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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Review of AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827M Windows 7 Media Centre TV Tuner Starter Kit

A while ago Microsoft was conducting a survey to see if the public would watch TV on their PC or more specifically on their Windows Media Centre and if you're lucky, they would send you one to test. Well about 3 months later of submitting the survey, I had received a USB TV tuner through the letterbox and it was the AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827M Windows 7 Media Centre TV Tuner Starter Kit by Avermedia.

AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827M Windows 7 Media Centre TV Tuner Starter Kit

At that time I didn't need one but was glad to have received it. Having recently just moved and waiting for the rest of the furniture's to arrive, our TV is still sitting in its box. The PC is already set up so decided to plug in the TV tuner to see how it works. Now the TV tuner package itself doesn't contain much. All it has is a small user guide, a CD containing the drivers only (no other software) and the USB TV tuner.

I guess that Avermedia expects you to use this TV tuner through Windows Media Centre and thankfully in Windows 7, Windows Media Centre comes with it as standard. I would think that if you don't want to use Windows Media Centre you can still use third party software from SageTV or any others. Configuring the TV tuner through WMC was quite easy. All you have to do is go through the settings to let WMC detect your tuner then it will configure all of your channels for you. It managed to detect that it is an analog TV tuner as well as a DVB-T digital TV tuner.

Once done, you can view the electronic program guide and select the channel you wish to watch. Note that when you select/change a channel, for the first few seconds of the view, the frame rate is in slow motion but then it quickly changes to normal frame rate after that. It could be due to the PC trying to decode the channel. Anyway it is not a biggie and as long as you can watch the TV channels, everything is OK. With WMC you can also record your favourite shows as well.

The only drawback of using this particular AVerTV kit is that it doesn't come with a remote control. But if you have a wireless mouse with a decent range then it shouldn't bother you that much. Can't complain since it was free! If you were buying this then I would recommend you to go for AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827 USB TV stick instead as it almost the same price and also comes with a remote, an antenna, and a few other leads that gives you the ability to connect other devices through the S-Video, or normal video connection to the USB TV stick.

AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827 USB TV stick

AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827 USB TV stick accessories

AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827 USB TV stick connections

You can get either direct from Amazon.
Amazon.co.uk
AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827M Windows 7 Media Centre TV Tuner Starter Kit £56.53
AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827 USB TV stick £54.99

Amazon.com
AVerTV Hybrid Volar HX A827M Windows 7 Media Centre TV Tuner Starter Kit $51.44

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