Compro will be using the giant Computex Taipei show - kick off Tuesday (June 6), click here for our in-depth coverage - to debut its rather unusual PC TV tuner, the VideoMate V550. Unlike previous Compro TV tuners and most competing products, the V550 doesn't require a free PCI slot or even a spare USB port. Instead, it's a standalone device that connects directly to the PC's monitor, turning it into a TV set.
As a result, it also doesn't involve the installation of any drivers or other supporting software and avoids problems with software or hardware compatibility. On the downside, though, the V550 lacks many of the features that we take for granted with PC TV tuners that offer sophisticated recording and time-shifting capabilities.
But, on the upside, it has a companion break-out box said to provide a range of inputs - S-video, composite video, component video (Y, Cb, Cr) and L/R audio - that make it easy to watch a variety of sources on a PC's monitor, including DVD players, VCRs, analogue and digital camcorder and games consoles. Also worth noting, the V550 is said to provide P-i-P (Picture-in-Picture), allowing up to nine channels to be previewed on screen at the same time.
Monitor output resolution is reckoned to be up to 1600x1200 and there's support for 4:3 standard format and 16:9 or 16:10 widescreen. Video quality is claimed to be especially good thanks to a built-in "professional 2D/3D Y/C separation and noise-reduction chip" that gives clear and sharp pictures, helped by "enhanced 3D motion adaptive de-interlacing".
Our hope and expectation is that there will be a monitor pass-through. That would let the user connect the PC's monitor output to the V550 and the V550's monitor output to the screen - with what's shown on the monitor being selected from a switch. However, until we get confirmation from Compro about whether this is actually the case, we'd suggest that you make no such assumptions. In the interim, we've included Compro's original press release at the bottom of this page.
So is the V550 a good idea or bad? Let us hear your thoughts in the HEXUS.community.
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Compro brings you to the multimedia world at Computex Taipei 2006
Are you always wondering what more it can do with your Monitor? Maybe you only use it for doing the home work, internet surfing, MSN messenger, or playing on-line game, but don’t know how to watch TV without system host! Compro VideoMate V550 will let your monitor upgrade to a high-quality TV set and it’s definitely the easiest way to enjoy your favourite TV shows.
Compro Technology, a leading developer and manufacturer of PC multimedia products now announces VideoMate V550, a high-end standalone TV box at Computex Taipei 2006 international computer exhibition.
VideoMate V550 is easy for watching analogue TV shows on your CRT/LCD/PDP monitor. Free from driver, software installation and compatible issues with computer, just simply connect it with your monitor and TV cable or antenna feed.
You can watch TV shows on your CRT/LCD/PDP monitor easily. VideoMate V550 provides up to 1600 x 1200 high-resolution and standard 4:3, 16:9 /16:10 wide screen LCD monitor supports.
Also, for providing better video quality, VideoMate V550 built-in the professional 2D/3D Y/C separation and noise-reduction chip for more clear and sharp pictures on your monitor. Accompanies the enhanced 3D motion adaptive de-interlacing, you will enjoy the high quality neat TV watching from your CRT/LCD/PDP monitor.
For more convenient to watch TV shows than traditional TV set, VideoMate V550 provides the special PIP feature to watch live TV and use other Windows applications at the same time with a size selectable and removable window. Setup my favourite channel list to quick switch between your favourite channels, 9 channels preview on one screen, and sleep timer set up to automatically turn off your monitor, with all these powerful functions, you can have more features than ever.
Not just TV watching, VideoMate V550 also includes the special external box stand to provide S-video, composite video, stereo audio, and component video (Y, Cb, Cr) input. You can easy to connect the TV box with DVD player, VCR, DV, or Xbox/PS 2 game consoles to watch DVD movies or play games on your monitor.
Complete with the ergonomic design full-function 37-key IR remote control, you can watch TV while you sit on the sofa or lie on the bed. VideoMate V550, the high quality standalone TV box is the best partner for crystal-clear picture quality with your CRT/LCD/PDP monitor, save your money and get a personal television, what are you waiting for?
Founded in 1988, Compro Technology develops and markets PC graphics and multimedia products. With highly motivated and experienced engineers, innovation is the main focus at Compro. We combine the latest hardware and software technologies to provide high quality products to the rapidly evolving PC market. Originally focused on OEM markets, Compro now sells multimedia products under the name of VideoMate. For 2006, Compro will keep provide more product lines and convenient features to the multimedia users. Web: http://www.comprousa.com