REVIEW: Tech Choice Computer Radio Scanner

This one goes out to the real hobbyists. I mean, there are some folks who dabble, and some folks who get hard core. If you really want to know about radio and video broadcasts no one else can see, you’re going to want to read on.

The computer radio scanner

At the top of this page you’ll see our Tech Choice Computer Radio Scanner. It’s a device a little larger than your average flash drive. If you’re familiar with the Intel Compute Stick, it’s just a hair smaller than that.

The only noticeable external feature is this antenna port, which connects to a supplied antenna, shown here:

It’s not a particularly interesting antenna, and probably not very unique. You could easily cut the cable off it and connect it to a larger antenna if that was your preference.

The device comes with a plastic cap which, I’m sure you absolutely will not lose. When the cap is removed, it’s even more clear that this is a USB Type A device. Since it’s a Windows-only device (no phone or Mac users need apply), USB Type A is just fine.

You also get a remote, which you probably will not use in this context, and software on CD. Don’t worry if you don’t have a CD-ROM anymore. We’ve made an ISO of its contents and it’s available as a download on our product page. Don’t toss the CD, though, as you’ll need the serial number in order to use the software.

What you do with the thing

The original purpose of this device is to let you watch TV broadcasts encoded with DVB-T and listen to DAB audio broadcasts. If you’re going over to Europe, it will probably do that fairly well. However, neither of these standards are in wide use in the US, or anywhere in the West, for that matter.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Just because publicly available radio and TV doesn’t use them doesn’t mean no one uses them. With a little help from the internet and a little bit of poking around, I found several audio sources that I couldn’t identify. There are video sources out there too. I felt like I was spying on private conversations, which was very cool.

The device comes with its own driver and a copy of Blaze Video, which is a garden-variety tuner program. There are probably others that are just as good and there’s a good chance this device will work with them. I wasn’t able to get it to work directly with OBS or VLC, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

When you’re ready to get into some real spy stuff, you’ll be glad you have this little toy in your arsenal. It’s available now at Solid Signal.

Are the sort of person who prefers a video presentation rather than reading all this stuff? I’ll guess you just scrolled straight to the bottom where you were hoping you’d find a video. I wouldn’t dare disappoint you, so here it is:

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.