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OnAir Solution USB HDTV Creator

As the nation’s television broadcasters migrate from analog to digital, consumers also have to upgrade their equipment to be able to view this new, digital, high definition content. The USB HDTV Creator aims to bring this quality programming to your PC, using a fast USB 2.0 connection. With one package, both desktop and laptop users can experience HDTV viewing and recording.

Installation is straightforward. Just like a TV tuner or cable box, the HDTV Creator is first connected to a signal source. The device supports both digital or analog signals, as well as hook ups from either an antenna or cable television. For this test, I hooked up a powered antenna to pull the over the air high definition broadcasts available in my area.

On the PC, the software and appropriate drivers need to be loaded first, before the device is connected. Autumnwave strongly recommends video cards that support DirectX Video Acceleration (DxVA), so it is a good idea to review the specifications on their web site to make sure your card will work happy with it.

The install CD not only includes applications to watch, record, and edit HDTV programming, but also background utilities to handle the included remote control, and a scheduling tool to record shows at a specified time. Rounding out the package is NVidia’s video decoder, as well as Intervideo’s WINDVD Creator, allowing you to transfer your recordings to DVD for later playback.

When first starting the USB HDTV application, I had to let it scan for available channels. I asked it to scan for only digital signals coming over the air. On the first scan, it detect most but not all of the digital channels in my area. When I asked it to rescan, it responded by not being able to find any of the channels. Only after a reboot of the host PC was the device able to finally find and save all channels.

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