De Control Panel
The control panel applet is quite nice. It's quite zippy. It has the old Marantz style of feel to it with each button and tab graphic looking like it has a light bulb behind it. With all the digital technology its nice to have something that looks analog. It is also simple to use and doesnt hog up your system with toolbar launchers and helpers.
Something of note in the settings panel, below on the right, are the Channel Status Data buttons. Well now, here we have a very interesting feature. You can set individual bits in a digital stream for copy protection. No other sound card Ive had the pleasure of reviewing has this feature. Now that Ive seen it, I dont think I could live without it.
From the manual, and I quote:
Copyright adds a copy-protection ID to the signal or filters it out when deactivating copy protections. This function sets the so-called copy protection bit which ensure that no digital copies can be made of the signal.
Original activates the so-called generation bit, permitting exactly one digital copy to be made. Disabling this function sets the bit to 0you can then copy to your hearts content.
Non-Audio adds information to the data stream that indicates that control information (such as channel assignments) is being transferred in addition to the audio information. Activate the Non-Audio mode when transferring AC3 or DTS audio signals from a software DVD player to an external decoder.
Oh, there are other functions here, like setting the master clock, DMA buffer size, the ASIO settings, and the color. Ho-hum. This is about the time to realize you are dealing with a very serious sound card.
Well, that about does it. I cant really think of anything the Control Panel could use in terms of functionality. Hm. I suppose it would be nice if the Control Panel would not actually close when the red-x is pressed in WinXP, but just return to the system tray. But thats about it.
On a much more whimsical note, the manual is exceptionally well written. I like it when a company has a joke-to-information ratio of about 1:4 in their manuals. And I quote again:
Here you can configure perhaps the most vital system settings within the ControlPanel. No matter where you look, our days are filled with color. After all, life is beautiful, and theres nothing like pink buttons and delicate green reflections to breathe life and good cheer into your boring Windows desktop. Have fun! ;-)
I wont even go into the TerraTec customer support form on their website, but yes, owning a cat may effect operation of your TerraTec product.