Diamond Xtreme TV PVR 550 Power Pack
Taking a closer look and Package Contents
The device is not that big; it's a half height PCI card for the most part, so if you've got a cluttered PCI slot area, you still should be ok. Diamond has chosen purple for the PCB color, which could be a positive or negative depending on personal taste. The ports, starting from left to right, are the RCA Video port, Coaxial cable port, S-video port, and the Audio breakout port. There we no problems getting the card installed, nothing protrudes and the device really isn't big enough to cause any space issues with most case interiors.
To help you get the device up and running, Diamond has included Beyond TV 3.5 "Subscriber Edition", Beyond Media 1.0, SnapStream.Net TV Guide(60 Day Free Trial), a Quick Start Guide, RCA Video and Audio cables, S-Video cable, and of course, their FireFly remote. The driver and software installation didn't present any hassles. We must note however, that this device requires WDM drivers, and will not work with VFW drivers. After playing around with Virtual Dub, we received an error and had to re-install the WDM drivers. This might present some problems to a few users, especially since there isn't much help from the quick start manual or help files about the matter. The system this card was used in contains a GeForce 6800GT, and a quick trip to Nvidia's driver download section of their web site fixed the problem(WDM Drivers are listed under the "Multimedia Software" category)...
Taking a closer look at the remote, you know there's good functionality there. If you take a look at the bottom of the remote, you can see there are quick link buttons for Music, Photos, DVD, TV, and Video. Another notable feature of this remote, is the "mouse" button which will allow you to control your mouse using the remote. The features and style of the remote is closer to that of a new DVD player than a PCI TV Tuner, so the inclusion of this remote really helps enhance the whole experience. It's very similar to the functionality found in ATi's All In Wonder Radeon series of cards. And yes the remote even come with batteries. Now let's have a look at the software.