I brought this great little gadget from ebuyer, for about £16, which really is a giveaway. This device is very small, about the size of a big USB memory stick, and has just the coaxial arial input and the USB port on it. In the box, you get: - The USB device, USB extension lead, Drivers, User Guide, Portable antenna, and a small remote control.
The software that comes with it is called TotalMedia 3. When you start the program, you can select from TV, Picture, Video and Setup.
From selecting TV, you can select Full Screen, EPG (Electronic Program Guide), Channels, Recorded TV, Schedule, Capture Frame, Teletext and settings.
Full Screen obviously just puts the TV into full screen mode.
With the EPG, you can select between using the internet EPG, which you get 1 months subscription free, then you have to pay, but you can select to record programs over the internet on another computer, or you can use the signal one, the one sent from the channels, which I would recommend you use, it's much more simple, easy and you don't have to pay. From this EPG, you can have a look through all the channels, and what they have on during the whole day, you can also select to record programs from here.
Channels - here you can just select a channel from the list, easy enough to use.
Recorded TV - this basicly just takes you to the 'Videos' section, I will explain this part from there.
Schedule - From here you can schedule programs to be recorded. From this part there are: - Add, add a shedule, select Date, Time etc., - Modify, change an existing shedule, - History, where you can see what you have recorded in the past, - tvtv schedules, if you use the tvtv service for your EPG, you can select this to see schedules, - Cancel, takes you back to the previous page. What I find useful about the schedules, you can select weather you want a program to be recorded Daily, Weekly or Monthly, so you will never miss you favourate program if you set this up.
Teletext - I have yet to see how this works, no channels have shown this, so I don't know whether this device actually supports this feature.
Settings - from here, you can reset signal, Edit channels, Change TV settings - you can select whether you want to use the tvtv EPG, or from TV signal, I recommend you use the TV signal. You can also turn on Time Shifting, which is a great feature, means you can pause and rewind live TV. You can also add subtitles here. In Settings, you can also inport and export TV Channel Settings, so if you want to have all the same signal settings on a different computer, you can do so easily, or just back it up.#
While watching TV, you can select to Record while watching, change volume, mute, change channel up and down, change aspect ratio, change audio, and even use 'Time Shifting', which is great to have, so you can pause and rewind live TV.
In Picture, you can play all your photos, from My Pictures, have a slide show running, with intervals, 'Fit To Soundtrack', different transitions, loop on/off, and include soundtracks.
In Video, you can select Videos, watch them, crop them, remove advertisements, change the name of, and remove them.
In Setup, there are 4 sections, General, TV, Videos, and Pictures, where you can change printer settings, Frame Storage (Picture Storage), Video Recording Storage, Display settings (Hardware Accelaration, Aspect Ratio, Deinterlace, and Display Effect (the effect when switching User Interface Screens)), and finally, in there is a section "About TotalMedia".
I had a problem with this device, where when I recorded programs for less than 1 hour, the recording would be all messed up. To insure that this does not happen, please ensure that Hardware Accelaration is On! You can check by going to: Setup, General, Display settings, Hardware Accelaration - On.
Overall picture quality isn't too bad, though being on a low resolution it isn't amazing, but it isn't terrible, better than what a lot of TV tuners will give you.