Introduction and Techy Stuff
GIGABYTE is well know for manufacturing a wide range of computer accessories such as motherboards, graphics cards and cases, not to forget that it also manufactures notebooks and mobile phones.
However, it's not so well know for making other computer peripherals and today TweakTown is taking a closer look at one of its first USB TV tuners, the GT-U8000-RH, or simply the U8000 for our purposes.
This is a Hybrid tuner, which means that it can tune in both analogue and digital DVB-T TV programs. GIGABYTE also has a digital only version, the U7000, which is a physically smaller model. Both models are based on a Dibcom chipset and if this doesn't say anything to you, then what you should know is that this is one of the best DVB-T chipsets on the market for PC applications.
It allows for the device that's it's based on to be used on the move, in fact it should work in speeds up to 100km/h (or a little over 60miles/h), so you could in reality use this in your car or onboard most trains which is connected to whatever mobile device you are using that includes a USB port and supported operating system (Windows XP and Vista - both 32-bit and 64-bit versions).
The U8000 also has a Conexant chip for the analogue part and it's compatible with PAL, NTSC and SECAM and works with terrestrial as well as cable TV signals. GIGABYTE has a very thorough design for these USB tuners and has even fitted heatsinks internally to reduce the temperature of the chips during use.
The little black square you can see on the picture above next to the heatsinks is an IR receiver for the remote control. We've tested other brand TV tuners in the past and they do generate a lot of heat - it's good to see that GIGABYTE has taken this into consideration and take stability and long life seriously.
But enough about the technical specifications, let's take a closer look at what you get for your money.