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The Compro VideoMate U2700 is a USB TV Tuner Box that allows anyone to watch and record their favourite television show using their PC or notebook as well as record old videos from almost any video source.


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The unit came with the TV box, Remote control, Start up guide, Installation CD, USB 2.0 cable, USB power cord, Antenna converters, a Mobile-type digital TV antenna, an S-video conversion cable, a composite video conversion cable, and a phone jack to RCA jack audio cable.

We had no problems installing the unit to our PC. All we had to do was allot two USB slots for the unit (one for power and the other one for its connection), install the software, and let the unit ‘tune in’ to any strong signals.

We first used the U2700 with its mobile-type digital TV antenna and found that it had a problem picking up all the available channels in the area. We therefore recommend users to hook up the unit to a stronger antenna, like one of those fishbone external ones we hook up at home, in order to have strong television signals in your PC.

Compro’s DTV 3 software allows a user to watch TV on any PC or notebook, record any program for future viewing, and even watch several shows with its PIP (picture-in-picture) mode. The program also offers a recording scheduler and Time-Shifting, a function that saves the video to the user’s hard disk for a specific period of time so that one can pause, replay, or skip commercials during live TV. Moreover, users can also burn what they are recording straight to any CD or DVD discs for instant storage.

Users can also use the U2700 to record programs from a video source, thanks to its video-in port. All one has to do is to hook up their old video players, run the program, and simply record and transfer the old video recordings. The U2700 did a great job displaying image from any source and did not suffer from lags, making it a good unit to use for archiving those old birthday party videos.

 

While the functions of the DTV3 are useful, we have found the interface to be confusing sometimes, leaving us reading the manual or putting the mouse cursor on the icon for a long time before finding the right option. We feel that the company should have made the interface more user-friendly so that no time is wasted in configuring and adjusting the unit’s settings.

Conclusion:

Many notebooks available on the market – especially entertainment notebooks – now come with inbuilt HD TV tuners. However, if you don’t own one of these yet, but want to have an affordable TV tuner that you can use for your notebook or PC, then the VideoMate U2700 is just the product for you. It can record live TV, with the added function of being able to record from any digital sources with ease – though it’s not ideal for use as a dedicated recorder. Just be sure that your PC or notebook has tons of memory and processing power, a strong antenna in order to obtain signals well, and a lot of patience to figure out how to work the unit out.

Specifications:

  • Dimension: 7.6 x 5.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Features: DVB-T Digital TV, Analog TV, video/audio capture 
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Video/Audio Formats:
    – Video: MPEG-2 Main Profile & Main Level
    – Audio: MPEG-2 Audio Level I & II
  • Supports TV System: NTSC, PAL, SECAM 
  • Resolution (Screen size):
    – 720×480 / 720×576
    – 352×480 / 352×576
    – 352×240 / 352×288 
  • Connectors:
    – Digital TV or Analog TV signal input
    – USB power input
    – USB 2.0 input 
  • Video input (S-video, composite video)
  • Stereo audio input 

Product Contents:

  • VideoMate U2700 D+A Hybrid USB 2.0 TV tuner box 
  • Installation CD: ComproDTV 3, ComproDVD 2, Ulead PhotoExplorer 8.5 SE, device drivers & documentation 
  • Ulead DVD MovieFactory 4 SE software CD 
  • Start Up Guide 
  • IR remote control (battery included) 
  • USB 2.0 cable 
  • USB powered Y-cable 
  • S-Video conversion cable 
  • Composite video conversion cable 
  • Phone Jack to RCA Jack audio cable 
  • MCX to I-type converter cable 
  • I-type to F-type converter 
  • Mobile-type digital TV antenna

Recommended System Requirements:

  • 2.4GHz CPU for DVD-quality recording and timeshifting
  • 3.0 GHz CPU with SSE2 support for HDTV/TS viewing/recording and PIP
  • 512MB
  • Sound card
  • CD-ROM for installation
  • Windows XP SP2 or Vista
  • Updated drivers
  • 600MB – 3GB per hour of recorded video

VideoMate U2700 | $149 |  | www.anyware.com.au

For: Portability; Ease of installation; Ability to record videos from old video players; Remote control
Against: Interface; Must be connected to fishbone external antenna; Included antenna does not help in obtaining good signals.
Verdict: This product is good for those who just want to record content on their computer. Otherwise, those who want a dedicated recorder should look elsewhere.

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