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Michael N.

Michael N.

Joined on 10/07/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 3
Most Favorable Review

Good sound, but a few issues

Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Digital Speaker System
Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Digital Speaker System

Pros: Excellent sound quality. SPDIF Optical and Coax.

Cons: There are several I have encountered: 1. When digital audio changes between stereo and Dolby, sometimes the receiver messes up - not displaying the type of sound right, or initializing the speakers wrong. Turning it off and back on fixes this. This is very much a problem with TV tuners, which switch between stereo and Dolby at the commercials. 2. Headphones don't work with digital inputs, only with direct (analog). Seems a rather big design lapse to me. 3. Aux input is only used with analog sound; this means when using digital inputs you can't merge an external sound source with the digital sound (such as 2 different computers). You also can't merge the direct (analog) inputs with the digital inputs. 4. It takes a second for the change of digital sound encoding to process, including "no data" to "stereo" - this means that unless you computer constantly streams data, you'll miss "dings" and such with digital audio.

Overall Review: Note for those who are looking for surround sound for games with digital audio: digital audio only encodes stereo or Dolby surround data; the Dolby surround data is generated by movies/tv and not by games. You will need the direct (analog) cables for games to get surround sound. There is a 6-channel direct encoding for digital, but 99% of computers don't support it, and I don't think these speakers do either.

Excellent product

Elgato EyeTV Hybrid 2008 TV Tuner Stick for Analog and HDTV Reception
Elgato EyeTV Hybrid 2008 TV Tuner Stick for Analog and HDTV Reception

Pros: This is the second TV tuner I've owned (the previous one circa January 2002, different manufacturer). By comparison, this one is excellent. (1) The software is extremely good, allowing you to rewind and pause live TV, record shows, automatic scheduling, "smart guides" with predefined program searches, etc. (2) The unit itself is small and easily hidden. Picks up over-the-air HDTV fine from an interior room with a table top antenna (obviously location of the transmitter towers matters for this).

Cons: None.

Overall Review: I am running this on a high end system (2x4-core Xeon). Low end systems might have some problems with CPU load (I'm normally using a full core for this software). Also, HDTV recordings are huge, sometimes as high as 12GBs/hour (most run 4-8GBs/hour) - make sure you have enough hard disk space if you plan to record a lot. You can compress, but then you lose quality. The software bundled with mine was EyeTV 2; had to go through a form on their website to get EyeTV 3. It was a free upgrade and easy to do, but it was still an extra step that shouldn't have been needed. It took a day for them to process the upgrade request and send a new software key.

12/30/2008

It works

Rosewill - 3.5mm Stereo Coupler (2 Pack)
Rosewill - 3.5mm Stereo Coupler (2 Pack)

Pros: It works like it should. Hard to mess something like this up.

Cons: None

Overall Review: 1 blue, 1 black; having a blue one is nice for that coupler you always seem to misplace. Blue is a lot easier to see than black.

12/30/2008