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Diamond XtremeTV PVR-550RC: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time


The name XtremeTV PVR-550 may cause one to assume the latest craze in decoder chips, ATI's Theater 550, was used, and a look at their publicity photo might further convince you. That is, until you see the actual card!

Conexant encoder/decoder and a Phillips can tuner occupy a dark purple PCB

A closer look at the Conexant 23416/25843 encoder/decoder components

Deep Purple isn't just the name of a musical group; it's also the actual color of this card. Attached to that PCB is Conexant's 23416 hardware-compression MPEG/MPEG2 solution, which is also found on many competing products including the latest Hauppauge PVR-150 cards. An old-fashioned Phillips canister style tuner isn't configured for FM reception, even though FM radio uses the same circuitry as TV audio. Inputs include RF, S-Video, Composite Video, and stereo audio. Audio output is sent with video through the PCI bus.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.