Diamond XtremeTV HDTV 110 Hybrid Tv Tuner USB 2.0Former staff writer -
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Testing will be accomplished using 90% subjectivity (ease of use, functionality, picture quality) and 10% objectivity (system resources used). The subjective portion will be setting up a program to record, viewing it, and basic PVR use. Moving on from there, testing of DVD playback, video file playback, picture navigation, and music playback will be tested. Picture quality will be compared against the Theater 550 PCI-E card, and system resource reports will be generated.
- AMD Athlon64 Processor 6000+
- ECS A770M-A (BIOS dated 12/04/07, Chipset drivers provided on CD)
- Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB PC2-9200 DDR2-1150MHz
- OCZ Vendetta CPU Cooler
- PowerColor HD2600 PRO (Catalyst 7.11)
- Antec NeoPower 650W
- 1x250GB Maxtor SATA
- 2x400GB Seagate SATA
- Apevia X-Jupiter Jr case
- Plextor PX-716SA 16X DVD RW SATA
- HL 4164B 16X DVD RW IDE
- Windows XP Professional SP2
- PowerColor Theatre 550 PCIe 1x
- Diamond XtremeTV HDTV 110 HYBRID TV TUNER USB 2.0
Ease of Use
In the past I have used ATI's MMC (MultiMedia Center), CyberLink's PowerCinema, and dabbled with BeyondTV. The software and interface included with the tuner is probably the easiest to configure and use out of the box. The speed (save for scanning for channels) with the time from when the tuner is plugged in to when you are watching TV is well under a half hour. Then add in the time going through the settings to tailor TotalMedia to you tastes. There were no issues at all in setting up and configuring the tuner out of the box.
The functions available with the TotalMedia software are the run-of-the-mill media center choices, PVR functions, DVD player, file player, photo navigation (with some light editing features), and music library. The nice plus is the inclusion of the TOGO feature that allows easy sync and transfer of files between popular formats such as iPod video, Sony PSP, Windows Mobile Devices, Creative Zen, SanDisk Sansa e200, and the Zen Vision. Unfortunately, these devices were not readily handy at the time of review, but look for a revisit on this feature.
The picture quality of over-the-air HDTV is beautiful. I wish there were more HD channels being transmitted.
HD 720i Resolution
HD 480i Resolution
HD 1080i Resolution
Analog picture quality is lacking. The picture has visible noise throughout, and compared to my Theater 550 PCI-E, just looks bad. This is one of the only knocks against the XtremeTV HDTV 110, but considering 80% of the viewing will be via the analog connection, it is considerable.
XtremeTV HDTV 110 Analog
Theater 550 PCI-e Analog
The XtremeTV 110 HDTV takes a serious chunk of CPU resources to run since it is coming over the USB bus.