Since I’m a slacker and haven’t had a chance to test a USB ATSC tuner on the Q1, Rodfather dropped $100 and gave it a shot. He picked up the Hauppauge HVR-950 at a local Circuit City and quickly found out that the dinky little antenna provided doesn’t cut the mustard. No surprise there and no slight against Hauppauge; this is typical for any mobile DTV package. Rodfather used a more conventional UHF antenna (that’s all you need for DTV and HDTV signal reception, folks) and was able to pull in a few digital channels. So how did they look? Choppy but watchable as expected. An alternative to watching a high-def recording is to re-encode it at a lower bitrate; when I did this with Vista’s Media Center on the Q1, the choppiness was reduced.
Unfortunately for us UMPC owners, the current Intel dedicated graphics chipset used just can’t handle a true high-def signal without struggling. To be honest: on an 800 x 480 screen, an HDTV signal is overkill anyway since the lowest HDTV resolution is around 1024 x 720 and the high-end programming is provided at 1920 x 1080 resolution. If you can pull in a 480p digital program on today’s UMPCs, then you’re in business. In any case: there’s plenty more to the story and you can find it all over the Origami Project forums. Thanks for the tip TaxMan (aka Bill) and nice job, Rodfather!