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AVerMedia Hybrid FM PCI review

Analogue, digital, HD-TV and FM radio support in one card

PCI TV tuners aren't normally difficult to install, but this is a rare exception.

Our Verdict

Great card, not so great software


  • HDTV-ready

    Impressive specs


  • Difficult to install

    Tricky to operate

    Relatively expensive

PCI TV tuners aren't normally difficult to install, but the AVerMedia AVerTV Hybrid FM proved a rare exception. The antenna connector is recessed a little too far from the back of the card, which meant that our antenna cable couldn't make a firm connection.

This is a pity, because otherwise the specification looks good. As you can tell from the name, the card supports both analogue and digital television, and has 1080i/720p support so it's theoretically HDTV-ready. There's a free electronic programme guide, scheduled recording, time-shift support and all the other goodies you'd expect from a modern tuner.

You can wake up your PC from standby when it's time to record something, at least in theory. In practice, your PC needs to support this too, so there are no guarantees. Still, it's a good feature if you can get it working.

The impressive card specifications aren't matched by the software, unfortunately. The basic console looks pretty enough, and switching channels, pausing live TV and so on work reasonably well. Yet that's where the good news ends.

Where more modern TV apps place an emphasis on usability, this one is just another Windows application. You can use the remote for some of it, but it's really designed for the mouse. The electronic programme guide is displayed in a separate window and shows only one channel at a time. Other applications work in the same way - teletext in fact is a separate application - and it's all quite messy to operate.

The main control panel isn't always easy to use, either, and the program locked up inexplicably on a couple of occasions, with even Task Manager unable to close it down. With the card being relatively expensive, too, it's hard to see why you'd pick this tuner over any other.