Compro Australia VideoMate U3
- Doesn't need batteries to run, Small and lightweight, Convenience factor, Ease of use and setup
- Digital can be a hit and miss affair, No remote control, No DVD burning software
If you own a notebook, the VideoMate U3 is an extremely intuitive product that is very easy to use.
Price$ 139.00 (AUD)
Here is that rarest of beasts: a product that does something useful and does it well - and for an eminently reasonable price tag. If you spend a lot of time on the road with your laptop, the ability to watch TV on it may be a lifesaver. And best of all, the VideoMate U3 from Compro is a cinch to set up and use. The chunky, lightweight USB stick is about the length of a credit card, but half as wide. It comes with a tiny but powerful portable aerial, an aerial adapter and a small length of cable, so that you don't have to plug the card directly into a hard-to-reach socket. It derives its power from your PC.
Once you've installed the software, boot with the stick and an aerial attached and the program sets about hunting for TV channels. Any free-to-air digital feed is fair game - so you can make the most of your precious time by checking the FTSE scores on CNN and watching Working Lunch (and keeping track of Dancing On Ice, of course).
When we tested the VideoMate U3 in a notorious TV-signal blackspot, the results were surprisingly good. Of course, being digital, it's a hit-and-miss affair - many channels worked perfectly, some simply wouldn't appear - but with a decent signal the quality is excellent. Compro recommends using a more powerful aerial than the one provided, but no one carries a spare aerial and the bundled one's fine. It's small enough to tack to the wall, so you won't have to send the kids up on the roof.
As with all good digital TV sets you can pause and timeshift TV. Recording is a doddle - you simply hit the correct key and the software neatly deposits an Mpeg2 file on your hard disk.
We know what we like and we like the VideoMate U3. Whether you want entertainment on your laptop or digital TV without a set-top box (or both), the VideoMate is a winner. Unlike the Terratec Cinergy Hybrid it has no remote control or DVD-burning software. It does, however, cost half as much - so which one you buy may depend on who is picking up the tab...
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- AMD will sneak-peek its high-end Zen CPU in December, starting a new CPU war
- 5 burning questions about AMD's Zen chip
- Nvidia tempts GeForce Experience 3.0 users with Gears of War 4 giveaway
- Intel's latest Xeon chips based on Skylake due next year
- Intel packs more horsepower in its monster 22-core processor
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPBI Data AnalystQLD
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- CCICT Strategy ConsultantNSW
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- TPSOA DeveloperNSW
- FTSalesforce Technical Business AnalystQLD
- FTUNIX / Linux EngineerNSW
- TPWeb DeveloperSA
- FTSalesforce Technical Business AnalystQLD
- CCMigration OfficerQLD
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCICT Contracts ManagerSA
- TPPMO SchedulerNSW
- FTFunctional ConsultantNSW
- CCAgile CoachWA
- CCIntegration Systems SpecialistQLD
- CCDevops EngineerVIC
- FTLead/ Senior .Net DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior IT Domain Specialist - Integration - CloudVIC
- TPLearning/Instructional DesignerQLD
- CCTechnical lead (Informatica MDM)Other
- FTSoftware Support SpecialistQLD
- FTMS Exchange System Engineer l PowerShell l Message LabsNSW
- CCMicrosoft Active Directory ArchitectACT