No sooner had the GeForce FX 5200/5600 Personal Cinema cards hit the store shelves (see MSI-8918 review) than Leadtek released one more card with multimedia features - Leadtek WinFast A180 TDH Cinema. One of the notable peculiarities of the baby of Leadtek's and NVIDIA's breeders is the FM tuner installed on a video card for the first time (ATI's All-In-Wonder were announced later); the card is built on the GeForce 4MX 440-8x chip but its 3D graphics won't be touched upon today.
The box is typical of Leadtek:
Its sections contain the following stuff:
Let's pretend we didn't notice the resource-hungry Gun Metal game coming with the GeForce 4MX 440-8x which can't be called a 3D monster.
Except the games the software suite is identical to that of the Leadtek WinFast TV 2000 Expert review.
Design and specification
|Leadtek WinFast A180 TDH Cinema|
The design wasn't changed (see details in the Leadtek WinFast A180 review) - apart from the multimedia features the A180 TDH Cinema differs from the card tested only in the hardware monitoring support.
It's not clear why this utility states that analog-to-digital conversion is implemented not by the Philips 7174HL 9bit ADC installed
but by the older model Philips 7134HL.
However, the Philips 7174HL is the evolutionary extension of the successful Philips 7134HL. The digital TV support and PCI audio transfer are its notable changes. In our case these features are not needed.
The specs and features of the software are identical to the Leadtek WinFast Cinema and Leadtek WinFast TV 2000 Expert
This card, like its ATI counterparts, has only a DVI-I connector, and it can be connected to an analog monitor via a respective adapter.
The MiniDIN 9-pin connector typical of Leadtek cards is used for applying external audio and video sources, and it connects to the S-Video-&-RCA adapter.
It looks like a tradition for Leadtek to provide a card only with an AUX-in; there's a respective connector next to the tuner module.
Here's the connection circuit:
The menu configuration makes me think that there's a dedicated department in Leadtek to develop such design.
If it's so, it would be nice to have also a subdepartment responsible for the menu logic because the WDM driver is to be installed from the WinFast PVR section instead of the Driver Install one.
The MPEG4 support is right in its place, and Microsoft's codecs are offered to be installed
After the installation you get the following devices:
Here's also the WinFast Wizard icon for fast access to all programs in the tray
The WinFast PVR and WinFast FM were discussed in the reviews
Like with the Leadtek WinFast TV 2000 Expert card, in case of the Russia (SECAM) the WinFast PVR enumerates channels starting from 2, i.e. 2 instead of 1, 4 instead of 3 etc.
With POLAND (SECAM) and the problem gets solved.
The tuner has good sensitivity, all the channels are found.
But there's a problem: when the WinFast PVR is restarted the TV sound turns into noise.
You can solve it by changing the standard for POLAND (SECAM) and back, but it works only until the program is restarted.
I hope a new WinFast PVR version will have this problem solved.
Look at the default brightness and hue
The screening is not that good, pickups are sometimes noticeable.
Another problem is that the brightness level sometimes increases when you switch channels: