OnAir HDTV GT

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
January 17, 2008
Views
26213
OnAir HDTV GT
The OnAir HDTV GT is a true mobile HDTV receiver for your laptop. It lacks polish in some areas, but the package as a whole is excellent.
Tags TV HDTV OnAir GT

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Page 1
Intro:

With the demise of analog signals in America coming soon, there are many ways to get into the digital age. You can buy a set top box or rent one from your TV provider. The digital TV signals also promise more channels and improved clarity over the air. AutumnWave steps in to provide mobile HDTV with their OnAir HDTV GT. It turns your laptop into a HDTV.

Box:

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The box is nice with a black finish and products specs all over.

Parts:

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Here's what is included in the box. The product manual and CD, USB and A/V cables, the OnAir HDTV GT and case, and a remote (with batteries) and an antenna. It is nice that AutumnWave packages batteries with the remote. Some manufacturers neglect to do this.

OnAir HDTV GT:

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The OnAir HDTV GT is basically a portable capture card over USB. The main selling point of it is that it is truly mobile. The unit itself is black with white lettering and is about as big as a PDA.

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There are three total ports on the back of the GT. The cable/antenna port, the A/V in port, and the USB port. You should notice that there is no power plug. This unit is mobile since that it draws whatever power it needs from the USB port. You really are able to watch HDTV over the air from anywhere.

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On the bottom lists the serial number as well as the various certifications and such that a device of this type needs. You can see the size in relation to a CD that rests below it.

Remote:

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The OnAir HDTV GT also acts as an IR receiver. The package comes with a fully functional remote control that allows you full control over the HDTV programs on the computer. AutumnWave really came up with a great package for their product. You can also see how the antenna connects to the back of the unit.

Installation:

Unfortunately, this unit only works on Windows (so far). The LinuxTV crew is actually writing open source drivers for the OnAir HDTV product line. It looks like development is shaky, but eventually it will be in the v4l driver. There is no Mac driver at this time.

That being said, installing the GT on Windows is really a no brainer. Let's see some installation shots.

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The first screen is a welcome screen to allow you to pick which product you purchased. Notice that AutumnWave makes three devices in the OnAir family. The first is the GT.

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The software includes the GT driver and the HDTV program. It also includes licenses for the excellent NVIDIA PureVideo decoder as well as WinDVD. Very nice software package.. for Windows.

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When you install the driver, you get a nice notice (that has a grammar error) that you shouldn't plug in the GT before installing the driver... What is this, a HP printer? All jokes aside, just remove the GT if you have it plugged in and install the driver. Once you plug the unit in, it will be recognized. The drivers are not WHQL signed, so you will get a warning. I don't blame AutumnWave for not paying Microsoft to get signed drivers.
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Testing:

After the installation is complete, you are free to start using the program. Since the primary purpose of this device is for mobility, your best bet is to try out the ATSC feeds first. While QAM is nice, when are you going to use a cable connection when you're on the road? When you're at home, this is fine.

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You can see the program scanning ATSC channels for my area. You may be surprised how many it finds. I know I was. Even with the tiny antenna and a bad location (inside the house), it found 18 stations with ATSC.

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You can see the stations it found using the channel manager. Many parts of the software remind me of a developer release. Very little polish, but the interface is direct and gets the job done with little fuss. I respect that. Yes, the GT can also pick up analog stations as well, but most stations have gone to ATSC already.

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I actually have something playing in that window, but you can't see it due to DirectX being the way it is. The player itself is very straightforward and the remote control makes using it a breeze. I doubt you'll be taking the remote with you, so the player itself controls everything fine as well.

The OnAir also acts as a generic capture device. You can input raw composite and S-Video into it and capture the input. It does not have a built-in encoder, so you will be using your CPU to encode anything you capture.

I'm very impressed with the quality of ATSC channels. This digital TV thing may catch on. AutumnWave has pieced together a nice package with the OnAir HDTV GT.

Conclusion:

Amazon sells this for $180. That is a pretty good price for the package you get. Think about taking your notebook around and being able to pick up ATSC channels from anywhere on the go. The GT works extremely well and while the product lacks some polish in certain areas, the package as a whole is well worth the cost.

AutumnWave even has a special for ASE Labs readers. Purchase through AutumnWave. Use coupon code: ASEGT08. You get $20 off. Very good deal over Amazon.

I'd like to thank Ryan from AutumnWave for making this review possible.
members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2284m.jpg box.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2285m.jpg parts.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2286m.jpg hdtvgt.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2287.jpg back.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2288m.jpg bottom.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2289m.jpg remote.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2290m.png welcome.png members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2291m.png install.png members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2292.png warning.png members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2293.png scan.png members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2294.png channelsota.png members/attachments/upload/2008/01/17/2295m.png player.png

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