"An easy and inexpensive way to watch TV on any modern PC"3.0 starson by Mike Pawluk
Pros: small, portable, inexpensive, good (not great) at basic functions
Cons: bundled software could be better and function properly
Summary: I've had this unit for a couple of days now so I've played around a bit, but not extensively. I probably will never use the GameBridge portion of the unit, as I'm primarily concerned with the use of this as a TV tuner. The package is pretty full-featured, including the unit, cables for COAX and component connection, a USB cable to link with a computer, a credit card sized remote, software, a quick set up guide and a little travel bag. Software install went without a snag and the unit worked right out of the box. Immediately the software scanned my cable connection for available channels. Reception is okay, although TV looks better on my Media Center PC with a Hauppauge WinTV PVR 150. Channel change time is good. I was surprisingly impressed with the credit card remote: I thought I'd hate it, but it works pretty well and isn't the hassle to use that I thought it would be. The bundled software has a few weak points, namely with the recording and volume functions. The issue I have with the volume is that it simply doesn't work - the display shows the volume changing but it doesn't. The record feature is plagued with several issues. First of all, it takes a full eight seconds (!) from the time RECORD is pressed until the signal actually begins to record. I also am able to see some glitchy lag while I'm watching TV while recording, although the recordings themselves do not exhibit this glitchiness. The unit also only seems to record whatever signal is on the main monitor screen at the time, meaning it will not record a program if it is being played only on a secondary monitor, or if the TV software window is minimized. Also, I don't think it knows what to do with my wide-screen display, as it puts a box around any wide-screen programs. Scheduled recordings are recording at the proper times.
The channel setting software is a little annoying as it starts the channel listing as 1, so all channels are one lower than they are normally. Also, I can't get the guide software to work.
Recordings look quite good, whether from the TV signal or from my VCR.
During normal operation the unit heats up a little, but nothing at all to be concerned about.
I'm going to see if adding RAM to my notebook ends up solving some of the lag issues, and I'm also going to check out if this unit will work with other software, or if there are updates to address the aforementioned issues. Overall, not bad. It's actually pretty cool especially for it's portability and tiny size, and with better or properly working software this would be truly awesome.