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The Test System

This review was conducted on:

  • Intel Pentium-3 600mhz processor at normal clockspeed.
  • Abit BX6 motherboard rev 2.01.
  • 64mb Toshiba PC100 ram.
  • IBM UDMA 33 10.1 gig hard drive.
  • ATI Rage Fury 32 meg video with TV OUT.
  • Pioneer 103s 6x DVD drive.
  • Creative Soundblaster Live Value soundcard.
  • 17" Sony 200ES Trinitron monitor.
  • Sony KVS66 Analog Trinitron TV.
  • Win98 SE rev 2222A.
  • DirectX 7.0A.
  • Positional DVD audio tested with WinDVD 2.3 Multi-speaker version.

Onward with the Test System. Basically unchanged from the DVD Software reviews, but now the P3 remains for all tests, and the SB Live Value is the main soundcard. Since the Test PC resides next to my 35" Sony KVS66 Trinitron for TV-OUT testing, placement of the speakers for optimal surround sound was a relatively simple issue (They come with adequate length cables for small-room placement). Remember, "Surround sound depends on speaker location!" To get the true surround experience, whether digital or downmixed, the sound algorithms assume your front speakers to be near the picture, the subwoofer to be relatively centered in front; and the Rear Speakers spread out and Behind the seating area (Or at least even with it). This matches audio placement to the engineered algorithms in DVD audio for creating a 3D effect. If position is correct, and your source is properly sending to your speakers, you should be able to locate objects on-screen with your eyes closed! I chose WinDVD for the DVD positional testing. I also did some testing with Cinemaster for LFE BASS response. PowerDVD is also good at 3D downmixing, one of the best, but its lack of LFE BASS decoding called for a pass at this time. However on titles that don't emphasize heavy BASS, PowerDVD does audio as well as almost any other.

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