MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
Regal GR-3300TDVI High Definition Digital Receiver
- Wide range of outputs, easy to use
- Clunky system of switching display modes, slightly awkward remote control
A fairly good set top box that performs well with a nice range of outputs
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
With the current flurry of interest surrounding all things High Definition, you may find yourself hankering for a piece of the action. Provided you've got yourself a HD-ready display the next step is to buy a set top box. Regal's GR-3300TDVI is one such device, and does almost everything we could hope for from a High Definition TV tuner.
Setting up the GR-3300TDVI is an incredibly simple process. Attach the relevant cables, turn it on and press the tuning button; the set top box kicks into life, tunes in all the available channels and is ready to use. Regal has provided almost every conceivable kind of connection. High Definition digital video is supported through a DVI terminal and analogue video through Component, S-Video and VGA. HDMI can be supported through a DVI to HDMI cable (although this will have to be purchased separately). The VGA connection can also be used to connect the set top box to a computer monitor. Digital audio is supported with Coaxial and Optical connections. Two sets of analogue stereo connections round things off nicely. Dedicated HDMI aside, there really isn't anything that Regal has left out.
After connecting the system up, the next step is to select the appropriate display mode. The GR-3300TDVI supports most industry standard settings, including 1080i, 720p and 576p as well as the more obscure 1152i. Changing between modes is more of a hassle than we have seen on other models as it cannot be accomplished with the remote. Instead, a pair of switches needs to be flicked back and forth on the rear of the unit, hardly a convenient spot if the set top box is under the television. But considering most people will rarely change the modes this slight inconvenience can be overlooked. With a wide range of picture modes, the quality of video is correspondingly good, though we did notice slightly more compression artefacts than average.
Other than these settings the GR-3300TDVI offers little in the way of advanced features. The standard program guide is available, showing the details for programmes currently showing and the following program. Channels can be browsed through a list and also added to a selection of favourites for quick access. The interface is well implemented and clean, with each information box given a translucent background. There are few remarkable features to speak of and the unit does not include picture in picture.
Controlling the various features is slightly more awkward than necessary due to the poorly laid out remote control. Unlike almost any other remote we can recall, Regal has placed the 'menu' key in between the four-directional navigation instead of the 'enter' key. This led us to continually wonder why we couldn't activate buttons until we noticed this switch.
Overall the GR-3300TDVI offers a reasonable package. It's easy to use, simple to configure and offers all the outputs most people would need.
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