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The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews

Review: Wired's Wired4DVD Decoder Card
By Mike
Review date: 2/2/2000

DVD Station Player Controls
Intro | Installation | Player Controls | Card Features

This page covers the features and options of the Wired4DVD movie player application called 'DVD Station'. Most images are either self-explanitory (preferences pages); otherwise I've added callouts to describe the features as shown below with the player controls.

Note that for best performance (especially audio), the manual suggests that virtual memory be disabled for movie playback. (This is done with the standard Apple Memory Control Panel and requires a restart to take effect.)

Movie Playback Performance/Image Quality:

In tests on my G4/450 with virtual memory off, I saw no audio lip-sync issues and the image quality was impressive. When viewed on my 45" projection TV the picture quality was as good as my Toshiba dedicated DVD player, even though I was using the composite video input, not the superior (signal quality wise) SVideo option.

As I noted previously, after using the G4's standard software player, the Wired4DVD's responsiveness to control changes was a real breath of fresh air. There's really no comparison on this machine with the hardware decoding of the Wired4DVD card. Its earned a permanent home in my Macs.

Player Controls:

The DVD Station player contains a many options and features, many of which you'll only need to set once during the first run. The standard play/stop/eject/FF buttons are not discribed since they are pretty standard and should be familiar to anyone that has used a CD player or Apple's Audio CD player application.

This is the default left side controls of the Player

Remote Control

Note: When you first launch the player and try to play a DVD disk, you'll be prompted to run an overlay test to determine the properties of your graphics card. Unless you change video mode (color depth, etc.) or graphics card, you'll normally only have to do this once.

Preferences Settings:

The following are screen captures of the various tabs for the preferences options. They are practically self-explanitory.

Preferences Playlist Tab

Preferences Settings Tab

Preferences DVD Tab Options

Preferences DVD Region Settings
(North America/Region 1 Selected)

Preferences Misc. Tab


I saw no problems with computer or TV playback of any of over a dozen DVD movies but should you need help, refer to the Manual/Guide or Wired's online FAQ.

The next page of the review covers the features and ports of the Wired4DVD PCI card.

Index of Wired4DVD Review

Intro | Installation | Player Controls | Card Features

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