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Prolink PlayTV USB 2.0 Review

By: TweakTown Staff | Players & Accessories in HT & Movies | Posted: May 11, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Prolink

TV Quality


Lets be honest here. Most of the folks interested in this type of device are looking for a TV tuner for their PC. I have had some sort of television capabilities on my system for some time since we have only one TV set in the house. Also residing here is an eight year old, so you can imagine that my TV time is rather limited.


So enter the TV tuner for the computer. There isn't a way to connect the monitor to the device, so the complete signal has to be ported to the PC and then this is sent off to the video card via the system itself. With USB 2.0 still being a rather new technology, a lot of folks just don't have this connectivity available to them.


While USB 2.0 works at a fine resolution and quality, I wanted to take a look at the older USB 1.1 standard as well. What I noticed was that the video signal sometimes had a difficult time keeping up with the audio signal (you know...that one that doesn't take nearly as much bandwidth as the video). So it almost looked like we were watching an old Japanese movie that was dubbed into English. You remember those, don't you?


So while the USB 2.0 functionality offers great quality, the USB 1.1 standard was hard pressed to keep up with the data stream. But even in this situation, the picture quality was still far better than many other devices that I have seen. Let me show you what I mean with a screenshot from a baseball game.


Oh, and I will apologize up front for the large file size for the screen capture, but it is the only way to really see what sort of image quality that we're talking about. After all, I want you to SEE what I'm going on about.



Even with action going on within the screenshot, the quality is excellent.


So if you happen to have an older system that does not have the ability to run USB 2.0, then I would recommend that you use an add-in card to give you this functionality. It will truly make a world of difference.


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