Compro VideoMate U900

Compro VideoMate U900

The VideoMate U900 is a TV tuner smaller than a deck of cards that connects through USB 2.0. We take a look at what the tiny tuner can do.

Tiny TV Tuner

Today’s consumer electronics media are currently hyping on the digital home, talking about HTPCs and technologies that deliver entertainment to us at the touch of a button, even on the go.

But strangely enough, all these Jetsons-esque visions of life in the “we swear, it’s coming real soon now” future tend to revolve heavily around two different ideas: Portability and Television.

The thing about the two is that, traditionally, people want larger television screens and smaller electronics. One possible solution would be an external TV tuner that you could take with you to watch television on a laptop or hook up to a desktop computer with a big screen attached to it.

Enter the Compro VideoMate U900, a USB TV tuner smaller than a deck of cards. It is a solution that will work on any computer with USB 2.0 access. It’s a niche product that will appeal to a certain niche of people – namely, laptop owners and people who’ve used up all their expansion ports. The VideoMate U900 draws power directly from the USB port it connects to, has video and audio inputs, and can connect to coax cable or a television antenna.

In short, it’s a small USB TV tuner that currently retails (according to our searches on Froogle) for about $90-$100.

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According to the Compro website:

Founded in 1988, Compro initially focused on the OEM business by its excellent engineering and manufacturing skills to produce high quality products. In 2000, Compro cooperated with NVIDIA, the leading graphics chip developer, and released its first self-branded product, Personal Cinema – the first integrated multimedia solution that combined high performance graphics card with direct-link TV tuner box for a complete digital entertainment solution. Also, Compro launched VideoMate PC graphics products in 2002, a complete line of 3D graphics cards with abundant video features.

Compro will continue to provide the best video quality robust products to market and make each PC user enjoy the excellent quality of TV experience. With innovative Compro products, you will never miss your favorite TV shows.

The Compro VideoMate U900 is part of Compro’s line of internal and external TV tuners. Join us as we look at this unique product, and we’ll see if it works as advertised.

Our Test System

For our test system, we used a stable computer that had performed well in our testing and happened to be around the office. We went with the Alienware Aurora 5500, which contained an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ CPU, an ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard, 2x512MB Patriot Low Latency PC-3200 RAM chips at 400MHz, and an NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT. To remove any of Alienware's preinstalled programs, we reformatted the computer using a Windows XP Home SP2 disc.