* Prices may differ from that shown
My dad got one of these for a new computer that he had put underneath his TV, aiming to create his own PVR but with a few additional features that I had suggested might be pretty nice.
The TV card itself was very easy to install hardware wise, its a nice small form that fits very nicely into the case and attaches relatively easily to the external case. Software wise, it is a bit of a different story. The problem with buying a brand name that isn't well known, is that the drivers for it also aren't that well known, and you HAVE to use the CD to install the drivers - meaning there is also a chance that you will get all of the additional dodgy software that comes along with it. However, to get round this, when you put the CD in, don't use any of the built in menus, just open up your 'Device Manager' and select the DVB card (generally it will be the one with a big question mark next to it) then reinstall drivers, and just say that the driver is on the CD.
In terms of what software I got the card working with, we started off using 'XP Media Center' however, the EPG doesn't work properly with this - you will only get half of the channels. Upgrading to 'Windows 7 Pro' meant that the EPG works perfectly, and also you get all of the 'MSN TV' content (if you ever get bored of 100+ digital channels). The dual tuner also works really well within Win7, and you can record one program (or set an entire series to record) and watch another at the same time - something that you couldn't do with a single-tuner card.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this - it would not have been one that I would have bought myself as I tend to go for bigger brand names (Hauppage for TV cards) as the driver support for these are a lot greater, but in this case it is a 'does what it says on the tin' type of product. The card works as expected and the dual tuner works really well when given the right software to play with.
I got one of these 2 months ago, it cost me £25.99 which i would say is a bargain, and you can get them for less at special retailers. You can get DAB and freeview (Including radio) but you wont get interactive services like the red button, or any of the usual multiscreen options on news channels.
Picture qulity is "ok" i don't think its anymore than 720p for the HD channels but thats enough, it still looks stunning considering what you get for the money. More expensive ones can do 1080i.
I originally wanted sky plus because you can record pause and rewind live HD TV, but with this you can do the exact same thing.
One downside is the antenna quality, i set it up and i live in an area where signal quality is pretty good, but still didn't get that many channels, i think the BBC channels, (1,2,3,4) and BBC News were the best, and even they wouldn't peak above 70% signal strength.
Had a few problems on set-up though, I had a manual which started to tell me very vaugely what to put where, and it took around 10 minutes to get it switched on.
Its not pre-tuned for you, and you will also have to do a regional search, but after that, it works straight away. Never turn it off at the plug or this thing resets, and you'll have to do the lot again, that was my mistake.
Remote is tiny and the buttons are really hard to press individually because they are so small, but it's lightweight and takes AAA batteries. Pretty good economy too, doesn't nee changing for months of general use.
Recommended but only if you live in a good signal area, otherwise the antenna isn't that good.
If you are looking for a TV card for your PC then this Peak Dual DVB-T Digital TV PCI card really is a fantastic buy.
I paid £30 for my one but as I write this I see Amazon listing one at £22.75, this is fantastic value for what you get.
What do you get you ask?, - you get a digital TV card with dual tuners which performs very well, you will receive Digital TV inc. HD TV and Radio but no DAB or Teletext, the picture is crisp, channels change instantly with no break up of picture and the channel auto scan will pick up everything there is to get. The card supports subtitles as well as real time and schedled recording with 'Timeshift' (pause live TV and it will record to your hard drive so you can resume it from where you left off)
The box contains your PCI card, driver disc and a remote control as well as the instruction manual, there is also a portable antenna but I think you would need to live in a very good signal area indeed to get this to work, where I live I get nothing and have to plug in a roof aerial.
The remote control is not fantastic, it's pretty lightweight and cheap feeling but performs perfectly well, signal range is good and all the usual remote features are covered. The signal is received from a wire you have to plug into your PC, you then have to fix up a receiver eye in a suitable location with a couple of adhesive velcro pads.
I wrote a review for a Hauppage WinTV-T- Nova previously and one of my main gripes with this card was that to get the dual tuner function to work you had to plug in 2 TV aerials so if you split your freeview aerial to turn it into 2 it results in a degraded TV signal, the Peak card only needs the one aerial input and the dual tuner function works perfectly well with this. Considering the Hauppage Nova TV card is 3 times the price of the Peak one I honestly can't say the Peak one is any worse, in fact it's probbably better.
This card works fine with all the popular Windows Operating Systems, XP, Vista and Windows 7 and will work with Media Centre which is by far the best media program to use in my opnion.
To use this TV card your PC must have -
A PCI 2.2 Compliant Slot
Pentium IV 2.0 Ghz or equivalent proccessor, 2.8 Ghz for HD TV.
512 MB RAM minimum, 1 GB recommended
A gaphics card with minimum 64 MB memory that supports DirectX 9.0C or higher.
AC97 Compatable Sound Card.
In summary this is a very competent card for the price, dual tuners and fully featured and I would recommend it to anyone.