* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this about 10 years ago, as a replacement for my Compro USB TV Stick, which was no longer supported when Windows XP came out. The features that stood out to me at the time were that it came with two tuners and only needed one aerial to power the twin tuners. There was another model that had two aerial inputs, but whats the point in splitting an aerial in two when the card can do that instead.
This plugs into a free PCI slot on my motherboard, if you are not computer savvy, you may need someone to do this for you, but that may cost you extra. Its similar to slotting in a cartridge into a Sega or a Nintendo console back in the day.
When i first got this, it came with some awful software called Win-TV, i tried it a few times, but i was going to use Media Center anyway, so i never used it again. It did come with a very useful program that showed the signal strength of both tuners, this was handy because i had an indoor antenna and it would give me the best place to keep the antenna.
The remote was OK, it did the job it was supposed to do, but it suffered from a few bugs occasionally, probably bad drivers. It would send a signal to the card twice, so if you wanted to change the channel or the volume, it would go down by two. This happened every so often. The transmitter came on a 1 meter cable and could be positioned anywhere really, it would pick up the remote even if it did not have a line of sight.
Another problem was that in order to use the remote fully, you had to experiment with the keys as they did not conform to the media center keys. There was a program that reprogrammed the keys into what ever you wanted but that was too much work. I bought a Media Center remote shortly after and it was a lot better, so this never got used again.
The card itself though cannot be faulted, it then went into the new Vista machine i built, the drivers were available for it, and again it was more or less plug and play after installing the drivers. Media Center picked up most of the Freeview channels, I couldn't get Channel Five due to my indoor antenna, although this was probably a blessing. It had access to both tuner streams, so you could watch one program whilst this recorded another, or have it record both programs whilst you were out. You could right click a series and have it record that, and it would never forget it even if you did. A few years later i upgraded to Windows 7, and i also had an external aerial at this point. Again the drivers were available, and it was a breeze to set up and get working again.
Overall, i would recommend this, it has lasted me over a decade and is still going strong. Just remember to replace the remote with a Media Center remote and use Media Center instead of the software that comes with this. The only problem now is, will this support Freeview HD when it is available. We'll find out soon enough.
The WinTV Nova-t PCI product is designed for receiving, decoding and displaying Digital Terrestrial Free-to-air broadcasts on a standard personal computer. The WinTV Nova-t PCI product can receive and show digital TV. (DVB Free-to-Air channels) and allows you to record to the hard disk in MPEG format. This means clearer pictures and sharper sounds, which is the major benefit of Digital TV.
The WinTV Nova-t PCI brings the additional benefit of video recording. Utilizing the hard disk inside the PC, WinTV Nova-t PCI will digitally record Free-to-air channels for later viewing. Free-to-air digital TV channels provide clearer pictures and sound than traditional analogue TV, and are broadcast in wide screen.