Creative Vision Multimedia Kit
Has multimedia become an essential part
of our lives in terms of computing? More yes than no.
The need for an experience that integrates the better aspects of audio and video has
grown substantially over the past few years. It was Creative Labs
who introduced to us their Sound Blaster audio card over a decade
ago. The Sound Blaster was probably the first commercially successful piece of audio hardware
of this nature. This 8-bit wonder of our lives changed what it means to submerse
oneself in PC game play.
Software developers implemented support for the Sound
Blaster quickly and on a widespread scale. It was certainly something everyone
had on their "Santa" wish list. Though it only supported sampling in the range of
22-KHz (half the sampling rate of a CD player), for everyone it was as realistic
as realism could get.
introduction of a commercially viable CD-ROM drive, software development
potential was unleashed. With extremely large areas of storage space to work
with and the availability of sound, multimedia
was finally introduced. For those who passed the through the transition of the
"hi-fi" PC speaker to the Sound Blaster, this change was the most
exciting development in the PC industry.
We may find it funny today, but it was those
people (myself included) who found enclosed multimedia encyclopedias the most
awesome piece of software available at the time. Rich, colourful,
high-resolution video coupled with state of the art PC sound was all one could
ask for. The only problem was that to have your PC "multimedia ready", it took
quite a bit of money. And computer hardware at the time cost a very pretty
Fast forward to year 2000... One can be sure that
purchasing a computer that is multimedia-ready is as sure as buying a computer
with a CPU. You could say that multimedia is exhibited just about everywhere.
From videoconferencing, games, business presentations, you name it. From what
was once a luxury is just commonplace. It is really taken for granted now.
Technology has advanced to the
extent that we now have the option of adding Dolby AC-3 to our
PCs. Only the best for us right? These days, Creative has lots
of competition in the sound arena.
And I mean lots! From being pretty much the
hands-down market leader in sound boards, it may be just a bit bitter for them
now than they have had to make room for others as well. To give you an example,
Creative's EAX (Environmental Audio Extensions) is running neck to neck with
Aureal's A3D. Which one is better? The response is probably sitting in at
As for multimedia kits which economically bundle all the
necessary components to make your PC ready for that great experience, Creative
leads the pack. In fact, their kits have always been popular with consumers and
resellers alike. The Creative Vision kit is no different.
In this review,
we will take a look at the individual components that make up the
Creative Vision multimedia kit also known as the Creative Value Vibra 128
depending on where you buy it.
The Creative Vision Multimedia Kit comes with
a number of components to enhance your personal computer. Here is a list of what
- Creative 52x CD5220 CD-ROM drive
- Creative Vibra 128
- Creative SBS20 speakers designed by Cambridge Soundworks
iNFRA Kit (remote with one battery and iNFRA Kit setup CD)
- CD -
Encyclopedia of Science 2.0
- Vibra 128 setup CD
- 1.44" floppy with
drivers for the CD-ROM drive
- 40-pin, 40-conductor IDE cable and mounting
- Plenty of documentation
As you can see,
the package comes with a decent bundle of hardware but the lack of included
software is something left to be desired. Otherwise, the box is delivered with
the necessary goods that is sufficient for even the most novice of computer
users and assemblers. Everything is included for an easy "get-up-and-go"
installation procedure. Speaking of installation, it was easy.
Just connect the CD-ROM, sound card,
speakers and then spend a few minutes on the software installation part of
things and you are completely set up to use it! There were no associated
problems with installation and I believe that putting this kit together will go
problem-free for just about anyone. Now on with the examination of hardware
piece-by-piece. We will begin with the Creative 52x CD5220 CD-ROM