[clug] MinTV DVB-T Digital TV Tuner

Pilcher, Fred Fred.Pilcher at act.gov.au
Tue Nov 18 22:35:45 GMT 2008

I picked up an Asus My Cinema U3100 Mini USB TV Tuner yesterday. My
experience with my Eee 901 with Xandros:

It comes with the obligatory Japlish manual - quite a thick tome, but
only a couple of very poorly-translated pages in English and,
ostensibly, any of the other many languages it offers - and a couple of
CDs, neither of which indicates in any helpful sense what's actually on

As you'd expect, it's mainly aimed at Windows users. Linux users have to
hunt for a directory on one of the CDs with multiple
unhelpfully-labelled PDFs in many languages; start at the top and work
your way through until you find the English one. From that point in it's
pretty straightforward for anyone who's comfortable with a command line,
but probably not for people who've never experienced anything but a
click-and-install experience. The (paper) manual is misleading in its
instructions; the PDF is better but not perfect by any means.

The device itself has an indentation with what you'd expect to be an LED
in the centre - either it's not, or mine's broken and doesn't work. When
you plug it in nothing happens. You have to install the software first
then when you plug it in the application starts and allows you to scan
for stations. There's no feedback during the scanning process other than
a scanned-frequency ticker, nothing to indicate what, if anything, is
being captured. Once the scan's finished it simply starts working. It
works quite well, though it struggles sometimes with HD as you'd expect
on such a low-powered PC.

The software's very basic. There's no channel list - you just use PgUp
and PgDown to change channels. There's no record function, no anything
really, but it works. There's no menu entry, either in simple or full
desktop mode; you start it by plugging in the device. I might try
installing Kaffeine and see what happens.

So far I haven't found any way to re-scan for stations. When I take it
to work in Woden, all I can pick up from my Black Mountain scanned
stations is SBS, though if I could re-scan for the Mt Taylor transmitter
it'd probably do better. Perhaps I'll find the re-scan function with a
little more hunting, but it should be easier than that.

I tried it on my big laptop with Kubuntu (reverted to 8.04) and it
didn't recognise it at all as a DVB-T device. I installed the software,
but still nothing. Any suggestions gratefully received. ;-)

Overall impression: it works - just. It looks as if Linux support was a
late after-thought and assumes at least a basic level of geekery or at
least perseverance. I guess they felt that investing in a professional
translator or a decent manual or software would have bumped the price up
by a couple of yen, so decided against it. It's nice to add teevee to
the Eee's capabilities but, unless I can work out how to re-scan for
stations, it won't work away from home.

It turns out that the best price Andrew at OA can do for us is $79.


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