PowerColor Theater 550 Pro PCI Express

Taking a Closer Look

PowerColor ATI Theater 550 Pro PCIe
Goodies Inside The Box



The PowerColor Theater 550 Pro looks like most other TV Tuners that use ATI's Theater 550 Pro chip, with the exception of the PCIe edge connector. With support constantly growing for the PCI Express interface, it was only a matter of time before PCIe TV Tuners hit the market. Sporting ATI's trademark red PCB, the card isn't large enough to be a concern for most of you, however, if you're running two video cards in SLI, you could run into some problems depending on the cooling solution on the graphics cards themselves and your motherboard's slot configuration. TV, FM, Composite, S-Video, and Audio ports are all found at the back of the card and we didn't have any problems getting everything connected.



The bundle is somewhat standard, containing all the necessary CD's and accessories to get everything up and running. You'll find a CD with the needed drivers and installation files, but CyberLink has also included another CD packed full of good software. Inside you'll find programs such as PowerDirector for video editing, and MusicMatch for MP3 ripping and playback. You'll also receive PowerProducer, and Power2Go, which will allow you to author and burn DVDs, and also burn data/music. PowerDVD is the DVD playback software, and MediaShow is used to create slide shows of your photos. Finally, they've included trial software such as PowerBackup for backing up data, and PowerDVD Copy which allows for one-step DVD copying. This is a nice assortment of software, especially if you're just getting into media creation. With some time and patience, you'll be recording and editing your own videos like it's second nature.

The Remote Control
Time to sit back and relax


Finally, there's the remote. While there's nothing outstanding about it, it is comfortable to hold and has all the functionality you'll need. Needing two AAA batteries (included), it offers good range, and makes using PowerCinema 4 a pleasure. A bad remote can hurt the overall TV on your PC experience, fortunately this remote helps give a smooth ride. It's basically your standard TV/DVD remote, with the top half consisting of navigation buttons, allowing you to easily switch between your music, videos, DVD, and pictures. The lower half contains the video control buttons, such as rewind, fast forward and pause. Couch potatoes should feel right at home.

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