Exclusive New Product Release:           

FireDTV -- The World First and Only

High-Definition Terrestrial & Satellite

Firewire Digital TV

for Laptop & Desktop PCs

 

 

FireDTV FAQ

Future Technology Arrived Early:

Still in the dark struggling with bug-ridden PCI/USB TV? A new-dawn is just breaking with Inventa Australia's release of  FireDTV, the world-first Firewire High-Definition Digital TV Tuner, that brings Terrestrial, Satellite, and (later) Cable digital TV onto laptop and desktop PCs, with full Teletext, Sub-Titling, Timeshifting, Electronic-Program-Guide, Common-Interface for PayTV, Multi-Tuner on Same or Multi-PC, Dolby 5.1/AC3 Audio, Multiple-File Recording, SDK, Digital TV Firewire Output, and much more functions and services.

 

Housed in  a shining metal-black case with power-LED and infra-red sensor for remote-control in the front, Antenna I/O, dual-Firewire, Common-Interface, DC power socket on the back, FireDTV is a serious and powerful digital video device that is built to perform.

 

As a fully-functioning High-Definition Digital TV Tuner, FireDTV uses high-quality Philips DVB-T and DVB-S Digital TV Tuners to guarantee successful and complete Australia Terrestrial and Satellite Digital TV channel scanning each time and every time, plus arbitrary manual channel scanning with any frequency defined by the end-user. FireDTV delivers the highest-quality and forever-smooth standard-definition and high definition digital TV upto 1920X1080-pixels, from signals received by Terrestrial Antenna and Satellite Dish, plus Digital Cable connection available next year. Digital TV video can be viewed in resizable window or full screen, video parameters inc. colour, saturation, contrast and brightness can be manually adjusted, TV programs can be manually or time-scheduled recorded to hard disks, recorded video can be played back on any PC or burnt to DVD movie immediately without re-compression, etc. A bundled infra-red remote-controller can be used to operate FireDTV remotely, inc. start and stop the software, TV channel selection, numeric number to TV channel mapping, volume control, etc. All digital Terrestrial or Satellite TV channels are conveniently listed on the right pane of the main window, single or double clicking(definable) channel name will switch to that channel’s TV content. Audio volume, Timeshift slider, show/hide channel listing button, etc are arranged at the bottom of the video window. Teletext, EPG, Scheduled-Recording, General Settings and many other windows can be easily accessed by right-clicking mouse button over the video window. All free-to-air and free-via-Satellite TV programs, plus PayTV Satellite TV programs can be watched and recorded.

Beyond basics, FireDTV offers full range of un-rivaled advanced features that put it far ahead of all other TV tuner products on the world-wide market:

 

n      Reliable high-speed Firewire Connection to host PC, laptop or desktop, that not only offers mobility and portability, but also will never have hardware compatibility problems that are now constantly haunting all PCI and USB TV tuners. Furthermore, stable and sufficient power supply from 6-pin Firewire socket makes using AC power adaptor on desktop PCs unnecessary. The dual-Firewire ports also make FireDTV functioning as Firewire hub and repeater.

n      Teletext in a separate window, that can be viewed simultaneously with TV window, side by side, or arbitrarily moved &  re-sized, with user-selectable fonts. Such a flexible Teletext viewing beats stand-alone television sets where TV and Teletext usually can not be viewed at the same time. Using arrow or numeric keystrokes or remote-controller users can easily navigate among all available Teletext pages.

n      Digital Subtitles can be turned on or off, either within the teletext window, or within the main TV video window. Fonts of the subtitle text can be changed by users.

n      Electronic-Program-Guide brings up all previous, current and next TV program name, time and length, etc. information in a separate window. Clicking any of the future TV programs will open scheduled time recording window immediately, with all recording details filled up properly, making tedious start/stop time setting recording a thing of the past.

n      Timeshifting is easy and transparent, jumping backward/forward or pause/resume in time is as simple as dragging a sliding-bar or clicking a button. Unlike other TV tuners, FireDTV offers exactly the same video quality timeshifting, meaning time-shifted video plays in exactly the same quality as live TV when they were broadcast earlier: while on other TV tuners, if they do offer timeshifting, the timeshifted video always has inferior quality. FireDTV allows Timeshifting regardless the TV recording is in progress or not, while most other tuners disable Timeshift during TV recording.

n      Multi-Tuner & Multi-PC Device-Sharing. Multiple FireDTV tuners can be installed and used on the same PC, making it ideal to watch, record and timeshift different Terrestrial, and/or Satellite digital TV channels on the same PC at the same time --- a true Home Theatre power house! Not only this, multiple PCs, including laptop, desktop or any kind, inter-connected together using Firewire with multiple FireDTV devices, can simultaneously share these TV tuners without any video quality degradation, thanks to Firewire’s high-speed networking capability. Networked FireDTV devices and PCs can be freely situated on the network without considering their relative positions, and PCs with FireDTV directly hooked on do not even need to be powered-on for other PCs to use the FireDTV ! Such a powerful multi-PC sharing multi-tuner function without quality loss is really and truly advanced and unique in the whole world. FireDTV ‘s network sharing compares favourabley to Ethernet Video Broadcasting(which is also available for FireDTV through free plug-in software), where video sharing significantly compromises the video quality on all PCs interconnected, including the “server” PC to which the tuner is directly attached, and this “server PC” needs to be powered on all the time.

FireDTV’s powerful multi-tuner on multi-PC functionality guarantees a future-proof system expandability: different digital TV tuners, in multiple numbers, can be effortlessly added onto one PC or multiple networked PCs, with the same software and same cabling scheme: such a “stackable” system expansion is totally unthinkable on those flimsy and unstable PCI or USB tuners’ configuration.

n      Multiple File Recording for easy multi-DVD movie creation: any file-size can be user-defined as the maximum file length TV recording will create, so that long TV programs can be spread onto multiple files automatically during recording. A overlap time is also definable for each subsequent DVD to slightly replay some of the last contents of the previous DVD. Unlike other TV tuners, video files recorded by FireDTV are DVD compatible with absolutely highest quality and forever synchronised audio, that can be imported into DVD authoring software without re-compression or conversion etc. These recorded files can be played back on any PC with or without FireDTV installed, even Apple Mac PCs can play and author them onto DVD movie disks.

n      Full-Functioning Infra-red Remote Controller included with FireDTV can map almost all TV functions, including assigning numeric numbers(numbers can be > 9) to individual sub-channels of any TV station.

n      FREE Third-Party Software Plug-in Interface for people wanting to write their own software extension to utilise TV video received from FireDTV. With such a powerful open architecture, FireDTV’s functionality can be easily extended unlimitedly. In fact, some of the currently important functions of FireDTV, including Teletext and Ethernet/Internet video sharing, are already available through plug-ins.

n      Common-Interface Socket is built into FireDTV,  making it easy to watch Pay-TV programs on all digital TV tuners, in particular PayTV Satellite channels: all needed is a CAM module with PayTV card from service providers.

n      Multi-Channel AC3 Audio output through both analogue and digital multi-channel speakers(Dolby 5.1/6.1 etc)

n      Firewire Interface Outputs Digital TV signal directly onto Firewire-equipped DVHS VCRs, HD-Cameras, Digital Televisions, and Computers with relevant software (Apple Macintosh desktops & notebooks etc).  

 

FireDTV FAQ

FireDTV ‘s outstanding performance and rich feature-list contrast sharply with the main problems now facing all other digital TV tuner products: incompatibility with PC hardware, low performance and poor features:

 

PC Hardware Compatibility: While FireDTV enjoys zero compatibility issue, PCI based TV tuners will forever have hardware compatibility problem with other parts of the host PC ---- motherboard, CPU, display card, sound card, network, etc., regardless the TV tuner’s brand, model, design architecture, etc.

 

As for USB based TV tuners: USB2 interface is definitely facing hardware compatibility problem with several chipset based USB2 sockets, in particular USB2-PCI and USB2-PCMCIA cards. Even on USB2 interfaces built into motherboards, USB2 support sometimes encounters not being recognised or not-performing-well issues. MS Windows’ USB2 support is far less matured and reliable than its Firewire interface support.

 

USB2 based TV tuners also face a power supply issue: on desktop and laptop PCs, single USB2 port often cannot supply enough power to digital TV tuners. With Firewire’s max. 45W power supply, running from a 6 Pin Firewire socket on desktop PC,  FireDTV does not need external power(Laptop PCs need external Power Adaptor that comes in the optional Laptop Kit). This is the dilemma the USB based digital TV tuners are facing on desktop: if they want to get rid of the external power supply, they will need multiple USB sockets to supply power – costly,  bulky, inconvenient, and in some cases impossible.

 

Low Performance:  First of all, all USB1 based “digital-TV tuners” are out, because USB1 hardware cannot sustain most of the digital TV channels’ broadcasting data rate in Australia. Apart from few exceptions, all Australia DTV sub-channels, standard or high definition ones included, require more than 6Mbps data rate, while all USB1 interface cannot sustain such a data rate transfer. This is why users are constantly complaining about the poor and un-watchable video display on all current USB digital TV tuners(except Nebular DigiTV USB2), and received only false excuses, if any,  from the local importers and oversea manufactures claiming the customers’ TV signal is too “weak”, etc. The fact is the Australia Digital TV Signal is too strong to be handled by these wrongly designed USB1 boxes. The most sinister part of the story is, many of these boxes even claim they are “USB2 compatible” as if there is “USB2 incompatible” USB1 device, which is totally and completely incorrect: while these USB1 boxes can be recognised by USB2 hardware interface as USB1 devices because USB2 is backward-compatible, they cannot survive over 6Mbps data transfer(USB1’s physical max. data rate is 12, but practical throughput is only half after counting many operational overheads), therefore are useless in Australia.

 

Taking out USB1 tuners, in all key performance areas, FireDTV still output-performs all other PCI and USB2-only digital TV tuners, that more often than not are:

 

            ---        missing some TV channels completely

            ---        displaying jerky and blocky video on screen

            ---        recording Audio/Video out-of-sync in TV files

            ---        suffering significant video quality loss when shared by other PCs

 

Digital TV Features:  FireDTV is the first digital TV tuner in the world that fully implements such a rich feature list of DTV reception on PC: Teletext, Subtitle, EPG, Timeshift, One-PC Multi-Tuner, One-Tuner Multi-PC, and Multi-Tuner Multi-PC, PayTV, Terrestrial/Satellite and Cable antenna input, etc. Not only FireDTV implements these features, it implements them very well. Take the Timeshift function as an example: while some other DTV tuners do claim Timeshifting, their Timeshifted video has inferior playback quality, and they cannot Timeshift once the TV recording is started, only FireDTV can Timeshift video in the same quality as live TV, regardless recording is in progress or not. Many other features, such as PayTV support and Multi-Tuner shared by Multi-PC etc., have not even been dreamed of by other tuners’ designers.

 

FireDTV FAQ

 

Advantages of Firewire-Interface Digital TV Tuner over USB-Interface Digital TV Tuner:

 

Firewire Tuner

USB Tuner

Complete Hardware Compatibility with PC Components

Yes

USB2 has problems

Laptop PCMCIA Interface Card OK with Digital TV Tuner Yes No for USB2

Always Meet Digital TV Data Rate Bandwidth

Yes

Not for USB1

Interface can supply enough power to tuner

Desktop 6-pin socket

Not all USB have enough power

Multiple Tuners operate on the same PC

Yes

No

Multiple PCs share the same Tuner

Yes

No

Multiple PCs share multiple Tuners

Yes

No

Native & Matured Device Driver Support from MS Windows  Yes No Driver Support for USB2

Connect to Digital A/V devices: DTV, HD-Camera, DVHS, MacPC

Yes

No

 

Advantages of Firewire-Interface Digital TV Tuner over PCI-Interface Digital TV Tuner:

 

Firewire Tuner

PCI Tuner

Complete Hardware Compatibility with PC Components

Yes

Many Many problems

Hot-Swappable External Device Connect/Disconnect

Yes

No

Remote Control Built-in without extra dangling Receiver

Yes

Extra dangling receiver

Multiple Tuners operate on the same PC

Yes

Difficult and messy

Multiple PCs share the same Tuner without quality loss

Yes

No

Multiple PCs share multiple Tuners without quality loss

Yes

No

Connect to Digital A/V devices: DTV, HD-Camera, DVHS, MacPC…

Yes

No

 

FireDTV also has some other nice features:

n      Both WDM and BDA drivers are available for wide range of third-party TV tuning application software to run with FireDTV, see a comparison: http://www.inventa.com.au/PVR Software Comparison.htm .

n      One key-stroke (“i” key) will display current TV channel’s information under the video window, such as video frame size, data-rate, audio format and channels, etc. More comprehensive TV channel information can be accessed by right-mouse click on channel names

n      Play back Multiple-channel AC3 audio through analogue and digital Dolby multi-channel speakers,

n      When a TV channel broadcast multiple audio streams(such as one stereo, one AC3), FireDTV allows easy display and switch among these multiple audio streams by simple mouse clicks. 

 

Minimum PC requirement for FireDTV include Pentium4 1.5GHz or Athlon 2500 CPU, Windows XP or Windows Vista, 64Mbyte DirectX9-compatible AGP display card and sound card.

 

Inventa Australia and its associated resellers have FireDTV on live demonstration everyday, interested customers are encouraged to test and try this wonderful world-best high-definition digital TV entertainer.

FireDTV FAQ

 

Recommended Retail Price for FireDTV is $399 inc. GST, that comes with either FireDTV-DVB-Terrestrial or FireDTV-DVB-Satellite Digital TV Tuner, Infra-red Remote Controller, 6-6 Pin Firewire cable, driver/application software CD, and <User Guide> manual. An optional Laptop Kit consisting of AC/DC power adaptor and an extra 6-4 Pin Firewire cable costs $40.  Hardware warranty is 2-year return to base, handled locally by Inventa Australia.

 

With its unsurpassed highest quality and comprehensive advanced features such as stackable expandability for multi-tuner on multi-PCs, FireDTV is the world first future-proof high-definition digital TV tuner in its real sense.  To learn more about FireDTV, please contact Inventa Australia Pty Ltd: Tel. 02-95186100, Fax 02-95186300, e-mail: info@inventa.com.au, web: http://www.inventa.com.au.

   

FireDTV FAQ