Exceptional HD quality TV, decently fast, almost like a free TiVO, great reception, easy to use (sort of... read my opinion to understand)
Lousy software, eats up Diskspac unless you set it up right, cheap looking interface, remote looks super cheap and works as well as it looks
When I first got this, I was a bit hesitant because of the low scores this reciever was getting. Though I must agree about the pains of installing this software, it was actually really easy once I figured it out. Before I get into detail, my system is a 3Ghz ... Read full review
When I first got this, I was a bit hesitant because of the low scores this reciever was getting. Though I must agree about the pains of installing this software, it was actually really easy once I figured it out. Before I get into detail, my system is a 3Ghz P4 w/ a Pentium board w/ integrated soundcard, 64mb Nvidia MX440 (pretty damn old but still useful card), 256 DDR ram, and Win XP SP2.
If you're going to install the software, don't follow the websites (ATI's) instructions because they are really really vague. Instead, just install the software on the CD first and then install the downloaded drivers and etc. in the order that the ATI.com site tells you to do. If all goes well, then good job, you saved yourself 2 hours of trial and error.
Now for the software, let me say that it looks cheap and works cheap. It's easy to use, but the multimedia center stuff looks really cheap, worst than if a 3rd party software company were to make one. But besides aesthetics, the other thing I have beef with is the fact that changing setting after the initial setup is a real pain.
If you aren't careful, you could take away all your HD's memory unless you change the settings. I had to make sure that there was a limit of how much memory i set aside for recording (which it does automatically without telling you because it wants, the TiVO like controlling of TV programs) and make sure it recoreded in mpeg format. Also, the ATI package did not come with a media file converter. Personally, I think this is a huge mistake because sometimes people need to burn the recordings in MPEG format, but that format takes up a lot of memory the best thing to do after burning is either converting or let it waster space on the HD. Also, the recordings will record the letterboxes and the side bars on all TV programs that aren't in widescreen. If anything, they should have included a light converter and editor in the package; this would have definitly made this a 9, or even a ten package, but it doesn't, so i have crap with that.
but overall, this is great because the schedule recording of shows is real straitfoward. just enter the date and time, and leave the comp. on at the specific time; it'll record automatically. also, the picture quality is a lot better than I thought and it's pretty easy to use. If I could ask them to change something, it would be the instruction manual, the crappy remote (it's easier to use the damn mouse), and include a converter to save HD space and an editor to eliminate those pesky black bars and commercials. Oh, and make changing the setup easier, it takes me 5 min. just to change one small setting. not impossible to do, but more inconvenient than it really needs to be.