AverMedia AverTV Express mini - Unbox, Software Setup, and Recording Samples

Gear: AverTV Express mini, Lenovo ThinkPad X201T.

The AverTV Mini Express card allows you to view and record analog and digital tv, listen to FM radio, and connect analog sources with the component in cable.

I'm using a Lenovo ThinkPad X201 Tablet to run this card which has a Core i7 and 4GB RAM. The AverTV Express mini card should run well with this system.

Notes
Features
- Just slim and fit for your laptop. Easy to carry and go!
- Fit 34mm and 54mm ExpressCard slot (With Stabilizer)
- Analog TV(NTSC), Digital TV(ATSC) and FM radio with stereo sound support
- AV in (RCA) input support
- Clear QAM support (Digital Cable)
- High Definition support up to 1080i (AV Resolution 480p)
- 32/64-Bit support
- Fully compatible with Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Windows Vista Premium Certificated
- Real-time H.264 recording support
- Watch TV programs on iPod

Specs:
- 75 Ω TV Antenna (Digital/Analog/FM Radio)
- S-Video (Using a dongle cable) (Resolution 480p)
- Composite RCA input (Using a dongle cable) (Resolution 480p)

System Requirements:
- Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2.0GHz Mobile Processor
- AMD® Turion™ X2 Dual-Core 2.0GHz Mobile Processor
- 34mm ExpressCard slot / 54mm slot (with Stabilizer)
- Sound Card
- 1GB RAM or above
- VGA card with DirectX 9.0c
- Windows XP / XP Media Center Edition / Vista / Vista Media Center Edition


Unbox


Alt video.

Box Contents:
  • AverTV Express mini card
  • Quick Guide, Warranty
  • Installation CD
  • TV Antenna
  • Suction base and Clip-On base
  • RF Cable
  • Component In cable (S-Video / RCA)
  • Carrying Bag
  • 54mm plastic attachment

There are close up images of the box contents below.

Hardware Setup

Alt video.


Software Setup


Alt video.

I will not make a step by step guide.  It's very easy to install and configure the software.  (Even a caveman can do it... get Geico...)

The Aver MediaCenter way
Use the disc. The version of Aver MediaCenter found online seems to conflict with Windows Media Center.   I strongly recommend using the disc.  Since there are systems that don't have a CD/DVD drive I will share the contents of the disc.

This is what happens when you use the latest Aver MediaCenter which is found online.

Avermedia please do not sue me.  I'm doing you guys a favor since your most recent version gives an error and therefore is unusable.

You can download the files at:

Advantages of using Aver MediaCenter:
  • Easily switch and record video sources such as analog and digital tv, component cables either RCA or S-Video, and FM radio.
  • Desn't feel "heavy" as Windows Media Center feels.

The Windows Media Center Way
You can download a driver from Aver Media's website for Windows Media Center.  It's easy to configure the TV tuner so I won't do it.  Going the Windows Media Center method offers an advantage as all the channels you should get are downloaded from an online database and then listed.  Aver MediaCenter scans and then lists, so Windows Media Center is better at listing all the channels in your area.

Get the drivers for WMC at:
http://www.avermedia-usa.com/AVerTV/product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=478&tab=APDriver


Recording Content

You can record analog TV, digital TV, FM radio, and component in. You can also schedule your recordings through the Aver MediaCenter software.

On TV recording
If you have good signal you will be able to view and record some amazing quality TV.  If you have poor signal quality then you will run into trouble. The default file format for the video recordings is .mpg.

1920 x 1080 video recording details:
  • .mpg file format
  • up to 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 29 frames/second
  • 6 channels audio
  • 48 kHz audio sample rate

720 x 480 video recording details:
  • .mp4 file format
  • 29 frames/second
  • 2 channel audio
  • 48 kHz audio sample rate

FM Radio recording
  • .wav file format

On Component In
Sometimes you will get small lines going across the screen.  I'm not sure if they are because of interference, but they happen.  On my tests I have gotten those lines about 70% of the time.  Sometimes there's no lines at all and everything is good.  It's just weird.

 Left side TV connection, right side Component In

 The plastic piece for 54mm Express Card slots

 Component In cable (Yellow, White, Red, and S-Video)

 TV Antenna.  Comes with two attachment methods (suction base, and clip-on)

 Piece that connects antenna or cable TV to the card

 How it looks attached to my Lenovo X201 Tablet (messy cables!)



Please lower your volume as these samples can be loud!



Good TV recording at 1920 x 1080


MPG file.

Bad TV recording at 1920 x 1080


MPG file.

Good Component In recording at 720 x 480


MPG file.

Bad Component In recording at 720 x 480


MPG file.

Good TV Recording at 720 x 480


MPG file.

FM Radio Recording


Alt video, WAV file.

Component In Demo On Laptop Screen


Alt video.

Component In Demo on External Display


Alt video.

Conclusion


Alt video.

If your plan is to watch and record TV and FM radio then this card will work just fine.  For recording Component In I might be a bit causious because it's fairly inconsistent.  To record Xbox, PS3, or Wii I would go for the AverTV Express HD DVR version which is "HD".  If you are a TV or Radio junkie then this card does a fine job as long as you have good quality signal.


Alt video. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!


(96m)

Published: Dec 9, 2010

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