Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The TV Tuner market now has another excellent contender in PowerColor's ATI Theater 550 Pro PCIe. We know the use of the PCIe interface will be a big selling point to many of you, and it's one of the reasons we looked at this product. Though the new interface brings no real benefits in terms of image quality, features, or performance, it is the new standard, which is important to those of you looking for a long term investment. While PCI certainly isn't going anywhere at the moment, PCIe is the way of the future. Fortunately for us, and all of you, PowerColor has taken a good first step.
Everything considered, we walked away with a fairly good view of PowerColor's Theater 550 Pro. There's little in terms of features and accessories to set it far apart from the competition, though the fact that it uses a PCIe interface certainly helps. We were a little hesitant about how well CyberLink's PowerCinema 4 would perform, given our relatively unpleasant experience with PowerCinema 3. But fortunately PowerCinema 4 is a much better piece of software, with an easy to manage interface, and without the sluggish performance of PowerCinema 3. We actually enjoyed using PowerCinema this time. With a good software suite, comfortable and functional remote, and no installation or operating hassles, HotHardware awards PowerColor's ATI Theater 550 Pro PCIe an 8.5 out of 10 on the Heat Meter.
|•_Good software bundle
•_PCI Express Interface
|•_Smaller Market with PCIe enabled motherboards|