Rivals AverMedia and Hauppauge have both introduced the first hybrid TV cards for PCs, boasting the ability to receive analogue and digital TV signals.
The cards are aimed squarely at PC builders looking to cash in on the growing Media Center PC craze, and consumers looking to get digital TV without the hassle of having to purchase a new PC.
The WinTV HVR-1100 from Hauppauge will be available from mid-July and is designed to work with Microsoft’s Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) 2005.
Hauppauge is hoping it will be popular with integrators because, by having both analogue and digital, it will function in areas of the UK still waiting to get digital coverage.
The firm claimed the new card will allow integrators to streamline production and alleviate the problem of product returns. WinTV HVR-ll00 is due out in mid-July and will cost £80.
Yehia Oweiss, managing director of Hauppauge Digital UK, claimed that the dual functionality of the card will be a real selling point.
“Talking to PC makers, it is obvious that the fact that 25 per cent of UK homes cannot receive Freeview is
a real problem for them. It means twice the number of configurations, plus the extra cost and hassle of accommodating returns if digital reception is poor. With the HVR-1100 there’s no question that the PC will not receive TV.”
AverMedia’s AVerTV Hybrid+FM PCI card offers analogue and digital TV reception on a single card, along with support for FM and digital radio. It will also enable users to watch, record, playback and pause live TV. In the past a user would have to purchase a whole new TV card.
Jon Rainford, business development manager at AverMedia, was keen to emphasise the overall benefit of the card.
“The demand for digital TV cards is growing month on month, with many users reluctant to make an analogue purchase that will become redundant in a few years,” he said.
It provides the perfect opportunity for system integrators to put the card in their machines. They can be used irrespective of geographic location and users can simply select the type of signal.”
The AVerTV Hybrid+FM PCI is out now and costs £75. It is also certified for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 from Microsoft (DVB-T Only applicable).
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