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AutumnWave OnAir USB HDTV-GT Tuner

By: Mike Wright | Players & Accessories in HT & Movies | Posted: Apr 10, 2008 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 88%Manufacturer: AutumnWave

Image Quality


When it comes to image quality, there will always be a speculative opinion on the part of the reviewer. Since it is difficult to rate the display quality on a standardized scale I will attempt to use a comparison methodology.


Those who have kept up with some of our past content will recall that I have reviewed several external television devices, most of which were simply an analog box that allowed TV content to be displayed from a source to your PC monitor. While the quality of these images varied and have drastically improved over time, all analog displays seem to have at least a small degree of pixilation. This has become an expected downfall of this type of device and I am not surprised when it appears.


While testing the HDTV-GT device I noted this same flaw when viewing analog broadcasts. When I switched over to HD content, however, it was nearly as pristine as what I have come to expect on my LCD TV with an HD source. I was very pleasantly surprised to note that the image quality was truly spectacular in HD, even when pulling in the signal from an over-the-air source. There were some issues with using it indoors, as noted previously, but overall image quality was very good.


The issues with using the device indoor and using the pull-out antenna? Picking up a signal was difficult to begin with, and when anything interfered with that signal (including simply moving in the same room), the picture was pause and then begin again in a jittery manner. While outdoors sitting under a gazebo I never had any problems at all.


I am including a few screenshots to give you a rough idea of what kind of quality to expect, but I will warn you in advance that the images are not as good as I noted with my eyes.


The first two images were captured from an analog source:




As you can see, there is a slight amount of pixilation in the images, but again, this is not an HD source so is to be expected. The quality was certainly on par with current products I have tested and much better than others I have seen in the past.


The following image was captured from a digital HD source:



The text is crisp and clear and the capture does not do justice to the true quality I saw while viewing. In the screenshot there is a bit of blurring from the action areas, but this was not noted while watching live.



The player utility, shown above, is very simple to use and includes enough features to put it in the same league as programs such as PowerDVD and similar utilities.


To give you a little bit better idea as to visual quality in HD mode, you may download a clip I captured that is a little under one minute in length. The file size is about 50MB and should play in your Windows Media Player with the proper CODEC pack installed. I use the K-Lite Mega CODEC package and it plays fine under both WMP and Media Player Classic.


Again, the picture quality is still not as good as I saw while watching live, but even this short clip shows far better quality than I am used to seeing on normal TV devices. The fact that is was captured from an over-the-air source makes it even more impressive.


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