Compro VideMate TV Gold+ review

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Page 2 - Technology

When we take a closer look at the hardware we can see that the card is based upon Philips SAA7133 chipset, being Dutch I'm happy to see that Philips sign (Dutch pride). Since I used the word chipset you must be thinking, hey ...  more chips. And you are right, we can see another silicon on there from Philips, the FM1236 which gives the card it's FM radio functions. By connecting an FM antenna to FM connector on the bracket, users can listen to their preferred radio stations on PC in hifi-stereo.

Connectivity wise, we are looking at S-Video and Composite input connectors which you can use to connect your VCR or even a game console to, for all I care. These are analog connections though, no DV connector is integrated.

When we sum up connectors on the product we'll see this:

  • TV antenna input (broadcast or analog cable)
  • FM antenna input
  • S-video input
  • Composite input
  • Audio input
  • Audio ouput (for connection to sound card)
  • IR receiver jack

As stated on the previous page, Compro did something very clever with this product that sets them aside from the competition, Power Up Scheduling is one of the more interesting features of the VideoMate TV Gold Plus.  Basically the ComproPVR software will wake your PC from either Windows Shut Down (ACPI S5) or Stand by (ACPI S3) modes and record the shows you programmed. It doesn't end there though, ComproPVR can actually shut down your PC as well. Programming itself is very easy to do, you can assign the ComproPVR to record a whole weeks worth of your favorite programs and then turn off your PC. I've actually used this option a couple of times and it works flawlessly.

I'm gonna do the blunt copy and paste from their site now to show you what you can do with it.

As a digital video recorder, ComproPVR can convert analog video sources, such as home video tapes, to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 digital formats for editing and recording to a CD or DVD-ROM. Easy-to-use video quality presets simplify the recording process.

TV functions on PC

  • Aspect ratio: the default ratio is 4:3, users may also choose the 16:9 wide-screen or custom ratios
  • Watch programs on antenna and CATV, up to 125 channels
  • Multi-channel preview mode: up to 16 channels, easy to find out your favorite channels
  • Still frame capture
  • Channel surfing
  • Autoscan: automatically scans for available TV channels
  • Audio mode: Stereo, Mono, and SAP(second audio program)

Interface

  • OSD(On-screen-display):to turn on OSC functions, channel information such as channel numbers, channel names, and audio quality will be displayed as you switch channels
  • Sleep mode:you can enable sleep mode and set the time delay before ComproPVR automatically shuts itself off
  • channel naming:customize the channel names on your will
  • parental control

Picture quality

  • Video smoothing:reduce the jaggies on screen
  • Video property slider:use the sliders in control panel to adjust brightness, hue, contrast, and saturation. Press Default button will reset the slider values to original positions.
  • Picture purifier: remove video noise and ghost from both original signals and MPEG encoding processing. This option also increases CPU utilization.

Personalized recording / scheduled recording

  • customize video quality and format:setup resolutions from 160x120 to 720x480. Support both MPEG-1 / MPEG-2, and DVD / SVCD/VCD.
  • Single button recording: users dont have to do lots of setups to record. Just push the record button, all necessary tasks will be done at once
  • Scheduled recording: record your favorite shows according to TV schedules

Timeshifting

  • Lets you pause, replay, or skip commercials during live TV, with out interrupting an ongoing recording session

Untitled-8.jpgThe is the PVR software, the heart of the VideoMate. You are looking at MTV, Christina looked better when she was blonde eh ?

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