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


We tested both tuner performance and video input capture quality. Tuner strength testing compares the PVR-550 tuner to a Sharp VC-H810 VCR tuner, representing "typical" reception for standalone TV’s. Capture Quality compares an original DVD image to those received by the PVR-550 S-Video and Composite Video inputs, using a Panasonic DVD-RV31 as the source.

To enable simultaneous capture, VCR tuner video was input through the test system’s All-In-Wonder composite connection. This is the only place where additional input hardware was used.

While all images are shown at full resolution and cropped, the DVD captures are clickable to reveal their pre-cropped form.

Test System
CPUIntel Pentium 4 2.6 GHz, 512k Cache
FSB200 MHz
MotherboardSoyo P4I875P Dragon 2 V1.0
Memory2x Corsair XMS4000 Pro, 1024 MB
GraphicsATI All-In-Wonder X800 XT
HDDWestern Digital WD800JB 80 GB ATA (8 MB)
DVDCompaq DVD-115
LANIntel Pro/1000 onboard
Power SupplyCustom
Drivers & Configuration
GraphicsATI Catalyst v5.4
ChipsetIntel Inf. Update
OSWindows XP Prof. SP1a
DirectXDirectX 9.0c
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.