eVGA NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Personal Cinema Review - Page 3 of 7
By Chris Arthington - June 28, 2004 Edited By Ed Piotrowski
In the days of first- and second-generation DVD drives, there was an argument of software versus hardware DVD decoding. This has become a moot issue on present day graphic cards thanks to built in hardware capabilities. NVDVD is a full-featured software DVD player built into the Forceware Multimedia suite. Like the NVIDIA TV Player, everything you need to navigate your DVD environments is available through the easy-to-use interface. You can double click your way through the DVD menus or use the NVIDIA remote control for easy navigating.
Audio configuration was also a breeze. Speaker configurations include: stereo, 5.1 surround sound and even a reciever mode for Dolby Prologic recievers. NVDVD also provides a capture interface, which allows you to capture audio and still frames. Frame captures are saved in the popular .bmp and .jpg formats.
In the past, NVIDIA has taken criticism for the quality of its DVD decoding. I am pleased to say this is a non-issue with Geforce FX hardware. The above screenshot is from "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" and was captured with NVDVD's in-software utility.
NVIDIA FM RADIO
The FM tuner was a unique feature the Radeon 8500 All-In-Wonder did not support. NVIDIA has shown no hesitation in adding FM support to the Personal Cinema line. The software sports the same user interface found in NVDVD and the Nvidia TV player. Just like TV Player, you can time shift, allowing you to pause, fast forward and rewind live radio broadcasts.
FORCEWARE MEDIA PLAYER
Whenever I hear about new media player software, I always ask myself three questions: 1) How many media formats does it support? 2) Does it eat alot of CPU resources? and 3) Are playlists easy to set up? The NVIDIA Media Player supports all popular media formats such as .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma .wmv and .asf, making it quite capable of replacing any other multimedia player available. Average CPU utilization during mp3 playback was only 5% on an Athlon XP 2000+ system. Playlists were also easy to configure. Browsing your hard drive to add files to a playlist couldn't have been easier, with simple right click menus.
Forceware Media Player Configuration
I have always been stubborn to replace Windows Media Player. The old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" comes to mind. However, I have grown quite addicted to the NVIDIA Media Player and am now using it as the default player in my second computer. The Forceware Multimedia Center shows NVIDIA is serious about engaging the multimedia enthusiast market. The software offers a compelling feature set with a clean and simple interface.