I bought one of these tuners recently for my computer since I currently don’t have a way to record shows on television. I figured putting one into the computer made the most sense since I have plenty of storage space and a spare monitor, I hooked up a secondary screen on my computer so I can play/browse and watch TV while I do these things (it’s in between Ant’s computer too, so we both benefit). Probably one of the better investments I have made recently. It’s an easy to install card which is then connected to your TV outlet, I had to buy an aerial socket splitter ($3 – $10) and drag my cable from across the other side of the room but it was worth it to be able to get clear television on both the computer and stand alone TV in the lounge room.
The card itself is fairly straight forward to install and the Avermedia website is easy to navigate and has fixes and patches for download. The tuner is Windows 7 compatible and has its own software that runs on top of other programs (unlike windows media player). I bought my card from Sky Comp Sydney for a great price of $103, which was one of the cheapest prices I could find. I haven’t tried all the features, but do like that you can watch and record being a dual tuner, as well as, record two shows at once. It also is a 3D compatible card, which allows for future 3D integration. Also nice is the remote control that comes in the box, it takes two AAA batteries and is sturdy, easy to use and not too big.
The quality of the television reception is excellent when plugged into the wall antenna (but will only be as good as your antenna), our apartment gets good reception so it’s as clear as the programs are originally filmed. Recorded material can be saved into allocated folders and the files can be saved in different MPEG formats. The remote can also be used to turn on the PC if you’re computer is near your bed or couch so you can treat it just like a real television.
So far I’ve been able to watch and record, as well as, record two channels at once without any problems. The scheduled recorder has so far been reliable and while it could be easier to use, is fairly practical and easy to set up. The time shifting is also quite handy. You can set up schedule recordings that have a number of options at the end of the recording ie, powering down the computer, hibernating or opening the program to playback. Overall, this definitely beats the Leadtek Dongle Gold I bought which was difficult to install and never picked up any channels. I’m glad I decided to go with the PCI card instead of another dongle as once set up it means a better chance of reliability, I’m pretty happy with it so far and I have my fingers crossed it will stay that way!
Installation – 3.5/5
Quality – 4/5
Ease of use – 4/5
Software – 4/5