KWorld PVR-TV PE210 and Vista

The short answer to using the PVR-TV PE210 with Vista is no- it isn't going to work (at least until they have some drives that work in the US).

I picked up a KWorld PVR-TV PE210 card from Fry's. It features dual analog tuners and it uses a 1x PCIe slot for about $150. I have been having some strange issues with my Hauppauge PVR 150 (and my current MCE motherboard features only 1 standard PCI slot- but two PCIe slots) so I decided to give it a go- I have been wanting an additional tuner anyway.

I shut down Vista (Premium) and pulled the Hauppauge (to use elsewhere). I installed the card and connected the antenna (which uses a clever 'NT-M to PAL-F' {aka Belling Lee?} connector to allow a slip-connect for a standard threaded type F coax connection) and fired up the system.
Windows detected a PCI bridge and a Philips SAA7131 Hybrid Capture device. I fired up Media Center and went to configure the TV tuner and got a message that no TV tuner could be found. I did a reboot and tried again; still no luck.

But wait- Windows has detected a new optional download that is a new driver for this device; install, reboot and exa
ctly the same issue. Damn! Where is this 'plug-and-play' think I keep hearing about?

A visit to the Taiwan KWorld support page produced drivers from November 2006 (hmmm, and Vista was released in January?)- and exactly the same results (Note: the KWorld software stated it was actually installing drivers for a DVB-T PE301). I tried some manual driver installs and found several more versions in my driver cache, so I went through them one at a time. Some of them would present a TV tuner to Vista, but when the initial guide setup started, I was prompted that the TV tuner card I was using was not for my current region (USA). I investigated a bit, and found I was able to download the guide content for UK.

I went to the KWorld USA site and found that although they did show the PVR-TV PE201 and they had a link to drivers to their PCIe devices, the link is broken and it loops back to the default 'downloads' page. Hmm...

In review, it looks like this device was designed for a European marketplace: The PAL antenna connection, the drivers not for this region and the lack of support on the US site attest to this. It looks like they did a hack job on the drivers to make them work with Windows XP, but their Vista support is still forthcoming (two months after Vista went retail). If KWorld fixes up their website and produces some Vista certified drivers that work in the US, I may give this guy a second chance- but for now I will wait for the reviews of others to indicate this has happened...

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