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June 14, 2005

Latest USB Gadget Turns PC Into TV



Personal Tech Pipeline

A Taiwanese company has announced a tiny TV tuner in a USB "stick."

Compro's new VideoMate U880 USB 2.0 Tuner Box, which is about the size of stick of gum (just 9.0 x 2.6 x 1.1 cm), plugs into a USB 2.0 port on a PC to transform the computer into a TV set. The company calls it the "world's smallest USB 2.0 analog TV box."

The device supports MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MEG-4 formats scheduled recording, timeshifting, channel surfing, still frame capture, and universal TV system broadcasting reception (NTSC, PAL, and SECAM). The U880 requires no external power.

Users can also adjust brightness, hue, saturation, contrast, and sharpness in each TV channel. It comes with ComproDVD 2 software for playing CDs and DVDs, Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3, and Ulead PhotoExplorer 8.5.

The "timeshifting" feature provides limited Tivo-like functionality, according to Compro.

The company has not announced pricing or availability.

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