Compro VideoMate U2700 and Miglia TVMini HD+ are announced.
Matt ElliottSenior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Two USB HDTV tuners are grabbing headlines today. Since we've yet to be truly impressed by the image quality of any variety of TV tuner (ATI's internal TV Wonder 650 card is the best we've seen to date), we're eager to test out these two new devices.
First up: from Taiwanese manufacturer Compro, the VideoMate U2700. This USB 2.0 hybrid device pulls in over-the-air HD content in 1080i along with standard-def broadcasts. It provides all the DVR features you'd expect, and it can record your shows straight to DVD. You can also select a live TV station as your PC's wallpaper for some highly productive work sessions. Still not distracted? Then let the U2700 stream five 1080i sources at once: that's up to four live broadcasts plus a fifth show from your recorded list. It ships with a small IR remote and Ulead apps, and the device carries the Certified for Windows Vista logo, so it'll work any of the new PCs due out next week. Compro has not responded to our inquiries regarding availability or pricing.
Next up: something for the other computing camp. The Miglia TVMini HD+ brings HD and SD TV to Macs via USB 2.0. It ships next month (for an expected $218) and doesn't appear to be all that different from the preceding TVMini HD. The original device let you tune in to free over-the-air HDTV broadcasts (ATSC) and unencrypted digital cable broadcasts (Clear QAM), while the TVMini HD+ adds a third: the less exciting but still useful (depending where you live) analog cable TV. Miglia touts its "exclusive 10-bit video and stereo sound," and the device includes composite and S-Video ports, plus a remote control. Elgato's EyeTV 2 software provides the DVR features, including the ability to edit out commercials in your recordings and export shows to your iPod.