Matrox Marvel G450 eTV

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Matrox Marvel G450 eTV
Hot on the heels of the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon is this latest all-in-one graphics card from Matrox. The Marvel eTV features the new G450 graphics acceleration engine, designed to enhance 2D, 3D, video and DVD playback. Matrox likes to think of it as 'The total entertainment solution' but that's quite a claim to make.
The Marvel G450 eTV AGP graphics card features a TV tuner, audio and video input/output, and DVD playback. There is a single VGA connector for attaching an analogue monitor, and display resolutions go up to 2048 x 1536 pixels at 85Hz. The card supports a twin display setup using the VGA port and the S-video or composite video outputs. It is possible to connect not only a TV set for viewing video, but also for extending the desktop - for training or presentation purposes, for instance. Matrox recommends a system of 700MHz and a DVD-ROM drive to take full advantage of the card's features. Matrox, though, has had the foresight to automatically disable certain features should a computer not meet the suggested requirements. In our case, running a 400MHz processor, the only disabled feature was 'timeshifting' - the pause and replay of live TV.
The Matrox Marvel G450 eTV is certainly an impressive bit of kit. It delivers a great deal of graphics power and a wide range of features. However, in our opinion, it can't lay claim to the title, 'king of the total entertainment solutions'. Currently, that title can more reasonably be claimed by the slightly more expensive ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon (review p26). The Matrox, though, is undoubtedly a highly respected contender for the crown.

For the full review, see the June 2001 issue of Computer Video.

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