With home theatre PC's becoming ever more popular, the interest in TV tuner equipment has never been higher. ATI have been busily cranking out new models of the All in Wonder series, as well as new Theatre 550 cards. Avermedia and Haupagge are releasing new kit like there's no tomorrow, and even Nvidia are getting in on the act. But a good bit of kit does not a decent tuner make - if you're not using Media Center, the software bundle that comes with the tuner will be of the utmost importance, too.
With that in mind, Leadtek sent us over their new digital TV tuner - the DTV1000 T. It has a single DVB-T tuner as well as some cool proprietary software that allows you to watch two channels through a singel tuner. It's also compatible with Media Center out of the box. Let's take a closer look...
The TV card features a DVB-T ready digital tuner, demodulator and decoder with a frequency range of 170-230MHz VHF and 470-862MHz UHF. Leadtek has achieved this with the two Connexant chips - CX22702 and CX23881. CX22702 is a single chip solution for DVB-T systems, featuring an integrated digital TV demodulator and decoder solution for both 2k and 8k terrestrial digital broadcast solutions, with optimal performance on single frequency network environments. It is also stated to be able to achieve less than 18dB of additive white gaussian noise (AWGN) for clearer digital broadcasts.
The CX23881 is a flexible audio and video broadcast decoder, supporting all analogue video and audio formats that are broadcast worldwide (NTSC, PAL and SECAM). It is capable of 10-bit Video ADCs (analogue to digital conversions) and stereo line output DACs (digital to analogue conversions), along with EIA-J, A2, NICAM, FM Broadcast Stereo and Mono decoding.
The bundle comes in a well designed box - there's a list of features on the back. It also explains how it is possible to connect two Leadtek DTV1000 T cards together allowing up to four channels to be processed simultaneously - this explains the need for an Antenna Out port coming from the tuner on the backplate. The backplate also has connectivity for S-Video and Composite connectors.
There is a remote with batteries, a remote sensor that plugs directly in to the back of the card using a stereo jack and a mini aerial. We couldn't get the mini aerial to pick up a signal, but that may be down to the fact that there is a reasonably poor signal quality in the area where we tested this product.
The instruction manual is good and well laid out - we needed to use it in order to find out how to scan for channels, due to the lack of a setup wizard. In addition to the drivers and software required for the TV card to function, there are also a couple of titles from Ulead; namely, VideoStudio 9 SE, MovieFactory 4 SE and Cool 3D SE.