So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Hybrid analog/digital tuner, easy scheduler
A good hybrid digital and analog TV tuner, the T3000 is expensive compared to similar cards.
Price$ 250.00 (AUD)
This PCI card is a versatile piece of hardware. It has a combo analog/digital TV tuner, so if your digital reception is bad, you can try analog, and vice versa. You can't view analog and digital reception at the same time, though. In addition, it has composite and S-Video inputs for recording video from analog sources, such as your VCR. In our tests, analog recording through this card was of very good quality and did not have video/audio audio synchronisation problems.
Its software, DPandA-Media Centre, in its beta stage of development at the time of writing, performed well enough for us to test this card without any major problems, although HD channels lacked sound. This problem should be ironed out by the time the software gets released properly. We found that the card couldn't tune into SBS using this software either, no matter how many times we tried with the digital tuner, leaving us no option but to watch the Greek news using the analog tuner, which picked up all available channels without any fuss.
DPandA-Media Centre has an intuitive interface and you can record and watch live TV programs easily. The picture quality of live SD broadcasts and recorded SD programs was excellent. This particular version does not seem to support timeshifting yet; although it can pause a live picture, it does not continue recording the live stream.
For setting and forgetting, its recording scheduler is very easy to use and can be set to record a one-off event or a daily event. All up, we liked the versatility of this card and think it will be a good buy once its software is fully developed.
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