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Prolink PixelView PlayTV Box Review - Performance

For many, the desire to have TV capabilities on the PC is great. But there can be a lot of compatibility problems when using an internal TV tuner device. Come join Mike "Darthtanion" Wright as he takes a look at the Prolink PlayTV Box which eliminates these compatibility issues once and for all. Could it be that this is just the ticket? Come see for yourself!

| Players & Accessories in HT & Movies | Posted: Nov 16, 2002 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Prolink

Does it Work?

 

As stated earlier, the sound will be about the only thing that is not included in this kit. The jack on the back of the unit, however, is a standard RCA type connector so will work nicely with any regular set of headphones or PC speakers. Considering that speakers are about as cheap as you'll ever need, there should be no problems here at all.

 

Now that we have everything hooked up and the unit turned on, all that we need do is turn on the monitor. This can be done by either the button on the unit or the remote. Once it comes up, you can choose between the sources available. You have three modes to work with and they refer to how you have the signal coming in. One for S-Video input, one for Composite Video input and one for the CATV (or satellite or whatever you have for antenna for your TV).

 

What can I say except that it worked just as it should. Picture quality wasn't quite what you will get from a regular television set, but the picture degradation was very minimal. It was far better than most internal TV tuner cards that transfer the incoming signal to .mpeg format before displaying. Here are a couple of pictures that I took of the output:

 

 

 

I'd like to apologize for the picture quality, but it can be difficult to capture a good digital photo of a display screen. The slight blurring you see in the second picture was due to not using a flash and the shutter staying open a bit longer on the camera. It was not present on the actual screen when I was watching. Since there is no interaction between the picture and the computer, normal screen captures were out of the question.

 

One other item of note is the On Screen Display. It allows you to adjust color levels to meet your personal tastes. Just hit the "Menu" button on the remote and you'll have the option of adjusting things so that they are just the way you like them.

 

And finally, since I am the inquisitive type, I decided to see what would happen in the event that you were working on the PC and the power got turned on to the tuner. You'll be happy to note that it just lets the system continue running in the background while the TV tuner takes over and works like normal. When you power down the tuner, your desktop comes back just like you left it. Nothing goes crazy and all functions work normally.

 

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