ASUS My Cinema EHD3-100 Dual Hybrid TV Card Review

Conclusions

Most of the other features I was able to access are Windows Media Center specific, such as music, Internet TV (something beta by Microsoft), music/video/photos in conjunction with Windows Media Player, watching movies from Netflix, accessing internet radio via Live 365, and several other items. Not having a digital TV antenna or FM antenna prevented me from using the Hybrid features of the My Cinema EHD3-100, so I feel that I have pretty much done what I currently can with the card.

[ad]But the EHD3-100 definitely did what I needed, gave me the capability of watching and recording TV, and I feel that it does it very well. Setup was simple, and though I couldn’t make the Cyberlink software work on the first try, I was planning on using Windows Media Center anyway.

Included in the software is Asus GadgeTV, which allows a TV screen Gadget for use in conjunction with the Vista Sidebar. I don’t normally use the Sidebar, but I did try it and it worked. This should not be used until all channels are scanned and WMC is set up fully.

One of the selling points of the EHD3-100 is its low CPU usage. I don’t have a rig suitable to check that out, all of my rigs are much too powerful to be bothered by what little resources a TV Tuner card will use.

I was very impressed by the smooth interface with Windows Media Center. My cable provider’s information was easily accessed by WMC, and I have the full benefits of a TV-top box with the EHD3-100. I was also extremely impressed by the recording capabilities, mainly being able to record one program while watching another. I understand that many TV tuner cards don’t have this capability.

I suppose the only issue I found was the lack of documentation/instructions included with the card. Usually I don’t need any help and seldom read instructions, but being a total A/V moron, I probably would have liked a little more setup information. The on-disc manual was generic for all Asus tuner cards, and I found it a little confusing.

The Asus EHD3-100 sells for $119 at my favorite online retailer. There aren’t a lot of dual-tuner cards there, but this one was one of the least expensive. If you are looking for a dual tuner card, you need look no farther. ThinkComputers.org gives the Asus My Cinema EHD3-100 Dual Hybrid TV Tuner card a 9 out of 10 score.

Pros:

– Record one program while watching another
– Compatible with analog or digital cable, DTV, analog TV and FM
– Smooth interface with Windows Media Center
– One of the least expensive dual-tuner cards

Cons:

– Documentation not detailed enough for the A/V uninitiated

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