ASUS/InterVideo Home Theater 2
Handling the multimedia experience from within Windows, ASUS included a rebranded version of InterVideo's Home Theater 2. This is a very complete media center software package, sporting many quality features. Installation of the software was quick and easy, as was its initial setup. Home Theater 2 covered many of the same functions of the InstantON software, marrying up well to the Remote Control. Like InstantON, the functions also display information related to their functions on the front panel display, although the touch sensors did not function from within Windows.
Home Theater offered a brief setup script that walked us through configuring the key components of the software. After configuring such features as TV source input, audio quality and programming a few favorite channels, we were ready to go.
As with InstantON, image quality was decent with the TV-Tuner, although it is not a replacement for an analog TV. The remote control worked flawlessly, giving us virtually instant response times to our commands. The DVD and Radio components also lived up to expectation, performing quite well, however, management of a large MP3 collection can be a bit unwieldy with the Music component.
Home Theater 2 is an excellent alternative to Window Media Center 2005, especially when all of this comes included in the package. While Media Center 2005 is a bit slicker and more functional in our opinion, the included TV-Tuner is not compatible with the Microsoft OS, so Home Theater is the best solution.
From a performance standpoint, the software delivered well on features and functionality. The interface was easy to read and worked well with the Remote Control included with the S-presso. The software could be configured to run with Windows so it is the default interface when Windows loads. This is especially useful when a video card is installed and the unit is connected to a television.