iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






TV-tuner AVerMedia AVerTV USB 2.0 — Unusual Design and Rich Package Content

August 3, 2004

Being one of the trendsetters on the TV tuner market, AVerMedia Technologies Inc. couldn't have kept out of the thriving movement to manufacture these devices with USB 2.0 support. The model tested in this review is currently the only device offered by the company in this series.

Package Content

The box is in the orange-white brand colors. Traditional sport scenes gave way to a transparent insert, which allows to see the TV tuner inside the box.

The box contained the following items:

  • Tuner
  • USB2.0 screened cable
  • Audio loop through cable
  • Potential divider for correct mic-in usage
  • Leather Carry Case
  • Three CDs with drivers and applications
  • Quick Installation Guide (in Russian and in English)

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the package contained additional software from Ulead Systems – Ulead VideoStudio 7SE to capture and edit video

and Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2SE to create your own VCD, SVCD or DVD

You can see that there is no remote control. A strange move from the developers' side, I can say.

Design and Specification

The main tuner features are already described in similar reviews AVerTV Studio Model 305 and AVerTV Studio Model 307, this model differing only in its interface, lack of FM and stereo audio decoding support (we shall return to it later). So we'll just point out such parameters as compact dimensions (91.5x86x16 mm) and power supply by USB 2.0 Port.

Designers, responsible for the device appearance, managed to distinguish their creation. Their efforts resulted in a rectangular metal case resembling an expensive cigar-case. You cannot deny this solution to be practical, AVerTV USB 2.0 boasts good resistance to mechanical effects :-) .

Besides, the device can be protected from scratches by the bundled leather case, which does not hide connectors.

The design does not promote exact topographic definition of front and back panels. Let's take the blue LED power indicator for the front side of the device. Next to the LED are a USB connector and an audio jack.

The opposite side contains a standard set of audio and video connectors and a mini-jack for antenna. Earphone to F-Type/ IEC Cable comes with the package. When connecting to notebooks, which have only mic-in, it's better to use the bundled potential divider to avoid problems with sound levels.

Several words about the circuit technology.

The signal is received by a compact selector LG INNOTEK TALN-S205T.

AVerTV USB 2.0 is the second tuner after Compro VideoMate For You/Stereo , which uses 9bit ADC TVP5150AM1 from Texas Instruments Incorporated.

USB 2.0 operations are organized by the two devices — video controller CT-DC1100 from Crescentec Corporation

and USB transceiver ISP1501 from Philips Semiconductors, Inc.

Engineers from AVerMedia Technologies didn't install an additional audio decoder, that's why this model does not support stereo sound decoding.

Testbed Configuration

  • Athlon 64 3000+ processor
  • ASUS K8V SE DELUXE (สา800) mainboard
  • ASUS RADEON 9800 XT 256MB video card
  • 1 GB (512 MB PC3200 from Samsung + 512 MB PC3200 from Kingmax)
  • Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 sound card
  • TV and FM Tuner ECS EZ-TV (TVP3XP)
  • 120GB Maxtor Plus9-6Y120M0 7200rpm SATA150 8mb HDD
  • Operating system Windows XP Professional (SP1) ENG

List of Air Channels Used in the Tests


The language of the install menu depends on the operating system localization.

After the installation, a new device appears in the system

and the program icon Quick TV appears in system tray.

The AVerTV program is described in detail in the reviews AVerTV Studio Model 305 and AVerTV Studio Model 307.

The list of deinterlacing filters was modified and offers just two options (except for disabling, of course) — Bob and V-Sharp. The latter offers better quality.

The program contains a complete list of frequencies without the cable/air division. The program also offers a rare option of individual video format settings for each channel in the list.

Despite a small size of the selector, it detected all my channels. The only problem was that the tuner failed to get Channel 11 audio (215.25MHz) with intermittent reception, but its full-sized brother LG TPI8PSB12D, installed on VideoMate For You/Stereo, coped with this task well. However, taking into account that the popular selectors TCL2002MB-33F from Huizhou TCL King High Frequency Electronic Co. do not detect this channel in my place at all, it can be considered a fair price for compactness.

It supports video recording using any codec installed in the system

and allows to adjust codec settings.

Time Shift settings let you vary the video resolution in the wide range. But the indication of CPU clock sufficiency for the selected settings sometimes needs adjusting, e.g. Athlon 64 3000+ performance (even with its actual clock frequency) is, to put it mildly, quite sufficient for MPEG-2 at 720๕576.

We had no problems with this TV tuner in third-party applications (we used iuVCR and WinDVR 3.0 from InterVideo).


Not bad at all. ADC and High Frequency units from the same manufacturer, identical with those of VideoMate For You/Stereo, resulted in the same image quality in these two models, despite different videocontrollers. Unfortunately, DC-1100, unlike controllers manufactured by EMPIA Technology Inc, does not support contrast adjusting.

Image side borders, which can be removed by the scaling function leading to inevitable loss of some (little) vertical visual region, can be classified as petty criticism.

Sad things in the end. As we have already mentioned above, the tuner does not support stereo sound decoding, which is getting increasingly popular. It has nothing to do with video capture from external sources, in this case the audio stream flows directly. On one hand, we do not except that the situation will repeat itself and there will appear a new model with stereo support like in case with AVer Studio Model 305. On the other hand, how many notebook owners (who are constantly in a hurry) will notice this event?

And the lack of remote control is not a good idea at all, especially when its support wouldn't have caused any technical problems.


Despite the drawbacks described above, the tuner design merits our web site award.

Original Design

We should also point out the decent package content.

Excellent Package


  • Excellent quality
  • Good audio and video quality
  • Good sensitivity
  • Good screening
  • No need in external power supply
  • Small dimensions and weight
  • Bundled potential divider to attach to mic-in
  • PAL and SECAM support
  • Deinterlacing
  • TV image scalability
  • Time Shift
  • Picture in picture video record playback
  • 16-channel preview
  • Video desktop mode
  • Support for MPEG-4 and other third-party codecs
  • Convenient software with the russian language support
  • Rich package content
  • Interesting design


  • No stereo sound decoding support in TV mode
  • No remote control
  • No FM tuner
  • Audio stream transfer via a separate cable
  • No option to disable/enable sleep mode after the recording is finished

This time we cannot confer clear victory to the object of our review, because its main competitor (Compro VideoMate For You/Stereo) offers a stereo sound decoder and an impressive remote control at a lower price. However, due to the combination of such parameters as image quality, compact size, software features, package content, and design, AVerTV USB 2.0 has deserved to occupy one of the leading places among tuners with the USB 2.0 interface in its price range.

Alexey Samsonov aka AlS (als@ixbt.com)

August 3, 2004

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