Sunday 14th April 2013 (b)

TV Dongles / USB sticks. Hello fair people , heres a roundup of a few TV dongles that I`ve bought recently and a couple that I`ve had for some time. First up is a KWorld DV3 DVBT 310U USB 2.0 This one was bought some time ago and used to work perfectly with my first computer,- a windows XP machine. It has both a UHF aerial input AND a video in/Aux in connector and is VERY useful because I used to have two Freeview receivers daisy chained through it awith my DVD recorder and VHS tape recorder (yes I really still have got one!! Lol!). It proved invaluable for transferring all my VHS movies onto Hard disk. Another interesting feature is that this is both an Analogue and digital receiver, Obviously the Analogue part is now obsolete as programmes in the UK are no longer transmitted this way, but I have still found uses for this function – I have an external UHF camera that is connected to an old video sender unit which still uses the old Analogue system so it is useful for picking up pictures of the outside world without the hassle of cabling.

The second dongle is a Pinnacle PCTV DVB-T Stick Solo 72e / USB DVB-T Receiver / TV Tuner. This wee unit was purchased from PCWorld and gave me about a year of service before the case fell off it. – This does not however seem to have affected the units performance and apart from a glitch where I had to re-solder the USB connector, (I had foolishly been using it without supporting the heavy aerial lead which cracked the solder joint) -it has given stirling service.
how it SHOULD look:-

How it DOES look:-

Number 3 is an absolute bargain and I can thouroughly reccommend it to everybody. This dongle is selling on E-bay and Amazon for the HUUUUGE price of (dramatic pause). . . £5.99 plus £2 p&p. Ebay-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DVB-T-USB-TV-FM-DAB-Radio-Tuner-Receiver-Stick-Realtek-RTL2832U-R820T-MCX-/290798519228?pt=UK_Computing_Video_Capture_TV_Tuner_Cards&hash=item43b4f143bc

Edit:-An attractive “as well” for radio enthusiasts is the fact that this particular dongle based on the RTL2832U chip is capable of being used to pick up some amateur radio bands via free SDR (software Dependent Radio) programs freely available on the net.
Same dongle, different case on Amazon-
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Freeview-Receiver-Recorder-Supports/dp/B007SME3A6/ref=pd_sim_sbs_computers_1

(The Amazon option has a much smaller case and is a little cheaper -£7.89 but Free P&P). It works beautifully in Windows Media Centre -its plug and play – just plug it in , run the settings wizard in WMC and you`re off!
Lastly, the piece de la resistance, (sic), the HD Pinnacle pctv nanostick DVB-T2 which boasts full HD Freeview reception, -its small but powerful.Fully compatible with windows media center, also has software for running a TV server on your PC -i.e. you can watch the TV via a web browser on another PC or your smartphone. This dongle is an unknown quantity for me at present – I must say that I DID have some trouble setting it up and using the web software. However what I have seen has been quite good , – the HD channels are a great deal clearer than the normal digital channels. The last dongle is a lot dearer than the previous dongles but is the only one that receives the new HD Freeview channels so I have parted with my cash for it -£54 of it to be exact, only time will tell if I`ve got my moneys worth.

Heres a picture of it working:-

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