Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB (Media Center Upgrade Kit) Review


Reviewed by K.C. Kim

AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB is a new generation of USB TV solution including an Analog/Digital ATSC receiver with MPEG-2 Hardware Encoder solution. With the full compatibility of Windows XP Media Center Edition and Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate Edition Media Center operating systems, this elegant and portable AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB TV Tuner converts your desktop or notebook into a complete entertainment center. The new economical version of USB TV solution includes an Analog/Digital ATSC receiver to enrich your TV program choices.

Particularly designed for larger screen sizes and featuring a larger user interface, Microsoft Media Center Edition (MCE) operating system provides you an easy way to access all your MCE compliant devices via the easy-to-use remote control. Via AVerMedia’s supplied MCE certified remote control, users can store, share, and view favorite live TV programs, digital photos, music, and movies, enjoying all-round multimedia functions anywhere in their home.

With a push of a button, users can watch TV or use the PVR and Time-Shift features to pause, rewind and replay Live TV so as to never miss a moment of favorite TV programs. In addition, AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB supports up to 1080i High Definition TV viewing with different aspect ratio including 4:3 and 16:9. Last but not least, with the FM Radio reception, AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB allows you to have simple access to FM Radio stations. Users can easily enjoy live FM radio while working on their desktop or notebook.

* Worldwide Analog TV
* ATSC Digital TV
* FM Radio
* Windows XP MCE support
* Windows® Vista Premium Certificated (32/64-Bit driver)
* Portable USB 2.0 TV Box
* High Definition quality support up to 1080i/720p
* Composite and S-Video input
* MPEG-2 hardware encoder

Input Signal

* 75 Ω Digital TV Antenna Input x 2
* S-Video
* Composite (RCA)
* Audio In (L/R)
* FM Radio Antenna Input

System Requirements

* CPU: Intel® Pentium 4 2.6GHz with HT (Hyper Threading) or Equivalent AMD® Processor
* Intel® Centrino Mobile 1.8GHz
* 512MB RAM or above
* VGA card supports DirectX 9.0c or above
* Sound Card
* Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005, or Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate (32&64 bit)
* 200MB hard disk free-space at least

For HDTV (MPEG-2) Only

* VGA card supports DirectX 9.0c
* Intel® Pentium 4 2.6GHz (Hyper-Threading) or Equivalent AMD® Processor
* Intel® Centrino Mobile 2.0GHz
* HDTV will only function when the TV signal is in HDTV format
* 1GB RAM or above

Package Includes

* AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB
* Dimension:112.3 x 91.5 x 17.5 mm
* Weight: 150g
* Quick Installation Guide
* Installation CD
* USB Cable
* MCE Certified Remote Control (Batteries Included)
* Window MCE USB IR Blaster & Receiver
* FM Radio Antenna
* RF Connector

What's in the box: Of all the TV Tuners I reviewed this one comes with the most complete amount of accessories.

System Requirements: This is a must! Please know the system requirements before you buy it. Otherwise you might be disappointed if it doesn't work for you. Also this device will only work with Windows XP Media Center or Windows Vista Media Center.

Intro: Having reviewed several of the new breed of tuners available I was very interested in seeing what the AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB had to offer.

Installation: Documentation is a bit on the short side but let's get up and running. First connect the AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB to your PC or laptop. The device has two usb connectors. You may have to use both to power device. In my case this was true. "Found New Hardware Wizard" dialog box will show up. And press cancel. Next insert software CD. Install the driver. Now that your setup go to Microsoft Media Center.

Remote: The AVerTV Hybrid comes with a full size remote that works with Media Center without any software or setup needed. Simply install the included Double AA batteries connect the IR Receiver and your ready to go.

Performance: By far the best quality video of any TV tuner I have ever reviewed. None of the blockiness or jerkiness of other tuners on the market. It also is not a resource hog as well, which is a big bonus. Even with my laptop hitting the minimum requirements the AVerTV hybrid perform well. I would imagine it would be even better on the latest and greatest PC's.

Record: The device has the usual PVR recording ability with hardware encoding in mpeg2. You can schedule a time when you want to record live television. Or you can manual record by simply pressing the red record button. I recorded a short 30 seconds of live TV and was impressed with the quality. I would say very close to near dvd quality recording.

FM Radio: One of nifty features this device has FM Radio. So when you’re not watching television then you can listen to FM Radio. Included is a FM Radio Antenna. Reception was excellent!

Conclusion: The AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB performs well at producing good quality video of digital and analog channels. Overall I would recommend this to anyone who has Windows XP Media Center or Windows Vista Media Center. It's simple to use and Media Center pretty much guides you through the way. If you want a external usb2.0 tuner that can view both both analog (NTSC) and digital (ATSC) HD OTA broadcasts, has hardware encoding in mpeg2, and has fm radio to boot then take a look at the AVerTV Hybrid Ultra USB.

Rating 9.0 out of 10

To purchase this item Click HERE

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