Final Thoughts and Rating
With the release of the DualTV MCE Remote Edition, NVIDIA jumps back into the TV-Tuner market with a strong offering. Let's face it, when it comes to TV tuning solutions for the PC, NVIDIA has not been a major force. With the release of the DualTV MCE though, this all could change, with a product that is well-rounded, cost effective and very easy to install.
When comparing the DualTV MCE's features to its closest competitors, the DualTV MCE fairs well. With the Hauppauge WinTV PVR-500 being the only other dual-tuner consumer level solution, NVIDIA comes out on top in our opinion, as Hauppauge doesn't even offer a basic DVD decoder with their card. From a complete feature standpoint, the single-tuner ATI Elite Wonder is still compelling, however. With its mature Multimedia Center software, Remote Wonder and compatibility with all flavors of Windows XP, the TV Wonder Elite is tough to ignore. Also, with a lower price point, users could buy two Tv Wonders for just a little more than a single dual-tuner option and end up with an extra remote for another system.
Overall, we walked away rather impressed with the DualTV MCE from NVIDIA. The card installed easily, image quality was very good and the bundled retail package was comprehensive. We did find that navigating with the FM radio tuner was slow, however, reception was excellent. For those looking to integrate their Windows XP Media Center PC into their entertainment center, the DualTV MCE will interface well with existing cable equipment and it offers a similar experience to many set-top PVR products. Retailing for $169 without a remote and $219 for the Remote Control Edition, the DualTV MCE is a solid dual-tuner solution for any Windows XP Media Center based PC. For those looking to use the DualTV MCE edition with Windows XP Pro and Home though, third party software is required. We give NVIDIA's DualTV MCE Remote Edition at HotHardware Heat Meter rating of a 9.