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Lifeview FlyVideo 3000 TV Tuner Review

By: Cameron Johnson | Players & Accessories in HT & Movies | Posted: Mar 3, 2002 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.5%Manufacturer: Lifeview



The Card



First off, we see the entire card is all its beauty. TV Tuner cards aren't really all that much to look at. Simple decoding chip for the TV, a few connectors for your externals and that's it, but for performance that isn't it. Lets have a look at the card in a bit more detail.


Phillips onboard



Lifeview have elected to use the Phillips PCI TV decoder chip. This chip is used in quite a few high end hardware DVR cards and costs a little bit more than the BT or Conexant chips, but the trade-off is well worth it. The Phillips chip has a better reputation for excellent picture quality; we will soon see if that is the case.


Remote possibilities




Included in the package are a remote control unit and IR Receiver. No special software is needed for the remote as it plugs directly into the TV Tuner via a special 2.5mm jack. The size of the jack has been reduced so you don't plug the IR Receiver into the sound port and the sound cable into the IR port; that could come up a bit of a bummer.


FM Radio



The FlyVideo 3000 is most famous for adding its new High Definition satellite shielded FM radio. The connections and cables have been totally shielded for up to 1 meter so that the interference from the PC will not affect radio quality. This did help as I was able to receive every radio station in my area as clear as listening to it on a normal stereo.





The one thing I found disappointing about the FlyVideo 3000 was that there was no internal audio outputs for direct internal connection to my SB Audigy. Normally, TV Tuners or DVD Decoders have direct access to the AUX or VIDEO audio connectors on the sound card; however, this baby uses a loop-back audio cable to connect the Stereo sound to the line in port on your soundcard (a bit of a problem if u have a 4-6 channel sound chip onboard and you have to use the line in as your rear speakers).


The Backplane



Here you can see the entire backplane with all its connectors, rather well laid out. From Left to right we first have the RCA FM Antenna connector; next is the 70 ohm Coaxial TV antenna; after that we have the RCA video in; next S-Video in, Audio source in (for use with Video cameras or DVD/VHS recorders that use the AUX outputs). Then we have line out for connecting to the soundcard and finally the IR connector.




Benchmarking a TV Tuner card is almost if not impossible to show due to the fact that its 99% a visual thing rather than a numbers thing.



From the picture I have taken you can see the image displayed on my Windows XP desktop without any distortion or skipping frames. This was done while the system was doing network data traffic and ISP routing, all of which strain the PCI bus quite a bit. I was pleased to say that I experienced no problems whatsoever.


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