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Reviewed: Annihilator Pro
Author: Kyle Maulden       Date: December 29th 1999
Page: 9

The last thing to mention about the Annihilator Pro would be it's DVD performance. I was very disappointed that Creative designed the card so that it doesn't have a standard DVD decoder port on it, but rather an "improved" connector which allows you to hook up Creative's decoder board, their Dxr3. The pins for the connector are much longer than the standard port, but some people have told me that you can bend the pins, and connect a normal decoder card to the Annihilator. I gave this a try and I was startled to hear a continued beeping noise from my computer when I booted up. I guess that wasn't a good idea!

So sadly, unless you own Creative's Dxr3 decoder board, or perhaps the Dxr2, your stuck with crummy software decoding. Although this isn't that bad, if you went out and spent $275 on a set of Dolby Digital 5.1 speakers like me, you'll be very disappointed that you'll now be stuck with 2.1 sound, as your decoder card isn't used. Creative did include a retail version of WinDVD, a nice software decoder. After watching the first few minutes of The Matrix, I was fairly disappointed, in both sound and video, as I was used to hardware decoding. The colors in software weren't near as vivid or clear as they were in hardware, and the sound was just pathetic if your used to AC-3.

Also another low point to the Annihilator, Creative rushed to get it out on the market, and in turn left out many common features, such as S-Video out, or digital flat panel out, DVI, which is getting more common on other GeForce-based boards. This means if you want to output to that 35" TV in your room to watch your DVD's, your out of luck and stuck with your monitor.

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Added:  Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Reviewer:  Kyle Maulden
Score:
Page: 9/10

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