AVerMedia Technologies Inc. is very well known in the industry for its computer-related audio and video products. They have been manufacturing TV tuners, capture cards, media players, streaming servers and a few other products for more than a decade. We have seen TV tuners ranging from internal PCI cards for desktops to thumb drive-sized USB dongles for desktops and laptops. USB-based AV capture cards that can record videos from external sources such as a DVD player, game console, set-top-boxes and media players are also in their line of products. There have been other manufacturers, including AVerMedia, presenting external TV tuner boxes which can convert any regular CRT or LCD monitor into a television set. But all these were just for watching TV and none offered the feature of recording TV shows or broadcasts for viewing later. Though this was possible using a TV tuner on a desktop or PC, you needed to keep the computer switched on, in effect wasting power. Well, AVerMedia now presents an external TV tuner box which can record your TV shows and also pause live TV completely eliminating the requirement of a PC. We had the unit with us and this is what we found.
Average looks and build quality, glossy shell
Design and Build
The AVerMedia AverTV Box PVR is a very simple, light and easy to configure digital video recorder to help enhance your television watching experience. The device is approximately the size of a conventional modem or wireless router. The chassis is all-plastic, and has a high-glossy black colour, which can attract dust and scratches easily. The PVR does not look impressive enough to be flaunted around with your interiors as it looks like any standard assembled electronic device. The reason—the unit has buttons and connectors on the top and all around its body which makes it look a little ugly. What makes the unit less attractive is the front area which has a small translucent window that houses a red and green LED and the infrared (IR) receiver. When the unit is powered on, the plain-Jane LEDs make the product look like a Chinese-made or a home assembled unit. What we think would make it impressive is a display screen or at least smaller LEDs.
Control panel on the top
Moving ahead, the TV box has its main control panel on the top, with volume up/down, channel up/down, OK, Menu and power buttons. The front panel has the LED status window (as we mentioned above) and a USB 2.0 port for plugging in an external hard drive or a flash drive. The right side features composite AV input and output RCA jacks. A VGA-in/out port, Audio in/out jacks, an antenna and power jack are seen on the rear. Apart from the unit, the package includes the necessary RCA cables for composite video, a D-sub VGA PC interface cable, audio cable, a power adapter and a fully featured infrared remote control.
USB port on the front panel
Features and Performance
The AVerTV box PVR is a single all-in-one unit that features a built-in TV tuner to convert any monitor or PC setup into a TV set and a DVR unit for recording and pausing television broadcasts. You can also use the device for digitizing analogue videos from older DV or VHS tapes or recording games by connecting gaming consoles to the input. The device can also operate without a PC, using a conventional CRT or LCD monitor or TV that features a VGA interface. You can also use it on a PC by connecting the monitor using the VGA in/out connectors. This will enable you to watch TV on your monitor and when not using the TV mode, simply power off the unit and switch the inputs to have your PC display back. Setting up the device is almost child’s play and all you need to do is connect your monitor to the VGA out at the rear, an external speaker set to the audio out jack and your cable TV to the antenna jack. Power up the device and use the remote or the control panel on the device itself to scan and save the television channels and you are ready to enjoy your favourite shows. Those having a satellite TV setup or a CAS cable set-top box can connect the AV out of the set-to-box to the AV input on the right side.
Audio and VGA in/out ports on the rear
AVerMedia AVerTV Box PVR , AVerMedia , AVerTV , Set-top-box , STB , DVR , PVR , video recorder , TV recorder , External TV box , External TV Tuner , digital video recorder , record TV broadcasts , TV broadcast , TV serials , TV channels , media player , convert monitor into TV
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