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DVD & DECODER

 

     DVD (digital versatile disc) players are becoming the standard for home video. DVD supports surround sound, had excellent picture quality and perfect sound quality. There is a better advantage to having a DVD drive in your computer rather than one for your TV. That is because on top of being able to watch DVD movies, it also acts as a CD-ROM drive. You can use it just the same way you would be able to use a CD-ROM drive, plus you have all the benefits of a DVD drive. The advantages of having a DVD drive for your pc are even greater when you have a DVD Decoder card with TV out capabilities. This is a picture of Creative Labs Encore Dxr3 card (Dynamic Extended Resolution) The card is Ideal for computers that have slow processors, because it processes all of the information from the DVD drive. It is also great because you can use the card to play the Movie on you TV. All you have to do is buy the correct cable for it. The decoder card fits into a PCI slot and your monitor plugs into the card. As for the video card, it plugs into the decoder card via external VGA cable.

     I gave Creative Labs Encore 12x DVD drive and Dxr3 Decoder card an 70% for overall greatness. The whole box cost me about $160. I would have gladly gave it a score in the high 80s or mid 90s, but I am very disgusted with the fact that the first drive I got broke after about 40 hours of use. It's picture is below. I had to send it in and I got a brand new drive after several weeks. If you compare the pictures you will notice that the drives are not even the same model. They both came with the same decoder card, and cables. But they look different and came with different software. I am very disappointed with Creative Labs for this one. My new drive works fine, but It only takes one rotten apple to ruin the whole bunch, and this was it. On the good side it is fast, and comes with good software. The Decoder card is the best!

This is the model that broke, before I had a chance to break it in.

These are the numerous cables that came with the drive. The gray cable on the right is the cable that hooks the Decoder card to your video card.