How We Tested
Test System Setup
Processor(s): AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Motherboard(s): Biostar 6100-M9
Memory: 2 x 512MB PC3200 RAM
Hard Disk(s): Seagate 80GB SATA
Operating System Used: Microsoft Windows XP SP2
We tested by installing the tuners into the test system one at a time (ie: not running both simultaneously), installing the default drivers and version of ComproDTV2 which came on the install CDs, and connected the tuner to a wall antenna point (the U500 was also tested with the bundled mobile antenna).
The antenna wall point had been tested previously and signal strength was fine for HDTV playback.
Once ComproDTV2 was installed and launched, the application autodetects the capture device and audio device (soundcard) and then autoscans to build up a channel listing.
The T100 built up a channel list OK the first time ComproDTV2 ran, and we were able to surf between all channels without a problem. Opening all the subwindows using PIP and a different channel for each window caused some dramas, however. With each subwindow opened, performance within each window dropped substantially. The Compro website does state that for each window displayed, extra CPU power is needed, but the system we used should have been fine...possibly you need a VERY strong signal if you're going down this path, or better signal caching.
Then we ran into more problems - the system was powered off and back on, and suddenly the T100 had problems displaying any channel, stating that it couldn't find a signal. Signal strength was exactly the same throughout testing.
I uninstalled the driver and ComproDTV2, restarted the system and re-ran the installation. This time the autoscan picked up only 8 digital channels out of a possible 38 - those channels seemed to run OK, but no amount of rescanning could pick up the extras.
To be honest, I've noticed this before with different TV tuners in the past. Although signal strength is important, some devices are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in the digital signal and are unable to cope. The T100 was one of these - the performance when it detected the signal correctly was completely fine, but getting to that stage was very hit and miss.
The U500 on the other hand, performed excellently. All channels were detected and ran without a hitch, including after several system restarts. Opening multiple subwindows caused the same problem as with the T100. I then unplugged the wall connection and used the mobile antenna which comes with the unit. Instantly it lost all signal and I couldn't get it back, regardless of which way the antenna was pointing. Reconnecting to the wall got the signal back straightaway.
This is a potential problem with the U500 - it's billed as a mobile TV tuner, but digital TV is a finicky beast. It's not like analog TV where you can get a picture through a dodgy signal - if the signal is weak or inconsistent on digital you simply don't get anything. The U500's effectiveness is going to be wholly dependent on local coverage, and the best results are (not surprisingly) when using a wall connection. But then it's hardly mobile anymore, is it?
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Samsung and LG working on a display with 4 curved sides?
- Call of Duty: WWII screenshots are sparse
- Alien: Isolation 2 isn't happening after all
- Call of Duty WWII features Nazi Zombies story co-op mode
- Call of Duty WWII releases November 3
- Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube Gaming PC Review
- Synology RT2600ac Wireless Router Review
- Cursor disappearing randomly
- AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11G Review
- Intel Optane Memory 32GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review
- Western Digital ships fourth-generation Helium Hard Drive platform with Ultrastar He12 12TB advanced storage hard drives
- Call of Duty: WWII delivers gripping action on global scale
- Nokia partners with Lucasfilm to deliver an immersive behind-the-scenes VR experience of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- New LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 bridges the port gap and delivers massive capacity to streamline creative workflows
- ENERMAX launches D.F. STORM, the 3500RPM fan featuring self-cleaning design