FM Radio Functions
Well, we have emptied the box and gotten everything connected, so now we need to take a look at how it all comes together on the desktop. We've gotten the board installed and loaded the drivers and basic utilities that come with the driver pack. We'll start off with the radio...
The main control window is not unlike any normal DVD-type utility so I'm not covering it too much here. We're going to take a harder look at the options instead. Above you see the Channel screen of the FM Radio Utility. I performed an autoscan and the program picks up all stations found during a search across the entire FM band. It might be a good idea to know what the channels in your area are, though, as during the scan the utility usually managed to pick up channel bleed-over both one band above and below the proper frequency.
You'll also note that you can set preset numbers for easy access to the channels you listen to all the time. Almost like having controls similar to those on your car radio.
One nice feature of the utilities used in the H900 is the ability to record. The FM radio functions are no different in this respect. You can save off the data from the radio just like any other file. Not only that, but you also have the choice of formats for saving the radio content. Whether you prefer .wav, .wma or .mp3, the ability to do so is at your fingertips.
Once you choose the location of your saved files, the utility also takes into consideration your choices for the format and it shows you the amount of time (in minutes) you have available. This can be extremely helpful for those who might have a second or third hard drive installed just for storing A/V type data.
Like the FM Radio utility, the TV/DVR recording utility has a user interface like any number of DVD player programs commonly used, so I won't cover it here. Oh, and if you thought the FM Radio section showed some nice features, wait until you see what you can do with the TV recording.
Starting off with the Channel portion of the utility, you can see that it is similar to that of the FM Radio section. I added in the actual channel descriptors for my installation for convenience. You don't have to do this, but since I like mine to show the channel number and name both, it came in handy.
You also have the ability to use password protection. Don't want the kids coming into your computer and watching channels you don't approve of? No problem. Just use the password protection and they're locked out.
Moving on to the A/V settings shows us a good deal of flexibility in how we watch our television. Whether you want to personalize the colors or audio output or even default screen size, you have the ability to handle it.
When it comes to saving off the data, this is where we go to get things set up just the way we want them. From this screen you select a path for your saved video files, and also the format to be used to save the files. For those with a sharp eye you'll see an area where you can use custom video CODECs. MPEG2 is the default method used to save the data streams, but you can use something else if you like.
For those who have used a DVR in the past, this screen will have a familiar feel to it. Time shifting is a feature that allows you to record the current program in the event you get called away from the computer. When you get back, the time shifting lets you continue watching the program from where you left it.
Our final stop in the TV arena shows the User Interface options. Here is where you come to set up those little options that make the TV viewing personalized to your own liking. It also allows you to choose between .jpg or .bmp formats for saving screenshots of what is showing on the TV.
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