Now that I was finally able to get some TV Channels, I can watch some television with the laptop! The picture above doesn’t do justice for the image quality, so I used the screen capture feature in the ArcSoft TotalMedia 3.5 player to capture a couple screens on two different channels.
The first channel I took a look at was The CW, which is a 4:3 channel as you can tell from the image above.
The second channel I took a screen capture of was KETC Channel 9 (St. Louis’ PBS Channel), which is a 16:9 channel that came in crystal clear and looked excellent.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
The ASUS My Cinema U3100 Mini USB tuner is a simple way to turn any modern notebook (even some EeePCs) into an ATSC QAM digital TV. The only problem is that in our area we don’t have reception to get ATSC QAM digital TV. Of course with a laptop it travels around with you, so this might not be a big deal as my HTPC serves my digital TV recording needs. If you are not 100% positive about the television reception in your surrounding area then be sure to look up your address on AntennaWeb before purchasing a receiver like this.
Other than watching TV the Asus My Cinema U3100 Mini USB tuner can be used in conjunction with ASUS VideoSecurity online technology for those that have security cameras in use. By feeding the signal to the U3100 Mini the VideoSecurity Online software can stream real-time video to web browsers, record events into videos, take snapshots and send out warning messages via email or phone calls even when you are not at the monitored area. As you can tell the Asus My Cinema U3100 Mini can serve many PVR functions such as TV viewing, TimeShift, schedule/EPG records and ASUS VideoSecurity.
ASUS expects these to start selling early October with an MSRP of $49.99, which isn’t a bad price in all honesty. Our contacts at ASUS have informed us that they just begun shipping these out their channel customers, so it won’t get listed on Newegg until next week. Once they arrive they should be listed for under $50, which isn’t a bad price for those that want TV on the go. The only thing it is missing that other USB TV Tuners offer is a remote, but usually USB tuners with a remote cost between $65-$99.
Legit Bottom Line: The ASUS My Cinema-U3100Mini is a great USB receiver at a price that is very competitive with other brands on the market today making it a value that is hard to pass up.