VideoMate U2800F: inside the boxFounded in 1988, Compro Technology develops and markets PC graphics and multimedia products. With our highly motivated and experienced engineers, innovation is the main focus at Compro. By combining the latest hardware and software technologies, we can provide high quality products to the rapidly evolving PC market.
Initially focused on OEM business Compro firstly introduced an own branded product in 2001, in cooperation with NVIDIA Personal Cinema was born quickly followed by launch of the VideoMate brand in 2002. 2003 brought VideoMate PCI and USB TV tuners with many exclusive features, awarded worldwide by their innovations Compro went to further extend their product range from mainstream up to the high-end. Later on the ISO 9001 certification added ensured quality products for the customers. 2005 was the great break-through for Digital TV and off course many new Compro products: complete stand alone units and hybrid TV devices.
Today we're having a look at the Compro VideoMate Vista U2800F, a hybrid analog/digital USB 2.0 TV/FM receiver stick which can provide 1080i HDTV quality television as well as DVB-T radio:Key features:Watch TV on laptop or desktop PC with USB 2.0 interface
Hybrid digital terrestrial or analog TV/FM reception
Worldwide analog TV (NTSC/SECAM/PAL) reception
Included Microsoft certified MPEG-2 encoder support TV watch/record in Windows Media Center of Vista Premium/Ultimate
Bundles with Microsoft certified remote control for Windows Media Center and USB IR receiver
All-new ComproDTV 4 software with Vista Gadget, DTV Add-In, and integrated the scheduling list from Windows Media Center.
All-new ComproDTV 4 supports multiple Compro TV card/box devices which allow you to install, watch, and record at the same system
S3 (standby)/ S4 (hibernation) mode power up scheduling
Support SDTV and 1080i HDTV (where available)
USB bus powered, no external power adaptor required
Timeshift and instant replay live TV
Advanced PIP/POP feature allows up to 5 windows watch including one playback recorded video file, 1 main and 3 sub digital TV channels watch at once
Video Desktop to setup the live TV screen as wallpaper mode
Straight-to-Disc recording to VCD and DVD discs
Customize Brightness, Hue, Saturation, Contrast, Sharpness, and TV/audio format in each TV channel
Customize channel order and my favorite list
Digital TV Support EPG, subtitle, Teletext (not support MHEG-5 UK Digital Teletext Service)
Single/Multiple still frame captures and remote snapshot
Support MPEG-1/2/4 in analog TV and video capture
Capture analog video from Composite or S-Video
MPEG-2 and TS record/playback in digital TV
Supports digital radio reception (not DAB type)
Certified for Windows Vista 32/64 bit
For such a small device you get a whole lot in return, you can watch DVB-T television at HD resolution, DVB-T radio stations are also supported but in case there is no DVB-T signal you can always choose to hook up the FM antenna and listen to analog radio broadcastings as well as watching analog TV broadcasting. In Europe however there is a complete Analog Switch Off planned for 2012 and with DVB-T around I don't really see the point to purchase this product for watching analog TV via the 'ether'. Aside of this the VideoMate U2800F is also able of capturing analog composite and S-Video signals. With the hardware TV tuner comes a very complete software package: recording, customizations, EPG, subtitling, Teletext, video windowing... but more on that later.
Here is what we found inside the box:
Compro VideoMate Vista U2800F
Remote control + USB IR receiver
2 USB extention cables (1 low-end + 1 high-end)
I to F type coax converter
3 in 1 video/audio input cable
Compro software + drivers
Ulead DVD Movie Factory 5 SE
The Compro VideoMate Vista U2800F is not much larger then most USB sticks, on one side you have the USB 2.0 port where on the other side you have the coax antenna connector. The USB port comes with a white protecting cover as you can see from the picture above. The stick itself has a good amount of ventilation holes because the device does warm up during usage; however Compro engineers ensured us that heating is no problem because the antenna connector is also used to extract heat.
On one side you'll also spot a very small connector which looks very much like a mini-USB port. In fact this is the video/audio-in port which allows the user to capture media via Composite/S-Video. Here is where the 3 in 1 video/audio input cables plugs in, good thing they made it removable.
The U2800F comes with an infrared remote control which is Vista Media Center compatible. The IR receiver is build into a second USB stick, for both IR receiver and U2800F DVB-T receiver you get USB extension cables in case you need a few cm's room to play with.
With the boxed tools unpacked let's put it all into good use ->