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How accessDTV Works

        Tech | Buses

AccessDTV Benefits: Price, Picture, Performance
A typical screen shot when using the accessDTV board
A typical screen shot when using the accessDTV board

The accessDTV card is a very interesting product because, when combined with its software, it can do many different things.

The Basic Idea

The basic idea behind the accessDTV card/software combination is that, once installed in your computer, it allows you to watch DTV on your computer's monitor. There is nothing else to buy, so this is definitely the least expensive way ever to watch DTV in your home. And, it turns out that in full-screen mode, this is a good way to watch DTV -- standard computer monitors create a high-quality display that really shows off the clarity of DTV.

Because the card does all the heavy lifting when it comes to decoding both digital- and analog-TV streams, the card has almost no impact on the performance of your machine. You can have a DTV broadcast displaying in a window on your screen and do anything else you would normally do with your computer.

In a sense, the DTV window on your monitor is just like watching a streaming video on a Web site. The difference is that the DTV window is:

  • Incredibly clear - It is receiving data at 19.39 Mbps. The maximum speed you can get off the Web is perhaps a 300-kilobit per second (Kbps) streaming connection, and 100 Kbps is much more typical. The HDTV signal is about 200 times faster than a typical streaming connection, and it is never interrupted by network delays.
  • Non-disruptive - When you watch a streaming media presentation off the Web, the act of streaming the data into your machine consumes your entire Internet connection. It also consumes a lot of CPU power decoding the signal. Your HDTV window consumes zero network bandwidth. The card does all the digital decoding, so your computer is free of this task and able to do other things.

In other words, the accessDTV card gives you the best streaming media you have ever seen! It also gives you a new way to use your computer. Typically, you use your computer and watch TV in different rooms. Now, the two activities are integrated on your computer -- you can watch DTV in one window while browsing the Internet or working on a presentation in another window.