The IR pickup
The user manual is really only useful for someone that is basically clueless about computers. Trouble shooting has little information and installing the card and the software is a breeze. The user manual would be more useful telling someone to update the drivers from the internet right away. The main issue I faced using the old drivers is that the Radio tuner refused to work properly. It could be tuned to the correct frequency but would have to go off channel to get a radio signal.
PowerCinema 3.0 works for it's purpose but goes does not take full advange of the remote that comes bundled with the Sapphire TheatriX card until you upgrade the software. You can upgrade the 3.0 software with the DVD software for 29.95 USD but why give up on all the newer 4.0 features? The ATI drivers that come with the card are not very good, in fact I could not get proper radio station tuning till I upgraded the drivers. Before upgrading the drivers I could not stay locked on a radio station even though I was at the correct frequency. The reason to upgrade to Upgrade to PowerCinema 4 from 3.0 Retail version (Software only) from 3.0 is for the complete software and the extra features such as High definition video support, DivX support, picture editting features, CD ripping and radio recording support just to name a few.
When recording quality is set to best, the quality of play back looks to be the same or even slightly better than watching TV in real-time. Though with highest quality recording comes a huge file size; infact one minute of recorded TV ends up being about 60megs in file size. Best said is highest quality recording takes up one meg of space every second. Though with such high recording quality comes the requirement of a fast system so you do not have frame dropouts.
TV image quality is rather nice, but these screen shots really fail to show how good TV play back really is. Keep in mind I have regular cable TV not satilite.
Though the card itself does not come without some small flaws in image quality when dealing with fast movement.
Sadly I have not been able to test this card using Satellite image quality, as I am limited to cable TV in my current apartment complex.
Page 3: PowerCinema