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I bought the Hauppauge WinTV Nova USB when they first came out. The first software was a nightmare and the Hauppauge Customer service needed a good kick up the a*%e. When they could not solve my problem they just 'forgot' me and stopped e-mailing me. The unit kept locking up my laptop and I had all sorts of problems (running XP Home on a AMD 1600+, 384MB Ram, 40 Gig hard drive). I had so many problems I wont go into them because.............. Now its all changed! The latest software does not lock up, my laptop runs easily and I have no problems. I work away from home and my laptop is now like a mobile entertainment system with Digital TV on a 15.1" screen to go with all my music and DVD's! The new software is easy to set up and the channel scan picked up all the available channels for my area (its better to pick the nearest transmitter site than a full scan and its quicker). I can pick from a load of channels and also digital radio. The picture changes from wide screen to normal, full screen to small picture. I have recommended this to lots of friends now to use when they are away from home
Recently purchased one of these, running Windows XP didn?t have any problems during installation the installation. Was unhappy at the channel scan it needed about three to four scans before it picked up Multiplex C ? at time of writing this was ?Sky Travel, UK History, Sky News and Sky Sports News?. Reports for my postcode shown that I should of received all channels This may be down to (amount of channels) having the aerial split to all the flats where I live. Back to the product? * Aesthetically, nicely made and size wise fits neatly on top of a mini tower case * Software had the occasional error and windows would then require a reboot so that it would re-access the WinTV Nova. * Of channels received ? High quality ? even on full screen, and recorded. * Recordings ? Joint stereo Would have been nice if the power was drawn from the system via the USB rather than needing its own external power, however would be more than happy to use this instead of a TV / Video (esp. since amount of work I do at the PC), haven?t tested attaching a video player to it to see if all previously recorded videos could be converted - however with it being for digital doubt it would work and no scart input. NOTE: Some shops won't take it back if you can't recive freeview, if in doubt ask, or if you know anyone with a freeview reciver see if they will test your signal.
Hauppauge WinTV Nova-t PCI - Advantages: Gr8 Digital Teletext, Gr8 in Fullscreen, Saved space in a small room - Disadvantages: Incomplete and Old Software, EPG not big enough, Picture breaks up every hour or so
So I finally made the jump and opted to purchase a Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T USB Digital Receiver. Admittedly I didn't purchase it online, but rather from my local Argos store for £99. I did do a bit of searching and www.Ebuyer.co.uk have it for around £82 online (inc. VAT) I was a little apprehensive when I got it home and opened it up. The box was worryingly insubstantial content wise. The unit itself, a small USB cable, a power adaptor, an installation CD-Rom, and a minute operation manual. Initially I tried to get it setup with an indoor aerial - big mistake. While running the "Channel Scan" the unit was unable to pick up anything. But having discarded the indoor aerial and hooked it up to my rooftop aerial the stations were found straight away and I was in business in no time. The automatic scan makes tuning the unit a doddle (no manual aerial movement required), and the software is pretty good for browsing through your new Freeview 30 channel line-up. The quality is absolutely amazing - the resolution is good (720 x 576 - DVD), and the bitrate is significantly higher than analogue TV (450 - 500 kbps - SVHS). And no Lip-Synch issues. The unit is definetly the option for those who don't want their normal computer use interruped (as is the case with internal decoders), because all the decoding is done in the unit, and the result is simply transmitted to the PC (having a good graphics card is always good to keep the pressure off your processor - it MUST be DirectDraw enabled). The software included is basic but comprehensive and is a great introduction to TV on a PC, and the inclusion of WinDVD for recorded video playback is great. I would recommend grabbing the updated bundled software from the Hauppauge website (www.hauppauge.com), which is currently v2.15 (mine was 1.46), as this greatly improves TV watching ergonomically wise. I would also recommend maybe getting some third part r
ecording/scheduling/capture software so you can record programs without having to physically be at your machine. Definelty worth the money.