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Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert TV-tuner Review
Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert TV-tuner Review - PCSTATS
This PCI card has ambitions to replace your VCR, with video recording straight to DVD, timeshifting and an assortment of other goodies..
 81% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Leadtek Apr 30 2004   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert

Home Theatre with the TV2000XP Expert

 The second part of our testing involved using the Leadtek TV2000XP Expert equipped PC in a home theatre setup. I wanted to see if the recording and time shifting features of the tuner, plus its ability to write to CD and DVD, could make it a viable VCR replacement.

Using an MSI Geforce FX5600 videocard to send the signal to the TV, we had no trouble at all in getting an excellent image on our TV through the TV2000XP Expert. While it was slightly inferior to the original image, mostly due to slight motion blur, it was certainly more than watchable.

The DirectBurn feature, which allows you to record directly onto DVD or CD (in VCD format), was easy to get to work on our LG multi-format drive, despite the lack of detail for this feature in the instruction manual.

Using a DVD recordable or rewritable disc (the program seems to support all formats, though we did not try with a DVD-RAM disc), simply select the 'directburn-DVD NTSC' capture format option and press record. The video stream will be burned directly onto the disc. Stopping and then restarting the recording will create a second track or chapter on the disc, and so on. Closing Winfast PVR will cause the DVD writing session to be finalized. You can then play the disk on your DVD player. Very nice.

If you invest in a few rewriteable DVD disks, the TV2000XP Expert card does seem viable as a VCR replacement for the tech-happy. For DVD authoring purposes, the software also has the ability to create DVD formatted files without automatically burning them onto a disc. Scheduled recording is possible through the scheduling configuration screen too.

The process for scheduling recordings was easy to understand. Pick a format to record in, select the time to record (you can also set a recurring recording for a certain time each week), and let it go.

Sound quality throughout our tests was excellent through a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy card. As I anticipated, it was next to impossible to discern any difference between a direct-to-TV audio signal and the Leadtek TV2000XP Expert's audio signal. Sound quality did not suffer perceptibly on recorded video or burned DVDs either.

I have to say I liked the included FM tuner too, since it worked well to the extent it was tested. The FM tuner picked up the local radio stations with our first channel scan, and its sound quality and signal reception were fine. I've received a few questions in the past about users looking for ways to integrate radio into their computers - say for recording a faviourite program - and Leadtek's solution would be a perfect choice.

Conclusions on the TV2000 XP Expert

While we have paid special attention to the shortcomings of the documentation, this shouldn't distract you from our overall positive impression of the Leadtek TV2000XP Expert. In so much as the capabilites it offered, it works well.

In addition to bringing an excellent TV signal into your PC, the TV2000XP Expert card also functions well as an easy to use video capture device. With its recording, time shifting, scheduling and DVD direct writing features, it could make your VCR extremely nervous. While we would stop short of recommending this card to home theatre enthusiasts as a component due to a slight degradation in picture quality, I think this card would be quite at home recording your favourite TV shows onto the hard drive or DVD for you to watch later.

Our largest issue with the Leadtek Winfast TV2000XP was with the documentation. There is much room for improvement here, and doing so would certainly make for a smoother end-user experience. Having said this, the interface of the Winfast PVR software is intuitive enough that I don't think that most users will have an issue with learning to use the card. Ultimately, the strengths of the Leadtek TV2000 XP Expert, its features and relative ease of use combined with a reasonable price, make for an excellent product.

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Contents of Article: Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert
 Pg 1.  Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert TV-tuner Review
 Pg 2.  TV2000 XP Expert Features
 Pg 3.  Using Time Shifting on a PC
 Pg 4.  — Home Theatre with the TV2000XP Expert

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