Compro Australia VideoMate E650
- Good quality recordings, plenty of analogue inputs, FM reception, PCIe interface means you can finally put those tiny slots on your motherboard to good use
- The DTV 3 software interface is still buggy when it's in full screen mode, digital TV picture quality lacked vibrancy
Users who want to watch digital TV on their PC, as well as record from analogue devices, will be well served by this card. However, its software isn't perfect and picture quality was a little flat.
Price$ 95.70 (AUD)
Ever stayed up at night wondering how you can fill those tiny 1-lane PCI Express (PCIe) slots on your motherboard? Well, if you're after a digital TV tuner, you'll be in for a good night's rest tonight as Compro's E650 fits the bill. It's one of the few cards currently on the market to feature a PCIe interface and it has plenty of other desirable features, too.
It can display either analogue or digital (standard- and high-definition) TV signals, but not both at the same time, and it ships with an antenna that can pick up FM radio, too (and let you record it as an MP3 file). Pass-through pins on the E650's circuit board allow you to re-route the power button from your case to the card, and then use the card to power-up the motherboard, which comes in handy when you want the tuner card to wake up your PC to initiate a recording. Other hardware features include the ability to record from component-, S-Video- and composite-enabled devices, plus the card ships with full- and half-height-sized mounting brackets, so that it can be installed in a slimline, media centre-style PC case.
Compro supplies the DTV 3 software interface with this card, which like we've seen in previous models is still buggy. When the program is in full-screen mode, the mouse pointer will 'submarine' (disappear under menus), sometimes making it impossible to use the mouse to change settings; likewise, the control panel disappears too quickly from the screen, often before you've had a chance to perform your intended function. In order to make changes to the settings, it's best to have the main program in a windowed mode, rather than in full-screen mode.
The Compro remote control, which ships with the card, can be used to change channels, record and time-shift, play and navigate through files, as well as change the video source. Time-shifting is enabled by default (for 10min) and you can skip through a time-shifted program in 30-second jumps using the remote's rewind and forward buttons. The skip time can be customised in DTV 3's configuration page.
DTV 3 can record programs in MPEG II format (with customisable quality), and it does a great job. Shows recorded in DTV 3's default quality setting, from standard- and high-definition channels, played back smoothly in Windows Media Player and showcased very good quality. Additionally, DTV 3 can record an entire transport stream (that is, it will record all the standard-definition channels, as well as the high-definition channel of a particular station, and allow you to then flick through them at your leisure), which will come in handy once more stations start broadcasting different content on their standard- and high-definition channels.
As for its digital reception, the card found all Sydney stations very quickly and displayed them crisply, but colours were a little flat. Its analogue reception didn't improve on the poor reception we already get in our test location, but it worked. Its performance was swift on our dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo E6700-based machine with 2GB of RAM and a GeForce 7950 GT-based graphics card. High-definition channels consumed up to 19 per cent of the CPU, while standard-definition channels lurked at around 8 per cent (analogue stations did the same).
For anyone who wants the ability to watch TV, listen to the radio and use their PC to plug in analogue devices , the E650 is a great option. It produced good image quality and reception during our tests, and our recordings were clear and viewable in Windows Media Player. We wish its software interface was a little better, as it's still plagued by 'submarine' issues and some strange labelling. That's the only thing keeping us from giving it a higher rating.
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Toys for Boys
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Google Daydream View VR Headset
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Xbox One X
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- BenQ unveils a pair of new ergonomic eSports mice
- Crucial Launches Highest Density 128GB DDR4 LRDIMM Server Memory
- The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Will Now Resist the Elements
- Logitech Unveils MX ERGO, their first trackball in nearly a decade
- MSI's new Ryzen-ready motherboard coming to Oz
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
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.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
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.
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
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSupport Analyst - Level 1-2Other
- CCReact.js DeveloperQLD
- CCTechnical Field Engineer/SupportVIC
- CCDynamics CRM Functional Consultant - BrisbaneNSW
- FTIT Manager Desktop OperationsOther
- FTPlatform Software Engineer (Data Warehouse/Big Data) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst x2 (Digital Transformation)NSW
- CCCloud Test EngineerNSW
- CCLead Pega Systems ArchitectVIC
- TPProject Manager - Gold CoastQLD
- FTLevel 2 and 3 Support TechnicianOther
- CCNetwork Data EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Android DeveloperOther
- CCSEPM Security EngineerWA
- CC.Net / AngularJS DeveloperVIC
- FTField Services TechnicianACT
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCNew Relic Integration ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystACT
- CCAS400 Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCVirtualisation Network EngineerVIC
- FTSAP SD/EDI Support ConsultantOther
- FTGun Java Developers wantedVIC