My Cinema U3000 Hybrid
Unless you have one of those spanking new multimedia PCs, there's something missing in turning your computer into a television. That's the remote control as PCs usually don't come with the device.
For couch potatoes, there is help now in the form of My Cinema U3000 Hybrid module from Asus Computers.
Looking like a sleek clam shell mobile phone, the U3000 is basically an external TV tuner that plugs into any USB 2.0 port on a computer, turning it into a TV for both digital and analogue free-to-air TV stations, such as TVB and ATV in Hong Kong.
With the hardware, you get a software package that provides additional features. These include the ability to schedule recordings of TV shows to your hard drive, browse and listen to your music library and watch DVDs. You also can download and read RSS news feeds and receive global weather information if the machine is connected to the internet. Oh, and Asus throws in an FM radio for good measure.
Best of all, the U3000 comes with a remote control, so you no longer have to walk to switch channels.
There are many TV tuners on the market today, but what's cool about the U3000 is the fact it is ultra-portable. That means you can watch TV anywhere you can get a free-to-air TV signal, including when you're overseas - although you'd only get local channels.
The My Cinema U3000 Hybrid sells for about HK$650.
Pros: Turns your PC into a TV and lets you watch TV anywhere in the world
Cons: Gets only free-to-air stations and remote doesn't work with browser to control online videos
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