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FROM IDTVS and STBs to DTT PC CARDS and CONVERTERS


Hauppauge provided samples of two new DVB-T products, its Nova-T USB module for Windows PCs and a preproduction Micro-T DTT converter box. These product innovations underscore the rapid evolution of DVB-T markets.


The Nova-T USB version is a small external module (204mm x148mm x 37mm)nestling easily on top of a PC drive. Three connections are to external power supply unit (provided), external antenna, and the USB cable plugs straight into the PC. You need Windows 98/ME or Windows 2000 (Pentium III

500 or higher), a free USB slot, 64MB RAM, 64MB free hard disk space (for MPEG2 software decoder), a graphics card, soundcard, CD-ROM drive(for the installation), and Internet Explorer 5.0.


Installation is like other CD-ROM applications. Nova-T self-installs as a Windows plug and play application after the physical connections are made.


The slick channeltune menu uses a clickable geographic database of UK DTT transmitters. Once scanning completes the window pops up with programme list and TV. You use the mouse to change channels, create a favourite list, and TV view modes are scalable window, full screen, and no title. Full AFD switching of 16x9 and 4x3 origination is supported. Picture quality on progressive scan PC monitors is outstanding.


Nova-T has a built-in PVR enabling direct recording to the PC's hard disk by clicking a record icon. Playback is straightforward using either Intervideo Win DVD or Windows Media Player. You can email or edit documents whilst watching News 24 in quarter-screen mode. The Nova-T USB unit is available now from the usual PC outlets retailing at £199 ($293 US). Later versions will have CI/CAM support for pay-TV.


I sneak previewed the WinTV Micro-T DTT converter box for TV sets. The Micro-T is a small module supplied with external power supply and remote control. Three connections on the coat-pocket sized Micro-T (152 x140 x 31mm) are for power, aerial and RGB TV SCART. The Micro-T has a nice OSD/EPG and you use the remote to scan in the DTT channels. Picture quality is outstanding with full AFD display switching. The Micro-T supports all 2k/8k DVB-T modes with Hauppauge targeting several EU markets. Retail availability of the initial Micro-T is expected later this year.


Market entry by vendors like Hauppauge with PC industry approaches will intensify competition in growing worldwide DVB-T markets.
http://www.hauppauge.co.uk
 
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