There has been renewed interest in TV cards now that PCs are fast enough to act as digital video recorders. In fact, most cards now come with software that can pause live TV and record shows in Mpeg format so they can be burned on to CD for playback in DVD players compatible with the VideoCD standard. The TV2000XP is no different in this respect, but it does have a couple of other tricks up its sleeve.
The card doesn't just allow you to watch TV on your PC, it also has a built-in FM tuner so you can listen to and record radio shows. It has to be said that both TV and radio tuner applications supplied with the card are excellent. Both applications allow you to preschedule recordings and you can set the compression formats for both video and audio so you can match the size of the recordings to your available hard disk space.
We also liked the card's chunky remote control, which isn't going to get lost down the side of your desk. The reception of both TV and radio stations was excellent, with the card especially good at holding on to a stereo stream even when the incoming signal for a TV channel was poor. Picture quality was also extremely good and the software allows you to force the signal to 4:3 or 16:9 ratios depending on your preference. The card also has an S-Video port so you can capture footage from an analogue video camera.
The WinFast TV2000XP really does offer plenty for the price. While it's not as good at capturing video as an AGP card, due to the limitations of the PCI bus, it's still an impressive performer. If you're looking for a top-class TV and FM tuner card at a bargain price then this is it.
Phone: (02) 9648 0888.