Which DVB-T card/device should I buy?


We often get asked questions along the lines of: Which card/device gives the best picture?  Which is best? Etc. 

While these are legitimate questions, there is no single universal answer. It would be foolish for us to say this or that is best! What is best for you may not be best for someone else.

We believe the only way to determine what is best for you is to compare what you expect from a Digital TV tuner device, against what each card (or more precisely each solution) has to offer and your budget. 

It is for this reason that we have chosen to sell what we consider are amongst the most likely “best” value candidates and offer them to our customers. 

We have no interest in pushing one particular brand over the other. We want you to make an informed decision, a decision that you will be happy to live with. Accordingly we have developed this page to try an assist you do that. 


Some basic points. 

All DVB-T PCI/e Cards and USB devices we sell perform the same basic functions of tuning in channels, passing the information to the software which in turn does its job and sends the video to the video card and audio to the sound card, via the PCI or USB bus.

The video card is responsible for scaling and displaying the video on a PC monitor or other display device connected to the PC.

The sound card can either send the audio directly to the speakers or pass it through to a receiver/amplifier for processing.

(note HDTV and SDTV are on the same frequencies and all devices can receive both SDTV and HDTV broadcasts, the main issue with some competitors devices is that the decoders used can not handle HDTV or AC3 audio)

What differentiates the performance of our cards is almost entirely due to the features of each card. The decision of which card to buy should therefore be made on the basis of the hardware features and Interface (eg PCI, PCI-e, USB2, dual tuner, AV inputs).


USB2 Devices

There is basically no difference in the performance of USB2 devices (note USB 1.1 can not handle HDTV broadcasts) compared to PCI versions, the choice is usually dependent on whether you wish to have an internal solution (install and forget) with no boxes hanging around the desktop, or you are happy to have device outside your desktop, but with the advantage of being able to use them with a notebook or move them easily to another PC without having to open up your PC case, etc.


We have chosen to market  three versions of the single tuner USB2 device, a very small traditional can tuner - the Tubestick Receiver which is very well supported under all platforms (having Mac, Linux, WDM, 64 bit  and BDA drivers), the USB Hybrid, which supports both digital and analogue TV (with analogue inputs) and an another Australian first release the Dabby the first Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB+) device released in Australia


Choosing between them is really a matter of deciding of whether you need the analogue TV support, Digital TV or Digital Audio will do.


For those requiring Dual Tuner external solution, we have developed the TinyTwin, two tuner in a very small pen-drive type housing, using only one RF input and one USB2 port.


PCI/e Based Multiple tuners

Following extensive research and field testing with multiple tuner tuner solutions, we have developed a number of dual tuner solutions using the PCI-express interface and one Quad (4 DVB-T) tuners solution to satisfy the needs of our customers.


One tuner or multiple tuners?

Multiple tuner of course!

With prices of dual digital tuners now so low, a dual tuner is the standard way to go, as it will allow you to watch one channel, while record another or record two at the same time.



With the advent of the Apple iPhone, iPad and the strong growth in tablets (both iOS and Android based), we have had a lot of enquiries from our customers for devices that can be used to watch and record Digital TV on such devices. Accordingly we have decided to market TV tuners that work on the iPhone and iPad starting with the iDTV tuner.

Other devices (inclduding for Android tablets and smart phones) will follow soon.


We Got You Covered

We believe we have got a Digital TV device to suit your needs, whatever they are. The following information might help you choose the best solution for your situation.


Single tuner - internal solution?

  • TechniSat AirStar 2 - Full height card, Digital TV only - especially suited for Linux and Media Center users,

Single Tuner - External Solution?

  • Dabby (DVB-T/FM/DAB+) - Digital Audio Broadcasting USB2 device, also supporting Digital TV and FM radio. 

Dual Tuner - Internal Solution?

  • VistaView Dual Hybrid PCIe card - Dual Digital/Analogue and FM radio card. Digital/Analogue support with both tuners and FM Radio, Hardware encoders for analogue capture, including Component Video capture..

Dual Tuner - External Solution?

  • DigitalNow TinyTwin - A Dual USB2 DVB-T receiver Digital only, with two tuners and one RF input, also supported under Linux

Multiple Tuners?

  • Quad DVB-T - The world's first four DVB-T tuner device, supporting 4xTerrestrial Digital TV Tuners. The device support also Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB+) and FM radio. No longer available

DVB-T tuner for Ipad/Iphone?

  • iDTV Tuner - A digital TV tuner that can work on your iPad 2, new iPad (2012) or iPhone 4S. The device support Australian Standard Definition TV channels and DVB Radio.