Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Thorold Ontario
Autumnwave OnAir GT review
I’ll preface my review by saying “we’ve got a winner here”.
In the short time I’ve had the Autumnwave OnAir GT, I have not had the opportunity to do any recording, so I limit my remarks to setup and reception/viewing.
My notebook is a Sony Vaio FS980 with the following specs…
Type: Intel® Pentium® M Processor 740
Front Side Bus Speed: 533MHz
L2 Cache: 2MB
Technology: Intel® Centrino® Mobile Technology
Installed: 1GB (512MBx2) PC2-4200
Interface: Ultra ATA
Processor: Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900
Video RAM: 128MB Dynamically Shared (RAM/Video)
Chipset: Intel® 915GM
Interface: VGA Out with Smart Display Sensor
1. Setup: I think you’ll have a good idea about how my setup went if you go back through this thread. Be sure to use the updated driver and apps from the website after you have followed the Getting Started instructions. As you can see, Ryan Pertusio took time on his day off to help me initialize the driver in Windows (see his links). Remarkable support I’d say.
2. Connections: I am glad that the GT allows both a composite/S Vid connection and an antenna RF connection. I have run a satellite composite feed and a coax antenna feed to a remote location and switching between OTA and satellite is simply done by changing inputs in the menu. (I can control the satellite box with a UHF remote.
3. ATSC channel scanning: First, I did a full scan with the supplied portable antenna. I was able to pick up 23-1, 43-1/2/3 and 4-1/2 by raising the unit to arm’s length above the notebook (as far as the USB cable would allow). By attaching the unit to my CM 4228 on a 30ft tower with rotor I was able to pick up every channel in the area. In fact, comparing the GT with my Samsung 451 STB, I found that I could receive more channels in certain rotor locations than the Samsung, leading me to believe that the GT tuner is superior; only being limited by the quality of the antenna it is attached to. Don’t expect much from the supplied antenna.
4. Picture quality of ATSC: Outstanding video on a 15.4” widescreen notebook. Everything I’ve come to expect from Digital OTA. The NVidia PureVideo Decoder does its job well.
5. Satellite: The GT gives you a video input cable which I attached to a Star Choice DSR 405. Switching inputs gave me all subscribed SD channels. The OnAir GT is not capable of rendering HD channels through the video inputs but HD channels could have been viewed in 480 resolution if a newer HD-STB had been connected.
6. Remote: Works as expected. I could do without the channel changing “clicks”, even after the menu box for this was left unchecked. The remote power button saves looking for screen icons to start the process.
7. User guide: The online guide is 87 pages and I don’t have that much paper to print it out. Perhaps I will get through more of its contents so I can experiment with recording video, but with only 50 gigs left on the 80 gig drive, I’m going to leave most of my recording to my MCE machine anyway. As with many electronics products the User Guide is the weakest link I’ve found.
Hugh, I look forward to your review of the Autumnwave OnAir GT.