PowerColor Theater 550 Pro PCI Express

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The old crowd of PCI TV Tuners may need to step aside soon, as their PCIe cousins head into the market. Sure, there are still plenty of people without motherboards equipped with PCI Express expansion slots, but the old PCI bus is eventually on it's way out.

Today we're going to take a look at PowerColor's PCI Express based Theatre 550 Pro TV Tuner. Other than the way the card interfaces with a system, there's little difference between the newer PCIe based tuners over PCI, so we'll be focusing on the PowerColor card's performance, ease of installation, setup, and bundled software. Speaking of software, some of you may recall our relative displeasure with CyberLink's PowerCinema 3 software in our review of MSI's ATI Theater 550 Pro, so our experience with PowerColor's choice of PowerCinema 4, will weigh heavily on this evaluation. First thing's first though; let's look at the specifications before moving on to the more pressing issues.

Product Features and System Requirements
Package Contents
Package:
PowerColor 550 Pro PCIe Card
Remote Control
USB Receiver

Manuals and Books:

Quick Installation Guide

Software Packaged:

Theater 550 Pro Drivers
PowerCinema 4.0

PowerDirector
MediaShow
MusicMatch
PowerBackup(Trial)

PowerDVD
PowerProducer
Power2Go
PowerDVD Copy(Trial)

System Requirements:

Windows XP
Pentium 3/4 or Similar CPU
Television Source(Antenna, Analog/Digital Cable, Satellite)
Available PCIe Slot



Notable Features:

FM Radio Reception
16MB DDR memory and 3D Comb Filter Real-time MPEG2 hardware compression
Record from any video source (TV, VCR, DVD, Camcorder, etc.)
Skip Commercials on Playback
Auto and Full Channel scan
Scheduled Recording
Pricing and Availability:

Around $90

Warranty:

1 Year Limited Warranty

ATI Theater 550 Pro Technology:
ATI Theater 550 Pro Features:
  • Video Decoder
  • Worldwide Stereo Audio Support
  • Digital 12-bit IF demodulation
  • MPEG-2 Encoder
  • 12-bit Video Decoder w/ Hardware 3D Comb Filter
  • Hardware Noise Reduction
  • FM Radio
  • Closed Captioning and Teletext Support
  • Integrated Anti-Aliasing Filters



 

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