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General Chat Thread, USB DVB-T Sticks - Opinions? in General; After several years of beating myself with my Pinnacle PCTV Rave TV card, I've decided to contemplate purchasing one of ...
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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    USB DVB-T Sticks - Opinions?

    After several years of beating myself with my Pinnacle PCTV Rave TV card, I've decided to contemplate purchasing one of the Freecom DVB-T USB TV/Freeview sticks.

    Has anyone on here got/used one? Opinions? I don't want to get one and then find it's another Pinnacle...

    I thought it'd be a nice portable solution for home and work, and it'd be nice to drag it and the laptop to Wales on hols and get some decent TV..

    Plus, it'd be good to actually have something that'd let me use my PC instead of a VCR. I've tried MythTV on Ubuntu with the PCTV..and I can view fine, but MythTV won't play.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: USB DVB-T Sticks - Opinions?

    Digital TV in wales - you jest surely!

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    Re: USB DVB-T Sticks - Opinions?

    Used one, poor connector, so I returned it

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    Re: USB DVB-T Sticks - Opinions?

    Our Head of 6th form ordered something similar, and we attempted to set it up yesterday............ after 30mins of it searching and finding nothing, we gave up.

    Fine if you have an external aerial which you can plug it into, otherwise... awful.....

    (and we're in a good-to-medium Freeview coverage area)

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Re: USB DVB-T Sticks - Opinions?

    ah...I was wondering, as they seem to get great reviews..

    I am quite fortunate..if you look out of my kitchen window, you can see the Wrekin transmitter.. My current TV card doesn't have an aerial..but it does have a length of bent coathanger... Excellent reception.

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    I have used it, It works fin, all the digital chunnels, I can gget it in door. its not a rocket science to do it. with in 10 mints you can set it up. It depent on the location how you get digital signals.

    Gr8 product

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    I have one in a box somewhere that I used for a while, it was just fine as long as the signal was reasonable.

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    Ive got one connected to my work PC very useful in the holidays..works a treat
    But then I have got the luxury of an aerial socket next to my desk, I'd never try it with a portable aerial, certainly not the ridiculous thing they bundle with it

    Also, the software was buggy and crashed a lot, but a mate bought one and I used the software that came with his and its far better now

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    Does the laptop have an ExpressCard slot? If so, then take a look at the AverMedia card

    A friend of mine has one which came with a Dell laptop and it's been brilliant - he previously had a desktop with a Hauppauge card and even with an external aerial reception was poor. The Avermedia card has a small aerial but it "just works" :-)

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    I did post a review of it here. However, after prolonged usage my views have changed on the device after using some competitive products. I also wrote the review at a time when they didn't supply BDA drivers. So you were forced to use the bundled WDM software.

    I have since been using it along side a Hauppauge device. Hauppauge being the kings when it comes to TV Tuners. But, I've found that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Some of the irritations that I found on the Freecom, I also noticed on the Hauppauge. For example:

    Subtitles - There is a very annoying lag when you try to use subtitles, almost to the extent where the subtitles are displayed after the person has finished speaking and started saying something else. Live TV is another matter, but this shouldn't affect recorded TV. It is simply an error of how the software pulls the subtitles from the DVB feed.

    Recording - A little better with the Hauppauge, but with the Freecom it is impossible to adjust the quality of recording. So, an hours recording can take almost 1.5-2Gb of HDD space.

    Teletext - I found this was pretty useless and unusable on both products. Slow and it launches on a separate window/process.

    Scanning - With the Freecom Software, when scanning for channels, if you decide to do a rescan, it sometimes duplicates the channels already in your list so that you get 2 or more listings of the same channel.

    On the other hand, if the channels are not broadcasting, it doesn't pick them up at all, and sometimes deletes them from the list! I've had issues with BBC3, BBC4, ITV4 and CITV, CBBC, CBeebies. As these channels don't broadcast at the same time they get deleted from the listings whenever I do a scan depending on the time of day.

    Hauppauge have pretty much solved this with their software now because they allow for the automatic DVB numbering.

    The software issues aren't as bad with the Freecom device now as they support BDA drivers so you can download your own software. However, I had had issues getting the programs to work with the stick, but others have had success. Some programs I have tried were, Media Portal, GB-PVR and a Cyberlink Power[something] that I forgot the name of. However, I found far too many bugs with getting these to work with the Freecom device.

    The Remote Control with the Freecom device is utterly useless and not worth the plastic it's made out of. The range it works at is almost like next to each other. Most of the better Hauppauge products come with a very good standard sized remote with proper TV features.

    The Freecom device has it's pros and cons. If you are looking for a simple entry level "I just wanna watch TV device" go for the Freecom (it should be sub 20 now - I brought it at 40)

    If you want more features and services with your device, better support and especially if you are using Vista x64, go for a Hauppauge device.

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