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Tiny USB stick + Tiny UMPC = Tiny personal digital video recorder.

Posted on 16 July 2007, Last updated on 17 January 2020 by

Over the weekend I took delivery of a tiny digital TV tuner USB stick and naturally, it made sense to pair it with some tiny PC’s.

The �75 Terratec Cynergy Piranha has just been released in Europe and it offers support for DVB-T, DAB and T-DMB standards, not something thats going to be much use in America but in Europe, free-to-air DVB-T (terrestrial digital TV) has been around for a number of years and is now a popular way to receive TV. As you can see, the device is tiny and even includes a detachable mini-aerial making it perfect for attaching to a ultra mobile PC for the ultimate flexible portable digital TV and recording solution. Read on for more info and videos.

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The included software allows you to watch live TV, pause live TV, record live TV, schedule recordings, view teletext and an over-the-air electronic program guide. The quality is fantastic and reception was good although I should mention that I live very close to a DVB-T relay antenna. I wasn’t able to test DAB (digital radio) as I can’t find any channels in my area and T-DMB didn’t work either. Again, I don’t think I have any channels available in my area but I don’t care, DVB-T is great. Just imagine when the docking station arrives for the Everun. It will have S-Video and SPDIF out so in theory you will be able to record digital surround sound transmissions to hard disk and play them back in HQ on your TV.

As you can see above, I tried it in the car and it works to a certain extent. DVB-T wasn’t designed for mobile reception though so when you’re on the move its not so good. Maybe by using a dedicated aerial (there’s an adapter supplied) it would work but then you might be better off having a mini-ITX style screen and separate processing unit as cabling would be a problem.

In the video below you’ll see it working on a Samsung Q1P and the Raon Digital Everun. It also worked fine with the Q1b. The supplied software was buggy and crashed every time I tried to scan for stations but a newer version of the software from the Terratec website solved that problem. The software isn’t perfect though and its certainly not ‘slick.’ Maybe it would be quicker and more enjoyable on a higher-end PC.

High-res WMV version available on my channel.

High-res WMV version available on my channel.

Information: Raon Digital Everun
Information: Terratec Cynergy Piranha
Technorati tags: umpc, dvb-t, , ,

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