Diamond PVR560 XtremeTV Tuner CardFormer staff writer -
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The testing of this tuner card will be performed by seeing if it can indeed do all of the things that it claims it can do and how well it does them. There are quite a few options to be covered here. I will start with the program, Beyond TV.
I will use Beyond TV by first setting it up to provide me with a program guide for my area. Once I have a guide, I'll use that to setup a recording of an upcoming show and then view the playback of that show and try to skip the commercials in it. Again, this is being performed with my PC video card hooked into my 47 inch LCD. I will also compare this to using the S-Video out of the tuner card itself, going into a 20 inch CRT television. I will also compare the image quality of a live show with that of a CRT television and try to rewind the live TV show.
Next comes Beyond Media. This one is a lot more involved. This program will allow me to access my photos, music, videos, local weather, access movies on-demand, listen to FM radio broadcasts, watch DVDs and act as an explorer for my PC. I will try to touch on each of these things in the testing.Testing Setup:
- Intel Conroe 6700 at 3.6 GHz
- Asus P5W-DH Deluxe
- OCZ EL DDR2-1000 Platinum XTC 4-5-4-15 (2 x 1 GB)
- BFG GeForce 7600 gt oc
- OCZ GameXtreme 600 watt PSU
- Western Digital 250 GB SATA
- Lite-On DVDRW LH-20A1P
- Windows XP Pro SP2
Testing Beyond TV:
Well, part of the testing was the software installation and setup. Except for a slight glitch in the beginning, it all went really smoothly. For further testing I browsed my media with the menus, launched a video on the VCR, watched live TV and setup a recording. I had no problems at all. It all worked great.
The Beyond TV program recorded my preselected movie and worked really well with the slight exception of the image quality in the recorded playback. The MPEG compression took a bit of the sharpness out of picture. The ‘rewind’ worked well and I was able to fast-forward through the commercials. Where there is motion in the recorded movie playback, it is not noticeable while viewing, but in a screenshot, you can see the blurring.
As for as how the live TV went, it was actually very good. It compared very well to the coaxial cable feed going right into my CRT television and I could rewind the show by putting the mouse on the slider bar and dragging it back. When I connected the S-Video cord to the tuner output and the CRT TV input, I could see no difference from the live TV on the LCD. I could not get a screenshot of live TV because this picture below was always the end result. You get the window and menus, but no TV show.
Next I tried out the FM tuner. I began by disconnecting the included antenna from the card, as I could not pick up any stations this way. I then hooked up my own antenna to the card and let it scan for channels. The scanning did not pick up very much. I had to manually move to the station I wanted and then it picked up the music well. I set it up to play some of my favorite channels. I could then set up presets so that the stations were easy to get back to. Once the music was playing, it was fairly clear and clean sounding.