While the AIW 8500 128MB hardware specifications and accompanying accessories are
very impressive, it's the software that makes the card so successful in
my book. The general software has been given a face lift and looks really good,
although it is a bit too icon-reliant.
The basic TV controls you have at
your disposal are quite a bit "spiffier" then the older ones were which is something we like
to see with new versions always.
These options are
visible if you choose to right click in the viewing area at any
A really awesome
TV software can do is blend the television feed into the background of the monitor
- allowing you to work and watch TV at the same time. This is very handy
when you're working and your favorite TV show is on, but to be realistic I couldn't get
much work done like this. I had to really try and exercise a little more self control since
I found myself more often then not just watching the background rather then
also set the TV to become your background so you don't overwrite
Another cool feature the AIW video card sports is the "TV Listings option." All
you have to do is enter your Postal Code (Zip Code in the US) and it
will automatically download the next seven days worth of
TV so you can plan your viewing schedule. My god if this card was in my computer when
I was in university I never would have gotten out!!
If you can't catch something, "Guide Plus" can be used to
record your favorite program so you won't miss an episode.