Usually Asus's graphics products are more of the EAH 3850 Trinity variety, but the Splendid HD1 Video Enhance Card, to give it its full title, has a potentially much larger appeal. The idea is a simple one: provide a small, simple way of adding HDMI-output to a PC without such connectivity.
Asus's solution is to offer a small PCI Express add-on card using the x1 slot generally left unused in most systems. The card actually sports a pair of DVI ports, rather than a direct HDMI connector, so an adaptor is needed. HDCP compliance is, of course, on the books.
Asus hasn't released much information about how the HD1 works, but from what we can ascertain both video and audio are pulled over the PCI Express bus before being output by the card. Further, the implication is also there that this will work even if a dedicated graphics card is used.
The card also boasts automatic display modes, which it should slip between dynamically. Photo Mode is said to enhance image quality when viewing photographs, ensuring a good balance of colours and so forth. Video Mode adds post-processing to film content aiming to reduce such problems as motion blur, while also increasing colour depth and contrast. Last, Game Mode allows gamers to tweak settings to improve image quality in, oddly enough, games.
No pricing or availability information is yet available for the Splendid HD1, but it's going to need to be pretty cheap if potential buyers are to be persuaded not to just buy a dedicated graphics card instead. Especially as a decent HDMI-outputting Radeon HD 3450 can be picked up for under £30.