The Kworld PlusTV card is a product which makes a lot of boasts on the packaging and on the website. Bullet pointed lists on the box outline how it can operate in 16:9 widescreen, that it can use teletext and subtitles and even that it comes with its own remote control! Gee-whizz, Batman!
It’s easy to laugh at the product though as hardware like this is both unglamorous and run of the mill to most enthusiasts. Still, there a lot of people out there who may need a TV card - students being the prime example and as media centre PCs continue to become more popular, the demand for decent TV cards is rising.
Is the *deep breath* Kworld PlusTV Dual DVB-T PCI-Express TV card *gasp* the card which could suit the needs of this market exactly and become a required purchase for anybody who doesn't have access to a normal TV? Let's find out.
Watching the toob
The Kworld PlusTV card is a PCI-Express x1 card, which is good because the vast majority of users don’t have anything to plug into a PCI-E x1 slot except for a wireless network card. Granted, the average bit-tech reader is probably a bit different from most people in the extent of their PC knowledge – but even so, most of you probably have a spare PCI-E x1 slot on your motherboard.
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One of my favourite things about the PCI-Express connection of the card is actually the way it’s described on the box however. It starts off fine, with the blurb in the back of the box pointing out that the transfer rate is about four times faster than an original PCI card, but it soon descends into hilarity as the box explains how “the professional Dual Digital TV tuner card, which definitely satisfies masterful you!”
My, my – box speak English good, Batman. (Note to self - stop bothering Batman)
The main advantage of the Kworld card is, apparently, the ability to watch two digital TV channels at the same time so, as the box says, “You will never struggle from making decision between watching football game and the soap opera! It’s a wonderful enjoy them together!
Of course, the Kworld PlusTV tuner has more going for it than just the ability to give users headaches by making them watch two channels at the same time – oh, lordy, yes! The card also lets users navigate teletext, use subtitles, switch channels remotely and record digital TV, thus capturing nearly all the abilities of your normal TV but with a few more screws to fiddle with!
Of these, it’s obviously the last which is the most important. Thanks to the dual digital channel viewing option, it’s also possible to watch one or more channels whilst recording different channels at the same time. Yes, that’s right; “You, TV freak, will never miss any piece of TV show again!”
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The card comes with the usual set media extras, namely an awfully small and insufficient aerial, a remote control and an infra-red sensor to pick up the remote control signals. Both the sensor and the aerial plug directly into the card via the pack of the PC and the base of the aerial is both magnetic and detachable from the actual antenna.
Why would you want to put a particularly strong magnet anywhere near your PC when an adhesive pad would suffice? Why would you want to cripple the aerial by removing the actual antenna? Because to do so may satisfy masterful you, TV freak.