TV tuner cards often come with poor quality or even no software and generic Windows Media Center is required unless you go through third party software. This led us to take a closer look at Compro, a Taiwanese tuner manufacturer, who by the way developed NVIDIA’s Personnal Video. To set itself apart from the significant competition in this area, Compro invested quite a bit of resources in software and presented a program that was pleasantly surprising.
In this demo, a TV tuner displays three numeric channels taken from the same signal and records one of them ; a video recorded in the introduction is played and a second tuner displays a channel in the lateral bar of Vista.
A number of sources can be displayed at the same time (from different tuners or the same digital signal), one can be recorded while the others are displayed (all of the signal can also be recorded), the “picture in picture” mode allows the display of not one but a number of other videos on the main screen. Also, the program has an application for the lateral bar of Windows Vista.
The “picture in picture” mode is very flexible.
Several TV tuner cards can be supported by this program, which is compatible with all Compro TV tuners. Compro affirms that it wants to keep the same and only program and that regular updates will be compatible with all series, old and new. If you have a Compro tuner, you can download the latest version of the software (although the site isn’t too well done on this level). To have consistent quality, Compro mainly uses software image improvements that are minutely adjustable (in consequence CPU use could be greater with a high number of sources displayed at the same time). They don’t just repackage the generic driver supplied by the chip manufacturer, but rather rework certain areas when necessary (without us knowing more about the changes made).
Finally, for Media Center users, they offer a module for additional functions. This is significant investment in the software part that we would like to see more often.