The DVB-T PE310 PlusTV Dual Hybrid is a dual tuner card with a difference. Each tuner can be configured in software to act either as a digital tuner or an analogue tuner so you can have dual digital tuners with the option of an analogue tuner should it be required.
KWorld's PlusTV Dual Hybrid PCIe card
Most manufacturers include a small portable aerial with the tuner. However, our experience is that they are next to useless. Clearly, how good these mini antennae are at picking up a solid signal depends on the coverage where you live, but when we connected the HP IQ770 to a proper aerial on the roof we found an impressive total of 70 TV and radio stations. Switching to a tiny indoor antenna that was packaged with a USB tuner inside a room with metal framed windows the DVB-T tuner picked up no channels whatsoever.
Placing the tiddly antenna on the outside window sill we did far better, picking up 26 channels including such gems as Sky Three, UKTV History and E4+1 - but not E4. There wasn't a single TV station that we would choose to watch but the radio selection wasn't bad.
A typical bundled mini antennna
If you plan on using one of these travel aerials then we wish you luck, but strongly suggest that you get some proper ironmongery on your roof and even then you will likely need a £15-20 mains-powered signal booster if you're splitting the signal between rooms.
Next page: Software
RE: Why all the mucking about?
Mmm..there are people who can't get SKY+ as they are on a communal feed, ie no personal dish
RE: Vista Media Center 64 Woes pt. 2
Well one thing to check when searching for Vista hardware is that it has the MS Vista Compatible Logo not the MS Vista Capable logo. What's the difference? Well only Vista Compatible hardware is guaranteed to work in 32 bit and 64 bit versions! Even with the logo present there is not guarantee that it works with Vista MCE. (thanks a bunch MS)
Last time I checked Hauppauge's Nova T-500 Dual Tuner card did not support Vista 64 bit and they had no plans to support Vista 64 bit either.
So to all the eye-sayers please tell me of a TV card that has dual tuners and with Vista 64 MCE supports DVB-T subtitles, MHEG-5 digital teletext and Freeview playback?
Why all the mucking around someone asked when you can just get Sky+ or a Humax PVR-9200TS? Well I'd like a one box does it all solution for CD, DVD, blu-ray, Photos, TV (Freeview), web surfing and the odd occasional letter to the rellies. Whether or not that's achievable at all is another matter entirely!
I suspect by Christmas I'll be buying a PVR-9200TS and consigning the Media PC to the back room.
Vista still has really stupid problems
I just spent the weekend trying to get Vista media center to play video files.
For some unfathomable reason, Microsoft have arranged it so the media player component of Media Center does not use the same codecs as the stand-alone Windows Media Player 11...
After many hours of searching & trying various 'solutions', Media Center still does not recognise any files beyond the built-in types.
Media player handles them all.
Vista Media Center 64 Woes
I'm not sure if this applies to the 32-bit version of Vista MC, but I tried it with the "Vista Compatible" Compro E700 PCI-E Dual DVB-T tuner and MC found the card, found all the channels, but would not display any of them when you tried to watch them! Apparently more than this card is affected by the problem.
Also be prepared for a lack of Freeview now/next, 7-Day and Freeview playback EPG support in both MC and the cards own software. Most TV cards collect the EPG fro mthe internet and not from the broadcast EPG. Without Freeview Playback EPG support the likelihood of "Sky+" style series link and PDC recording is but a pipe dream.
Also, despite having album art defined for my music collection (i.e. folder.jpg) album art is often missing! It usually appears in the album views and for the first track on album playback, but all subsequent tracks have the artwork missing! Media Player does not have this problem at all though?!?!?
My opinion is that creating a Vista Media Centre PC is not for the faint hearted and it is not ready for mass market.
RE: Virgin Media Transmission
That is indeed true.
Apparently, You can get "hacked" cards that will allow you to receive all channels. But my question is, Would VM know?
VM make contact with the card as well. If you change your TV Service package from the S package to a L package, you don't get a new card (AFAIK)...