Thursday, January 19, 2006

Globetrotter and DTV Dongle

A couple of bits of news: My Mandriva Globetrotter review is now live on

I've been using the GlobeTrotter for a couple of weeks now, and I have to say I'm very impressed with it. I've had only minor configuration problems using it on multiple machines, and when the problem is sorted (like setting the right resolution for a monitor), the drive remembers the setting in its profile for that machine.

The great thing about this drive is that it's not a 'live CD', so you can use it like you would any other fully installed OS and save data and settings, and it's not a cut-down OS like Damn Small Linux, so it has a whole suite of apps to choose from which would normally be considered bloat on a 'USB-stick distribution'. Additionally, it doesn't mount drives on the host machine, so you won't damage any other OS, although it is possible to mount the internal drives to do things like, say, rescue a dying hard drive :)/

I'm working on another review at the moment: The Leadtek DTV Dongle. This is about the size of a USB memory stick, although when you've got cables attached it'll be about 6 inches long unless you use custom cables.

It's not a bad device if you don't expect too much from it. Unfortunately, it suffers from slightly flaky software, and the aerial and remote control were pretty much useless. I'd recommend ditching the IR completely if you're using it in a media PC. What it does have in its favour is the size, as it could be used internally in a Mini-ITX project, avoiding the need to go for PCI risers and large PCI cards. All you'd need is a USB header to female USB type B lead, and then put a small arrial lead to a port in the outer casing.

If used in very confined space, heat might become an issue, but either a fan or an inch or so of air around it would keep it running at an acceptable temperature. It seems to be designed to use the aerial as a kind of heat sink.

Issues I had with the DTV dongle were mostly software related. The main app was a bit flaky and driver installation was fiddly, although the only thing that presented a real problem was the direct-to-DVD recording, which just didn't want to work at all.


Blogger pocketmoon said...


I'm using a similar (if not identical) device on my Sp13000 - the freecom usb dvb-t 'stick'

The software is poor but you can get an updated version from It's the same TV App but a newer version with dxva support. Freecom are incredible slow with updates.

I've now settled on the Yakumo drivers/software. No dxva and CPU usage is 90% BUT it's rock solid TV viewing. The hama version with dxva gave 50% cpu usage but suffered from annoying stutters and playback glitches.

Other things to watch out for... sometimes the recorded shows won't play back outside of the TV App. This seems to be caused by dodgy data in the file. Using something like Project X or VideoReDo fixes the files and allows you to stick them in you media libray for playback.

ta ta
Rob J

11:03 am  

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