If you happen to be a poor student with just a computer and nothing else, not even a TV and perhaps not even room for a such. If os a TV card may be the right way to go! For a a decent amount of money you basically get a TV, but on the computer. Hauppauge offers you the possibility with the WinTV Go package. Perhaps a a bit irrelevant information some may think, but the box the equipment came in was among the trickiest I’ve seen. Enough for it to be mentioned here. When we finally managed to break into the childproof box it was time to check out the content. We found the card in an ESD bag, accompanied by various accessories such as an antenna cable, a sound cable for the sound card, S-Video adapter and a real nice remote control! With this remote there was a small IR receiver which could be placed in a visible range. There was also a CD with all the software needed.
The hardware installation went just fine and both Windows 98 and Windows 2000 found the card without any fuss and installed all drivers from the CD. The we just had to install the program package. Among these we found TV and radio programs and some settings program. The most interesting was the new program WinTV 2000. Basically the same as the old one that came with previous packages; WinTV 32. The news with 2000 was mainly the look where the program had adapted a look close to that of the media player of Windows ME. Pretty easy to use, but all the graphical effects made some buttons hard to find, but you got used to this rather quickly (for those of you who don’t like the 2000 version there is also the traditional program to use).
|So and so with the quality|
The most important feature of a card like this is of course how it handles it main task, namely showing TV broadcasts. With WinTV Go the image quality is a bit so and so. Despite a strong and clear signal the tuner didn’t manage to reach the quality of a traditional TV picture. As standard the TV picture is shown at 320×240 which is incredibly small and not to prefer. After a couple of tours of the settings we finally found a setting the size. The disappointment got worse as the picture quality got even worse. All too often lines appeared which tore the colors and ruined the experience. At that time we suspected that the sound card may disrupt the tuner module of the TV card and therefore moved the card as far away as we could. Unfortunately there wasn’t much of a difference. Now we were really curious to see what the broadcasts would like at fullscreen. This took some time figuring out since it wasn’t to be found anywhere in the documentation. you should be ashamed, Hauppauge!
Finally we managed to do this though and even now the image quality was substandard.
|The computer becomes a TV… ?|
Is it really worth spending money on this? The answer is, despite all the critique, yes. If you don’t have the money, space or both, this card is a good alternative! it costs just as much as half a 17″ TV and now you can also record your shows (you need additional programs though).
– Messy interface to begin with
– Not the best image quality
+ Cheap alternative for a TV
+ Comfortable with the remote
+ SPace saving (no TV needed)
The poor quality aside it’s a good alternative for those who don’t have money or space. But don’t count on the best image quality with Hauppauge WinTV Go,