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Test Setup

PVR On A Budget
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I used a home-made PC for testing. The PC mimicked SnapStream's recommended spec. Instead of using a TV tuner card, I used the ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon card. As you shall see, SnapStream's recommended system is barely enough for full usage of its product.

Motherboard MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU
CPU AMD Athlon XP 1500+
Memory 256 MB KingMax PC2700 DDR SDRAM
Graphics ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon AGP
Sound Creative SoundBlaster Audigy MP3+
Display 20" viewable CRT; 32 bit color; 1152x864; .21 mm dot pitch; 100 Hz refresh rate
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Note: SnapStream recommends using a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP 1.4 GHz and above.

In addition, I used a test machine I received from SnapStream. This PC was configured way above SnapStream's recommended spec. I tested this machine with two cards from Hauppauge!, a TV tuner card and a MPEG-2 encoder card. SnapStream does not support hardware MPEG-2 encoding in version 3.0, but I tested a beta version that was compatible with the PVR 250 card. The WinTV card has a retail price of $49 for the mono PCI version. The PVR 250 card has a MPEG-2 encoder chip, and comes with its own IR remote. Note that many cards are bundled with "digital VCR" software which you might want to compare with SnapStream's. This review does not cover other software.

Motherboard Intel D845PESV
CPU Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
Memory 512 MB DDR 266 SDRAM
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce2 MX400
Sound SoundMAX Integrated Audio (AC '97)
Display 20" viewable CRT; 32 bit color; 1152x864; .21 mm dot pitch; 100 Hz refresh rate
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1
TV tuner card Hauppauge! WinTV MPEG-2 encoder card Hauppauge! WinTV-PVR-250


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