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Philips Rhythmic Edge 4.1 PCS703

Posted: October 12th, 2001
Written by: Davey "Daveyiv" McWatters


When Philips first released their Rhythmic Edge, the PSC702, it was based on their Thunderbird 128 chip. It supported four channels, but only 2 was implemented in the Rhythmic Edge, and costed around thirty dollars. The Sound Blaster Live! Value was around the same price and offered a little more bang for the buck so many people bought it instead of the competition. However those days are over and Philips have released a revamped Rhythmic Edge, the PSC703 Rhythmic Edge 4.1. They have listened to comsumers and gave them a little bit of what they want. These features include support for four speakers based around the same DSP they used in the Acoustic Edge, the Thunderbird Avenger chip.


PSC703 PCI Sound Card
Printed in USA
Digital Acceleration
• 96 streams of 3D audio acceleration including reverb, obstruction, and occlusion
• 256 streams of DirectSound accelerations and digital mixing
• Full-duplex, 48khz digital recording and playback
• 64 hardware sample rate conversion channels up to 48khz >br? • Wavetable and FM Synthesis
• DirectInput devices Comprehensive Connectivity
• 4-channel analog output
• Digital S/PDIF output (stereo,AC3 or DTS signal)
• Dual Midi/Gameport
• Additional external inputs: Line in, Mic in
• Additional internal inputs: CD in, Aux in,TAD in
• Special effects can be applied to any audio input including conversion of stereo to quadraphonic, QXpander, and reverb Music Synthesis
• Up to 576 total wavetable synthesis voices
• Reverb and chorus
• 64 channel hardware CD quality (16 bit, 44.1khz) wavetable synthesizer with 5.9MB sample set
• Hardware FM Synthesizer (real mode DOS)
• 512 voice professional quality soft-synth with XG and GM compatibility Digital Signal Processor Algorithms
• QSound3DInteractive™ positional 3D for 2 speakers or 4 speakers
• QSound Multi Speaker System™ for quadraphonic output of stereo music, video and games
• QSound Environmental Modeling for EAX™ and DirectSound3D™ games
• QXpander™ for 3D enhancement of stereo playback
• QSurround™ virtual 5.1 playback of DVDs using 2 speakers*
• Soft DVD player required

As you can see, the Rhythmic Edge contains many upon many nice features for most people. However, it is only a 4 channel soundcard therefore you do not need to go out to the store and buy the very best 5.1 surround sound capable speakers you can find because it would only take advantage of 4 different channels. Four channels should be enough for most users that aren’t audiophiles. However the Rhythmic Edge contains a couple very nice software sound enhancement features for you to take advantage of: these include the Qxpander and DVD Qsurround both used to enhance the sound from your 2 channel speakers. They will both be described in more detail in the Drivers section of the review. As you can see in the Features list a software dvd decoder is required to take advantage of DVD Qsurround.

The Rhythmic Edge has all of your standard I/O ports: gameport, mic, line in, front out, and rear out. It also features a SP/DIF out port for your digital SP/DIF capable speakers. If you have SP/DIF capable speakers you should definatly take advantage of the SP/DIF out on your Rhythmic Edge. Unfortuanatly, my speakers are not SP/DIF capable so I am unable to see if the port makes any large improvements or not in sound quality. Now lets see what Philips included in the box along with the Rhythmic Edge…

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