What You Get
The XX-Player comes with a decent line-up of applications for you to play around with. While not vital to the usage of the card, they will help round out the package when you start looking to buy a new GeForce3.
- Installation Disk
The first disk shown above is the main Quick Installation Disk. It includes nVidia reference drivers v12.90, DirectX v8.0a, and a User's Manual (in case you lose the printed one that comes with your retail card). One very nice feature is that the Driver Installation portion of the disk is completely automated. You click a link on the title page and the install is finished without you doing anything else. It chooses the proper display adapter, locates the necessary files, and installs them without a hitch. The only thing left to do is to accept the option to reboot after the install is complete.
Another very nice touch is the added Clock Frequencies screen that is available when you install the drivers from the disk. Considering the fact that the memory on this card is rated at 3.8ns, it's a pretty sure bet that overclocking will enter the game plan of a majority of users at some point. Having the ability to do so within easy reach is just another added plus to the nice features that are available with this card.
- Ulead Video Studio SE v4.0
Remember earlier when I said that this model of video card was made for video editing? Video Studio is a program that is designed for making movies on your computer. It allows you to connect a video camera to your system and directly input that signal to the program. From there, you have a simple step-by-step interface that allows you to either make movies, or send out video greeting cards via email. Granted, these are only a couple of examples that are available with this program, but it gives you an idea as to what you can accomplish with it. Also included with the program disk is a manual that shows you exactly how to create your own media.
- Power DVD v3.0
I didn't install this program since I use a hardware decoder card in my system with my DVD-ROM drive, but after talking to a large number of friends and fellow reviewers, this particular utility is reputed to be the best available for software DVD playback. It has numerous features that aren't available in other products, and even allows you to capture screenshots of your DVD scenes. Also available from a link given within the program itself is a patch that allows it to be used with WinXP. Given the enthusiasm in the answers that I received from others, I'll go out on a limb here and say that this program is a worthy addition to this package.
Another feature discovered in this DVD software program is native support for both Dolby Sound and full-blown 5.1 speaker support. So if you just happen to have a 5.1 compliant card (like many SoundBlaster cards) and some 5.1 speakers, you can get sound quality that will only be matched by expensive home stereo systems. Not too shabby for those who like to watch movies on their PC's.
Finally, you get a bit of cabling to make sure that you have the necessary means of connecting your video card to your television. The top cable is a simple S-Video cable, and the other is a standard RCA cable that connects to the set. From there, it's a simple matter of going into the Display Properties and choosing the TV Output option. Remember that you'll get a bigger picture, but the quality will be very limited due to the high dot pitch of modern TV sets.