Feeds
75%
PCTV Nanostick T2

PCTV NanoStick T2 USB TV tuner

Freeview HD telly on the move

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Review Ten years ago, investing in a PC TV tuner seemed a neat way of watching while you work – integrating the gogglebox with laptop or desktop duties. Today, the idea is more questionable given access to on-line video streaming and download services from the likes of YouTube and the BBC iPlayer respectively.

PCTV Nanostick T2

PCTV's Nanostick T2: for those with an HD habit

So why should you fork out £80 PCTV Systems' NanoStick T2 USB tuner when your web browser gets more channels? One good reason is that if you're on the move and you miss your telly, then using a dedicated tuner, rather than streaming, isn't going to cost you dearly for mobile data usage. Another plus point is that the Nanostick is a rather rare beast among portable tuners, as it is capabable of receving Freeview HD channels.

PCTV Nanostick T2

EPG view by channel
Click for a larger image

Hardware setup is easy; just plug the flash drive-style device into a USB 2.0 port and connect it to either the included antenna or your home aerial system. If you’re at home, stick with the manual’s recommendation to avoid using the tiny magnetic antenna. I gave it a shot though and testing in Surrey resulted in the ability to receive Top Gear repeats on Dave and not much else. However, using a proper aerial I was able to receive a full compliment of SD and HD channels.

PCTV Nanostick T2

The Now and Next EPG shows other channels, but could be more intuitive

The NanoStick T2 includes a copy of PCTV System’s TVCenter which is does a fine job of receiving, displaying and recording your favourite shows, but I didn’t really like the interface. The whole system feels rather unintuitive and basic functions are not immediately obvious – this is not TV for TV people.

PCTV Nanostick T2

Windows Media Centre EPG integration

The included IR remote does help ease the system back into the realms of familiarity, but ultimately viewing shows by channel or listing for time period, rather than a segmented EPG timetable of multiple stations, is TVCenter’s undoing. There are workarounds though. For those of you running higher-end versions of Windows 7 or, dare I say it, Vista with Windows Media Center the NanoStick T2 can be used as an integrated tuner.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: HD ready

More from The Register

next story
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
ICO warns UK broadcasters over filming using drones
Must comply with data protection rules, m'kay?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.