MyHD High-Definition Decoder ATSC Tuner PCI Card
Home Theater Personal Computers (HTPCs) never really excited me much when they were strictly limited to DVD playback. The thought of having a PC dedicated to watching DVDs didn't appeal to me. However, my view of HTPCs completely changed when we installed a MIT (Macro Image Technology) MDP-100 high-definition receiver card into our PC. MIT is a Korean-based company that offers a fully integrated high-definition receiver on a small PCI card. This product turns your PC into a powerful high-definition PVR (Personal Video Recorder). Two RF inputs are available for both cable and over the air use. In addition, the MDP-100 includes inputs for composite, s-video and two-channel audio. All incoming video can be converted to 720p or 1080i in either RGB or component (Y-Pr-Pb) formats. A digital output (via the RCA connector) on the card is used for streaming Dolby Digital or standard two-channel audio to your A/V processor or receiver. If you happen to run Windows XP, the MDP-100 can control also stream high-definition content to your D-VHS recorder using the PC's Firewire (iLink) connection. However, we preferred using the hard drive for recording media for obvious reasons. Besides, we needed to take advantage of a new 160GB hard drive we recently purchased. The high-definition data stream is a memory hog and will require about 8GB of hard drive space per hour.
The MDP-100 includes a small, yet well designed and functional remote control, which communicates with an IR sensor that hooks up to the serial port on your PC. This setup worked flawlessly and the remote gave us full control over the system. An application called MyIRC runs in the background to provide the IR link interface to the MyHD application. Assuming your PC is connected to the internet, the MDP-100 takes advantage of TitanTV.com that provides an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) for registered users. TitanTV members have the ability to record and watch TV right from the guide and it's completely free with no monthly charges. The EPG interface is easy to use and is completely intuitive. It can be customized for each member, making it a powerful interface. The EPG provides a terrific and convenient way to locate programming available in your area.
The upside is that the new MDP-120 offers a better 8-VSB demodulator (NXT2002 versus the NXT2000) and the ability to mate with an optional DVI board ($89). The new MDP-120 is a little more expensive than the MDP-100 ($259 versus $229), but the improved signal sensitivity and DVI option makes it well worth the price difference. The optional DVI board used with the MDP-120 allows a pure digital interface to the latest displays, but does not support HDCP encrypted data. However, thus far broadcasters have not been using any HDCP protection.
Our JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS VCR worked well with the MyHD software. Using the iLink (IEEE-1394) port on our Sony Vaio, we were able to control the VCR directly from the PC. By simply selecting the Tape option in the MyHD software, video was automatically recorded to the VCR tape when programmed or commanded to do so. D-VHS tapes have a very large capacity and can easily store hours of high definition video. A single JVC DF-420 D-VHS tape is capable of storing in excess of 44 GB of data or 3.5 hours of HD content. While the hard drive works great for temporary storage, the D-VHS tapes are better suited for archiving video.
- Sony Vaio PCV-RX550,
1.5GHz Pentium 4
|Review at a glance|
MIT (Macro Image Technology) - MDP-100
Minimum System Requirements:
MIT (Macro Image Technology) - MDP-120
Frame Buffer Memory:
Minimum System Requirements:
Source: Manufacture Supplied
Information (Distributor for MIT)
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