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 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.


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?