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Buyers Guides >The August DA900C portable LCD TV wins Auto Express best buy

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The August DA900C is a slim, portable, 9" TV measuring just 9.4" x 5.7" x 0.94" overall and weighing in at 1lb. Aside from its extremely thin design, it is its range of features and functionality that sets the August DA900C apart from other portable TVs at or around the same price point. As with other portable TVs, the DAC900C includes both analogue and digital "Freeview" TV tuners, capable of receiving the 5 terrestrial TV stations and over 40 free-to-air digital TV and digital radio stations, but its unique selling point is its ability to record Freeview broadcasting to a USB ("Universal Serial Bus") memory stick or portable hard disk drive. This means that programmes can be recorded on the August DA900C and watched later on a computer or large screen TV, for example. In fact, the DA900C can also be used as a standalone Freeview tuner, in conjunction with a large screen TV, so providing flexibility when you arrive at your holiday destination as well as on the move.

Unlike some other portable TVs, the DA900C also provides a memory card reader, compatible with SD and MMC memory expansion cards together with support for JPEG image files, MP3 and WAV music files, MPEG4 and AVI movie files. This means that the DA900C also doubles as a multifunctional portable media player, allowing digital photographs, music and movies to be transferred easily from your PC and viewed, for example, in the car or elsewhere. Such a slim unit cannot realistically be expected to reproduce audio of superior quality, but audio quality is perfectly acceptable at close range and you always have the option of using the included earphones or connecting an external speaker if better audio quality is required.

All of these features led the August DA900C to be named a "Best Buy" amongst portable TVs, with a 5-star rating by Britain's biggest selling motoring magazine, Auto Express. Considered by many to be the definitive road testing magazine, Auto Express tested a range of standalone portable TVs "in situ" in a car to see how they performed under different road conditions and at different speeds. Portable TVs were connected to a proven external aerial, where possible, or operated via their own integral aerial otherwise. The emphasis was on quality rather than screen size and Auto Express particularly liked the fact that it is possible to record from the August DA900C to USB and memory expansion cards and the availability of features such as Freeview Teletext, EPG, subtitles and "red button" interactive services. On the downside, the DA900C is capable of operating from mains supply or via an optional 12-volt car adaptor, but not from batteries. The control buttons are on the side of the unit, rather than the front as is customary and the screen may be prone to scratching. A remote control, roughly the size of a credit card is however included and the other minor drawbacks aside, the August DA900C was considered a worthy winner amongst portable TVs by Auto Express.