Hauppauge WinTV Nova-TD USB TV tuner
Digital telly on the move
The WinTV2000 application does the job, but it feels a little basic. After you've installed the hardware it will prompt you to scan for channels - which takes five to ten minutes to complete. Somewhat annoyingly it lists the channels in the order it found them, rather than their Freeview channel numbers - so I got ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and CITV as the first four channels, with BBC 1 and 2 relegated to further down the list. You can swap the channels around manually, but with around 70 available it will take up time that could otherwise be spent watching Countdown.
You can use the channel up and down buttons to flick quickly through, or there's a menu option to allow you to jump to a specific channel in a couple of clicks. Channel changes are pretty quick, only taking a couple of seconds in general. The application will display the now and next programme information when you switch channels, so you can quickly see what's on at a glance as you're surfing through.
You can change the size of your viewing window from as small as 320 x 240 pixels right the way up to 800 x 600 - or hit Fullscreen to fill the display entirely.
Hit the record button at the bottom and a window of buttons will float into view so you can capture programmes or playback previous recordings. There's also a one-touch record button that will instantly start recording for 15 minutes. Further clicks of the button will increase record time by 15 minutes for each press.
The software does the job, but if you've got a copy of Windows Media Center at your disposal you're probably better opting for that as it provides a more advanced and better polished experience. You can even use the bundled remote control to navigate your way around Media Center from the comfort of the sofa.