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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Hollywood Plus DVD decoder review

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Hollywood Plus DVD decoder review
Posted by Thomas McGuire on September 21, 2000
Company: Sigma Designs     Product: Hollywood Plus DVD Decoder

With the increasing popularity of DVD drives (how many new PCís donít come with one) & home entertainment systems, more & more people are getting the opportunity to test out this new, superior media for films. The only problem is that playing DVDís on a PC takes a lot of processor power. With that in mind, hardware DVD decoders are available to take over this burdensome task. Offering the promises of better visual quality, freeing CPU resources & the ability to make pretty much any machine with a DVD drive capable of smooth DVD playback. Does the Sigma Designs Hollywood Plus stand up to these lofty promises? Read on & find out.

Installation & manual

Installation, in both Windows 98 SE & Windows 2000 went perfectly. The card was recognized & drivers were installed accordingly using the latest versions available from Sigma Designs. Although, currently the Windows 2000 driver is only a beta release.

All that had to be done was to hook up the pass through cable to the video card & the monitor to the Hollywood Plus. Although if possible, you can have the Hollywood Plus connected directly to your TV.

Of some note is that if you encounter problems installing the card in Windows 2000 (i.e. during installation of the driver you reboot automatically) you will need to set Plug & Play OS to No in the BIOS before installation will occur correctly. This issue occurred on one of my machines (Using an Asus P3V4X motherboard, although it didnít occur on my Pentium 233MMX machine) & installation went smoothly after changing that setting until installation was completed. It should be noted that resetting this back to Yes will result in a critical (blue screen) error during boot-up for Windows 2000 after installed.

 


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