FusionHDTV DVB-T Nano
DViCO, world renowned for making high quality digital tuner cards, has recently created their most interesting product to date. The DVB-T Nano is a high definition TV tuner roughly the size of the average USB memory stick. It has all the functionality of a regular tuner card, impressively crammed into an incredibly small package. This is perfect for notebook use, essentially creating a portable PVR.
- High Definition TV Tuner, Small design, Excellent performance, Remote control.
- Device heats up quite a bit.
The DVB-T Nano is an incredibly cool and funky device that performs as well as it looks.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
The Nano is silver in colour and has a USB attachment on one end protected by a retractable white cover. The other end of the unit has an RF antenna port and the top has a blue LED activity light, which glows when the device is receiving transmission.
Installing the Nano is very simple. The device is accompanied by PC software which includes all the drivers needed to run the tuner. Once installed, all you need do is plug in the USB tuner and away you go. On first boot, the PVR software prompts the user to check for local broadcast stations. This process is very speedy and only took around 90 seconds to complete. This is on par with most set top boxes and tuner cards we have reviewed thus far.
We were taken aback by how well the Nano worked. For its size, we were expecting poor quality images and spotty performance but the Nano processed the high definition content perfectly on-the-fly and even recorded without any hassles either. Recordings are made in .tp format, a raw data stream file commonly found in many PVR devices and tuner cards. While .tp files can be played in Windows Media Player, they seemed to work better via the DViCO software.
The DViCO software is well designed and looks very modern while also being functional. The configuration options and channel favourites settings are all easy to use and the time shifting feature works well too. The scheduling is also intuitive and simple to use, with an option to shut down the PC after the scheduled recording is finished. Playing back your recordings isn't as easy as it could have been, but once you know where to look for your files choosing which to play back is a breeze. File locations can also be configured through the software. The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) is rather limited due to the poor EPG standards in this country but it can be bolstered extensively by signing up to the ICETV guide.
On top of a high quality product, DViCO also included a small and simple remote control that works perfectly with the Nano. The remote isn't anything new or groundbreaking but it is good to see it included in the package. Overall, we found the Nano simple to use and trouble free. The price tag is a little high for a tuner card but considering it is both high definition and so portable, it is a reasonable cost. However, keep in mind that in order to watch HDTV on the move, you will need to purchase an external antenna, something akin to "rabbit ears".
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