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I bought this because i dont have a tv in my room and i felt that this could help my laptop get more into the 21st century.
First of all i installed the driver software included with the aerial (I also think that if you lose it you can easily download it from a website, or use microsoft media center). I found it installed easily and i have no real qualms with the software, it was quite easy to use and didnt use much processing power. However after that things seemed to get worse
I plugged in the USB dongle thing into a USB 2.0 (Dont know if that really matters) port and soon the software was searching for channels, i was reasoably impressed with what it managed, i think that i got around 40 both tv and radio. However the reception wasnt fantastic so i added the aerial, this was actually quite good however it was quite tempremental with the positioning and required a bit of height added.
All in all i found it a good peice of tech and for only about £15 i would reccomend it to anyone, great value for money.
I purchased one of these to see what its about, was hoping to use it on my laptop for tv in my motorhome.
I should learn by that old adage, you get what you pay for. The software installed on my laptop fine. But kept crashing with other programs i use. I sorted that out which was very time consuming.
I then plugged the dongle and aerial into my usb port. It was a bit heavy for the port and had to have support, so put a book under it to support it. The aerial is totally useless, we actually went and parked under the mast to try and get it to work and it was still breaking up.
So we paid for a tv system / aerial to be installed into our motorhome. We plugged the aerial into the dongle and it was still breaking up, think it was the connection from dongle to laptop that was tempermental, we did get a picture but if there was any movement like wind on the motorhome or moving seat position it broke the picture up.
There is no way of overcoming this because i plugged the aerial in the house into it which gives a perfect reception on every other tv and it was still breaking up. All in all a waste of money and will look at other options
With analogue TV on the way out it was time to get to grips with the TV future of our home. We have cable from Virgin Media but I was looking for a cheaper alternative and one that was perhaps a bit different from the usual freepay boxes.
I found such a device on riverstream.co.uk for a pricey sum of 16.97 plus 99p postage. It promptly arrived just 2 days later and I was keen to seen the outcome on my new computer.
Unfortunately everytime I tried to load the software which comes with the unit my computer crashed. Umpteen emails and a new device later and I was still no further forward. That was until recently my old computer was repaired by those lovely tech guys from Curry's. After going through the rather lengthy process of tattooing my hard drive being guided over the phone once again by those lovely tech guys.
Up and running I decided to try my old computer with the DVB T stick and lo and behold it worked. Still don't have a clue why this one never worked but anyway it was working.
The device is no larger than a cigarette lighter and comes complete with driver software and a tiny digital aerial which frankly is just for show since you really need a decent signal for the USB powered DVB T stick to work. Using the aerial provided I kept getting the No Signal message.
Installation and usage of the DVB is simplicity in itself, simply load the drivers plug it into a vacant USB slot and the viewing software automatically starts up. The next step is simply to scan and save channels and view at your convenience. The picture is quite good now although I may need to re-position my digital aerial for optimal picture quality. I can now work with my Office documents with a small TV screen window showing me my chosen channel.
The software enables the recording to your hard drive any program you wish and you can view several stations in a large window segmented to allow up too nine sreens at a time from which you can choose the one to view full screen. The software is virually idiot proof since each button is clearly marked with it's purpose.
If you do not have a current digital reviewing aerial then I'm afraid that the added expense of getting one erected well outweighs the savings made on your DVB purchase. In this case you are probably better of just buying a freeview box and connecting it directly to your TV input on your PC.
The software is not exactly primitive but I felt it might have looked a bit more professional, the unit itself is tiny so storage problems are non existent when it is not is use. All in all I pretty much got what I'd expect for an outlay of only £17. It's nice a gimmicky but it does not do exactly what is says on the box. A new aerial will cost around £100 fitted and it definitely will improve reception which is basically not there with the small pretty one provided.
I would not as far as to say I was disappointed or even unhappy with my purchase, I just perhaps expected a bit too much for my money, and on this occasion I didn't get the steal I thought I was getting. A nice little gadget but that's about it I'm afraid.
There are alot of these type of devices flooding the market just now so just beware you may end up having to cough up for a digital aerial and it's installation before you get even a hazy picture. I have checked the internet and apparently my area has a medium to strong digital signal so I would have expected just a little more from my new gadget.
Googling the digital strength in your area might be a good idea before you part with your hard earned, but whatever it's a neat gadget and I really quite like it.
Had mine for about 4 months now, using it on my laptop, the little portable aerial that comes with it is totally useless, unless you have a transmitter next door to your house i doubt you'd get a good signal, I wouldn't buy one if portability is important. I use mine from the normal house aerial though, the signal is brilliant, its very handy to record programs as i can't afford a seperate expensive HDD recorder!
The aerial connector on the end of the USB stick is quite flimsy though, it pulls out incase you trip over it I presume, but if you keep plugging/unplugging/tripping over, I could see this breaking quite easily.
The software is easy to install and use, i'm running Xp Pro, on an old PIII 1ghz, 256mb RAM laptop. The picture quality is also very good and the PIP function is very useful aswell, I can browse the web the same time as listening/watch tv!, I bought mine for £22 so its well worth having at that price.