If you’re looking to add a little multimedia action to your notebook, then adding a USB TV tuner is the quickest solution but one that can be tricky to get the best results.
USB tuners are made up of two parts: the hardware and the software. This device from MSI is a little on the large size compared to the latest devices from Pinnacle and Hauppage but it comes with a USB extender so you don’t need to have it protruding from your notebook if you don’t want to.
The white unit is simple enough, it has a USB port at one end and a RF antenna at the other, which plugs either into your roof aerial or the supplied portable version.
It’s a digital tuner, so will pick up all the Freeview channels currently being broadcast. This is also support for 1080i High Definition broadcasts, which you’ll need a subscription for.
Aside from the USB extender, the contents of the box stretch to a mini-aerial and a remote control, which is smaller than the tuner but highly useable.
As with all TV tuners it’s worth pointing out that the signal depends on how good the reception is in your area, with the best results coming from a rooftop option.
The software side of the equation Arcsoft Total Media and Magix Goya Base, which both installed easily and as they are compatible with Windows Media Centre Edition can quickly be integrated with your notebook.
The MSI Digivox Mini II V3 is easy to set up and at the asking price, offers a great deal of value for your money.