Diamond PVR560 XtremeTV Tuner CardFormer staff writer -
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Testing:Testing Beyond Media:
I tested this by first using it to explore the hard drive of my PC. You can begin at the "Start Menu". Everything was available to me, just as if I was in Windows Explorer. If you have ever used Windows Media Center Edition, you may see a resemblance.
Accessing the photos on my PC was as simple as clicking on the Photos option in the main menu and all of my photo folders showed up on-screen. Clicking on a folder opened it to show the individual pictures within. If you wanted to start slide show of your pictures, it was a simple matter of clicking on the forward direction arrow at the top of the screen and you will see the photos one-by-one in a large window.
My music was easy to access. Your music is sorted by Album, Artist, or Genre and will also show your playlists. Playing music was a simple matter of clicking the file.
Of course, there is also a video section. Just double-click to play a video and the video player will open automatically and play your file. As with the live TV, a screenshot cannot be taken as you just get a blank screen. The video playback was of good quality and very watchable from across the room on my large monitor.
I tried to play a movie-on-demand with the Spotlight feature, but all I could find were pay-per-view movies, although there were quite a few to choose from. You can search for a movie by title, artist, or actor.
How do I test the weather report feature of this? Even the TV weatherman gets it wrong! Even so, it did seem to correspond fairly well with the weather I was experiencing in my area at the time. I tuned in the weather channel on live TV and recorded it for a screenshot and then at the same time took a screenshot of the weather report from Beyond Media to compare the two. They seemed to compare very well to each other.
I could not test the DVD playback feature of this, because it requires a purchase upgrade for support of DVD with Dolby Digital sound. Since this package did not come with it, I chose to test it as is, because this is what the end user is going to get. So, no DVD playback in Beyond Media in this package.