I’ve not been bothered to get a Freeview Digital box because I know that there are some new ones coming out in a few months that will make the current ones obsolete. They will still work, but the newer ones will have a lot more features than the current models. But as I was looking up on the Savastore website, I noticed that they had a USB Digital TV Reciever for £42.89 inc VAT. (Freecom DVB-T USB Stick)
Ok, you can pick up a receiver box for much cheaper than that, and I was in some doubt as to the signal quality that could be picked up by a USB Device.
I ordered it on the Monday, and it arrived mid morning today (Tuesday).
The installation procedure is very easy indeed. Insert the USB device, wait for it to be detected and then point the driver installer at the CD supplied with the unit. The only problem I had was in entering the serial number bcause the one on the device would not be accepted. A quick trip to the website of Freecom and a browse through the forum showed I was no the only one to suffer the same problem. As it turns out, you are meant to enter the serial number that is printed on the cover of the CD with the software on it. Not so obvious until it was pointed out. (There was also a few people on the forum asking for replacement serial numbers since they through the paper CD cover away
After a quick reboot of the PC, and then starting the TV Application, it presented me with a config page where all I had to do was hit "Start" to begin scanning the UK frequency list for available channels. Now here it did find about 10 channels, and 10 radio stations but I must stress that I live in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t expect to get much of a TV signal inside the house, surrounded by walls, trees etc, so I was surprised to see it found anything at all. I then hooked it up to the main TV aerial that is situated in the loft of this house. A quick rescan and it found every available TV and Radio station possible with excellent signal strength and quality.
I have to say for a unti no bigger than a USB memory stick, it works very very well. I can record from any channel, listen to any of the available digital radio stations. In fact I have the Man Utd match on ITV playing on the laptop next to me now while I am working on my main desktop machine.
I am quite impressed with the performance of the device and would recommend it to everyone as a quick an easy method of adding digital TV to your machine. It can be moved from machine to machine with no problem, and doesn’t take up any space in your laptop bag and would be great for going on trips with. It is claimed to work on pretty much all of the digital TV standards world wide (but I can’t verify that just yet, so I will take their word for it based on the success of their other claims).
Have a look the specs on Freecom and check it out, you won’t be disappointed with its performance. (But remember, if you live in an area where Digital coverage is weak, or not yet supported, it won’t do much for you).