Plextor PX-TV402U: PVR Lives Here - Test: Using WinDVR 5

Article Index
Plextor PX-TV402U: PVR Lives Here
Test Rig and Software
Test: Using WinDVR 5
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Using WinDVR 5:

Plextor has chosen to include InterVideo's WinDVR 5 software as the PVR software of choice in their PX-TV402U bundle.  I've not had any previous experience with PVR software (that worked) in the past, so this could be a new experience for me.

WinDVR 5 - Startup

As with any piece of software such as WinDVR 5, you should first take a look at the settings and see how things are set up.  I personally, don't want the PVR to record onto my main OS drive as it's getting quite full, nor do I want the lower quality settings that are used by default.  I want quality!  The big question is, "Can I get it?"

WinDVR 5 - Record Settings

WinDVR 5 - Record Profile

WinDVR 5 - Timeshifting Settings

As you can see in the clickable pics above, there are a bunch of record profiles and settings available.  Because the PX-TV402U features hardware DivX encoding, you can PVR right to DivX, or go with more traditional MPEG-4, MPEG-2, and even MPEG-1.  I used a few of these profiles, and was very happy with the performance and quality of the MPEG-2 "Good Quality" video.  You will need a fair bit of drive space available, but I couldn't tell the recorded TV from the live TV.

Unfortunately, because WinDVR 5 uses some serious overlays, I couldn't get a screenshot of the video in the window.  It does look fine though, and it also gives you the option of displaying video as your deskptop background instead of just being confined to the box.  This is a very cool feature, but doesn't work well when "Extended Desktop" on dual displays is being used.  Regardless of the lack of video picture, here is how WinDVR 5 looks when viewing, recording and pausing TV.

WinDVR 5 - Pausing Live TV

When you hit the pause or rewind button, there is about a 1 second pause where the video blanks out while the drive caching starts.  If you leave the video paused, the image on the screen looks 8-bit, but when played back, the quality is perfect.  After the 1 second pause, you can smoothly rewind, search, slow motion view, fast forward (up to the current video stream), or leave the video paused.  You can also use WinDVR 5 to record your favorite TV shows and save them to your hard drive.  This feature works best if you've got the ConvertX hooked to a cable box.  In my case, I had to hook the ConvertX to a composite cable, and obviously this didn't allow me to change channels, channel surf, or use the TV Guide.

Overall, I was very impressed with the PVR features and quality of the PX-TV402U.  There are only a couple of issues I had with this device, which we'll cover in our conclusion on the next page.