DViCo rolls out simple and small digital TV tuner

DViCo rolls out simple and small digital TV tuner

Anybody looking for a simple digital TV tuner device for a PC can consider the FusionHDTV DVB-T Home a solid choice. It's a half-height PCI device which fits into a regular tower PC case or a slimline media centre using the supplied half-height mounting bracket.

The Fusion can decode standard- and high-definition channels using a graphics card and it supports Microsoft's DirectX Video Acceleration. Unfortunately, its picture quality was a little grainier than that of other tuners we've reviewed.

The tuner was tested in two geographical areas and received strong reception results in both. In the first test area, located about 2km from many transmission towers in Sydney, the card performed splendidly. It scanned and found available channels in the area on its first attempt. Signal strength was strong throughout testing (90-100 per cent) and there were no noticeable signal break-ups while viewing.

In the second test location, which is roughly 15km away from the same transmission towers, we had to perform a couple of scans before the card picked up all the channels in our area. The signal strength was understandably a little lower (65-80 per cent), and there were a few stutters during lengthy viewing.

The software interface of the tuner is DViCO's FusionHDTV, which was tested using the supplied version (3.42). It supports scheduled and manual recordings, and can perform time shifting, although the timeshifting feature must first be enabled before it's possible to start pausing live TV. Timeshifting sometimes worked flawlessly, or it stuttered as we skipped through a timeshifted program.

Channel changes aren't instantaneous. Small pauses are also noticeable when initiating and stopping recordings and manual recordings don't start on cue. Instead, a dialogue box pops up. This allows the user to select the length of the recording and also the format of the recording.

VERDICT: The FusionHDTV DVB-T Home comes with a capable software interface and has good digital tuning abilities. Despite its image quality being a little grainy, it's a worthy choice for a standard PC or media centre.

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