Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Oh Shiny! - Artec T1 Digital TV USB Adapter

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This is my latest technology purchase an Artec, T1 Digital USB TV adapter. I was in Lincoln on Saturday and popped into PC World and spotted this tatty looking box, it had been shrink wrapped with a label pointing out it was a customer return and missing the driver disk, but for £12 I thought it was a risk. I have a computer with an old PCI Hauppauge analogue TV card but it isn't capable of picking up the DVB digital TV channels. The government is in the process of turning off all the analogue TV services by 2012 so needed to be prepared, well thats my excuse!

The basic description from the website

"The Artec USB Digital TV Box provides a portable digital TV setup box that allows you to enjoy a crystal digital TV signal at home, in the office or on the road using your laptop, even whilst traveling in the car or train. Quick installation though USB - no external power adapter required.
Provides not only a real-time digital terrestrial TV signal but real-time recording of digital TV programs, letting you keep the movies or sports matches onto your computer's laptop. You can even schedule recording so you don't miss what you want to watch while you are away.

Features:
- Supports DVB Protocol
- Digital Terrestrial and Radio Program Recording
- Real-Time Digital Video Recording
- Schedule Digital Video Recording
- Still Frame Capture
- Screen OSD
- Channels Auto Scan 6/7/8 MHz
- Channel List
- Remote Control

Specifications:
Tuner:
- Input Terminal: 75 Ohm Din
- Receiving Frequency: 48.25 ~ 863.25 MHz Tuning Range"
Opened up the box and everything looked good, all seemed to be there, minus the driver disk.

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Came with a little bag so you can protect it if you take it away with a laptop it also had leads, remote control and an antenna.

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The antenna has a magnetic base but the previous owner had obvious been a little clumsy and snapped off the mast, but to be honest I think you would be better off with a damp piece of string.

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The box itself, about the size of a cigarette packet, connected up to USB and external antenna with power applied.

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It was trivial to find the driver and application software on the Artec website and to install, but the installer seems to be in a different language (suspect Taiwanese) so just kept clicking what I assumed was the NEXT>> button!

Well it works, it stuttered initially and pictures were out of sync with the sound but discovered that was due to it updating the EPG, once that had been completed it seemed fine. Can pause, rewind live tv and can record both TV and Radio programs using a scheduler. The few tests I have done have shown no glitches or break-up.

After doing a little hunting around it seems it can be driven by some other apparently better software, so may try that out on one of the other computers I have lying around, I will post any details on here.

2 comments:

G0CYX said...

Hi there Andrew,
I also have the T1.
Originally it was installed on my desktop computer running XP.
It scanned and saved over 60 audio and video channels. unfortunately it stuttered. I put that down to the age of the computer ie the graphics card or the processor were unsuitable.
Recently I installed it to my laptop which uses Vista.
All seemed well until I tried to select s different channel...The picture froze and up poped the message "Invalid floating Point operation"...I am left wondering if it could be that it requires updated driver software to suit Vista.
As you are up and running OK Andrew, Could you maybe throw som light on this dilemma?
All the best
Jim.

Andrew said...

Can't help you with the Vista problems, am running on XP Sp2. It does sometimes stutter on mine but as I mentioned it seems to do so while updating the EPG.

It is a bit of a hog on the USB port, so unplugging any unused devices like memory sticks/external drives seems to help a bit.