freeview usb2 sticks to watch tv - any good?

  theDarkness 21:09 21 Apr 2007

I was thinking of buying a usb freeview stick today since i do not need to install any additional cards to the pc, and would only need to connect a small ariel that comes with most. they are cheap (£30-60 depending on whether you choose to buy the same item from the internet or high st/currys)-but are they any good? does anyone have any experience or can recommend one? Ive been told to avoid the hauppauge ones as they arent built for just the uk market, and so some features that you get with a standard freeview box (eg digital teletext) are not available. ive also been told to make sure to get one that is both analogue and digital compatible since some that only have digital compatibility may not receive a good reception in some areas of the uk.

Looking on the back of most it seems that they are only usb 2 compatible. I thought i only had up to usb 1.1, but upon checking the device manager I have a 'usb enhanced host controller' which is supposedly usb 2? I have 4 usb ports together on this desktop pc but have no idea which one is/or if they are all usb 2.

thanks for any info :)

  Technotiger 21:14 21 Apr 2007

Hi, if it says enhanced in Devices then yes all are USB2. I have the Freecom USB DTV and in my opinion it is brilliant - I get excellent picture and audio.
It comes with its own tiny aerial, but I would recommend plugging your outdoor aerial into it for best results - I use a coax splitter in back of TV and a length of normal coax cable.

click here

  VoG II 21:28 21 Apr 2007

I also have the Freecom USB DTV but I find its own aerial useless - you do need a decent aerial.

  MAJ 21:30 21 Apr 2007

Be careful though, check out that your area can receive Freeview click here My brother can receive it but 200yds away from him, I can't.

  theDarkness 21:34 21 Apr 2007

no tv here at all so I could try purchasing another external inside ariel if the one included didnt work? theres not alot of happy users on just about every freeview usb 2 device for sale on amazon though, haha. my only other problem may be with the min spec required.

like the freecom one you show, im pretty sure the hauppauge ones needed at least a 2ghz pc to work, yet some other freeview usb2 devices need only 1.2g. possibly the ones with the higher spec are able to pause live tv and record, although i cant really remember. im running only a 1600mhz athlon, 1 gig ram memory and a 256mb geforcefx graphics card, so not sure how well itd fare.

thanks for info :)

  Technotiger 21:43 21 Apr 2007

I am running a 1800mhz, and as I say I get excellent results, cannot fault the reception. It also has Record facility etc and a remote control!

  theDarkness 22:00 21 Apr 2007

something tells me with all these unhappy users giving their opinions on amazon that these devices are gernerally useless with an inside ariel (or at least with the one you get bundled)! only one way to find out i guess. think ill get it via the net, dont fancy paying £30+ if its not that great. can the freecom receive teletext as well as radio? not a big deal though

  Technotiger 22:10 21 Apr 2007

Teletext - Yes!

  Stuartli 23:12 21 Apr 2007

>>can the freecom receive teletext as well as radio?>>

PCI cards or USB sticks Freeview TV products cannot receive Teletext or similar active services on digital stations, but can normally display Ceefax/Teletext from the analogue TV signals.

  MAJ 23:35 21 Apr 2007

Just wondering though, can they (USB sticks Freeview TV products) receive analogue TV channels BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 via their supplied aerial (I can't receive Freeview in my area)?
I had a Pinnacle PCTV RAVE PCI card and it worked very well (on Win98SE and XP) but I haven't bothered installing it on my new PC (XP). I know I could connect it to my TV's output and probably be able to view all Sky channels etc., using a splitter and a length of coax, but my TV is a fair distance from my TV, so don't want the coax stretching across the floor.

  Stuartli 00:04 22 Apr 2007

As far as I am aware all PCI TV cards and USB sticks will receive analogue - it's the Freeview (Digital Terrestial) models that can be used for either.

Apart from the Freeview radio channels, quite a few can also be used for FM transmissions.

The easiest way to find out is to check out individual specifications, which are easily found via online retailers and/or manufacturers' websites.

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