The best way to test a product like this is to simply use it for a while, so that’s what I did. I put the T2 through its paces, watching different channels (HD and SD) and even tried out the streaming options.
Right off the bat, I’m not in one of those few areas that the mini aerial does work in, so the first thing I had to do was get out the aerial extension cable to run from one room to the other. Is there really no way that a company could bundle a small transmitter as well as receiver? So I can wirelessly send from one room to another? Come on this cable looks rediculous.
Either way though, I get it working. Cable is in, software is installed and the channels are being scanned. This process does take a good ten minutes, but once that’s out the way you’re watching TV. You can have it windows or full screen and the quality isn’t half bad.
There’s a Channel Guide with very extensive information on upcoming shows and their time slots.
Fullscreen does show some of the image headaches that come with a SD stream unfortunately, but one of the great things about this receiver is that it supports HD channels.
And they look much better.
The right click options menu gives you a few different options, including window aspect ratio, display ratio, channel information, the aforementioned program guide, teletext, recording tasks (scheduling etc.), gallery of stills, settings and Help and about pages.
Down the bottom you have your navigational bar which gives you a full list of channels that are searchable and listable neumerically or alphabetically. Recording options could also be easily accessed from the bottom here. Clicking pause or record immediately puts the device into record mode (destination is set within settings) and off you go. This works flawlessly with no hiccups and I was really pleased with its implementation.
So TV watching experience is pretty great, navigation is easy, setup isn’t too much of a headache, what else is there to say? The driver crashing for one. This is most likely a localised thing with a specific graphics card and driver, but periodally – especially when trying to setup the web streaming – I would get video and audio stutter, followed by a complete shutdown of my GPU drivers. Often times it would then go into a loop of crashing and restarting forcing me to hard reboot. The card I was using for those that are interested was a Sapphire 5770 1GB with the 8.831.2.0 driver.
Fortunately, I did manage to get through and get the server running (ProTip: Don’t try and do it while watching TV, it throws a s*** fit). Once you have it setup, which is actually very easy if it wern’t for the driver crashing, you can login via other computers and utilise your little digital receiver to watch whatever you like from local PCs. All you need do is bung in the IP address and port, followed by the 4 digit security pin and you’re off and running.
Weirdly the interface is nicer than the one you have with the main PCTV software; what’s that about?
This is not a cheap little device my friends. I’m afraid you pay for the HD and network streaming functionality; it’s around £70.