Diamond PVR560 XtremeTV Tuner CardFormer staff writer -
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Testing this was just an awful experience, I mean who in the world wants to sit back and enjoy all of the media they have collected and watch TV? Just kidding - this was a great experience. I never knew how nice it would be to have a setup such as this. The picture quality was not as good as the digital signal that was going to my 1080i LCD, but it was not bad by any means. It was very comparable to putting my coaxial cord straight into a CRT television I have here. I could not get a snapshot of the TV show running as all that would output is the software window and menus, but no TV show. The next best thing I could do is capture a frame or two with the video player as I played it back. The quality of the show when played back was not bad at all - the shots with no movement in them are pretty good, but if there is movement, it is blurry. This is not the fault of the compression software. I can tell this, because the still shots are quite clear.
Media browsing was a breeze. Your music, videos and photos were there at your fingertips for easy enjoyment. It was super-easy to setup your photos in a slide show type presentation. That would be great for family gatherings.
The FM reception was pretty good once I manually tuned in the stations, but the seek function did not seem to do well at all. I even tried to let it seek as I moved the antenna in all sorts of different directions trying to find a sweet spot.
As far as putting video into the card, the only way in is through the S-Video port. Since my VCR had only RCA jacks on it for output, I wonder if the picture quality is being diminished by using the RCA to S-Video adapter that they provide. Then again, RCA stepping up to S-Video is an improvement in interfaces, so while it may not have had an effect, I still wonder, since there is an interface change none-the-less. Also, I never have seen another tuner card in operation to compare this to and I would also like to see an HD capable tuner before I make any sort of a recommendation.
- Easy hardware install
- Great software
- PVR done well
- Both pieces of software integrate well
- Not HD
- No separate RCA port