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Computer Accessories

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 900: Freeview on a stick

Hauppauge's WinTV-HVR 900 is a tiny little USB stick that houses a Freeview adaptor, meaning that instead of pulling out a flash drive and doing some work, you can simply watch TV instead

Nothing pleases Crave like a USB Freeview adaptor, because it gives us a chance to catch up on the ugly underbelly of society otherwise known as daytime TV. The WinTV-HVR 900 is not much bigger than a USB flash drive -- just plug it in along with the mini aerial and the WinTV software will display digital TV right there on your desktop. Which means that this morning it's been hard to tear ourselves away from This Morning.

The WinTV software package allows you to pause live TV, rewind through something that you missed, and set recording schedules. It's not as slick as the Cyberlink PowerCinema software that's included on the Terratec Cinergy XS, but even so we were tuned in and watching TV within minutes of plugging in the USB stick. We also like the fact that it can receive analogue TV as well, so if you're travelling and dip out of a Freeview area (which is easy to do) you can still tune in.

The only problem we found was that the minimum PC specs were too high -- the 2GHz processor speed will put the product out of the reach of many laptop users. We're spoiled because we have the rockdirect Dual Core Xtreme 64 to take care of that problem, but not everyone's so lucky. The WinTV-HVR 900 is on sale now, priced around £70. -GC