The ability to manipulate and access various types of video and audio media has become a big part of the computer life-style. What used to be reserved for those with money to spend on expensive devices and powerful computers, is now available to just about anyone with a PCI slot. Thanks to the interest in these kinds of devices, the market has a nice selection of TV Tuner cards available for the media enthusiast, and your average Joe who just wants to record or watch TV on a PC screen. Most of the hassle that used to be associated with capturing and editing video, have been completely taken out and replaced with user friendly interfaces, and rich feature sets. These types of devices, when combined with video editing software (some of the best of which can be found bundled in for free), can make anyone look like a media pro. Today HotHardware will be looking at Diamond's XtremeTV PVR 550 PCI.
In this review, we will be taking a look at the bundled software and accessories with this Diamond TV Tuner, as well as its driver and software installation, program stability, functionality, and of course, image quality. Will Diamond's offering set itself apart from the rest of the TV Tuner crowd, or is it just another average Tuner with a so-so feature set in a sea of similar product? Let's find out and see what Diamond has to offer us!
XtremeTV PVR 550 PCI Card
Firefly RF Remote Control
RCA Video and Audio, S-Video Cables
Manuals and Books:Quick Start Guide
Software Packaged:Installation CD
Beyond TV 3.5 "Subscriber Edition"
Beyond Media 1.0
SnapStream.Net TV Guide, 60 Day Free Trial
System Requirements:Windows 2000, XP(Win2K SP4, WinXP SP2 Recommended)
Windows Media Player 9
800MHz or Greater Intel or AMD Athlon CPU
16MB DirectX 9.0 compatible Video Card
15 GB Free Hard Drive Space*
Television Source(Antenna, Analog/Digital Cable, Satellite)
Internet Access(Broadband Preferable)
Available PCI Slot
Pricing and Availability:
Warranty:1 Year Limited Warranty
*15GB Is not actually required, but needed if you wish to save hours of media on your computer.
Watch, Pause, & Rewind Live TV
Skip Commercials on Playback
Record Shows Remotely via the Web
Conexant Chipsets: CX23416 MPEG Encoder and CX25843 Audio/Video Decoder based on Conexant's Falcon II reference design