Autumnwave OnAir USB HDTV Creator

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When you work with computer hardware virtually everyday for years on end, it's easy to become desensitized as to how much technology really has changed.  Take my history here at Hothardware.com as an example.  It was October of 2000 when I submitted my first article and since that day, my artilce tally has reach triple digit status.  Back then, Intel was getting ready for a November release of their  Pentium 4 , ATI rolled out their first Radeon , and NVIDIA was pushing the GeForce 2 .  Microsoft's Windows ME and 2000 were the Operating Systems of the day and when it came to TV on the PC, choices were limited with ATI's All-In-Wonder Pro 128 being the hottest hardware of it's kind. 

Back then, there were no Multimedia Center PCs or Digital Video Recorders and HDTV was still in its infancy.  Fortunately for us, times have surely changed.  Today, PCs can be the centerpiece of our digital media experience, DVRs are common offerings from cable companies and TV tuners for PCs have been delivering terrific image quality as of late, as seen with NVIDIA's DualTV and ATI's Theater 650 Pro .  When it comes to HDTV, however, both offerings from the big two graphics giants are lacking.  With NVIDIA's DualTV, HDTV is not an option and the Theater 650 Pro only supports OTA signals, leaving those in remote areas, where it's nearly impossible to pick up a signal, out in the cold.  Factor in laptop users and the idea of TV on the PC gets even more limited.

Today, we're going to review a TV-Tuner that addresses several areas where options have historically been limited.  The OnAir USB HDTV Creator is a USB 2.0 based TV-Tuner solution from AutumnWave that supports analog and digital TV signals and is one of the few model available that can deliver HDTV over a cable connection rather that just OTA sources.  As USB based product, the unit is compatible with any PC available, from the smallest laptop to a full-fledged gaming PC or workstation.  Matched with an LG tuner and NVIDIA's PureVideo Silver decoder, the OnAir USB HDTV Creator brings a host of features that look impressive from the outset.

The OnAir USB HDTV Creator Specifications
Specifications
OnAir Creator Specifications

Tuner
LG ATSC / NTSC Tuner 5th Generation Chipset

1 Antenna Input [Digital/Analog TV (OTA and Cable)]
ATSC / NTSC OTA Ch 2 - 69
Unencrypted ATSC / NTSC Cable Ch 2 - 125 & QAM

Audio
Digital TV AC3 & 5.1 Channel Decoding Support
Analog TV Mono
Multi Lingual Support

Video Input
Composite Video / S-Video

RF Input
Over-The-Air and Cable TV

Interface
USB 2.0

Video Formats
Digital TV: MPEG-2 TS (up to 1920 x 1080 resolution)
Analog TV and Video Input:
MPEG-2 (720x480, 640x480, 480x480, 352x480) for SVCD or DVD
MPEG-1 (352x240) for VCD

Minimum System Requirements (with DxVA support)

VGA
Radeon 7200 or higher
Mobility Radeon 7500 or higher
Radeon Xpress 200 or higher Geforce MX 440 or higher
Geforce 4 Go or higher (Geforce 4 Ti not supported)
Intel Extreme Graphics 2
(865G, 855G, 852G) with driver v6.14.10.3722 or higher
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (GMA 900)

Video Memory
32MB or higher

CPU
Intel Pentium III 800MHz or higher
Intel Pentium M 900MHz or higher
AMD Athlon 700MHz or higher
AMD Turion/Mobile 800MHz or higher

RAM
128MB or higher (256MB recommended)

OS
Windows Vista
Windows XP Home / Professional with Service Pack 2 or higher
Windows XP Media Center Edition 1.x or higher**
Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 or higher
(**Analog only. Full digital/analog support with included OnAir software)

USB
USB 2.0 port (PCI / PCMCIA USB 2.0 card with NEC chipset recommended.)

Minimum system requirements (without DxVA Support)

VGA
64MB video memory or higher with DirectShow

CPU
Intel Pentium 4 1.6GHz or higher
AMD Athlon XP 2000+ or higher
Intel Pentium M 1.4GHz or higher

RAM
128MB or higher (256MB recommended)


The package we received for evaluation included all of the necessary components to get up and running quickly.  The package included the OnAir USB HDTV Creator tuner along with a stand for vertical positioning.  The kit also included a requisite power adapter and a USB cable.  

 

The system also comes with an Infrared Remote Control and a setup CD that included required TV Tuner software, NVIDIA's PureVideo Silver, drivers, and WinDVD Creator 2.0 for DVD authoring.

Tags:  HD, USB, HDTV, TV, DTV, Wave, AV, air, DT, EA, Tor, AI

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