Well, first off, we’re not going to be testing the Compro VideoMate U680F using the supplied software because after the software finished installing and we loaded it up, it couldn’t find the U680F and then proceeded to just crash and become quite laggy for us, which is quite disappointing.
Because of this, we’ll be testing performance, video and overall quality using Windows Media Center instead.
The only problem I found, which is quite a big one; was that the included telescoping aerial is useless, well at least if you’re in an area where you don’t have perfect TV reception or aren’t right next to the TV transmitter, like myself. I therefore hooked up my main aerial to the U680F, which was luckily only situated a few metres away and solved the problem straight away.
I found the video quality in Windows Media Center to be fairly good, obviously it’s not HD video so it’s not going to be amazing, but compared with my previous USB tuner, the video quality was probably around about the same.
Bundled in with the U680F is also a FM radio antenna; although it’s nice to know that Compro are thinking outside of the box, the digital channels here in the UK include all of the available radio stations so I didn’t really need the FM radio antenna. However, I tested the FM radio antenna anyway and it did work, so no problems there.
The USB receiver features an LED within the Compro logo. The LED signals when you have a good signal (a solid light), and also when the signal is bad or non-existent (an intermittent light).
The remote also works very well, and it was very nice to be able to sit back in my chair and not have to use the mouse to change channel like one TV tuner I bought I while ago.
With the ability to launch Windows Media Center straight from the remote, you literally don’t need to touch the mouse or keyboard for the entire experience.
Overall, there have been some good points and bad points, but the Compro VideoMate U680F does what it says on the tin.
The video quality is very good and the USB receiver itself looks sleek and elegant with its shiny black exterior.
The only few problems I had were the aerial problems, and the fact that the software just crashed and felt really laggy for us whilst we were testing the U680F.
Retailing at £25, you can’t really complain. There are some TV tuners out there that do less than the Compro VideoMate U680F can, and retail for in excess of £50.
- Well made
- Good video quality
- WMC compatible remote control
- Software was buggy and failed to work for us
- Telescoping aerial is designed more for areas where the TV signal is very good, not rural areas.
Bottom Line: The Compro VideoMate U680F works well and is very reasonably priced.