MSI Digi Vox mini II v3.0

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Digi Vox

The Digi Vox is sent in a fairly uninteresting box where green and blue feature prominently. You’ll find a small window which shows you the tuner itself. The rear of the box has plenty of translations for all of the target countries of the tuner.

MSI Digi Vox mini II v3.0
Click to enlarge

The tuner itself looks like a large USB disc with a large coaxial input on the top right. This input is wider than the main body of the tuner so the top is curved around it. Running down the middle on the front is a raised grey piece of plastic which displays the MSI logo and the name of the product. This grey plastic is see-thru, at least for infrared and this is where you’ll have to aim the remote to change channel etc.

MSI Digi Vox mini II v3.0
Click to enlarge

Provided with the tuner is a small magnetic aerial with a short lead, the driver CD (copied CD; not the retail version), the Digi Vox II itself, a USB extension cable, a small remote and a manual. The tuner doesn’t have any proprietary program to get the TV information, and instead uses a commercial program that can be used with any TV tuner; it’s called ArcSoft Total Media. You can use the Digi Vox with Windows Media Center and forgo the additional program. The tuner works with Windows Vista out of the box which is good to see and will fit perfectly with the Ultimate version and it’s included MCE.

MSI Digi Vox mini II v3.0
Click to enlarge

The cap of the tuner has a short cord on it preventing the tuner and its lid from going their separate ways. The inclusion of the USB extension cord allows you to use the Digi Vox in any USB port; as the tuner is quite large it would interfere with adjacent USB devices.

MSI Digi Vox mini II v3.0
Click to enlarge

The included remote has a disc style battery in it which should last a while considering it’s only powering a small IR LED. The remote itself isn’t the most tactile and neither does it look the best. The buttons are raised plastic which you have to push down to use. The buttons are laid out in 3×2 groups of 6 with the top group containing the power, up/down (which are actually mapped to mute and favourite) and the beginning of the numbers. The middle group is a continuation of the numbers, and the bottom group has volume, enter, and channel control.

The remote is purposely small, and it allows you to carry the tuner and the remote around with you easily. It will be a non-issue to fit the tuner/remote in with your laptop in your carry case.

For those wondering about TV licensing laws regarding a tuner of this variety, it is legal to a certain extent (UK only). The licensing laws state that if you use a TV set that is powered internal via batteries (i.e. your laptop) then there is no need to purchase a licence (it would be difficult to police or licence due to a standard TV licence being connected with your house).

However if you use the tuner with your computer, you will be running from the mains which means that you will have to purchase a license for it. You might be able to get away with a UPS in between the mains and your PC, but unlikely.

As you’ll be able to use this tuner with your laptop, it makes a perfect gift/product for a student at uni as a TV license is far too expensive.

The Digi Vox 3.0 is actually the latest incarnation of the Digi Vox series that MSI have brought to the table. While this is the most recent version, there doesn’t appear to be a huge difference between the first two versions. They can all only receive free-to-air digital channels and don’t have the ability to receive analogue signals.

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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