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Posted: June 10, 2002
Written by: Davey McWatters
Leadtek WinFast TV 2000 XP
With PC’s becoming increasingly integrated into consumers home entertainment centers we need a way to connect your TV and other A/V equipment up to your computer. Years ago, people would have never even thought of integrating their PC into their entertainment center, that is if they even had an entertainment center. With prices of electronic equipment falling many people have decided to take advantage of it and setup tiny movie theaters in their own home.
Using your computer to output your TV and sound signals would be ideal because you could then record anything from your TV onto your PC’s hard drive and not have to pay a company like TiVo a monthly fee to record your favorite shows. You can also play any video files you record on your computer through your TV (as long as your video card has TV out capabilities) and not have to watch them on your small monitor in your uncomfortable desk chair.
Leadtek has been listening to consumers; finding out what their demands are for a TV tuner card. Now that card is in production and they call it the WinFast TV 2000 XP.
The TV 2000 XP
The front of the box shows a picture of the card and remote. The remote control will most likely attract many consumers attention. Who wouldn’t like to have a remote to control their TV or radio while they lay in bed at night? Leadtek is one of the few companies who offer a remote standard with their TV tuner package.
On the back of the box, Leadtek includes a great deal of information about features of the card. They mention all of the special features in large print to attract the consumer’s eye from the competition. They have done a good job on making the box attractive while being informative about the product at the same time.
As you can see, the front of the card looks like any other basic TV tuner. Our card is NTSC; however, if you live in Europe or another part of the world you will want to make sure you’re ordering the correct card for your needs. Whether it be NTSC if you’re in the US or PAL if you’re in Europe. The card fits into any free PCI slot you have in your system.
As you can see, the card houses a plethora of connections. Starting from the left to right, you’ve got the FM coaxial connection where you can plug the included antenna into and listen to your favorite radio station, so long as its on the FM band. Next, we have the TV coaxial connection; you simply steal the cable going into your TV and plug it into this connector. If you wish to output it back to your TV you will need to use a video card or other device with TV-Out support.
Next we have a MiniDIN connector. It allows you to insert either the S-Video or Composite cables into it and watch or record a live video feed to your computer. The next two are your audio in/out minijacks. Finally, we have the infrared connector. This is where you plug in your IR receiver to be able to use the remote control included with the kit.
The remote control looks quite nice. It has buttons for just about every aspect of controlling your TV or radio. The power button will even allow you to open and close the software program while not being near your PC. You can switch between TV, radio, and your S-Video/Composite input with the remote as well. If Leadtek wanted to attract even more attention they could write drivers that will allow you to bind the remote buttons to other programs and listen to your MP3’s or watch a video that is already on your PC.
One thing I don't particularly care for on the IR sensor is the length of the cord. Leadtek should have made it a little bit longer for users to stretch it to their monitors or on top of their desks. It would barely even reach the top of a full tower case if you have the card in on of your bottom PCI slots.