WHEN IT COMES to TV tuners, I have always relied on Leadtek, Terratec and Compro, with latter one having one important feature: shutting the computer down by one press of a button on a remote. The same goes for automatic power-up for DVR scheduling.
Now, while these functions look nice on a paper sheet or a press release, what is more important is how you can use the functionality. I own a Philips universal remote, and I do appreciate to have a single-button-kills-all feature that includes a PC as well. If I had a TV tuner without this feature, I would have to manually kill the PC every time and only then shut the rest of the system including the component line, IPTV set-top box, Xbox, HD-DVD player, Philips 1080i plasma etc..
Design could do some work, but if you hide it...
With the release of VideoMate Vista U2800F, analogue and Digital (DVB-T) TV and FM reception are all sorted, even though I personally will never use the FM part. I stream Virgin Radio all the time, probably the best solution in the world to stay on British Standard Time (BST) and dodge bullets from always trigger-happy Editors when it comes to British working hours...
This USB 2.0 part comes with a regular IR remote of compact size, but it is more important that receiver showed no issues when it comes to accepting the order to shut down. Compro bundles their 1st/3rd party software with the product (Compro DTV4, Ulead DVD Factory), but if you run Vista Media Centre, you can live without those two.
The interesting part about the name is the incorporation of Microsoft's flagship name, for better or for worse. We know that lads from Futuremark wanted to name their products Vista, but Microsoft put a veto. It seems that Microsoft is slowly loosening the iron grip when it comes to its naming conventions, at least in the world of hardware. µ
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