Terratec Cinergy 2400i DT - Terratec Cinergy 2400i DT

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If you’re using Windows MCE, you rely on the operating system to act as a software front-end for the card, but it also works with PowerCinema 4. This Cyberlink application looks and feels very similar to Windows MCE, so much so we’re surprised Microsoft’s legal magma chamber hasn’t started to spew its wrath at its authors.


Both interfaces use the same type of gently scrolling menus on large text screens – easily readable on a TV, as well as a monitor. Both have pages which pop onto and collapse away from their screens in a similar way and both use blue backdrops with watermarked graphics and orange and green button highlights.

Once you’ve scanned the TV frequencies for TV and radio channels, you can sort them my number or category, or go through them manually to set up just the order you want. Channels can be displayed full screen or in a window and you can inset one picture within another – a second advantage of having twin tuners.


When you come to use the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), you see the main advantage of the card, though, as you can set up a recording schedule by clicking on any programme in the guide and choose to record it once, daily or weekly. The recording, straight to hard drive, will happen no matter what you’re viewing at the time.

Picture quality from the Cinergy 2400i DT is good, with natural colours and little in the way of artefacts. The picture you see will depend on the TV signal strength in your area, or course, but it’s easily up to the standard of a typical domestic Freeview box. The picture automatically flips between 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen modes, taking up full screen width and adjusting height to maintain aspect ratio.


”’Verdict”’


To an extent, TV tuner cards either work or they don’t. This one certainly does and produces quality pictures from both its tuners. As long as you have plenty of space on your hard drive, the PVR functions built into either Windows MCE or PowerCinema enable you to record your favourite programs, whether scheduled or live and independent of what you’re watching. No other card we’re aware of on retail sale in the UK can do this. It makes the Cinergy 2400i DT novel for the moment, but even when rival products come along, the quality of hardware design and efficacy of the Cyberlink software may well keep its nose in front.

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