Avermedia AverTV DVB-T Volar

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Avermedia AverTV DVB-T Volar

Pros

  • Small

Cons

  • HD recording issues, Timeshift is clunky

Bottom Line

The Volar is handy for a notebook, and it's inexpensive. Its tuner found all the digital channels and displayed them with good signal strength, but it was let down by its software. It needs more convenient time-shifting capabilities and the ability to record HD programs with audio.

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If you want an external digital TV tuner for your notebook, AverMedia's AverTV DVB-T Volar is the smallest we have seen, but it fails to satisfy in many areas.

Physically, it's a USB 2.0 device, around the size of a lighter. After prolonged use, it doesn't heat up too much, and it has a blue power LED. It works well enough so that you can enjoy watching SD or HD programs, but AverMedia's AverTV software can be frustrating to use.

Changing channels took a few seconds (likewise, it took a few seconds to start recording programs), and the channel list was not easily accessible by right-clicking. HD recording was also flawed with this program. The picture was captured without any sound. This is despite us installing the latest version of AverTV (6.0.3.26). SD programs were recorded with sound and played back in Windows Media Player.

Time-shifting has to be activated before you can pause live TV and is not well implemented. Once it's enabled you are unable to change channels until you disable it.

The scheduler allows you to easily record programs in a once-off, daily or weekly frequency. You can also set the program to record in silent mode, which means the program will record in the background. This is helpful if you don't want to be disturbed while you're using your computer for other things. Conversely, you can set AverTV to be your desktop background, but only if you don't mind watching TV with icons scattered in front of the screen.

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