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216 Reviews
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !- Believe it or not
I got the item today. quite easy and trouble free installation initially. (You need to have DirectX 9 installed in the system). Connected initially to the roof top antenna and the software auto scanned most of the channels. I was initially able to hear sound, but not picture. The picture window was showing lines and dots only. Thinking in terms of incompatibility with my...
Published on 16 Jun. 2006 by Dr. S. Sebastian

versus
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only if you have an aerial
Easy to set up and install. Neat and impressive for the money. There is a problem with the serial number which you need to set up the software but a trip to the FREECOM website's FAQs gave me the solution.
BUT, and this is a big but, it does require an external aerial if used indoors. I live in a good signal area (South London) and the supplied aerial was useless. I...
Published on 28 Mar. 2006 by Alan Addison


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !- Believe it or not, 16 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
I got the item today. quite easy and trouble free installation initially. (You need to have DirectX 9 installed in the system). Connected initially to the roof top antenna and the software auto scanned most of the channels. I was initially able to hear sound, but not picture. The picture window was showing lines and dots only. Thinking in terms of incompatibility with my display adapter, I tried to change some settings. I reduced my laptop display colour depth from 32 bit to 16 bit and also disabled the display adapter hardware acceleration (my laptop has S3 prosavage). Voila! I was able to see all channels clear. Next thing was even surprising. I tried various positions for the antenna supplied in the kit inside my room. On the wall positioned horizontally and perpendicular, it was picking up all the channels. My area has good freeview reception.

I don't agree to all the negative points in some of the reviews.

1. It is a good piece of kit, you may face some sort of hardware or software incompatibility depending on your PC spec.

2. If you are in a poor freeview reception area, you may not get any channels or you may need a roof top antenna.

3. The small antenna is working,but definitely needs some tweaking with regards to its final position. I did not get any better using an amplified indoor antenna.

4. The software shows the RF signal strength and quality. Both has to be high for reception.

5. You get either full quality picture or none. If reception is poor, you may see intermittent scenes and sound and not poor quality pictures.

6. Video recording is much smooth and not heavily CPU dependent. It is directly in mpeg2 format and has nearly DVD quality.

Hope this helps.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick, 23 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
Wow, what a piece of kit! Well worth the money but as other reviews say, don't bank on getting any kind of picture with the supplied ariel unless you live at the top of a transmitting tower. Once plugged in to your home or Hotel roof ariel you'll get crystal clear pictures and sound. Recording is a doddle and the time slip feature is excellent for when the door bell goes. Would have got 5 stars if it wasn't for that pesky ariel!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good for the money, 2 Jun. 2006
By 
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
First impressions: looks pretty well made, a usb extension lead is supplied which has been invaluable.

As many other reviewers have commented, a rooftop aerial is extremely handy but utterly against one main purpose of this device which is portability.

Fortunately I am using this on my desktop pc, and my aerial is magnetised to my clothing rack, which helps a lot!

If you are going to attempt to use the supplied aerial, it's going to take a lot of time to position it correctly and it still might not work.

Software supplied is NOT very good. Some of it is counter-intuitive and I could probably have designed a better interface myself. The recording is glitchy, the EPG is really poorly designed. That being said, I've had a few recording successes already and the quality of the recording has been excellent, but it eats hard drive space, a large HDD is essential.

I'm hoping that Freecom will bring out some improved software soon!

The picture is good on all channels, although in the three days that I've had it, I've had to reposition the aerial several times to avoid intermittent tranmission.

Overall, a potentially fantastic product, which is let down by sub-standard software, but well worth the money.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only if you have an aerial, 28 Mar. 2006
By 
Alan Addison (Bexleyheath, KENT United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
Easy to set up and install. Neat and impressive for the money. There is a problem with the serial number which you need to set up the software but a trip to the FREECOM website's FAQs gave me the solution.
BUT, and this is a big but, it does require an external aerial if used indoors. I live in a good signal area (South London) and the supplied aerial was useless. I plugged into my roof top aerial and it worked really well. Cracking picture and sound.
Is this for you, only if in an incredibly good signal area.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for £28, 3 Sept. 2007
By 
Mr. Alan Priest (Huddersfield UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
A Digital TV tuner that you plug in and get all the Freeview channels for less than £30 sounds too good to be true, however, this device mainly lives up to its promise.

I live within 20 miles of Emley Moor - a powerful transmitter in Yorks - so I expected no problems with reception but even using a roof aerial the Freecom won't pick up the Channel 5 group of transmissions. (Five US, Five, Five Life are broadcast on less power from Emley). However it does get UKTV History and all the 'main' channels, including More 4 and (annoyingly) all the crappy shopping channels.

In contrast, a cheapo Twinhan DVB-TV card (PCI) installed in another PC runs off the same aerial and picks up the lot, so I would say that you need to be sure you live in a strong digital signal area before purchasing the Freecom. BTW the supplied desktop aerial picked up no usable signal, with video either static or very blocky.

No problems with installation of drivers and software (using Windows XP Home with SP2). The supplied Arcsoft 'Total Media' (V1) software is adequate. Even though it says it is up to date when you auto-update it, there is a more recent version (2.04) available if you Google for it (or look in the Freecom forums). This is slightly slicker, especially on tuning and organising channels (you can't re-order them in V1). Even so, I quickly ditched Total Media and went back to using my trusty copy of Showshifter, which I find easier to use. This identified the new Freecom (BDA driver-based) tuner as well as my existing analogue card and it works fine.

Overall I am reasonably happy with the Freecom DVB-T USB but until Emley Moor boosts its signal I would have to say that I wish I had spent £20 more, opened up the computer and fitted a PCI card so I could watch the re-runs of CSI on Five US!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - but be aware of some caveats, 30 May 2006
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
I read the negative reviews, could not believe some of them.

a)Make sure you have USB2 and a reasonably powerful machine. USB1.1 on my old P3 1Ghz laptop was not fast enough. Think about what you are trying to do , video-wise with this. IE , do a lot a drawing all over the screen, very quickly.. you need some reasnable graphics power.

b)Of course the aerial supplied is only for good signal areas! -Would you run your TV off an aerial like that? The supplied aerial is magnetic , so shove it on something metal and the signal can improve.

c)Do your channel scan with a good aerial, and after 7PM to pick up all the channels like Beeb 3 and 4 which only start after 7.

d)Recording is DVD quality , but sometimes I got sound out of sync with picture.

e) Watch it on a non-CRT display - the picture is 'pixel sharp'.

f) Remember the serial number is printed on the CD cover !

g ) I tried it in Paris on my laptop - they have even more Freeview channels than we do.

All in all , excellent product.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to solve reception problems with the Freecom DVB-T stick, 9 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
I've just purchased one of these and was a bit worried about reception after reading some of these reviews, but managed to get 29 TV and 18 radio channels. A good starting point is [...] where, if you supply a postcode, they will show a map of your location in relation to the closest transmitter and whether the aerial should be placed/installed vertically or horizontally. Then, if you can't get reception using the supplied aerial and don't have easy access to an outdoor TV aerial connection, connect an indoor TV aerial (mine is an Antiference Silver Sensor High Performance bought in 2000, which looks like a normal outdoor analog aerial, but any should do I suppose), place it on a window sill and point it in the general direction of the transmitter. Scan using the default settings (country UK) and you should have clear reception. I am using the standard software supplied. The reason for the 4 starts is that I could not pick up any channels using the supplied aerial - well, didn't try very hard. Otherwise, very satisfied.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality product, great price., 19 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
Opted for this PC based tuner, rather than a Freeview box, and wasn't quite sure what to expect, for the price, but this is great - it's a Freeview box and HD Recorder in one. The picture quality is great - although I do run it from an external aerial. The software is reasonably fully featured, if a little "clunky", and lacking in refinement.
Software install was easy - but the error messages are a little unnerving if you don't read the manual beforehand.
Configuration was simple, although some identified channel names don't seem to tie up with the Freeview package. Contrary to some comments, you can order the channels, by dragging and dropping them within the set up screen - it's all detailed in the manual.
I've not tried the remote control that comes with the tuner, nor fathomed how the interactive functionality ("Press the Red Button now") is accessed. Only annoyance after a few days running, is that you need a powerful processor to have the TV or radio running successfully in the background - on my reasonably upto date laptop, it doesn't multi-task well with other processor intensive activities like net surfing.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We never stop hoping for a happy ending..., 2 July 2006
By 
Anna Quay (Middle of England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
I was struck by how many people have written reviews for this product, and how many have read those reviews, judging by the amount of feedback left. Perhaps this reflects a perenial optimism that things will work out okay if you prod and tweak them, plus it's a cool looking gadget. Well that's me to a tee - sucker for cute widgets plus I did what I guess most people did and think 'oh those ones who couldn't get it to work very well, they were probably just unlucky'. Thirty quid didn't seem like very much money when it would almost certainly work for me, me being reasonably techy-savvy.

Well. As seems to be standard, the initial scan with the supplied aerial produced nothing, but forewarned I plugged it in to the house aerial, and the scan produced a list of about thirty channels. Note, I had to stand in front of my tv set to do this, where there is, er.. not a great need for another tv, but I digress.

I initially struggled to reorder the channels in the set up box, but with a little perseverance I did. Then I tried them out.

BBC1 & BBC2 & CBBC fine

Sky Sports News & Sky 3 fine

E4 fine

Shopping channels

that's it

Now there are many more channels listed, many of them called things like '302', but I have no idea what these are. Click on them and Nothing happens. Can't find ITV or C4 at all.

The Quality of the picture and sound is really good, no complaints there, but to be honest I wouldn't have bought it if I'd known I'd be able to get two channels I want at the price of having an extension cable resting on the head of the people watching the real telly in the living room.

If I want to record something on BBC1 or 2 I'll probably be very pleased.

Other comments: the remote has to be very close to the usb stick to work; the stick heats up to the point where I wouldn't want it touching anything else or to be left plugged in while I wasn't in the room as I suspect it could be a hazard if forgotten; the software is not intuitive to use and exhibits selective behaviour, where sporadically only parts of it will function (not a lack of resources as pc is quite powerful). It isn't impossible but it doesn't make the job easy.

So should you buy it? Well you might be one of the lucky ones - some people obviously do fine judging from many of the reviews -

but I think you have to be realistic, it's just a straight gamble..

Have to say that thirty quid seems like quite a lot now!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great with DVBViewer, 23 Nov. 2007
By 
Graham Smith "Blink" (Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black (Accessory)
I have used one of these gadgets for must be getting on 2 years now - on the roof arial via a 6 way booster. Don't be naive - nothing Digi will work on a six inch bit of wire! Alongside it, on another pc I run a Nebula DigiTV usb card that cost 3 time the price about 4 yrs ago. Since they have been mucking around with the frequences and strengths of the Waltham transmitter digital side, the Nebula pixelises Ch4 and associated channels whilst the Freecom is rock solid. As it's easier to spend 22 quid on another Freecom rather than stick a bigger arial on the roof another one is on its way.
For info I use XP - not tried Vista - the supplied Arcsoft software is c**p, expecially if you want to record radio as i do a lot. I use DVBViewer (GE version, but both pro and GE as good as each other). After trying all sorts this is the best third party software around - all for a tenner or so!.
If you want to use any third party software like DVBViewer you need to download the BDA drivers from Freecom. (files 00008584.zip)Install the stick with the BDA drivers like any usb device, not the supplied Arcsoft software. If using DVBViewer, download and install the free DScaler mpeg2 video decoder, the AC3 filter mpeg audio decoder and try using the vmr7 video mixing renderer if you get wavy lines, all set up under options/directshow. There you go a few tips to ease the pain:-)
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