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KWorld PC160-2T dual Freeview tuner review

Seth Barton
23 Jan 2010
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
KWorld PC160-2T
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
33
inc VAT

This budget dual Freeview tuner may not have great software, but that won’t bother Vista and Windows 7 users.

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Specifications

The last time we reviewed a KWorld tuner, we were less than impressed. There was nothing wrong with the hardware, but the supplied tuner software was poor. The software has barely changed in the last few years, but thankfully the prevalence of Windows Media Center has made that fact largely irrelevant.

No TV tuner company makes software that can rival Microsoft's. This means that all you really need is a cheap tuner that supports Media Center. The PC160-2T is just such a tuner. The 2T suffix on its name refers to its dual tuners. It can only pickup Freeview transmissions, with no analogue TV support, but that should suit most people. The dual tuners let you record one channel while watching another, or record two channels at once; a feature we feel is essential for a media centre PC.

This PCI card should be compatible with the vast majority of motherboards, though be sure to check before buying, as some boards based on Intel's latest H55 chipset exclusively use PCI-Express slots. This card is thoughtfully provided with a half-height bracket, so you can fit it into a low-profile case – ideal if you're building a media centre nettop.

A single RF connector on the rear drives both tuners, so there's no messy adaptor to contend with. A mini aerial is supplied, but as usual you'll be lucky to get decent reception using this. The only other input is for the IR receiver, this is for using the supplied remote with KWorld's own software, unfortunately it's not Media Center compatible.

For anyone who is resolutely sticking with Windows XP, and we do recommend an upgrade Windows 7 as a general rule, you'll also be stuck with the supplied software. The interface pretty simplistic, but all the basic functions are there (like simultaneous recording, scheduling from the EPG and time-shifting). It's missing many useful features, though, such as series recording. It'll suffice for watching and recording the odd programme.

If you're looking for a basic dual Freeview tuner for your Vista or Windows 7 media centre then this is a good choice. If you're still using XP, then we recommend upgrading your PC before buying a TV card.

Details

Rating****
AwardBudget Buy

Features

Digital tuners2
Tuner typeFreeview
Diversityno
InterfacePCI
InputsRF, IR
Remote controlyes
EPG7 day
Video recording formatMPEG2

Buying Information

Price£33
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.kworlduk.com

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