Dvico Fusion HDTV DVB-T HOME
- Good tuning ability, half-height card
- Grainy picture quality, FusionCONVERTER software does not work with this tuner
Despite its grainy picture quality, the DViCo Fusion HDTV DVB-T HOME is a capable digital tuner that can be installed in a regular tower PC or a slim-line media centre.
Price$ 145.95 (AUD)
If you're in the market for a simple digital TV tuner device for your PC, the FusionHDTV DVB-T Home is a solid choice. It's a half-height PCI device, which means it can fit into a regular tower PC case or even a slim-line media centre, using the supplied half-height mounting bracket.
The Fusion can decode standard definition and high definition channels using your graphics card and it supports Microsoft's DirectX Video Acceleration (DxVA). Unfortunately though, its picture quality was a little more grainy (using DxVA-capable GeForce 7600-based graphics cards in our test systems) than many other tuners we've reviewed and colours were a tad pale.
We tested the tuner in two geographical areas and received strong reception results in both areas. In the first test area, which is located relatively close (about 2km) to many transmission towers in northern Sydney, the card performed splendidly. It scanned and found all the available channels in the area on its first attempt. Signal strength was strong throughout our testing (90-100 percent) and we didn't experience any noticeable signal breakups while viewing for extended periods of time.
From our second test location, which is roughly 15km away from the same transmission towers, we had to perform a couple of scans before the card picked up all the channels in our area. The signal strength was understandably a little lower from this area (65-80 percent), and we did notice a few stutters during lengthy viewing. Overall though, the performance of this tuner card suggests that it should give a very good viewing experience, even if you live a good distance away from, and not within line-of-site of, the transmission towers in your region.
The software interface of the tuner is DViCO's FusionHDTV, which has ample features and is quite easy to use. We tested the tuner with the supplied version (3.42). It supports scheduled recordings, manual recordings and can perform time-shifting, although you must first enable the time-shifting feature before you can start pausing live TV. We did experience some quirks while time-shifting. Sometimes it worked flawlessly and other times it stuttered as we went backwards and forwards through a time-shifted program.
Channel changes aren't instantaneous. It takes a couple of seconds to go to a new channel from the time you select your change. In addition, small pauses are noticeable when initiating and stopping recordings and manual recordings don't start when you click on the record button. Instead, a dialog box pops up, which allows you to select the length of the recording and also the format of the recording. FusionHDTV lets you record either the current channel you are watching in MPEG2 format (the native format of digital TV broadcasts), or the entire transport stream that the channel is broadcasting in TP format. If you record in TP format, you will only be able to play it back in FusionHDTV, unless you convert the streams contained in the TP file.
FusionCONVERTER is a program that lets you 'extract' the channels from the TP stream and convert them to a format of your choice: MPEG2, DivX or XviD. Frustratingly, while this program is installed by default at the same time as FusionHDTV software, it does not run with the FusionHDTV DVB-T Home tuner card (it can only be used with more expensive tuners, such as the FusionHDTV DVB-T Pro or the FusionHDTV DVB-T Dual Digital 2). This means if you want to view your recordings in a player other than FusionHDTV, you should ensure that 'Current subchannel only' is checked in the recording dialog box. This will record the channel you are watching in MPEG2 format.
For using the card in a media centre PC, DViCO supplies a programmable media centre-style remote control and an infrared receiver. A BDA (broadcast driver architecture) driver that is part of FusionHDTV allows the FusionHDTV DVB-T Home to be used with Windows XP Media Centre Edition.
Overall, the FusionHDTV DVB-T Home comes with a capable software interface and has good digital tuning abilities. Despite its image quality being a little grainy, it's a worthy choice for a standard PC or a media centre.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- FSP's wild new power supply is liquid-cooled and built for silence
- Some Radeon RX Vega graphics cards will be faster than the Frontier Edition
- Nvidia quietly launches the GeForce GT 1030, a Radeon RX 550 rival with a modest price
- AMD's first Radeon Vega graphics card isn't for you, and gamers may be waiting a while
- AMD's Ryzen Mobile chips are ready for liftoff, with the new Ryzen Pro not far behind
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- FTSalesforce ConsultantQLD
- FTLearning & Development Consultant, Wealth ManagementNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectSA
- CCGIS Consultant/ Developer - BRISBANEVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- CCBusiness Analyst - Banking/FinanceNSW
- CC.Net DeveloperNSW
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksVIC
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTImplementation ConsultantNSW
- FTTechnical WriterNSW
- FTSenior React DeveloperNSW
- CCWeb DesignerQLD
- FTDeployment Engineer / Field Service EngineerQLD
- FTDealing Room Support Analyst - IPC voiceNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer - IP routing & switchingNSW
- CCWintel Support EngineerVIC
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- FTField Technician - Radio communication serviceACT