WinTV Nova-T Stick Review

Christmas is over and, as usual, I think of a really good present to ask for too late… But I don't mind if I give myself a late present ;-)

I used to use an old WinTV Theatre PCI Card but I watched so little telly that I decided to remove it and use the space for making the computer lighter. My new toy is USB (2.0). It means I can also use it on my Mac Book Pro (once I get it back from Apple - they're still repairing my broken hard disk!).

Hauppauge Win TV T Stick USB

Watch and record digital DVB-T TV on your notebook and PC!


All4One SV 9320 Digital Indoor Antenna

All4One SV-9320 R01

The device

I was pleasantly surprised at how small it is! Its pretty much the same size as my thumb. One end has a male USB plug, the other has a female coax hole. It also looks like it has IR receiver points on it too, although it doesn't come with a remote

The Installation

3 words - Piece Of Piss

Appologies if that language offends - but it really is that easy

  1. Put in the CD.
  2. Plug the device into a USB 2.0 socket (NOT A HUB)
  3. Tell Windows to automatically search for drivers (but "Not this time" to the Windows Update searching). This causes it to look on the CD when it fails to find any pre-existing ones on the system.
  4. Repeat step 3 for all the new hardware (there are about 4 to 5 bits from the main stick and IR receiver to a few HID components).
  5. Run Setup.exe on the disk and install the software you want
  6. Search for channels and watch them!

Ok - the last step I've simplified… Let me explain!

The problem


See, I bought this in Wales when visiting a relative who is about 6 miles from the Cardiff transmitter. Upon scanning for stations using the provided 5 inch piece of stiff wire on a small stand the size of a 2p coin I managed to find about 40 stations (consisting of Free TV, Pay TV and Radio). This was indoors on the ground floor using a laptop with a tiny aerial balanced on the table next to me. VERY easy and the picture quality was nigh on flawless. I was genuinely stunned!.

Now I'm home… My PC is on the 1st floor about 10 miles from Crystal Palace Transmitter (and about 20 miles form Bluebell Hill transmitter - for what that's worth... It only transmits about 6 stations!). I've heard that on a good day you can actually visually SEE Crystal Palace Transmitter from where I live, albeit out the back window - not the front where I am.

I plugged in the dinky little aerial and scanned after doing the same install procedure I used on my Laptop. Nothing - no frequencies were considered present, let alone strong enough to be locked onto. Bugger…

Ok - I have 2 spare aerials. 1 with a power booster but was produced before the invention of Digital Terrestrial TV, the other newer but not booster. I tried those but I still got no locked signals - although the strength improved ever so slightly. Bugger squared!

Well after going to Bluewater to get my dead Mac Book Pro sent back to Apple, I popped into Curry's and bought an One For All signal boosting aerial designed for use with Freeview boxes and DVB-T reception. Looks very stylish I must say… Didn't help a bit, but it looks nice! Saying that, at least now the scanning actually considers some frequencies PRESENT - it just doesn't consider 19% strength anywhere near enough to consider locking onto!

So currently I am sitting here typing this blog message feeling quite frustrated. I have one piece of technology somewhere in Apple's hands being repaired and another sitting here blissfully unaware that Crystal Palace is blasting out digital signals 10 miles away, even with a decent booster!

I've posted for help on the Hauppauge Forum and am waiting for advice there - but any here will be just as appreciated!