With Microsoft Media Center PCs and Sky+ remaining expensive and proprietary, many people are choosing to build their own multimedia recording PCs. In fact it’s one of the most popular uses for small form factor systems. If you’re thinking about building such a machine, then you should take a look at the VideoMate TV Gold Plus.
According to Compro, this is the first TV tuner card that will actually power up your PC to record, even if it's fully shut down. It will also work from Stand-by mode. When the recording is finished it will then shut down your PC as well.
This means that you can set the PC to record a programme at the same time every day, and not worry about leaving it on the whole time. It also makes it a lot more feasible to place a PC in a noise sensitive environment such as the lounge or bedroom.
The Compro offers NICAM stereo support and also features an FM radio tuner and remote control. It can be hooked up to S-video or composite sources.
We like the sound of the VideoMate TV Gold Plus a lot, though it would be even better if it was a digital DVB-T card rather than plain old analogue. That said, Compro claims that the card offers excellent picture quality as well as great features but we’ll be getting one of the cards in to judge for ourselves.
If you can’t wait though the card is available in the UK at www.tekheads.co.ukfor just over £40.