Compro VideoMate U3

Compro's miniature VideoMate U3 digital TV tuner plugs into a USB 2.0 port and allows you to watch High-Definition (HD) and Standard-Definition (SD) programs on your PC or notebook. It's about the same size as a cigarette lighter and its case is made from aluminium. This appears to act as a heat sink for the Broadcom decoder chip that it houses, as the case warms up to about 34 degrees when the device is in use.

A tiny antenna jack on the unit lets you attach the supplied portable antenna (which seems to only pick up SBS in Sydney, poorly) or a cable from a roof-mounted antenna, using the supplied adapter plug.

Through a roof-mounted antenna, the U3 displays SD and HD pictures beautifully and its playback and recording performance was smooth and did not suffer from lip-synchronisation problems during testing.

We used the latest downloadable version of ComproDTV software (version 2.7.0.4) for testing, which supports a couple of new features:

picture-in-picture (PIP) allows you to watch live TV as well as a previously recorded file simultaneously and Video Wallpaper allows you to use digital TV as your desktop background.

PIP worked well with SD programs, but watching two HD-quality programs at once caused our CPU usage to soar to over 90 per cent and left our PC slow to respond to commands. We hope the PIP feature will be able to work with dual U3 tuners in the near future.

Watching SD and HD channels in normal mode will use up around 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the CPU respectively, so it's best to have at least a 2GHz PC or a Pentium M-class notebook to avoid system slow-down.

VERDICT: Overall, this is a hot little device for watching digital TV on your notebook or PC and it's definitely recommended if you want an unobtrusive external device.

SPECIFICATIONS: USB 2.0; Standard-Definition; High-Definition; timeshifting; recording scheduler; picture-in-picture; BDA drivers.

URL: www.anyware.com.au; www.octek.com.au

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?