stars The Avermedia TVBox 9 With A Full-Function Remote Control
The Avermedia TVBox 9 does everything as advertised! This unit fits the bill for the 3 indispensable features I had in mind for a TV Tuner:

1) includes a remote control
2) lets you work on your computer while you watch TV in a little window
3) Full screen mode

Additional features that were a welcome bonus for me:

1) PNP - or Picture-in-Picture with See-Through Translucent Mode -- pretty nifty!
At first I thought the PNP feature refers to the ability to view other channels in a little window overlaid on the current channel I'm on. Actually, to my disappointment, this feature refers to the ability to view TV in a little window over the computer desktop, so you can work on your computer while you watch TV. The PNP terminology was a little misleading! What's nice though is the little TV window can be made translucent, so you can see through it to view what's on your computer. There is no way, however, to adjust the level of transparency. I use the translucency feature mostly on news channels, where visuals aren't that important. You can also position the TV window anywhere on the screen with the remote.

2) This unit is pretty much a full-feature TV. It includes your usual TV features such as Closed Caption/Parental Control, Supports Multiple Input Sources (Video, DVD, Game Console, etc.), OSD (On-Sreen Display), Sleep Timer (30 - 150 min, in 30 min increments), Favorite Channel Programming (haven't figured out how to work it yet), Full-Function remote (in other words you can control or set everything with the remote along with the OSD).

3) Multiple Channel Preview.
View 13 channels simultaneously. Well, actually, each channel is set in motion for about half a second and becomes a still. Regardless, you're still able to get an idea of what's on each channel, select what you want to watch, and watch it in full screen. I do find this feature very useful to quickly find the channel I wish to watch.

Pros
----

In addition to the above features, this unit also has the following pros:

- Easy setup. Within minutes, I was up and running. No need to install any software. Just plug in your video and sound cables to the correct in/out outlets and you're ready to go. I didn't even need the manual! The only hitch I ran into was the PNP function. Whenever I was in the PNP mode, the screen would flicker on and off. Adjusting the TV screen resolution didn't help. However, when I messed with the color setting by changing from 32 bits to 16 bits, then back to 32 bits, the glitch stopped -- much to my relief! I suppose resetting of the screen color setting somehow helped the TVBox recognize the video settings on my monitor/computer.

- Watch TV without turning on your computer.

- Good picture quality. Allows you to fine-tune the picture and has Brightness/Contrast/Tint/Color/Sharpness adjustments. I'm using it on a CRT monitor and I'm pleased with the picture quality (I still prefer CRT's over LCD's. Plasma's great, but gosh, they're still so pricey!) If you have it hooked up to a LCD, I reckon the picture quality will rival that on the Sharp Aquos line of LCD TV's.

- Console is really slim, space-saving, and cool-looking.
The silver color will match most computer systems. It can be laid down or set upright.

- Remote control buttons are conveniently laid out and intuitive (A big plus for me.)

Cons
----

- PNP TV picture not resizable. Regardless, the size is big enough to allow me to comfortably watch TV while I work on my computer. On my 17 inch monitor at a 1024 x 768 resolution, the box is roughly 1/9th the size of my screen. Also, when you turn off the unit and turn it back on again, it doesn't remember the last mode you were in (PNP or full screen.)

- HDTV not supported. Not a biggie for me. The picture quality is very good as it is!

- Surround sound not supported -- only stereo sound is supported.

- A little pricier than other comparable units. The TVBox 5, the predecessor to the TVBox 9, is significantly cheaper than the TVBox 9. However, TVBox 9 is an improvement over TVBox 5 with the addition of Closed Caption/Parental Control , Channel Preview, and image enhancement capabilities.

Features Not Supported
----------------------------
- Video capture/recording.
Consider the Avermedia MDVDEZUSB External Video Capture Device that lets you do just that. Other companies such as Hauppauge and Startech also incorporate this feature in their tuners. The Avermedia version even lets you record your TV shows onto your DVD or CD.

Conclusion
----------
The cons and the lack of some additional features have not deterred me from buying this unit. Make no mistake -- I love this unit! I only wish it had a true PNP function. I have looked at Startech, Viewsonic, Hauppauge, Samsung and I find the Avermedia to be the best TV tuner unit for a basic TV tuner. In my opinion, if you're looking for a TV Tuner for your home or office that has a remote control and lets you work on your computer while you watch TV and supports full screen mode, the Avermedia TVBox 9 is THE unit to get! ... Read more


7. ATI Technologies 100-703205 Tv Wonder Elite Rce Pci
by ATI Technologies

our price: $140.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007IG234
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies
Sales Rank: 18842
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

TV Wonder Elite TV Turner Card, PCI ... Read more


8. HAUPPAUGE 1020 WINTV-USB2
by HAUPPAUGE

our price: $82.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006FS2HM
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: HAUPPAUGE
Sales Rank: 12114
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

WinTV USB2 External TV Tuner ... Read more


9. ATI TECH TV WONDER USB 2.0 ( 100-703156 )
by ATI Technologies Inc.

our price: $83.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002ZQFS4
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
Sales Rank: 8050
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

TV Wonder USB 2.0 NTSC External TV Tuner ... Read more

Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Horrible Software, worse customer support
This is my first experience with ATI.I'm not a computer neophyte.The multimedia center always crashes.I tried everything, including updating all audio and video drivers, disabling background processes, and doing a clean Win XP install... same crappy problems "Atisched.exe" crashing on 2 different computers.ATI customer support was the worst, only telling my I did not have my machine configured correctly.Why the heck does everything else on my computer work?This is like trying to install stuff back in the Windows 3.x days.Just got a Hauppage! wintv 250 and what a difference.Avoid this product if you value your sanity.

1-0 out of 5 stars Installation and driver nightmare
I tried installing the ATI TV WONDER software - exactly as described in the instructions.The TV Tuner failed to initialize.I then downloaded the latest drivers and it made no difference.Over many years of using ATI products, I have always found the drivers to be of poor quality.Stay away from ATI until they get their quality act together.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy
I tried this device with 3 of my computers.It only worked with my laptop.One of the desktops the software won't install and the other, which is brand new, the application won't open after install.There are some major problems with hardware compatibility and the multimedia center software.ATI support is of no help.I am returning mine.Look for a different TV Tuner.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worked great, but not for long
When I first installed this product, it worked great for about two hours. However, when I tried to use it again, I encountered serious problems- it would work for a minute, then a box would pop up saying that it is not plugged in (even though it is), and then my laptop crashed to the blue screen of death. Called ATI tech support, which put me on hold for an hour, and I recieved no help, only a bill for an hour long long distance call to canada (where the ATI support center is based). Later I called dell, who informed me that other customers had had the same problem: a confilct between the tv tuner and ATI mobility video cards. ATI won't do anything to fix it, so I'm returning it for arefund. Buy a Win-TV product instead.

1-0 out of 5 stars Doesnt install at all - avoid the headache altogether
After spending several hours trying to get this to install, I'm returning it.

The problem is installing the Multimedia Center (MMC 9.0) - there is an unrecoverable error:

Error Number: 0x80040705
Description: String accessed out of bounds

Their support is a call to Canada, the support on their website points to an irrelevant topic.All in all, dont bother with this one.You may get it to work, but why take the risk? ... Read more


10. MIGLIA TECH AlchemyTV DVR w/ Remote (Mac)
by Miglia Technology
list price: $149.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001VGFGQ
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Miglia Technology
Sales Rank: 23047
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

AlchemyTV DVR / TV Tuner ... Read more

Features

  • Note -size and quality of the recording is dependent on the speed of the computer. For best results, meet or exceed the system requirements below.
  • Installs internally via a free PCI slot
  • Automatic Channel Search
  • Full screen or Windowed TV Viewing
  • Full QuickTime Support

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars TV G5
This product really adds extra functionality to your PowerMac. Installation involves adding the card to a free PCI slot in your G5 and installing the software. 15 minutes in all. I receive all broadcast stations and the software automatically names the stations with a TV guide lookup based on your zip code. I assume one can get premium stations if you connect the AlchemyTV card directly to your cable box. The remote control is awesome and really lets you use your Mac as a TV. Great way to save space if there is no room for a TV. Picture quality isn't perfect but acceptable. Recording feature is awesome and intergrates with iCal for scheduled recordings. You can buy 3rd party software to burn recorded material on to a DVD.
In short, this product is well worth the cost and truly makes the Mac your digital hub.

5-0 out of 5 stars TV on my Mac G5
I'll keep this brief...it's fantastic. I can wqatch TV, record shows during the day straight to HD, then watch them at my leisure. This version has a remote control (there's apparently one that ships for less but doesn't include the remote or DVR software.

With the iCal integration, they give me a website that lists all the shows fore the date you select. Nice and easy to use and my daughter now uses it - she's 9!

buy it - great little card. ... Read more


11. Hauppauge WINTV-NEXUS-S/SATELLITE TV/PCI ( 717 )
by HAUPPAUGE

our price: $156.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005OCA1
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: HAUPPAUGE
Sales Rank: 29234
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Hauppauge Computer Works (717) WinTV-Nexus-S ... Read more

Features

  • Includes remote control
  • Digital satellite TV receiver with satellite radio and digital videotext
  • Includes high performance hardware digital video decoder for watching live and recorded satellite TV on your TV set
  • Record and playback digital TV and radio using high quality MPEG-2
  • Suitable for DVB data services

12. Sage TV Dual Tuner Bundle w/ Remote
by Hauppauge

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007Q9J9K
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Hauppauge
Sales Rank: 20759
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Sage TV is a PC-based software and subscription free EPG service (U.S. Listings Only) providing a 14-day Integrated Programming Guide, One-touch Recording, Favorites Manager, Search, Music, Photos, DVD Playback and much more. The Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE card brings dual tuner TV recording to your PC. The PVR-500MCE utilizes dual Conexant CX23416 high powered encoding chips which compress your videos 100:1 without slowing down your PC's processor and while providing great on-screen video quality. The PVR-500MCE card can record full screen TV using an average of 2 GB of hard disk space per hour. The card includes a 125 channel cable ready TV tuner (NTSC Only). A composite and S-video input to connect directly to your cable or satellite receiver. The card also includes separate RCA connectors for audio input from an external source. Use the PVR-500MCE card with SageTV to experience recording two channels at the sime time while watching a third pre-recorded show as well. Add this card to your current SageTV system and eliminate most recording conflicts by recording three channels at no additional charge like other PC PVR applications. ... Read more

Features

  • Turn your PC into a networked home media center by using SageTV and the SageTV Client together to stream Live TV and access all your media from anywhere in the house.
  • New Dual-Tuner Bundle with SageTV, a Streamzap remote and a Hauppauge PVR-500 card! Turn your PC into the ultimate PVR and Media Center with a fully integrated programming guide and no subscription fees.
  • With the Streamzap remote you you can control pausing Live TV, instant replay, record multiple shows at once, search for your favorite shows, access your local DVD drive and Music and Photo collection.
  • Hauppauge's new dual-tuner PVR card lets you record two channels at the same time in high quality MPEG-2 video using the onboard MPEG audio and video decoder through SageTV's software.
  • For support information visit (www.sagetv.com)

13. Avermedia ULTRATV USB 300 TV Tuner (MULTRAU30)
by AVERMEDIA
list price: $99.99
our price: $84.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001PFO2I
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: AVERMEDIA
Sales Rank: 9384
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

The plug-n-play AVerMedia UltraTV USB 300 brings real multimedia action rightto your fingertips! ... Read more

Features

  • Compatible with Windows XP
  • Pause, Rewind and Instant Replay Live TV
  • Capture Live TV or Video From your Analog Camcorder, or VCR/VHS
  • Compatible with all DV, miniDV Camcorder, VHS/VCR, and Analog Camcorder
  • Cut, slice and stretch your movie clips for the perfect combination of scenes

Reviews (10)

2-0 out of 5 stars AverTV USB 300 bad experience
I used to have one of their PC installed tuner cards that worked quite well. So I decided to buy this new product for my IBM Thinkpad laptop.

While I have had no issues with the hardware performance, the software problems I am having this product render its good propaganda totally useless. Ever since I have installed the drivers for the product, I am plagued by -

1) AverTV application self-starts randomly - while I'm reading office email, using my editor, browsing web pages. It's unreal! It's like it's possessed and has the mind of a devil!
2) When it "auto" launches, it kills my audio volume and pops up on top of all other applications.
3) The "always on top" attribute randomly works as intended.
4) When I drag it across to my secondary monitor, video disappears.
5) All my USB 1.0 and 2.0 devices that coexisted happily (and I have quite a few), now work unreliably once AverTV software starts up.

I am a software engineer as well and I know the sad story of crappy products. It took me 1 week of trying various combinations of USB devices before I isolated all my USB problems to arise from this product. This tuner was supposed to make my life easier - not be another problem I have to deal with. Where's that RMA form?

Z

1-0 out of 5 stars A shocking piece of equipment. Never consider buying
I have been a software developer for nearly a decade and like to think of my myself as good at my job. However i do admit that in the begining i was pretty terrible and wrote some really nasty programs. So Avermedia's produce has been like a little trip down memory lane for me. My i never thought i would see an application so badly written.

I kind of got this running after a few hours of trying and although the picture was pretty bad it was good enough. I have two large screens and while i am working in the evenings from home i can have it on a small window down in one corner. And i figured that i could take it with me on my laptop whenever i needed it.

Then lets say it went all wrong. firstly when i would first turn it on there would be no sound. I worked around this by removing the USB and inserting it again which seemed to get it going again. OK it worked but it is not to gracefull clambering over my pc every time i wish to watch TV.

My girlfriend has a logon to my machine but the settings are not system wide and it has to be tuned in again for each user and setup again.

I decided to move some of my USB connections around but the tv card will not work unless it gets the USB slot it was installed with. ?!?!. I thought the U in USB was universal.

When i bought a USB hub i decided to move it to it's own special slot and reinstall the software. After 6 hours of trying i admit defeat. Firstly the uninstalls don't work and i could not install over them so you have to go through the registry searching for avertv and remove all those entries but reinstalling the program and the TV will just not start up without a useless error message. In my early days of programming if i was to create an error message saying "error: 8321412 description: " i would be taken out and shot but how on earth a respected software house can get away with this all over the program is beyond me. And these error message dialog boxes come up everywhere.

I tried the new drivers and application programs from the site but the install just don't work full stop.

i am not even going to contact support as i know that there is no way anybody could support this pile of mince the way it has been written.

Now i am sure that some people get it to work first time and everthing i rosey but everybodys machines are slightly different and it just won't run on mine.

So if you are thinking of buying this produce stop. If a software engineer can't get this to work after 6 hours you probably won't if you run into trouble and i would bet you will.

1 star is to much.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good tv reception, fails to work properly with some A/V equi
TV image is rather clean compared to other products.TV application takes a few seconds to load on a new AMD64 2Ghz.As well, it takes another 5 seconds for the application to connect to the USB device before you get TV picture.However, I couldn't get any of my game systems to work properly with it.The application would start just fine, and video game audio would come through, but the picture would freeze soon after the game would turn on.Video would work properly if the game was turned off again.I tried using the RF adapter and direct RCA cable connection to the device, neither combination worked.This was tried with a playstation, NES, and N64.Tech support tried to help, but I gave up when they asked me to reinstall the OS on my second HD.

My conscern is that this device may not work properly with other A/V equipment, such as DVD player or VCR.However, if you only plan to use this device for watching television, it should suite your needs nicely, as I mentioned it has better picture quality than most.

1-0 out of 5 stars BE CAREFUL!
I researched this product, made sure it fit my technical specs, and finally made the plunge.I couldn't wait to get the thing, because it was exactly what I was waiting for.

I set it up in minutes after it arrives, and got only a black screen.I tried a few tweaks, and no luck.

So, I got on with AverMedia tech support.It was a known problem that I was having-- the product doesn't work with motheroboards that use the ATI chipset-- which an increasing number of computers (mine is a Toshiba laptop) do.

At any rate-- this may be a great product, but I'll never know.I had to pack the thing back up, arrange for a return code and ship it back.All because they make no reference of this hardware incompatability anywhere on their site or packaging.

So, make sure you do your homework-- and don't just go by their stated requirements. ... Read more


14. ATI Technologies TV Wonder Pro PCI-NTSC (100-703138)
by ATI Technologies

our price: $58.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C0COH
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies
Sales Rank: 10324
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

TV WONDER™ PRO is the leading-edge PCI TV-tuner and video capture solution. Simply install the software, plug it into a PCI slot, and connect your tv cable to the tuner. Then sit back and enjoy up to 125 channels of high-resolution television on your desktop PC.

Zoom in on the action, monitor closed captioning for Hot Words and scan channels at a glancejust some of the many intelligent TV-Tuner functions that will change the way you watch TV. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

With TV WONDER™ PRO, your PC offers you a variety of TV-related possibilities:

Feature-rich TV:

  • Scan channels easily with a built-in 125-channel TV tuner featuring the user-friendly GUIDE Plus+™ Interactive TV Guide and channel preview software that lets you see what’s on at a glance.
  • Watch TV in silence with closed captioning featuring Hot Words.
  • Watch TV on your PC monitor on a full screen or in a window while you work in other applications or surfing the net.
Feature-rich Digital VCR:
  • Schedule viewing or record of TV programs at any time.
  • Capture video in MPEG-2 format for interchangeable standard video files.
  • Zoom-in, or pan video action.
Bolstered Business/Education Presentation Tool:
  • Create a "TV magazine" with saved images and text from selected TV programsuse the images to enhance your presentations, e-mails, Websites and other projects.
  • Automatically record program transcripts for business or school projects.
  • Use the Hot Words real-time word notification feature to let you know when words or phrases are detecteda great tool for journalists, investors, students or sports fans.
... Read more

Features

  • Create a “TV magazine” with saved images and text from selected TV programs
  • Scan channels easily with a built-in 125-channel TV tuner
  • Watch TV on your PC monitor on a full screen or in a window
  • Capture more video and still images in MPEG-2 format than ever before
  • Zoom-in, pan or freeze video action

Reviews (14)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a user friendly product
I consider myself rather knowledgeable about computer installations with software and hardware.I unfortunately spent many hours trying to make this product operation for use as a TV on my LCD screen.The software is extremely poor!I would not purchase this product unless you have a lot of time and patience to deal with the software problems and lack of technical assistance by ATI.My email response from ATI pertaining to my questions detailing my steps of installation were completely ignored.The only response that was given was a referral back to the home page at ATI.Good Luck to you if you can make it work!Or if you want to spend sometime on the phone to Canada.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product With a Couple Tweaks
At first I was worried about this product due to the reviews it recieved. In my experience with the card thoguh, I have actually found it's preformance excellent. First off, people complain of thequality of the image. This is called a cable signal, you can't expect your computer to magically make it better. If you ask why it doesn't look so bad on your TV, there's a simple answer, go sit right next to your TV and tell me how it looks. In the room my computer is in, I have a comfortable seat about 8 feet from the computer screen. The image looks perfect in full screen from there.

The second problem that people stated with this card is that there is an audio sync issue. This is very easy to solve, it's all in the setup of the computer. This is not an ATi problem, but rather a windows problem. When the cord is plugged from the back of your TV card and into your sound card, it goes in the microphone jack. Here is where most people have the problem. To process the cable image takes some time from where it comes in, therefore the image is delayed. Most people experience either the sound being early, or an echo. I have seen several reviews where the stated solution for the echo is to mute the media center. This is what creates the delay. ATi media center delays the audioto match the video perfectly. Mic thru speaker needs to be disabled in your audio pannel. This way, the programs get the audio signal, but the signal doesn't go through your speaker.

A+ work on this one ATi, sorry everyone who didn't know until now, but there's the fix, it's in the instructions, it even has pictures.... there you have it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Works well - if you can get past the software problems
This is a decent product with loads of features. But the horrible software that comes with it will surely turn away some users - as it almost did me. Despite being a tech-savvy user, I had to spend 2+ hours to get the software (sort of) working, after encountering problems with program hanging and other malfunctions. Tech support was surprisingly helpful and they sorted out two of the problems I had. I did, however, had to register my product online, and then call a Canada number to reach tech support.

Once I got past the software problems, the true potential of the product shows. I have crystal clear pictures on my monitor. I could capture screenshots, record programs and save caption text with a few simple clicks. The included Guide + program works like Tivo - allowing you to find and schedule recording of programs.

PROS: Excellent video quality; decent performance; Helpful tech support (you only get it free for 30 days after registration though).

CONS: Buggy software; TV Guide software doesn't integrate well with the player; Can't play TV on 2nd monitor (major drawback for me).

ADVICE: Do not install from the CD that comes in the box. Directly go to ATI.COM and download the latest driver and software. Register your product while you are there and have a phone handy to call tech support.

1-0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE , JUST HORRIBLE!
THE SOFTWARE IS THE WORST EVER!!! To be honest I dont even know if the card is good or not because of the damn software!! Everything installed softly until Multimedia Center started installing...the installation process just closes itself right in the middle of it..I tried EVERYTHING!!! went on ATI website, uninstalled all my current ATI drivers and software and reinstalled the newer ones still NOTHING , called customer support i did EVERYTHING they mentioned and still Multimedia Center DOES NOT WORK!!! Unless you feel like staying up til 5am trying to get this stupid software to work I reccomend this to you! Please, PLEASE dont waste your $50 on this unless you have a good Radeon card...

3-0 out of 5 stars Product with an equal amount of praises and flaws.
I got this card for christmas when it was on sale at Best Buy for around 50 dollars. I had read a few reviews saying installation was a pain, but I had no problems what so ever.

The quality is decent on a Dell Dimension 2400 with 512 mb of ram and 2.6 Celeron processor. You can definately see the downgrade in quality when you go into full screen, but it isnt terrible. I have a Radeon 9250 256 MB PCI card and it was far better than I would have expected on a PCI card.

These pluses are brought down by the numerous flaws. First and foremost is the software like everyone else stated. While I got the through the installation fine, the software that comes with it is outdated and it crashes from time to time, while the recording portion of the software completely messes up the program all together. The options are fewer than expected IMO, but that might be to the fact that I had higher standards. The menu interface is a bit clunky and since this is the no remote version, it is a pain haveing to be next to your comp to change channels.

The biggest downfall to me though is the built in 125 analog tuner. While I can understand why it is only 125 channels and accepts analong signal only, I feel as if I am being cheated in some way or another. With the emerging world of Digital Television, this program will become somewhat obsolete when all the good channels are either switched around or go to Digital.

In the end though, I was pleased and both disappointed. While the former prevailed a little more, the latter is enough to bring the product to a sturdy 3 stars.

Perhaps, ATI will make their future TV tuner cards digital compatiable for the new generation. ... Read more


15. Pinnacle PCTV USB2 ( 210100387 ) TV Tuner and Video Capture Device
by Pinnacle Systems
list price: $99.99
our price: $88.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00028CAJ4
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Pinnacle Systems
Sales Rank: 27204
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

PCTV USB2 Mini External TV Tuner ... Read more

Features

  • Small and compact, and draws power from the USB port
  • Turn your PC into a personal video recorder (PVR); burn recording to disc
  • Plugs into the USB 2.0 port of your computer
  • Video can be recorded using MPEG or DV real-time compression
  • Watch, record and pause live TV; import video footage from other sources like a VCR, camcorder or DVD-player

Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars It's only a TV port, NOT a capture device - BEWARE!!
If I could give it NO stars I would.IT'S A RIP-OFF!!
Those reviewers who found this product OK are only using it as a TV device, not for external video capture.Sure, it works adequately as a TV device (so the one star is probably justified after all) but it is emphatically NOT a video capture port as supplied.Pinnacle's own bundled software does NOT support video input (neither for live display nor for capture) via the temptingly-annotated Composite or S-Video ports.It only 'sees' inputs on the UHF (TV) antenna input.Pinnacle have been promising to include this functionality for over 6 months but, so far, NADA!!Of course, the only way you can get to see the deluge of negative feedback this generates is to purchase the product to gain access to the support forums. The public aren't allowed in...
Here's kicker #1 - if you're prepared to spend the same money again Pinnacle will sell you their Studio 9 application which (I THINK) supports these external (non-TV) video inputs.
Now for kicker #2 - alternatively you can buy (again for a comparable ADDITIONAL cost) a third-party app called ShowShifter which has absolutely no problem seeing, displaying and capturing the extra inputs in this Pinnacle-branded product but somehow Pinnacle don't know how to do it (or maybe they do but they prefer to force you to pay twice for the same horse).
If you're looking for video capture as opposed to just watching or recording off-air TV then DON'T BUY THIS DEVICE.
One final point (Amazon, are YOU listening?!) - Pinnacle manages to get around potential accusations of criminal deception by cleverly avoiding any claimed Composite or S-Video functionality on the packaging - IT'S STILL A RIP-OFF, the inputs are clearly shown on the box .What's worse Amazon are close to being duplicitous in this rip-off by clearly labelling the two offending non-functional inputs thus implying that they actually DO something.They don't, not out of the box, but they will if you're prepared to purchase additional software (if you must buy this product I'd recommend ShowShifter - I know it works and besdies, I'd resent playing into deceitful Pinnacle's hands by paying them twice).

BUYER BEWARE !!

David Harte
United Kingdom

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad, bad, bad, product and Tech Support! Stay Away!
I own a top of the line PC: Athlon 64 3500+, Nvidia 6800, WinXP Pro card, etc. etc.
Pinnacle PCTV crashed the WinXP Pro during the install phase and freezes the Windows XP ever since. Both Pinnacle Tech Support and Forums Suport do not read the questions and send irrelevant answers. They also suggested replacing my PC - What a joke! Don't buy it unless you are SURE that you can get reimbursed in full if it does not work for you! Don't even dream on counting on Pinnacle's support.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible Product ,Horrible Support
Terrible product. It's going back tomarrow. After thee attempted installs, I'm still getting the "blue screen of death"telling me something horrible just happened. Then my computer shuts off. I have not once gotten past channel auto scan.

The report from Microsoft calls it a device driver error. As for tech support if you have actually made contact with Pinnacle consider yourself lucky. I have been unable to log on to their website all day.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for the money
After reading a couple of negative reviews, I tempered my enthusiasm for buying one of these but did so anyway since the price was right (I received a $20 rebate).In short, the device has far exceeded my expectations.My intended use for it is on the road with my Dell 700m laptop (with XP SP2), which has a 1280x800 display resolution.Given some of the reported driver problems, I was a bit concerned that the laptop's rather unique screen size might pose a problem with the PCTV, but was wrong.Install was trivial.On system reboot after the install, the software runs a comprehensive diagnostic to make sure everything is in order.For me, everything worked as advertised.I also installed the software on my desktop just to see the comparison, especially since my desktop is a two monitor system.If anything, it works even better there, although I can't drag the TV window over to the 2nd monitor.

The image is far superior to the 7" LCD TV I have for use during power outages we may get in Florida courtesy of hurricanes, and at about 1/3rd the cost, not to mention at a tiny fraction of both the weight and the size.In fact, at full screen it is at least as good as any TV set at a comparable distance.This was a pleasant surprise, although I personally would consider it a waste to use my desktop as a full size TV.The fact that you can record using it isgravy.The (measured) power draw on my laptop's battery is nominal, almost no worse than running without it.

I would have rated this product a 5, except for the following annoyances, none of which is fatal:
a) as I'm sure Pinnacle is aware, the driver needs more work.In messing with the "fine tuning" controls, I blue-screened my laptop's system.While I have not experienced any spontaneous failures of this sort from the software (unlike my experience with products from larger companies ... hear that Sony?), it is something that shouldn't happen and indicates some elements of the driver are not quite right.I have now run the product for a number of hours with no other failures, and that includes bringing it up and down, plus competing with other processes for system resources.
b) you can manually set most channels, but the interface does not show Channels 2,5, and 7, one of which is used by one of our local stations (however, it does pick it up under auto-scan).It's a mystery as to why these channels are not present for manual setting.Perhaps more annoying, there does not seem to be any way to retain two sets of channel settings, say one for cable and another for antenna.
c) the system comes with a remote control, which I won't use, but does not come with an antenna.I would suggest to Pinnacle that it makes more sense to provide an appropriate travel antenna and skip the remote.I now have to locate a suitable antenna to replace the length of coax I've been using for tests (the coax actually provides a startingly clear picture on some channels).

Since my install was problem free, I can't say anything pro or con regarding Pinnacle's support for the product as I have no pressing reason to contact them.

All in all, I think this is a superior device, so long as you plan to use it with an appropriate machine (USB2 is a must, and your hardware probably should be of relatively recent vintage, for example).The device is very light and compact and so makes a nice addition to my travel machine, not to mention provide me with an exceptional emergency TV.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad product... Worst support...
It didn't work! The support people at Pinnacle is useless. My question number is 041007-000056and since 10 days ago I am still waiting for some help from Paul (the guy at the support line).

Avoid this product, it has serious engineering problems. ... Read more


16. ViewSonic NextVision 6 Video Processor
by ViewSonic
list price: $249.95
our price: $195.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000083K3S
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: ViewSonic
Sales Rank: 21459
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Viewsonic NextVision N6 Video Processor - TV Tuner, Video Capture - NTSC - Video ProcessorSee More With Your Display: TV, DVD, Video And Games.Home entertainment will never be the same! Simply plug and play with the ViewSonic NextVision N6 video processor and turn any display into a high-definition, full-screen TV and multimedia entertainment center. With a built-in NTSC TV tuner and multiple video connections for extras like a DVD player, digital camera, VCR, HDTV set-top box or game console like PS2, GameCube or Xbox, you can work, play, channel surf, watch movies and more at the touch of a button. Coupled with the fast-action UltraBrite display, you can do it all on your desktop. Nice electronics is your source for everyday low prices on theViewsonic N6 - NEXTVISION 6 VIDEO PROCESSOR 1280X1024 NTSC CONV/ TV TUNER/ RMT and all other Viewsonic Video Cards ... Read more

Features

  • Picture-in-picture viewing; displays closed captions
  • Convenient 28-key remote control
  • Experience high-definition video or TV on your LCD, CRT, or projection display
  • Plug-and-play setup requires no drivers or PC
  • Watch TV or enjoy DVD movies without turning on your computer

Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware, the good the bad and the ugly
I'm using the N6 tuner with ordinary comcast cable service and a BenQ 6100 DLP projector. First the good news: the N6 produces an absolutely beautiful television image projected over a 10 foot wide area. The TV tuner works as promised. All the features listed for this function operate as indicated in the manual.
The bad news: the N6 pretty much screws up anything I've tried to hook up to it. It distorts the DVD image very badly, it made my laptop overheat & go off on internal overload, and forget about trying to run a VCR through it. The VCR image wiggles horizontally.Overall, I give it about an average score because of the great TV. Luckily, I can bypass the N6 and connect the DVD directly to the DLP projector. Unfortunately, I still can't watch my old VHS tapes on the DLP.I probably would have bought a less expensive item without as many features if I had known better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worked right out of the box
Using a Motorola 6208 set-top box (set to 480p) and a Viewsonic VP191 monitor, the N6 worked right out of the box wit han image close to what I was getting previously with the DVI connection.The new firmware for the 6208 turned on HDCP which the VP191 could not interact with so I lost signal.I looked at a couple of Component to VGA converters, but settled on the N6 due to price and Viewsonic's tech support.The nice thing is with the source selector on the monitor I can switch between watching TV and playing on the computer with a button push.Just remember to go into the menu and set the proper resolution.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great idea - but lots of problems!
I bought the NextVision 6 primarily so that I could watch TV on my brand new 22" IBM C220p monitor (which is way OUTSTANDING, lemme tell ya!). I toyed with the idea of getting a video card, but balked at dealing with potential software and picture quality issues. The NextVision 6 is a stand-alone unit, so it looked like a great alternative to simply buying a small TV (it is right about in the same price range as a 13" Sony).

The setup is relatively simple, however, the end result is very unpleasant. There is a special cable provided, which is designed to interface with your graphics card output and feed into the unit's RGB input. You then connect your normal VGA cable out of the unit's RGB output and into your monitor, thus establishing a pass-through. However, the resulting output signal is highly degraded and of such poor quality by virtue of this cable/pass-through combination that your computer graphics suddenly look like doo-doo. Forget the TV part, because you've just hosed your computer graphics!

Now, in my case, my IBM C220p monitor has dual inputs. So, I said, "Forget it!" to this whole pass-through business and I simply connected the unit's output to my IBM C220p monitor's second input. Unfortunately, the aforementioned special cable provided is not useable for this purpose. Just as well, since it's a piece of junk. So, I had to drop another $30 on a decent VGA cable to make this connection. The resulting TV signal was very acceptable (with the TV signal source being standard cable via coax), however I dunno if I would call it `high definition'. You cannot sit too close to the screen without seeing some sort of `digital smear'. Since my monitor is a 22", I can kick back on the bed and watch TV but this may be more of a problem with a smaller monitor or if you had plans on watching the TV from directly in front of your computer.

Anyway, I run my monitor at 1600x1200 resolution. The NextVision 6 touts 1280x1024 resolution. I tried different combinations of monitor/ NextVision 6 resolutions and found that if I kept my monitor at 1600x1200 and ran the NextVision 6 at 1024x768 I got the best picture. Why? Who knows. But you do have to play around with both the monitor/ NextVision 6 resolutions and the NextVision 6 brightness/contrast settings to really find the optimal settings. Patience is required!

The remote control, from which most of the functions are accessed, is, as others have noted, a pain in the rear. Some of the buttons respond to a lighter touch than others. To scan up/down through the channels you had better be able to squeeze this punk with all your might to get it to actuate! I have to hold it between my thumb on the bottom and middle finger on the top/button to apply sufficient pressure. I may opt to get a digital cable box in order to use it as the tuner/remote, which will leave the NextVision 6 to function simply as the means to convert the cable signal to a computer-compatible signal. Another expense - ugh.

A lot of caveats here, folks. Certainly, if I did not have a dual-input monitor, the NextVision 6 would have been returned as totally unacceptable. However, since I was able to get it up and running to a truly acceptable level via the procedure outlined above, I am well-pleased with the TV signal. Of course, I cannot watch TV while working on my computer since I have the unit's input on a completely separate monitor input from my computer, but no biggie. I just A/B between them with the monitor selector switch on my IBM. In the final analysis, I was able to accomplish what I started out to achieve, which was to watch TV on my IBM C220p monitor. Yeah!

Oh, one more problem: When I am not using the unit I have to unplug the audio cable (which runs from my sound card's audio-out to the unit's audio-in) because it generates a hum in my speakers. No doubt the shielding on this cable is poor - I may replace it with a higher-quality cable. More $!

As far as hooking up an external DVD player, I haven't tried it. I use Power DVD 5 on my computer, which is outstanding, so no need to use the NextVision 6 for that. If I want to play console games (X-Box, Game Cube), I'll stick with my 35" Sony TV. Maybe I'll hook up a VCR, which should work fine.

All in all, unless you have a dual-input monitor, plenty of patience and want to spring for a second decent VGA cable, forget this unit. Otherwise, as I said, I have achieved a very decent TV viewing experience on my monitor.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not bad with a CRT, horrible with an LCD
I have a very small office and I wanted to make some space by getting rid of my 21" CRT monitor and 24" CRT television and getting a 19" LCD monitor which would perform double duty as a TV and PC monitor.Well at 19" and larger, the fastest response time I could find was 25 ms (2003). Faster response times can be found on 15" and 17" LCD's (note that longer response time means you'll see "ghosting" with action scenes).I checked the 19" LCD reviews on CNET.com and decided on the Planar.So I hooked it up to the Nextvision which was connected to my Direct TV box and surprise - what a horrible picture!I made adjustments to the sharpness etc. on the Nextvision and the Planar monitor and the picture was still too pixelated. As a comparison, I tried the Nextvision with my 21" Sony CRT monitor and the picture wasn't too bad.It wasn't as good as even the cheapest 20" TV but it was viewable.So I ended up using the CRT monitor as a TV for a while until I picked up a small Sharp LCD TV.There's no comparison between the dedicated LCD TV and either type of computer monitor for TV viewing.If you want to use an LCD monitor as a TV, I would suggest a TV tuner PCI card or USB device.I've tried a TV tuner card on a 15" LCD and the picture isn't bad.The advantage of a card is that you can resize the picture so that it doesn't use the whole screen like with the Nextvision.The smaller the picture, the sharper and less pixelated it becomes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very nice!
I bought this, hooked it up to my 19" LCD monitor, and immediately pushed the old 27" TV tube out of the room(Bigger is not always better).Side by side, the color on the monitor was much better by default than any amount of adjustment on the TV could achieve.I cranked the resolution up, and text on the screen looks like it's actually in a font, readable and all!(TiVo output is amazing, but even all the text in commercials and credits and such are so much better.)DVD looks even better.I can't compare this with HDTV because, well, if I could afford that, I wouldn't have bought this.

Minor annoyances: It remembers most settings but not my closed captions on (and the CC is placed horribly and too small).You won't find Viewsonic on any universal remote codes; I wrote to the company and they advised me that I must buy a learning remote.Too bad my TiVo remote can't learn... gonna to be hard to find something workable enough to replace my TiVo remote.Can't afford the Pronto right now so I'm just dealing with multiple remotes. ... Read more


17. Hauppauge WinTV-Radio (Model 401)
by HAUPPAUGE

our price: $65.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006B769
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: HAUPPAUGE
Sales Rank: 12283
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

WinTV-Radio Tuner Card ... Read more

Features

  • Watch TV on your PC with great stereo audio
  • FM radio receiver with Windows based radio application
  • Includes remote control plus S-Video and Composite video inputs for VCR, camcorder or video camera
  • PCI Interface

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Way better than ATI TV Wonder
I have purchased ATI TV cards for a long time, but I am glad I purchased the Hauppauge.I was having problems with the ATI cards freezing and havin audio synch problems.This card is awesome and I have had zero problems.Buy with confidence!!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Defective Product
This product has many defects and bugs in it.My friend had the same product and she said her sound was not working.I went over and her speakers were turned off, so I turned them on and it worked.She said even when the speakers were turned on, the sound for the tv didn't work.I thought she was crazy.A few days later, I installed this product on my computer, and frequently the sound did not work.I had to restart my computer.Also, if you leave the volume on the tv or radio on high, and then turn the tv or radio off, the speakers make many noieses.You have too open the program, and turn the volume all the volume all the way down for the squeeky noise to go away.And then finally, just two days ago, the sound stopped working completely.I could here some noise from the radio but with squeeky noise, but the tv was just making a whole bunch of noises.Now I finally knew what my friend was talking about.This tv tuner has many bugs.I recommend not buying it.I have a Gateway computer with Windows XP, 1.9 GHz, 40 Gig hard drive and 512 MB of ram.All of the windows security updates are installed inlcluding Service Pack 1.I recommend choosing a Tv tuner other than Hauppauge.But let me add just a few pros. When the radio and tv did seem to work fine, the FM radio was excellent.very sharp sound.It doesn't come with an AM tuner.The tv was pretty good too especially when you want to record a program.It saves it too a special folder where you just click on the program saved, and it plays it using real player. However, recording programs REQUIRES AN EXTREME AMOUNT OF DISK SPACE.I recorded the PISTONS basketball game vs. the lakers and it took almost 3 gigs off my hard drive.

But like I said, save yourself time and money and don't buy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, just a few bugs
I have a 2.4 Ghz Computer with 512 MB Ram running Win XP pro. Installing the device was really easy and took probably no more than 10 minutes. The Radio works and TV is pretty good, but the only problem is trying to close down the program WinTV2000 or WinTV32 after watching TV for an extended period of time. Has a tendency of not wanting to close itself down and then crashes Windows when I keep trying to get it to close. Going to keep it though since it's way better than the USB TV Tuner from pinnacle. Maybe Hauppauge will release a patch for this problem later on. Besides the software glitch, it's really not that bad. ... Read more


18. Adaptec ADAPTC VIDEOH DVD MEDIA-CENTER 2310 USB KIT ( 2042900 )
by ADAPTEC
list price: $169.99
our price: $119.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009MVKV
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: ADAPTEC
Sales Rank: 10598
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Adaptec® VideOh!™ DVD Media Center USB 2.0 Edition provides an all-in-one solution for watching, controlling and recording video and TV on your PC.

The solution easily captures analog video from camcorders, VHS tapes and digital media to convert into MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 files. As a personal video recorder (PVR), Media Center allows you to record TV shows, pause, instant replay, fast forward and rewind, as well as burn onto DVD or video CD.

It also includes Sonic™ MyDVD™ video creation software to edit, manage and burn video clips and photo slide shows.

You Control the Action!
DVD Media Center lets you control how you watch TV. Simply activate time-shift mode and you’re ready to control live TV - Pause, Rewind, Instant Replay, Fast Forward, or Skip the boring parts.

Personal Video Recording (PVR)
Use the included remote control to surf live TV or select programs to record. Access the online Electronic Program Guide to schedule recording of your favorite TV shows.

Digital Photo Album
VideOh! DVD Media Center makes it easy to craft customized slide shows of your digital photographs. It takes just a few clicks to build, publish and burn your photo album on DVD or CD.

Enhance, Edit, & Burn your own DVDs and CDs
Convert home movies (camcorders, VHS, Hi8, or existing digital media files) to DVD or Video CD format. Use the award-winning Sonic MyDVD software to create your own interactive DVDs compatible with your PC and most DVD players.

  • Watch & Control live TV on your PC
  • MPEG-2 Hardware Encoding for Highest Video Quality
  • Enhance your Video with Sound, Titles and Special Effects
  • Burn TV, Home Movies & Photos to DVD & Video CD
... Read more

Reviews (21)

1-0 out of 5 stars Adaptec - not suitable for use- audio sync problems
I regret having this device for video capture purposes.After about 20 minutes, the audio gets out of sync w/ video.Gets worse the longer the capture. I have a new IBM ThinkCenter w/ 512 meg RAM.

Consider yourselves warned.

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of money
For reference, this product is only different from Videoh!DVD by the presense of TV Tuner, the rest is identical (and seems to be identical on the hardware level). So it's all applicable to that product too.

I really did not got so far as to try the TV tuner, I was completely set off by this product when trying video capture. My computer is three times faster and has four times more memory than the minimum declared as necessary for this product, and, of course, I use USB 2.0, and still less than a minute of capturing video with minimal settings resulted in blinking orange LED meaning ERROR. In fact, I even did not had to capture video, just gettign to capture screen without actual capturing (no copying to disk) resulted in the same problem.

As I understand from my observations, this piece of hardware just was not able to really encode video stream in real time. Granted, I used somewhat noisy tape which is a challenge for compressing/encoding, but is not that what you'd like to have video capture for -- to archive old family videos?

And for TV, well, may be you will have some functionality, but with getting accustomed with it and usingwidely, you'll quickly get the same level of frustration, that I had. Don't waste your money on this junk.

3-0 out of 5 stars YOU GOTTA BE SAVVY!
I was at a fork in the road between this USB Media Center unit and a similar USB setup by Pinnacle. I did some reading about the product before I purchased and decided on this one for I was concerned about the capture quality. I also was fully aware of some of the bumps in the road experienced with this product, well the software. The InterVideo WinDVR program installed fine and works pretty well. The capture quality is good and variable settings is sufficient for my needs. I like the time shift feature. The Sonic MyDVD program is another issue. When I installed it and went through a routine reboot, I noticed that the two optical drives were not working or acccessible at all. BIOS was registering the drives fine but the Device Manager placed exclaimations next to both drives and also my Iomega ZIP 250MB drive, claiming that there was a definite problem. What one needs to do is follow the instructions to edit the registry files which were defined as "lower filters" for me. That got the optical drives back. I reinstalled the ZIP driver and got that drive back fine. The operation within the MyDVD program is easy to use and never has crashed or locked up on me, same for the WinDVR program. The next problem to arise was the inability to press the burn button (greyed out). One has to go to the Sonic website and download the appropriate Record Engine update. This enabled me to burn my first 1 hour DVD and it was exciting to see it play on a regular player! (took 90 minutes for the burn but that could be my setup). One should note that there's a slight ripple bar that shows up on the bottom of the video upon capture and editing. The finished DVD product however WHEN SHOWN THORUGH A CONVENTIONAL TV will be fine, as the image is cropped in a little bit (completely normal differences between a TV and computer monitor). I should add that I did at one time have a problem with the audio/video sync. I was capturing from a VCR on a tape that had some rough spots on it. This tends to upset things. I happen to have two hard drives on my PC and decided to use the second drive to capture. This does help, and it also helps to have a system that's properly updated, free of ad/spy/virusware etc. My system is about 20 months old, an HP Pavilion 775y with 3.06 HT Pentium 4, 200GB Seagate HDD, and 180 Maxtor HDD, 1GB RAM. Also sometimes it depended on how I started the process of recording a VHS tape. What seems to work for me is to get the tape ready to go in the VCR, press the record button WinDVR wait about 3 secs and then press play on the VCR. I managed to capture my 1 hour show with some rough spots in it with absolutely no sync out problems.
I will decide to give this product a 3 since I had to swim through a lot of technical muck to get it to work beautifully. If you're the type that has used utility programs, updated drivers, installed new equipement, and played mind bending problem solving games like the whole MYST series then this product should be approachable to you. I'm happy now with it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Using the Adaptec VideOH DVD Media Center
When I first tried to capture the audio and video of a VHS
tape I experienced a great deal of radio interference. Upon
advice from Adaptec to use shielded cables with filters and
that solved the problem.
I haveconverted more than 50 VHS tapes to DVD without any
problem whatsoever.
The editing process could be a little less complicated
but beyond that it does exacly what I wanted it to do.

Max E. Grubb

1-0 out of 5 stars DON'T BUY THIS! A RIP-OFF!
I can't tell you the frustration I have had using this product. After a few months, it stopped working with any consistency. In the middle of burning dvds, itfreezes up and just stops burning, with no explanation. I have wasted about 50 dvds trying tho burn them unsuccessfully. ADAPTEC support is horrible...after three months, they charge $45.00 plus per hour to give any help. This is the worst product I have ever bought, from the most greedy, unhelpful company. I called customer service to complain, and they didn't seem to care at all if their customers are dissatisfied. A real shame.
I hesitated to give it 1 star, as it deserves 0.
A real rip-off. ... Read more


19. StarTech.com TV JOCKEY - WATCH TV ON YOUR ( COMP2VGATV )
by STARTECH.COM

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000DF317
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: STARTECH.COM
Sales Rank: 19620
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

TV Jockey - Watch TV on your Computer Monitor ... Read more

Features

  • Includes stand for upright positioning
  • 6 front panel push button commands
  • Audio stereo output for direct speaker connections
  • Auto-Scanning function detects available Broadcast and Cable TV channels
  • Includes full function remote control for switching display mode, change channels, adjust volume and more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, picture quality is bad
I bought this unit for the sole purpose of watching DVD's on a 19" Dell LCD. I figured the movies look great when viewing them from the computer on this LCD, I'll buy a converter and replace the TV in my bedroom with a LCD setup. I thought it would be a cheap alternative to a LCD TV.

The setup was very easy. Just make the proper connections and select the correct source, either on the unit or via remote.

I first hooked this up to a 17" Dell LCD I had. The picture quality was terrible. It was worse than VHS over coax (I used S-Video for all my tests). I also tried this unit on a 15" Dell LCD and a 17" CRT monitor. The picture quality was still unacceptable.

After looking through the manual, I realized this unit was only outputting in 640x480. The native resolution on the 17" LCD was something like 1280x1024, no wonder it looked so bad. There was no way to change the output resolution.

Also, in the manual it said the TV Jockey does not work well with LCD monitors! If I would have known that from the specs on Amazon, I would have never bought it.

In the end, I ended up returning the unit to Amazon (great customer service!). I'm looking in to getting a "TV Box" unit from AVERMEDIA.

I would stay away from this unit unless you don't care about the picture quality. ... Read more


20. XtremeTV PVR Hardware TV
by Diamond Multimedia
list price: $94.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00079AER8
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Diamond Multimedia
Sales Rank: 34126
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

XtremeTV PVR550 PCI ... Read more

Features

  • Skip commercials and other parts of TV shows automatically.
  • Advanced RF Technology: Works through walls and up to 30 feet away
  • Simple and Easy: One click launches your PC entertainment gateway
  • Fast Access: Dedicated buttons offer quick access to favorite media applications
  • Includes SnapStream Beyond Media for storing, organizing, and playing your MP3's, digital photos, and home videos

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars NO Remote!!!
I ordered this card from Amazon and did not receive the power pack edition as advertized, but instead the standard edition without the remote. I returned it and promptly received a replacement from Amazon, but it was again the standard edition. I will give them one more chance to get it right. If not, then this is a classic case of bait and switch.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bought it today, going back tomorrow
This "review" is for the Diamond Multimedia PVR550PCI Xtremetv Pvr Hardware Tv Tuner.More like a rant I suppose.

This product is Absolute Garbage, card captures jerky, software is junk, I can't take this thing back fast enough.

I've never taken the time to review anything but if I can stop someone else from making a mistake it is worth it.

I have 2 drives mutli partitions, there's no way to redirect video files to another drive.Everything's hidden, no adjustment.the software is TRIAL version!It gives you serial numbers, but it doesnt do anything it still says you have x days subscription.This card is billed, sold, PRICED as a "premium card", on par with Hauppauge etc, it is NOT.

Tomorrow I am taking this back and getting the hauppauge like I should have...

The so called "media server" where you can view the tv remotely is an ADD ON PURCHASE.

... Read more


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