|AVerMedia AVerTV Purity 3D MCE 500 PCI TV Tuner
The AVerMedia AVerTV Purity 3D MCE 500 would be a great addition to any Windows Media Center computer. It would also feel right at home in any computer where you want to be able to watch TV, make basic recordings, capture from another source, or even something as simple as listening to the radio while still using the computer for other tasks.
Comparing a new TV tuner card to a TV tuner that is several years old might not be a fair comparison. However, the Hauppauge 350 is one of the most popular TV tuners out there. The difference in the quality of the cards is virtually indistinguishable, the big difference came when I wanted to perform other tasks while using the TV tuner functions, such as time shifting. This is where the AVerMedia AVerTV Purity 3D MCE 500 takes a commanding lead.
Using Windows Media Center (and other popular scheduling programs) the card worked flawlessly, and would record two channels at the same time. I did not have to specify which tuner to select, as the software recognized the card had the capability of two tuners, and would auto select the available TV tuner. Finally, I was pleased to see that I did not have to split the signal prior to attaching it to the card, just one less thing to have to install for a dual tuner.
Perhaps the biggest issue I have with the card is that you can not install the daughter card into a front drive bay. In a Home Theater environment, I hate having to get to the back of my computer to connect a camcorder or other source. Being able to put the extra connections into a drive bay would be a great benefit. This is where the card lost points.
A minor negative is that there is no remote included in the box. As a card designed for Windows Media Center, it would be nice for a remote to be included in the package. However, including a remote would increase the price of the card by $25.00 or more, and if you have a Media Center computer, you probably have a remote already. If you do not have a remote, you can purchase a remote for $30 or more. Most remotes that are compatible with Windows Media Center will work just fine.
A search of PriceGrabber shows this card selling for between $100 and $143 (US) as of the date this review was published. AVerMedia has a suggested retail of $149.99, which would put it in a comparable market to the Hauppauge 500, which is also a dual tuner.
Given the performance, and overall quality I award the AVerMedia AVerTV Purity 3D MCE 500 a final score of four and a half out of five stars and the rating "Recommended" for Home Theaters.
Final Rating (4.5 out of 5 stars):
» High quality recordings
» Low system resource usage
» Dual tuner
» Multiple source inputs
» Second daughter card available separately
» Daughter card can not be installed in drive bay
» No remote control
Special thanks to AVerMedia for providing the AVerTV Purity 3D MCE 500 TV Tuner to Bigbruin.com for review!
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