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Review of ADS Tech Instant HDTV PCI Capture Card

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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The Bottom Line

The ADS Tech Instant HDTV PCI is a TV Tuner Capture Card that lets users receive free over-the-air HDTV broadcasts, as well as analog cable. Just install the card into your PC, connect an HDTV antenna, load the Beyond TV software and your set to watch and record HDTV on your PC. This is a well made product that I would recommend to anyone who has a fast computer (at least a 2.4 GHZ processor and 1GB of RAM) and wants to watch and record live HDTV on their PC!
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Pros

  • Enjoy Free HDTV Broadcasts on your PC!
  • Watch, Record and Playback HDTV on your PC
  • DVR functionality - Pause and Rewind Live HDTV
  • Watch and Record Analog Cable
  • Includes Beyond TV Electronic Programming Guide and Nero Express

Cons

  • Doesn't include an HDTV Antenna
  • Skimpy documentation for using Beyond TV
  • Requires Very Fast Computer
  • Must install into free PCI Slot on Motherboard

Description

  • Receive Free Over-the-Air HDTV Broadcasts on your PC
  • Record HDTV, Analog and Cable TV to your computer hard drive.
  • Schedule TV Recordings in Beyond TV Express
  • Pause, Rewind and Fast-Forward Live TV
  • Record TV shows to CD or DVD for playback on your DVD Player with Nero Express

Guide Review - Review of ADS Tech Instant HDTV PCI Capture Card

Installing the ADS Tech Instant HDTV PCI Card into my PC was no problem, and the driver installation was very easy, just pop in the installation CD and you get drivers, as well as the Beyond TV EPG and Nero Express for DVD and CD burning. Once everything was installed, I started up the Beyond TV program and a wizard guided me through the source and channel set up. It was very easy to configure the TV Tuner Card to capture my local Analog Cable (Comcast), as well as over-the-air HDTV. I don't have an HDTV monitor hooked up to my PC, but I could definitely see a difference between the analog cable and the HDTV. The HDTV channel I could pick up was very clear. I used a Phillips HDTV antenna that I picked up at Walmart for $10. It's an indoor antenna, which only gave me one HDTV channel. I could have picked up more channels with an outdoor antenna. The Beyond TV EPG is very user-friendly once I got used to the interface. To use Beyond TV you must have an internet connection (preferably a DSL or Cable connection) to access the TV listings. You can then schedule programs to record just like a regular Digital Video Recorder like TiVo. You definitely need a fast computer with lots of RAM and Hard Drive space to store HDTV shows. The Nero Express is great to have for burning shows to DVD or CD. To get the most out of the Instant HDTV you need a good HDTV antenna and an HDTV monitor. Overall, an excellent value at under $100.
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