Asus My Cinema-PHC3-100/NAQ/FM/AV/RC TV Tuner ReviewPropane - October 30, 2008
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Installing the Asus My Cinema is very simple and easy to do and if you have ever installed an expansion card, you probably already know all the steps. If you have no idea where to start, you won't have a hard time if you follow the instructions in the manual. If you opt out of reading the manual though, the installation process is very easy. All that needs to be done is to turn your computer off, open it up, and push the card into the empty PCI slot. Then, start up your computer and put the driver CD in. You should be able install the driver and get to watching TV as soon as a source is connected.
Configuring the card is as easy as installing the drivers and running the software you want to use with the card. Putting in the CD and running the auto-run shows the following menus that allow you to install various software and read the manuals in a lot of languages. The installation process is very standard where you can only press next to accomplish the entire installation process.
Asus TSSI is a program that allows you to see antenna signal strength on your inputs, which would be useful if you were using an antenna. However, I am using a cable connection, so it shows 0 signal strength on all channels. Asus Video Security is a program that is supposed to be used in conjunction with closed circuit security cameras. I don't have any of these, however, and the program doesn't work correctly with a cable signal, so I will be unable to test this program and its features.
One of the cooler gadgets that ASUS included with the tuner is the sidebar gadget. This allows you to add a gadget to your sidebar that you can watch TV in. While the picture is very small, it could be nice to put the gadget there and have the ability to work on other projects while watching the news scroll by.
I wish I could do an in-depth look at the Total Media software that was included, but it just flat out would not work. The program would load, but it would not let me set up the tuner to work with it, so I never got a very good look at the interface. Because of this externality, I will do my testing in Windows Media Center, but will still take the non-working Total Media into account when I give the card my rating.