by Greg King on May 3, 2007 in Graphics & Displays
If you are looking for a portable WinTV solution from Hauppauge, you are in luck. The HVR-950 is capable of handling both normal and high-def TV and fits in a pocket! The largest draw might just be it’s $90 price tag.
We live in an increasingly mobile world. This can easily be verified by simply looking around online and reading about the latest and greatest mobile technology. Also take into consideration the vast amounts time, effort and money pumped into the mobile market each and every year. With devices going wireless, we can now browse from our couches, on the interstate (assuming your not driving) and on our portable devices like a phone, a PDA or a Blackberry.
For years we have been able to grab our headphones and enjoy music on a hike, bike ride or job thanks to radio waves. Well, why canâ€™t we do that with television? It too travels across airwaves. Why not watch it on our notebooks and smart phones?
With the help of Hauppauge, we now can. While not revolutionary, Hauppauge aims to join the mobile market of TV adapters for our PCs. With everything housed on a simple USB 2.0 stick, albeit a large USB stick, the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 950. How well does it work and does the signal quality merit itâ€™s relatively small $90USD asking price?
Coming in a compact package, the purple box is full of relevant information. With the unit centered in a protective plastic shell, we can start to get a firm idea of just how small the 950 is.
Aww, the little TV tuner is Vista certified. While we at Techgage havenâ€™t exactly warmed up to Vista yet, we understand itâ€™s place in the PC world, for better or worse, and with the computability problems that have plagued the OS since itâ€™s launch, itâ€™s good to see that this product will work out of the box with that OS.
Moving on to the device itself, once out of the box, we can start to appreciate it compact design. With our last review of a Hauppauge product, the WinTV-PVR 350 PCI card, all of the necessary encoding and decoding was done on the cardâ€™s chip itself. That will not be the case with the 950.
Starting with the antenna, we see it in itâ€™s down position. When contracted in, the antenna stands approximately 5 inches tall. Snaking out of the base of the antenna is the cord. With its coaxial end, the 950 will connect to itâ€™s antennae though this cord.
When extended, the antenna stands about a foot and a half tall. While not huge by any stretch of the imagination, this should be the perfect height for all of you mobile warriors out there.
The stick itself is not much larger than an average USB thumb drive. With a cap on the end, itâ€™s only a matter of time before it comes up missing? I have been looking for the cap to my OCZ Rally drive for the better part of 2 months.
As stated earlier, the business end of the 950 is a coaxial connector to allow the connection of either the antenna or a cable/satellite connection for all of you home users out there.
And at the other end, the USB 2.0 port. I say USB 2.0 not because it will not work in an older USB slot, but rather it is a requirement if you are to use the HVR 950.
On the side of the stick we see a RoHS sticker, and a small, USB like connector. I honestly have no idea what this is used for and it stated the use for this nowhere in the manual that I could see.
For those of you who might not be able to get the 950 into an open USB slot due to the thickness of the stick, there is an included USB male to female adapter. This cable is just under a foot long and should allow you to use the 950 is any open USB slot on your PC.
Finally, included in the box is the driver CD. This disk includes not only the system drivers for the 950, but also the programs needed to use the stick to itâ€™s fullest.
Let’s move onto installation!