Genius packages its TVGo DVB-TO2Pro in a regular-sized box, but supplies the drivers on a mini 8cm CD.

If your laptop has a slot-loading optical drive, we strongly suggest you don't use this CD and instead download drivers from the Genius website.

In appearance, the tuner is finished in a shiny white casing, but once you plug the IEC-to-MCX adapter in the end of the tuner and use the USB extension cable, the tuner is somewhat dwarfed.

A blue LED indicates the tuner is working. However, it serves no other purpose and will quickly prove annoying to users.

Separated software

The Genius VGo T02Pro Player software looks very slick and is similar in appearance to most DVD applications. For some reason Genius has separated the software into two parts, as the TVGo screen appears as a separate icon on the taskbar, alongside the TVGo Player.

Genius has included a slip of paper in the package that warns about a potential problem when you install the tuner on Vista. If you don't use the Channel Scan function, you may have to reinstall your audio drivers.

We can't imagine why anyone would install a TV tuner and not scan for channels, but the very fact that the manufacturer includes this warning while it is still hosting driver v1.0 on its website looks like very bad news.

Channel listings

Once the channels had been scanned the player started to show Community TV, which is a station that lives somewhere up the high end of the dial. You can select a channel by punching in its number using either the software or the tiny credit card remote.

Try as we might, we were unable to call up a channel listing using the Genius software, so we were reduced to using the Up/Down buttons, which is laborious at the best of times. The Genius is relatively slow at changing channels, so the process took extra time.

Switching to Windows MCE removed those problems in one fell swoop, but it left something of a bad taste in the mouth. Despite the amazingly low price, we think it's best to avoid the Genius.