Plextor PX-TV402U: PVR Lives Here
|Plextor PX-TV402U: PVR Lives Here|
|Test Rig and Software|
|Test: Using WinDVR 5|
|Final Thoughts and Conclusion|
Product: Plextor PX-TV402U ConvertX PVR
Provided By: Plextor America
Price: ~$230 CDN @ Pricegrabber.ca
Ever since Plextor introduced it's first ConvertX PX-M401U Analog to Digital Video Converter, people have been begging for more features, more options, more power, and PVR functions. The second generation of ConvertX was born - the PX-M402U, which introduced hardware DivX encoding, as well as the standard hardware MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 encoding of the first model, but still no PVR features. Months later, Plextor introduced yet another ConvertX device - the PX-AV100U, and this one was aimed at more the mainstream crowd. The price was reduced, and the quality remained excellent. Plextor had pulled the hardware encoding features, and left this unit with only software encoding - relying on the host machines CPU power to perform the tasks. Once again, PVR was nowhere to be found on this mainstream unit.
Finally Plextor announced the PX-TV402U which features hardware DivX, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 encoding as well as the much sought after PVR functions. This unit includes S-Video, Composite, and now Tuner inputs. It's been interesting to see the evolution of the ConvertX up to this point, and this unit promises to be interesting as well. Stick around as we check out the latest and hopefully greatest from Plextor and find out if it's worth the extra coin.
Bundle & Specs:
When you open up the PX-TV402U Box, you get everything that's required to get yourself started. You get a USB cable, power converter & cable, as well as a full set of composite cables for audio & video, and also an S-Video cable. Because of the TV Tuner feature, there is also a Coax cable for hooking to your cable box. As far as documentation, it is great. Plextor includes a very helpful manual, a quick install guide, and of course the Software CD. The CD includes drivers, the traditional WinDVD Creator 2 software as well as WinDVR 5, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and some trialware. We'll get that in a few minutes.
Total Solution Features:
- First Official DivX Certified PC PVR Product
- Hardware Encode to DivX, MPEG-4, MPEG-2/DVD and MPEG-1/VCD
- Watch, Pause and Record Live TV
- High-Quality TV Tuner Included
- Free Electronic Programming Guide (EPG)
- Schedule Recording For When You Are Away
- Composite Video, S-Video, Composite Audio, RF/Coaxial Inputs
- DivX Certified Hardware and DivX Licensed Software
- InterVideo WinDVR and WinDVD Creator Software Included
- USB 2.0 Interface for Best Quality Video
- Burn Direct-to-Disc and Edit-on-Disc Supported
- One-year full warranty (parts, labor or replacement)
Minimum System Requirements:
- CPU: Pentium III 800 MHz (Min)
- PentiumÃ‚Â® 4 1.8 GHz (Recommended)
- PentiumÃ‚Â® 4 2.4 GHz (Using WinDVR 5 in MPEG-4 mode))
- RAM: 256 MB
- HDD: 10GB of free space recommended
- Monitor Resolution: 1024 x 768, 24-bit color
- Graphics Card: Video card with 24-bit resolution capability and DirectXÃ‚Â® support
- Sound: WindowsÃ‚Â® compatible sound card that supports 48KHz playback (PCI recommended)
- DirectX: DirectX 9.0b or above(included in software disc)
- Interface: Hi-Speed USB 2.0
- CD-ROM: A CD-ROM drive for installation (CD installation)
- CD-RW: To burn CDs, Video CD or miniDVD
- DVD+/- RW: To burn DVDs and CDs
- OS Support: WindowsÃ‚Â® 2000/XPÃ¢â€Â¢
The PX-TV402U is distinguished from it's earlier counterparts by the black bezel on the front of the unit. Earlier, non-PVR ConvertX's had a silver front. Personally, I like the look of the black front much better. Click on any of the pictures below for close up looks of this unit. It's really slick, smooth, and classy.
With most of the connections at the front of the ConvertX, the back is fairly plain. There is a new connection however that keeps this from being totally redundant - the RF/Coax connector. This can be hooked to your VCR, Cable box, Antenna, Satellite or anything that has the same connector. Only antenna and cable connections will allow the ConvertX to change the channel and schedule recordings however. PVR will still work, but channel surfing will not. This unit does not have a satellite decoder. Keep in mind that the ConvertX is a USB2.0 device. It must be hooked to a high-speed USB port or it will refuse to function.
Now that we've seen the backside of this unit, let's head on over to the next page and take a look at the software that comes with the PX-TV402U and run through a bit of a Analog-to-Digital capture, as well as do some PVR'ing!