Plug-in computer card speeds graphics, tunes television 0...

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November 09, 1998|By Gareth Branwyn

Plug-in computer card speeds graphics, tunes television 0) programs

Matrox's new Marvel G200-TV ($299) delivers high-performance video, 2D and 3D graphics acceleration and a TV tuner, all in one plug-in card. The card comes in either PCI or AGP versions, so check to see what kind of internal expansion slot you have available. AGP delivers better image texturing, so get that version if your computer has an available AGP port.

Installation of the G200-TV couldn't be easier - for a plug-in card, anyway. An illustrated quick start poster gives step-by-step instructions, and there's a detailed manual if you need it.

A standout feature is the external Audio/Video connector box. If you've rooted around the back of your PC to plug and unplug cables, you know what a pain this can be. The external connector box goes anywhere on your desktop, allowing you to easily plug in cameras, TVs, videocassette recorders and other gadgets.

Here are a few of the G200-TV's features: hardware MJPEG video capture and editing (Avid Cinema software is included), video out capability for displaying PC applications on your regular TV, a full-featured on-screen TV remote control, 36-channel monitoring and the ability to program the TV to record shows on a hard drive (you would need a monstrous one). You can get the TV to scan stations on key words and pop up the TV window when a match is found. Another plus: You don't need separate TV and video cards, saving you a precious card slot.

In a tech universe where so many companies get it dead wrong, it's encouraging to see one be right on. The Marvel G200-TV may set the standard for the future of such multifunction cards.

Information: 514-969-6300 or www.matrox.com

Professional computer mike is worth its $80 price

If you use a computer headset microphone a lot and need the best possible sound quality (for speech recognition, etc.), Andrea Electronics' ANC-600 ($80) is probably worth the money. The ANC-600 uses a patented noise cancellation technology that's superior to most products in this price range.

The headset is reasonably comfortable and fits securely. A bendable microphone boom adjusts to the right distance from your mouth. An on/mute switch along the cable allows you to turn off the mike when it's not needed, and there's an auxiliary power supply that can boost signal strength. With this attached, the whole unit gets bulky, but there's a lapel clip to take the tension off the cables. You'll get the most out of speech recognition technology with the CD-quality sound of the ANC-600 headset.

Information: 800-707-5779 or www.andreaelectronics.com

You can find full reviews of these and other neat gadgets at www.streettech.com.

Pub Date: 11/09/98

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