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Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert TV-tuner Review
Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert TV-tuner Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: 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

Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert TV-tuner Review

Over the years, TV-tuners for computers have gone from providing basic (and arguably lousy) TV signal input on a monitor, to having a variety of features and capabilities beyond simple TV watching. Newer devices provide a wealth of standard features, such as letting you capture TV input to hard disk as one compelling example.

While the primary purpose of a TV-tuner is still to put that cable TV signal on your computer monitor, these products are definitely moving towards the role of video appliances. That is to say, they bring the video into the computer to be manipulated, or recorded, before being output to a monitor or TV.

In this review, we're testing one of Leadtek's latest TV-tuner cards, the Winfast TV2000 XP Expert. This PCI card has ambitions to replace your VCR, with video recording straight to DVD, timeshifting and an assortment of other goodies made for a computerized home theater setup. Does this all sound too good to be true? Let's take a close look at the Leadtek TV2000 XP Expert, and find out.

Leadtek WinFast TV2000XP


Users Manual, Driver CD, software, remote, FM antenna, analog audio cable, infrared sensor, break-out cable for video and sound, 2 AAA batteries.

Leadtek's TV2000 XP Expert card itself is rather small, with two coaxial inputs for TV and radio respectively, and an additional port for the included S-video and RCA combination cable. The small plug on the end is for the Infra-read sensor that goes along with the included remote control. The 41-key remote is simple to operate and runs on two included AAA batteries.

Also included in the bundle are an analog audio cable for outputting sound directly from the TV2000XP to a soundcard, an FM wire antenna, the aforementioned infrared sensor (with a decently long cable) and a short cable with both S-Video and RCA inputs for bringing non-coaxial TV signals and audio into the TV2000XP.

In terms of software, Leadtek have bundled in Winfast PVR TV viewing software and three Ulead products. Ulead Videostudio 7 covers movie editing, Ulead DVD Movie Factory does authoring, and Ulead Cool 3D can be used to add 3D effects to home movies.

The included manual manages to be both sparse and cluttered at the same time, this is where the TV2000XP looses a few points. While the manual does cover the basic functions of the program and the remote, it offers no insight into several areas which will be important to users of the TV2000XP Expert. For example, there is no information provided on the advantages and disadvantages of the various video capture formats the card offers. Unless the user is well versed in computer video formats, he or she will have to use trial and error to find out which video format offers the best performance and file size.

Doesn't sound too difficult you say? Well there are more than 10 video formats to choose from...

This is a very unfortunate omission. Worse, the manual does not explain at all how the included 'Directburn' to DVD and VCD works, except to state that a DVD or CD burner is required to use the feature. No mention of which DVD media can or cannot be used, or whether rewritable media can be used. Suffice to say, we were not impressed by the manual with the Leadtek TV2000XP Expert, and hope the company makes efforts to improve the documentation with what is otherwise shapping up to be a fine product.

The separate multi-language quick setup guide is not a whole lot of help either. While it does provide a hardware and software installation walkthrough, the booklet covers several different Leadtek TV tuner models, so it's rather difficult to locate the correct diagram. For the record, it's 'TV 2000 XP series model 3.' :-)

Anyhow, what the manual lacks the TV2000XP Expert makes up for in cool features. All that, next!

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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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