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AVerTV Hybrid NanoExpress, ExpressCard 54 TV Tuner

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
AVerTV Hybrid NanoExpress, ExpressCard 54 TV Tuner

Anyone have one? Any Reviews? Is it any good?

I thought about a standalone OTA PVR like the Tivo HD or the DTVPAL DVR, but then I thought about a computer based PVR due to my new laptop for work and travel. The Tivo would be great with the guide options, but it is expensive with the lifetime subscription and not so portable.

This AVerTV ExpressCard is not expensive, will turn my laptop into a TV and PVR, will allow me to burn HD onto DVD and DL DVD, and will be usefull when traveling.

Here is the big question...Is there any guide for setting up program recording? I guess I could set manual timers but it would be nice to have a guide.

Phil
post #2 of 8
Windows Media Center has a guide that works well without any subscription fees. Type in your zip code and it will give you your options. But a word of warning if you're traveling. Most - if not all hotels have their own cable system that will not show up on any guide.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWPgh View Post

Windows Media Center has a guide that works well without any subscription fees. Type in your zip code and it will give you your options. But a word of warning if you're traveling. Most - if not all hotels have their own cable system that will not show up on any guide.

Thanks, Joe. I have been playing with Media Center and it is interesting. Media Center does not see a TV tuner yet, so maybe that has to be there to get a guide. I went ahead and ordered one of these tuner cards. I will give a review when I get it and have some time to try everything.

If anyone has one of these cards, I would like to hear how it works for you.

Phil
post #4 of 8
What OS are you running?
MC will only allow you to recognie one tuner on a Hybrid tuner card since both tuners can not be used concurently.
MC should be able to configure the DVB-T tuner on your card.
Othewise you will have to use the AVER TV application program that came with your card instead of MC/
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

What OS are you running?
MC will only allow you to recognie one tuner on a Hybrid tuner card since both tuners can not be used concurently.
MC should be able to configure the DVB-T tuner on your card.
Othewise you will have to use the AVER TV application program that came with your card instead of MC/

Roger that ~

I am using Vista 64 Home Premium. I read the reviews and the opreration and software support of this device scored high. Most people used the WMC and liked it over the AVer app, but both were reported to work just fine. The device is Windows Vista Premium certified. The recent driver updates fixed any glitches the device had. I'll know more once the card gets here.

The one weak point to this tuner card is the antenna connector. People say it doesn't take much stress to break the mini connector on the F connector adaptor.

Thanks,

Phil
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
The package arrived today and the tuner card is up and running. This is a good product! The setup was a snap. The picture quality on my laptop 16:9 display is fantastic. The tuner is picking up everything OTA with signal to spare. The FM broadcast tuner is even picking up a huge amount of stations and sounds great. The card sits almost hidden in the ExpressCard slot. The antenna connector "snaps" in and out ok, but I can see the stress on the connector. It would have been much better if they used a right angle connector. I think it will be ok if I bend the cable and secure the other end to the laptop power connector to keep it from stressing too much. Still, one good bump on the connector and it will snap off.

Other than the connector concerns the card works very well. I download the latest dirvers and app from AVerMedia's site and upgraded all including the WMC driver. That leaves me with three apps to run the card, and each has it's plus and minus. The original AVer Media Center may be the best. The newer app called AVerTV 6 had some initial trouble scanning the ATSC channels. Each time I scanned, it picked less an less channels. A shutdown and rescan worked ok. The interface is not near as nice as the original app (AVer MC). The new app did add the ability to choose diferent recording formats like MPEG-4 (H.264). The AVerMC just has MPEG-2, which is fine with me. I see no guide with either although I may be missing something. I need to explore more on that.

I went over to give Windows Media Center a try. WMC setup (now sees the card) was very easy. The guide setup was a breeze, and it added all the channels in my area...even channels out of range, but that is fine with me as I want the ability to tune in a channel with a better antenna setup. I did notice one channel that was very local that did not get a signal. That channel turned off the analog and moved the digital onto the old analog channel. The guide does not know this. Another problem I am having with WMC is the volume never goes above 50. Why? I do not know. The other apps go to 100 just fine. I did record two HD programs and they looked fine on playback. When I looked for the files I noticed they were in dvr-ms format which I am not able to change. I did burn a DVD in video format and it took hours to convert and burn, plus the picture quality was no longer HD. I did not have enough space on the disk for the "data" format. Although the guide is really good, and it makes setting up recording very easy, I want my recordings to be MPEG-2. Maybe there is a way to get WMC to do it, but I have to investigate that more.

So the card is a good product and well worth the money. All works well...just watch the connector! No major bugs. Reports from the user reviews say that has all been worked out. I now have a great PVR and did not have to pay Tivo the huge fee! That is what I really needed, but I also have a great portable HDTV. This will even come in handy when the next hurricane hits!

Phil

EDIT: The EPG program guide on the Aver MC program is starting to populate on some channels (PSIP?). I also found a setup screen in that app that allows you to change file formats. You can do MGEG-2, MPEG-4, WMA, H.264, and even iPOD formats. It even lets you break a show up (span) into DVD or CD sized files to allow maximum file sizes to fit on your disks. I burned an MPEG-2 HD DVD in about 15 minutes. Playback was just as good as the original live program. This application is working well. If only it had the advanced features of the WMC Guide where you can program the recording of first run series and whatnot. WMC has other problems that make it a second choice. The bottom line is this low profile ExpressCard tuner card is a great product. If you are looking for a laptop solution, this is maybe the best option...especially if you want low profile where no hardware is sticking out. You get a sensitive NTSC (supports international standards like PAL), ATSC, FM Broadcast tuner and no bugs operation. I just wish they made the mini-connector to F connector cable with a right-angle mini-connector and slightly longer cable. That would solve the stress issue.
post #7 of 8
OK, a bump.
Anybody have experience with this or the new 34mm version under Windows 7 x64 version? Looks like the way I'm going to go on the laptop, but I'd like some advice first.
post #8 of 8
Apparently this isn't very popular.

Anyone with the 34mm version?
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