Final Thoughts and Conclusion
So what do we think of the Diamond Xtreme TV? Overall it's a decent package, but as with many things in tech, it does have a few shortcomings along the way. The SnapStream.Net Channel Guide requires a paid subscription, so don't get rid of your TV Guide just yet. You can other give up $4.99 per month, $29.99 per year, or a $69.99 one time fee. Another downside comes with recording, as the only option initially given is MPEG2, which can eat up your hard drive. However you can select the recording quality if you need to conserve hard drive space. And one very noticeable feature that is missing from the Diamond Xtreme TV, is the ability to receive FM Radio. While it's nothing major, FM Radio reception is a nice feature that can be found in competitive TV Tuners.
We tested the Diamond Xtreme TV using Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and found no stability problems, even with an overclocked system. The functionality of the software, and ease of use make this a good product for the novice user, and also the more advanced user. It has some great features such as timed record, channel listings, and the ability to rewind Live TV. The inclusion of the FireFly remote helps the experience, and allows you to forget your even using your PC. Video editing software is plentiful on the internet, and there is a decent selection of free software available to anyone. The availability of both software and TV Tuners for the main stream market has opened a new world up for anyone who has an interest.
With the exception of a few bumps along the way, the Diamond Xtreme TV PVR 550 PCI was a smooth ride. Driver and software installation was fairly quick and easy, however it can be complicated if your a novice PC user and receive the WDM driver error that was mentioned earlier. The bundled software is easy to operate, quiet feature rich, incorporates a Windows MCE compatible CODEC, and didn't present any problems while testing. When considering functionality, package contents, image quality, and a retail price of around $120, HotHardware gives the Diamond Xtreme TV PVR 550 PCI Power Pack a 8 out of 10.