What DVB USB to buy????


Standard Member

I’ve got a PC with Thermaltake Bach case running vista and i-median. I want to be able to watch and record freeview on it with a USB receiver (My dad built it and refuses to ever go inside that box again so it’ll have to be USB!) I’m new to all this DVB on your PC stuff and there are so many products out there, from the 7.99 e-bay jobby to the £100 and more from Maplin, I’m finding it difficult to tell what you get for your money! Until recently I had sky plus so I really want something of similar quality if possible. The features I’m really looking for are:

Record/watch two channels at once (“Dual Channel Receiver”?)
Pause Live TV (“Timeshift”?)
7 day EPG
Scheduling (and series-link if possible?)

Also, hope this isn’t expecting too much, but I was hoping not to pay too much for it! My b/f has his eye on a set top receiver with h/d for recording for £100 but I reckon that getting it on the pc will be a cheaper and better idea. I want to be right, lol.

Does anybody have any advice or recommendations on what to buy and what I can get for my money?

Also, does the software needed usually come with them? Could I use my i-median to do all the watching/recording???

Any help appreciated!



Standard Member
Well SCan are selling an ATMT (digi02) stick for about 12 quid (special offer it as low as 9). AMazon sell it for almost 40 quid.

I was thinking of getting a COmpro U3. It is old school and offciially does not support Vista, though neither does the aTMT (yet ATMT sent me an email saying it does work in Vista).

THe COmpro is reliable and responsive but it also has a solid metal case which is why I like the sound of it. Built in cooling and robust to boot.

Lower PC requirements sound good too (as low as w2000) becasue I hate bloatware, will work with MCE & XP.

And can buy it for about 12 quid from SCAN when they do a special offer day, otherwise just £22.

If you want a no cost limit option. Terratec cards are quite good with all those multi tuner options, COmpro does higher kit too for £35 up.

The U3 can simultaneously display 4 channels (3 muted) but can't record one whilst watchng another.

If you want to do that, you buy 2 of them, simple.


Standard Member
OF course if looking for quality kit.

Nebula made cards have always had a very good rep.

Hauppage seem to have the market lead but often see people haviung trouble with their kit (prob becasue so many people own their kit).

I would tend to stay away from generic Taiwanese stuff like KWorld or the ATMT I mentioned becasue of budget clunkiness. But hey why not try one out for a tenner. If it works, it works.

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Record/watch two channels at once (“Dual Channel Receiver”?)
Be aware there are no USB sticks with aerial passthru, each stick needs a separate feed. Factor in the cost of extra cables and a splitter or distribution amp when comparing dual tuners with singles. Don't forget there's a signal loss with a passive splitter if your reception is marginal.

jen_eclaire said:
Also, does the software needed usually come with them? Could I use my i-median to do all the watching/recording???
Yes, but I have tuners from 4 manufacturers here and the software varies from poor to bloody awful. Also remember the bundled apps only work with the suppliers hardware, you can't mix&match devices.

If you run Vista its Media Centre is probably better (particularly for Freeview/Freesat) or there are a couple of good freeware apps - I'm using MediaPortal, RC3 seems pretty good and makes better use of tuners than anything else (multiple concurrent recordings on each of multiple tuners - I've pushed it beyond 10 at a time). If you plan on using Linux check tuner compatibility very carefully, I have 3 'supported' tuners, only one actually works.

BTW: I've had no problems with cheap KWorld (355U) and Twinhan (AD TU200) tuners here, massive problems with an expensive Hauppage (DEC2000), YMMV ;)


Standard Member
Had a look at MEdiaPortal.. yeeouch.

Have you seen the system requirements, they are insane.

Will run on old MCE but not even XP SP2!!!!! Considering XP is only 2000 with added eye candy and little else and MCE was just an addon to that.

300Mb as well for open source package that does a simple task. It's hardly an integrated office suite that needs umpteen algorithyms and code for all the different tasks envisaged let alone templates, it's something to run feeds through a window with a bit of prettiness around it, with maybe an enhance EPG. Bloatware.

Why bother is Vista SP1 is just about the minimum and Vista already has media centre (as who uses the BAsic version).

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Worrying about 300mb on a machine recording gigabytes/hour of video is just silly. The 150mb my install is actually using (and half that is cache for the skin) is smaller than some of the shovelware the cards came with! Its annoying you need NET3 for MediaPortal but most of us will end up with it installed one way or another - all Vista users have it.

More to the point, if I was happy with the restrictions and limits in MCE I'd have stuck to gbpvr (*), just as capable, lightweight and not Vista only. Instead I like having no artificial limits, able to use any number of tuners, grab any number of channels from each multiplex, the never dealing with scheduling collisions however hard the broadcasters fight for the peak time slots!

(*) in fact I'd have just bought another twin tuner PVR but I want more ;)


Standard Member
go Topfield.

No the spaece thing was not space as such, but the perceived laziness of the coders. open source we expect only that which is necessary, honed by numerous contributors. Andd yes I didn't add the plethora of addtional req's like .net etc which run it it up further.

I just DL'd it and the exe package is only 32Mb which is more like it, so can't imagine what's in there that decompresses so much (bmp's perhaps).

So you think GBPVR is not with it any longer? I can talk, I haven't recorded anything in a year, I just get others to do it for me (Nova).:clap:

With you on the scheduling issue, why do these petty broadcasters do it? They get hold of a schedule from a competitor and immeidately go and run something up against it. Even in News they can't help themselves, all this news @ ten malarkey. Grow up you over paid champagne quaffing spivs, should hoist them up alongside their merchant banker contemporaries.

For one BBC should not put Panorama up against Dispatches

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