Mygica A681B TV Tuner Review
Earns John’s Tech Blog’s Coveted Piece Of Fucking Shit Award
Not a lot of hardware has the distinction of earning my coveted “Piece Of Fucking Shit Award”. But here we are.
I wrote a blog on using a computer offline and recommended a TV tuner from Hauppauge which probably costs around $75. As a swell public service, while scouring the net doing research on TV tuners, I found a Mygica A681B on Amazon for around half the price. And it claimed to work on Linux.
So I bought one.
What a mistake that was. Even though this thing does actually work it is still a POS.
Why Is The Mygica A681B A POS If It Works?
Quite frankly it is due to the claims of working on Linux. And because of their Windows software. According to the directions you have to compile the Linux drivers. Okay. No problem. I followed their directions and it didn’t work. So then I hit the internet. Best I can tell, no one has ever gotten this USB TV dongle working on Linux. Certainly no one on their own forum has either. Not only that during boot on my Ubuntu laptop it would hang and was telling me my hdaudio driver was hosed. Wasn’t like that before. It added about 10 seconds to the boot time of my computer.
Just to be sure I took an old laptop and installed an old version of Ubuntu Linux on it (because their directions are for older versions). Followed the directions to the letter and it did the same thing regarding the hdaudio driver.
So I took my working computer and a clean install of Ubuntu and reinstalled Kaffeine (tv tuner software) and hooked my Hauppauge 955Q back up which works instantly and perfectly.
Windows, Here We Come
So I installed the Windows drivers and downloaded the software and the device was indeed loaded.
So far so good. Time to install the software, Mygica HiDTV.
Piece of Fucking Shit! Now. Can I fix this? Yes. Microsoft says to uninstall that library, install the old library, then install the new library again.
Am I going to do that. Fuck no!
I already have NextPVR installed so let’s see if it works over there. Well whadda you know? NextPVR sees it.
Wow! And it works as well.
Well there’s a surprise. It does work under NextPVR and I’d say it works okay. The included antenna is crap but if you buy a USB TV Tuner from anywhere the included antenna is always crap.
My camper has a coaxial cable hookup inside and also outside. Hook up a real antenna outside and then connect the Mygica inside and it’ll work fine.
Only one problem with that. The laptop I keep exclusively in my camper is Ubuntu Linux. I have my reasons for that, and that’s the way it will remain. So this Mygica A681B is useless to me.
Spend the extra money and buy a Hauppauge TV Tuner. This tuner does work in a Windows environment however, their included Linux drivers do NOT work and the included Windows TV software doesn’t install clean right out of the box. Based on what the Linux drivers did to my system there was no way I was going to bork my Windows laptop as well.
The old adage applies here. You get what you pay for.
My last comment is this: It is small and feels cheap as well. Lightweight, and plastic feeling. Hauppauge tuners have some heft, have a metal case, and anything that crunches video is likely to get warm. Having stated that, I have been running the Mygica A681B for a couple of hours and it is just barely warm.
Even though I managed to get this thing to work………it’s a straight up POS. The only way I can recommend it is if you are in a Windows only environment and you aren’t scared to get under the hood and fool around with the C++ libraries.
Save your money. After searching on eBay I have found a bunch of used Hauppauge HVR-950Q tuners for $15-$18. This, by far, is your best choice economically and technically.
This is a case of “The Hardware Works But The Software Is Awful”. I’d recommend this only for Windows and under software such as NextPVR.