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107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Add Freeview HD to Mythtv ...
This is a review for the 290e not the 292e:

This is about the only PC TV tuner on sale in the UK which supports DVB-T2, which is required for receiving the Freeview HD channels. I purchased this for my MythTV system after reading that drivers had been written and intially I had to compile and install them myself, but from Linux kernel 3.0 they are included (I...
Published on 5 Nov. 2011 by P. Millar

versus
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Problems, Problems.
This product, in my opinion has been rushed to sale, without proper testing. Here are the problems I've had.

1: The TVCenter bundled software is extremely buggy. (An update has recently been released on the manufacturers website, but still has the same problems for me).

2: The "over-the-air" Electronic Program Guide fails to fully update for the...
Published on 30 May 2011 by AMB


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107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Add Freeview HD to Mythtv ..., 5 Nov. 2011
By 
P. Millar "dazzle" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
This is a review for the 290e not the 292e:

This is about the only PC TV tuner on sale in the UK which supports DVB-T2, which is required for receiving the Freeview HD channels. I purchased this for my MythTV system after reading that drivers had been written and intially I had to compile and install them myself, but from Linux kernel 3.0 they are included (I am using Ubuntu 11.10 which has support for this tuner built in).

This is an excellent piece of kit for MythTV, it gets a better reception than my exisiting Nova-T 500 card and is more convenient as it is USB rather than PCI (more modern motherboards have phased out the PCI slot in favour of a PCIe one), so it is easier to upgrade a motherboard without worrying which slots are on it. The only downside is that it's only a single tuner, but in MythTV you can create multiple virtual tuners to record more than one TV channel from a single tuner (as long as the channels are on the same multiplex). At the moment I am using this in tandem with my Nova-T 500 card to have a total of 6 tuners, but ultimately I intend to replace the Nova-T with another one of these, probably about the time I'll be looking for a more powerful mini-ITX motherboard.

If you are looking to add Freeview HD channels to your MythTV set-up then this is about the only choice you have, at the moment, and if you are using a Linux kernel > 3.0 or don't mind compiling your own drivers for it then it practically works 'out of the box' in as much as anything under Linux works 'out of the box'.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth having but there are two gotchas., 7 July 2014
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This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
Arrived quickly in quite a battered box but the contents had survived. I bought this device for a tower PC running Windows 7 Pro and having read other reviews had already decided just to install the drivers and use Windows Media Centre ("WMC"). Now that I've got it properly set up and connected to my rooftop antenna I've got well over 100 channels (most of which I'll never watch) including all the Freeview HD ones. With WMC in full screen mode on an HD channel the picture on my 1920 * 1080 monitor compares favourably with the picture on my "real" HD TV. That's why I like it. Non-HD channels are not that good in full screen mode so I put them in a smaller window sized to make them really sharp. An HD channel in a smaller window is really sharp!

Now the gotcha's. Firstly you can't plug your coax antenna directly into the stick but have to plug it into an adapter that comes with the stick, and then plug that adapter into the stick. This means that it sticks out quite a long way behind the PC and if the USB port is some distance above the floor, the weight of the coax can put a potentially significant bending stress on the stick's USB connector. I used the rather short USB extender that came in the box to help get around these issues. It is also worth noting that the connectors require an unexpectedly firm push to get an working connection.

Secondly the documentation is, to put it mildly, sparse. If you open the CD in Windows Explorer rather than letting it autostart then you'll find a folder called Windows Media Centre which contains both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of the program that you need to run. The CD has drivers for dozens of devices but the 64 bit program in the folder installed the ones that I needed plus something else that apparently interfaces the drivers to WMC.

The result of all this is that when I ploughed through the WMC Tasks menu structure and finally got to Set Up TV Signal I was told that I had a signal source with a rather generic name something like "Digital TV Tuner DVB-T" and lower down it told me that I also had a DVB-T2 292e; that's what I'd just bought and I really wanted DVB-T2 rather than DVB-T so I tried to get WMC to use it. This was a mistake.

You should let WMC use the generic sounding thing and, if you've got a decent signal, all will be well. I'd read other reviews that said there appeared to be two tuners but had not realised that only the one with the unconvincing name would work.

I have no use for either the small antenna or the rather primitive remote that came in the box but the two AAA batteries may come in useful one day for some other device.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I would call cheap, but absolutely fantastic none the less, 26 April 2012
By 
L. Burgess "l_eeburgess" (Bristol, Avon UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
Well I will start by saying that if you buy this and you plan on using the provided whip aerial, then your in for some disappointment. I live in an area with good signal, and using the whip aerial only managed to pick up 31 channels, none of them HD.
As we have no roof aerial I bought an indoor powered aerial and a signal booster, I now get 117 channels and all the HD channels. It all works great, the picture has not broken up, neither have I seen an pixellation.
The tuner itself is tiny, and with Windows 7 64 bit I just plugged it in and I was away.
I use Windows Media Centre, as others have recommended, and it all works just fine.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great!, 28 July 2011
This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
Firstly, I don't usually bother writing reviews but...
I can only comment about use with windows media player in windows 7 64 bit system (Quadcore). I have a standard high gain freeview aerial in my loft.
I read a few reviews about this product including difficulty with EPG and tuner priority.
Decided to buy and installed - I also have two other hauppauge PCI tuner cards installed - I did not bother with the bundled software as windows 7 recognised device and installed drivers automatically - so now WMC regonises 4 tuners are installed.
When I set up signal automatically with WMC it did not find EPG information for HD channels.
I took online advice to maually install tuners - when WMC listed the 4 tuners I unchecked the 3 hauppauge and continued with only the 290e tuner - when WMC asked "install more tuners" I confirmd and checked the remaining 3 hauppauge tuners and continued through process and channel search - it took longer than usual but I ended up with 105 channels instead of the usual 101. When I checked the EPG the HD channels and programs were listed.
Without any other configuration I set the EPG to record "The Hour" in both Digital freeview and HD both recording at the same time. There was no conflict with tuner priority and both programs recorded.
What a difference in HD! Yes, both picture and sound was noticebly better than the standard digital freeview recording.
With my setup I can now record 4 digital freeview channels or 3 digital freeview and 1 HD channel at the same time - useful sometimes.
Hope this helps...
Enjoy!
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Problems, Problems., 30 May 2011
By 
AMB (United Kingdom.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
This product, in my opinion has been rushed to sale, without proper testing. Here are the problems I've had.

1: The TVCenter bundled software is extremely buggy. (An update has recently been released on the manufacturers website, but still has the same problems for me).

2: The "over-the-air" Electronic Program Guide fails to fully update for the High Definition channels when using the TVCenter software and fails to give ANY description of the recording other than
the title, meaning that you have to use the listings for the corresponding Standard Definition channels and hope they are on at the same time. Fine, for example for BBC ONE HD, but
useless for BBC HD. When using the stick with Windows Media Center (my OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit) the HD channel listings don't update at all using "over-the-air", meaning you
have to use the Internet based EPG download function. There is a trial alternative EPG program included on the installation disk, however this is NOT for UK use.

3: The stick fails to re-initialise (most times) when resuming from standby or hibernation, leading to many missed recordings and major frustration. This is the case for both the bundled TVCenter
software and WMC. This includes times when the suspend/hibernate option is selected for post recording actions in TVCenter.

4: Be aware that scanning for channels takes an extremely long period of time, in both WMC and TVCenter. The scan took over 1 hour in my case in both TVCenter and WMC.

If this stick is to be used to watch live TV and not for recording, then it produces a very high quality picture, but at this point in time I feel that the recording functions make it unsuitable for
unattended DVR type recording, because of the problems listed above.

In conclusion, I have been very disappointed with the quality of the bundled TVCenter software and the WMC drivers. It's a shame that these problems are present, but I feel
it's importan to let other people know. At the time of writing this review (end of may 2011), I still have to get a satisfactory response/solution from PCTV customer support. All I was told was to uninstall the software and re-install the newest update, however all the problems listed above still occur. This is the reason for the 2 star rating, but for picture quality 5 stars.

IMPORTANT UPDATE. 04/08/11.

The laptop which I was using with the DVB-T2 stick has very recently died on me after only 3 months of use. I have had to revert to using a 3 year old laptop as a result. Since doing this I have been able to record using the Windows Media Center in Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit with no issues whatsoever. It looks as if the hibernation/standby/resume issue I was having was due to the laptop I was using, up until about a week ago. I haven't, as yet, tried using the bundled TV application to record unattended, so I will try that in the next few days and post another update on here. I'll go through the listed problems above and report back on those as well. I wanted to post this update because of what has happened since I stopped using the new laptop. I will gladly answer anybody's questions, just leave a comment. I hope this update is useful.

UPDATE#2 16/08/11.

No further news on Windows compatibility, but, we have UBUNTU Linux installed on the older laptop along with MythTV. After downloading the appropriate kernel update and the linuxTV drivers the 290e has worked flawlessly with MythTV. That particluar program can be quite tricky to compile from source but is well worth the effort. When you've set up the 290e using the MythTV setup program you'll have a FAR MORE capable system than anything I have fouond for Windows. You will be able to record up to 5 (yes 5!) different TV programmes simultaneously (as long as the 5 are all on the same multiplex), something which I haven't ever been able to do from within Windows. This applies to HDTV channels as well, although up until now I've only needed to record 2 proammes at the same time and of course there are only 4 HD channels available at the moment (and I suspect you will need a monster pc to record without stutters etc.,). Certainly for Standard Definition TV you can record up to 5 as long as you set up the 290e correctly. As well as that advantage, we have not had ANY trouble with the HD channel epg either. Immediately after setting up the card we ran the "mythfilldatabase" program and when we entered MythTV proper all the HD channel listings were there as well as SDTV. No need to be connected to the internet for the guide because the program worked without any problems on all the 108 channels available in the area. The only possible, slight, drawback is that because the epg data is read from the TV signal, it only contains the next 8 days, but that is a tiny inconvenenience. One important note: various sources advise that NVIDIA card users make sure that they use the VDPAU driver to help with HD recording/playback and for us this has worked without issue.

If you want to try out MythTV with the 290e then I suggest you look in the rpm/deb/tgz/src repositories for your particular distro, because you may find a pre-compiled version there which will save you the hassle of compiling it from source. A fully working MySQL database is needed but that is usually just a simple install via the various package managers. You will still have to download and compile the latest LinuxTV drivers (using git) but this is a relatively simple task. If I can do it then I suspect most people will be able to. There are a few "Live" MythTV distros which could be used to see if MythTV is for you, but we have only ever tried a permanent version from within UBUNTU and Fedora.

As always I will be happy to help, if I can, just post a comment. Thank you for reading this update and I hope it helps. Incidentally if I were to rate this product using MythTV rather than WMC or the bundled software, then it would get a 5 * rating and be HIGHLY recommended.

Regards AMB.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch Freeview in HD, 17 Dec. 2010
This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
I can only comment on its use with windows media centre. This was easy to set up just plug in and load the drivers from the cd then let the media centre setup wizard take care of the rest. Works well with both the HD channels and the other standard freeview channels here in St Albans with an outside areial. Sound and picture quality are both excellent. Just need more programmes in HD to watch.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars freeview hd for the pc, 30 Dec. 2011
By 
D. Lennard - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
What a piece of kit this pctv freeview hd is! Easy set up ( whether you use the media center or the tv package which comes with the product), within about 10 to 20 minutes " includes scan for signal" you have full freeview hd (beware you will not get hd with the aerial supplied, you need to have a stronger signal aerial to pick up the hd channels). The small usb dongle-like fitment looks if it will not handle all whats asked of it but dont be fooled by size, this is up to the job. Recommend it if you're either want another portable tv or if you have a motorhome / caravan.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freeview HD on MythTV with Ubuntu Linux, 7 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
I am using this device successfully in MythTV setup on Ubuntu 11.1.

It works "out of the box" on Linux kernel 3.0.0-14 and I can receive 4 HD channels along with the normal complement of Freeview standard channels. There were one or two issues with stuttering video/audio on HD when there was intense activity in the scene (such as fast panning with lots of movement in the subject) and I noticed that my CPU was hitting max on one or both cores when the issues occurred. There was also some line tearing on the video.

Adding nvidia-xconfig option "--no-composite" and enabling VDPAU high quality mode in MythTV playback settings fixed these problems: the CPU cores are now running below 30% most of the time, occasionally peaking to 70%.

The relevant hardware details of my current setup are:

Shuttle SX48P2E Barebone
Intel Pentium E5800 3.20GHz Socket 775 2MB Cache
RAM 4 GB 2 x 2 GB
nVidia Quadro FX 1700 with dual-link DVI output
Apple 30" Cinema Display 2560x1600

For details of how to optimise settings for HDTV, go to the MythTV wiki on VDPAU.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for turning a NAS into a PVR - but PCTV Systems are replacing the 290e with the NAS incompatible 292e, 28 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
I use my DVB-T2 290e in a Synology DS414 using DVBLink as the TV Server. It works reasonably well creating recorded material which I can stream or copy as desired. I can also watch live TV on a PC, Mac or Android device using a DVBLink App. I was so happy with this arrangement that I bought a second one so I could simultaneously watch one channel while recording another or record two channels at the same time. My second unit came from DABS (amazon was out of stock) and although the box is clear enough about it containing a 290e in fact it was substituted with a model 292e. This is a later model which uses a different TV tuner for which no Linux NAS drivers are available at present, so beware! The 292e does come with Windows drivers but that was no use to me. I re-ordered from amazon and the correct 290e arrived but I suspect they will run out so if you want one for your NAS I suggest not hanging about.

To identify your PCTV stick pull out the sliding section to reveal the model number - also the logo on the 292e is multicoloured whereas the 290e is white.

I should add that if you intend to use your PCTV device with DVBLink it will be necessary to obtain a licence which will cost around £25.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is no longer the nanoStick its the tripleStick, 31 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PCTV Systems DVB-T2 292e nanoStick HD TV Tuner - Watch, Pause & Record Digital Freeview Hi Definition and Standard Definition TV on your PC. Stream LIVE TV to your iPad, iPhone, PC. (Electronics)
Non Windows users beware, all of the Linux reviews (and the images plus all the blurb) do not relate to this product but its predecessor the 290e nanoStick. The Linux drivers for this product are NOT in the current kernel - they are under development - so if you want to use this with Linux 'out of the box' don't buy it for some time.
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