I was bought this as a birthday present as u can guess i couldnt wait to install it and thanks to the great design of everything i was watching tv with 30 minuets it does need some i dea of the inside of a computer but if you follow the instuctions any idiot can install it the picture quality is good and sound is precise i also love the feature that you can set programmes to record aswell as having it as the desktop background
I bought this TV card some time ago, but due to tremendous problems with Evesham Computers (that's another story that would fill a book) I was not able to use it until now.
Bearing in mind that I have some limited computer knowledge, I internally installed the card and set about to follow the instructions. The loading process is lengthy but I plodded on, however the on screen messages did not eventually tie in with the booklet and loading seemed to come to an end too soon. When I came to try to use the TV card it failed to load. So I uninstalled every thing, took out the card, rebooted and put the card back in. Same thing happened again. Iasked for help from the Leadtek site and an email came back as long as my arm - download this, down load that, take the card out, try in other slots, swap around with other cards. No thanks, life's too short. Out it comes and I will let someone else have ago!
As I write this today the Leadtek brand is mostly present on Dooyoo.uk with its graphics cards based on Nvidia chipsets. However, and not everybody knows this, Leadtek also ventures in other - related - domains. And so since a while already they are making TV tuner cards. Here of course they have to compete with well known brands like Hauppage (well represented on Dooyoo.uk) and Pinnacle. Those two alone cover almost the bulk of the market in TV-tuner cards. And I did have a Hauppage WinTV primio FM card before this Leadtek card, but I sold it off to a friend, not because it didn't work well, but because it lacked some of the features this Leadtek card has. ----------------- Warning : There is also the basic Leadtek Winfast TV 2000 XP which differs from the Deluxe version in that it has NO FM radiotuner integrated, NO remote control and NO video editing software and I'm not even sure if it has stereo TV reception. This is not the card I'm reviewing here. ---------------- The DELUXE There are some elaborate reviews of this Leadtek card available on the net, it's full name being the Leadtek WinTV 2000 XP Deluxe, but I'll try and make this as concise as possible although this internal PCI TV-tuner card is packed with numerous features, and this at a very affordable price. But the most important feature the "real" reviewers weren't very clear about is the fact that this Deluxe card has STEREO TV reception. The Leadtek Winfast TV2000 XP Deluxe is almost top of the range in the Leadtek collection, it comes just behind the Wnfast TV2000 XP Expert and therefore it covers most of what everyone can look for in a TV-tuner card. It has (like most others by the way) a Philips tuner and it outputs TV-signals of very good quality to your computer monitor. Of course this depends on how you capture your signals (via cable or antenna) and the card can't make up for dodgy reception. <
br>The minimum system requirements for correct TV-playback are according to Leadtek's specification : a Pentium II 300 Mhz PC with of 64 Megabytes of memory. You also need MS-Windows, its version 98SE, Millenium, 2000 and XP are supported. DirectX in its version 8.1 or higher are also required together with a 16bit soundcard. Of course if you go for the higher compression formats you need a much more performing computer than that. This Deluxe version distinguishes itself from the other Leadtek cards because it has both, as said, stereo sound and a remote control. Let me give you a quick overview of the package: - The card itself, which is to be installed in a free PCI (the white ones) slot in your PC. - The remote control with two AAA-size batteries. - The remote receiver - An SVGA to VGA adaptor cable - Three CDs : one with the installation software and two extra's namely Ulead's Cool 3D (se version) : a tool to create 3D graphics, and Ulead's VideoStudio 6 (also the se DVD-version) : a movie making tool which basically allow you to edit and remaster recordings e.g. the removal of commercials in films you recorded. The se-versions of the software are basically the slimline versions of the full software, so with less bells and whistles. The full versions of theses software packages would cost you an arm and a leg if you purchase them seperately. Like most TV-cards the Deluxe allows you to take snapshots of movies (e.g. pictures of your favourite actor/actress in action ), and to record complete films or TV-shows. And here is where this card really shines, it gives you a wealth of formats you can use for your recordings. On my computer system it gives me no less than 12 options for recording ranging from MPEG1 (normal/good/optimal) quality over MPEG2 (normal/good/optimal) quality to DVD PAL, with Windows Media Video and uncompressed avi thrown in. If I would've had a DVD-writer it would allow
me to record directly onto DVD in DVD PAL format. For sound also there is a wealth of options on the format you can use. Both these settings are of course vital if you want to make recordings because each setting decides how much space your recordings will take on your harddisk. However the most demanding formats (compressionwise) require a powerful PC system, let's say at least a 1Ghz processor with 256 megabytes of ram. As an example, I recorded a 5min videoclip in the mpeg2 good quality setting with mp3-stereosound which took 151 megabytes of diskspace so a 90min movie would take up some 2700 megabytes. This recording looked and sounded quite excellent both on the PC monitor as on my TV. One other feature not all other TV-cards have is the Picture in Picture (PiP) function which basically allows you to view Live-TV channel and a recording simultaneously. Obviously you can't view two live channels next to or into one another as this would require two TV-tuners on the card. Also the Deluxe allows you to capture images from a wealth of external sources, like a videorecorder or a videocamera. My card is the Secam LL version (destined for the french market) and as such it lacks the FM-radiotuner the other (PAL/NTSC) models do have. However my Leadtek suite does show me what the FM-tuner looks like and it is very similar to what I had on my Hauppage Win TV primio FM ; it's basically the computer representation of a car radio dial. However even while being a Secam LL model, I currently am working with a PAL B/G cable operator and the channels still come out just fine. At the rear my card has five connectors, Cable/Antenna in, Video in, Sound in, Sound out and Remote control in. With a provided cable you connect the TV-card's sound out to your soundcard's line-in (not the microphone port !) this sound setup is identical to the Hauppage cards. To round this review off a quick comparison
between the Haupage Primio FM and this Leadtek Winfast TV 2000 XP Deluxe. Both have remote control, with the receiver plugged into the TV card itself and not in a COM-port (like some Pinnacle cards), and in their PAL/NTSC version both have FM Radiotuners. Both have snapshot and movie recording possibilities but here the Leadtek outshines the Hauppage through the wealth of possible formats offered to people having a powerful PC. While the Hauppage was strictly mono TV-reception this Deluxe is stereo (can't repeat it enough). Also the Leadtek comes with the aforementionned supplementary Ulead software for editing movies and creating 3D animation. The Leadtek winfast software is called the Winfast Wizard and sits as a direct access button next to your clock and sound in the lower righthand corner of your screen. When clicked upon it gives you access to WinFast PVR (personal video recorder = the whole TV and movie viewing and capture suite) the Winfast FM (the radio tuner), Netmeeting and an Unload option. As for all new computer hardware it is strongly recommended to visit the manufacturer's website to see if updated drivers are available for your operating system, this can sort out bugs that may still be present in the version sold with the card. As I went to Leadtek's site immediately after my purchase, here's the address : http://www.leadtek.com.tw/multimedia.shtml I downloaded the drivers I found there and haven't encountered a single bug to date on my Windows2000 system. Cheers, Vik