Small – at least in technology terms – really is the way forward. Flat, compact and lightweight is really what we demand these days (which probably explains why the first round of 3G mobile phones was such a resounding failure), and Compro looks set to turn a few heads with two tiny TV Tuners.
Roughly the same size as a lighter (and with more than a passing resemblance to memory keys from a few years back), the U880 is – incredibly – a full featured TV Card. The 9 x 2.6 x 1.1cm “Stick” has a USB2.0 interface, is NTSC, PAL and SECAM compatible, timer records in MPEG1/2 and 4, can timeshift, captures single frames and works without any external power adaptor. For image enthusiasts, picture brightness, hue, saturation, contrast and sharpness can be customised for each TV channel.
Of course, you won’t have all the usual video and audio inputs/outputs that you would expect on a PCI or full size external TV card, but that’s hardly the point. What Compro has created is basically a television that you can fit into a wallet, which has got to be popular amongst the road warriors.
No release date or pricing info the U880 yet, and while we’d like to see what the quality of reception is like first, we’re can’t deny it gets us a little bit excited.
Not quite so small, but still form factor busting is the second of Compro’s releases: the U900. This external USB2.0 TV Box measures just 7.6 x 5.4 x 1.4cm (a credit card sized footprint) and has all the features of the U880 along with S-Video, composite and stereo audio connections. It also has an in built IR receiver and comes with a neat 32 button mini remote control.
Bundled software includes Ulead’s PhotoExplorer 8.5 SE, DVD MovieFactory 3 SE and VideoStudio 8 SE (the U880 lacks VideoStudio). Like the “Stick”, the U900’s availability and cost haven’t been disclosed but, as long as Compro is reasonable, it should have another winner on its hands.
Looks like we are about to see the beginning of a whole new format of TV card battles, I’m getting square eyes just thinking about it.
Straight from the horse's mouth: "The price for U880 is £49.99 including VAT & the U900 is £59.99 including VAT, these two new items will ship to UK next month (July)." Sorry for the turn of phrase Jenny (she's a lovely woman!).