Taking a break for dishing out new notebooks and netbooks, Asus
is today unveiling its newest device for tuning into OTA broadcasts via an HTPC. The newest product in the My Cinema line packs an absurdly long name: My Cinema-EHD3-100/NQA/FM/AV/MCE RC Dual Hybrid TV Card. What that tries to explain in so many words is that it can record and tune into both both digital (ATSC/QAM) and analog (NTSC) TV channels simultaneously without taking a CPU hit, which is definitely music to the media enthusiast's ear.
The card, which fits into a PCI-Express slot, possesses an MPEG2 hardware encoder that takes most of the stress off of the CPU, and while it's obviously aimed at HTPC and Media Center PC builders, it can turn any tower with a free PCI-e slot into a TV tuning machine. Thanks to the twin onboard tuners, users can view one digital or one analog TV channel, watch an analog or digital TV channel while recording another channel, or record two different channels at the same time. It also enables viewers to schedule recordings (like a traditional DVR), edit and burn recorded clips, tune into FM radio and even control the action with a bundled Microsoft certified Media Center remote control.
As with most My Cinema products, this one also comes with Asus GadgeTV, a widget that adds a small window to the Windows Vista sidebar and gives Vista users the ability to watch TV on the side while "working" on the main screen. There's no price or availability listed just yet, but the full specifications are below.
Key Features at a Glance
- Utilizes the PCI-Express port for faster data transmission
- Enhances multitasking through an in-built hardware MPEG2 encoder that significantly reduces CPU load
- Delivers the best video quality through hardware noise reduction technology
- Enables users to watch analog or digital TV (or digital TV through
a standard coaxial cable) and record another channel, or record two
different channels at the same time
- Adds a convenient TV widget on the Windows Vista sidebar upon startup, powered by ASUS GadgeTV Technology
- Comes with a remote control kit for easy channel surfing
- Equipped with FM radio capabilities
- Sports dual AV inputs for capturing external sources
- Turns the PC into a private security system with ASUS VideoSecurity Online Technology