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.
When the Hauppauge finished scanning the airwaves, it picked up a handful of local standard definition stations but it found over a dozen HD stations. With me living in the country, well out in the country, the fact that it found that many stations was impressive to say the least. I suppose this isnâ€™t anything special about the Hauppauge per se, but rather, I am surprised that there are that many offered out in the sticks.
With the local stations leaving little to be desired, the picture can be seen in the following picture. Nothing truly say crappy television like the 700 club. Thanks Indiana for giving us that.
With that out of the way, things start looking up when we tune into WFYI in high definition.
When using the 950 to record live television, simply map the save location and press record. Itâ€™s simple and can record as much as your hard drive can store. One thing to take into consideration, and this falls into the common sense category, is that when recording a high definition signal, it takes up roughly 3 times the amount of space that a standard def signal does. To help minimize space, you can play around with the compression settings if you so desire.
When talking about the toll that the device take on system resources, it depends on the PC that you are using. To test out the 950, I used my E6600 machine, an old 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 machine I am using as a Windows update and Symantec Anti-Virus server as well as my notebook that has a Core Duo.
On the Conroe machine, running WinTV and watching a high def signal, CPU usage was around 15 percent. On the notebook, it hovered around 30 percent. On the older Pentium 4 machine, WinTV virtually crippled the PC and CPU usage averaged out around 86 percent.
This was perfectly acceptable and ran completely smooth when nothing else was running. This would be perfect if all you wanted to do was take in your favorite show on your PC but should you want to work on a power point presentation as well, older PCs might have a bit of trouble with this.
The Hauppauge HVR 950 fills a slot in the Hauppauge stable of products and deserves to be recognized for this. It accepts high definition stations and allows you to use your PC as a portable DVR. Add in the ease of use and the 950 is a wining product. During our time with the device we ran into zero problems and for its size, and sub $100 price, it performed quite well. For this, the Hauppauge earns a 9 out of 10 and an Editorâ€™s Choice award.
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