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Hercules game theater xp.Hercules Game Theater XP

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Hercules game theater xp.Results for “hercules game theater xp”


Hercules – Game Theater XP.Hercules – Game Theater XP, Continued – More Than A SoundBlaster | Tom’s Hardware


HERCULES Sound Card Game Theater XP Version DOWNLOAD NOW. 5, downloads. Mar 29,  · Now Hercules is giving you the chance to treat your ears right for the modest price of $ I’ve had the new Game Theater XP on my desk (yes, Author: Steve Butts. Game Theater XP. Product number: Drivers. – Quick Start Install Hercules DJ driver on your computer Install DJ Intro software on your computer Plug your speakers in DJControl Jogvision Master Out (rear panel) Plug your headphones.


Hercules game theater xp.Review: Hercules Game Theater XP

Game Theater XP. Product number: Drivers. – Quick Start Install Hercules DJ driver on your computer Install DJ Intro software on your computer Plug your speakers in DJControl Jogvision Master Out (rear panel) Plug your headphones. Sep 25,  · When you first pick up the Game Theater XP, the first thing that you will notice is that the box is heavy. Weighing in at more than five pounds, this is no light weight product. Most of the weight Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins. Mar 29,  · Now Hercules is giving you the chance to treat your ears right for the modest price of $ I’ve had the new Game Theater XP on my desk (yes, Author: Steve Butts.
Technical support website
The Hercules Game Theater XP – Page 1
Hercules Game Theatre XP Review – IGN
More Than A SoundBlaster
Hercules – Game Theater XP, Continued
Hercules Game Theater XP | HotHardware

The trouble with buying an expensive fancy sound card is that it doesn’t let you show off enough. OK, it may have positional this and multi-channel that and digital the other, but it’s a card inside your computer. A row of connectors at the back of the box, even if they’re gold plated and two of them are optical, is unlikely to get you any oohs and ahs.

Plus, sound gear traditionally has knobs and buttons. A physical volume knob is a very handy thing. And it doesn’t hurt to have input connectors on the front panel of your computer, if you’re interested in using the PC for digital recording. A connector panel on the front may spoil the featureless-Bauhaus-aluminium-panel look desired by the Lian Li case enthusiast. But if you prefer the bells, whistles and gongs look and it’s not hard to see that a lot of people do , then easily accessible controls and connectors are for you.

Even if you don’t need them. Creative have addressed the combined pose value and convenience shortfall with their top-of-range Sound Blaster Live Platinum, which comes with a control and connector panel that sits in one of your case’s 5.

You can get a GeForce2 Pro video card for less than that. Hercules have gone one better, and produced a more impressive looking but cheaper product, with the Game Theater XP.

They couldn’t fit all the ins, outs, knobs and lights into a lousy expansion bay. They needed a whole separate box. Hercules call this extra box an “external rack”, which it isn’t. It’s just a 45 by by mm 1. The word “rack” implies it’s got some sort of mounting dingus for other hardware, or that it complies with the professional 19 inch rack standard, or something. It doesn’t. But “rack” sounds better than “box”, so what the heck, I’ll humour Hercules and call it that.

The rack makes installation of the Game Theater XP slightly more complex than plugging a standard sound card into your computer. You install the sound card in a free PCI slot as normal, but then you connect The cable makes the average automotive jumper lead look very flexible indeed, but it’s a generous two metres long. Which means you can install the XP in just about any computer and put the rack somewhere you can easily reach it. It’s definitely up there with the best Creative can manage.

What all of this stuff actually does is positional and environmental audio. See the sidebar to the right for more on what the heck this means. It’s all highly hardware accelerated in the Game Theater XP’s case, which means that intensive positional audio activity – lots of sound sources, lots of movement – will neither take a huge chunk out of your game frame rate, nor leave you with weird sound artefacts as the playback system throws stuff away in the name of speed.

The front of the rack has two RCA connectors for left and right analogue input, and quarter-inch connectors for headphones and microphone. You get a quarter-to-eighth-inch adapter so you can connect small-plug ‘phones. The mic input’s shared with the line in; you can only use one at a time. There’s a volume control for the ‘phones and a level control for the mic. The front panel also has a standard gameport socket for your joystick or game pad. The big news for many users, though, are the analogue outputs on the back of the rack.

Full six channel output, kids – RCA connectors for front right and left, rear right and left, centre channel, and subwoofer. If you want your front and rear speakers to be computer speakers that use a stereo eighth-inch plug rather than RCA plugs, you don’t need to get an adapter; the front and rear outputs also have an eighth-inch socket. The rack also serves as a four port self powered USB hub. There are two USB ports on the front and two on the back.

The rack’s cable has a separate connector at the PC end, for you to plug into one of the USB ports on the back of your computer. The hub draws power from the PCI slot you plug the Game Theater card into, and so it doesn’t need a separate plugpack. All of the connectors are gold plated, which is not a good thing unless all of your plugs are gold plated too.

Otherwise, galvanic corrosion effects will just corrode your chrome plated connectors faster than they’d otherwise rust, and you’ll get a lousier connection in due course. This is unlikely to cause any serious problems, though. Just twisting the plug will break up the corrosion and give you a decent contact again, if it does have a significant effect.

But even with gold plugs, gold connectors don’t actually make a big difference to anything unless you live by the seaside. The basic drivers for the Game Theater XP you can get the latest drivers by picking the Game Theater XP from the drop-down box on the Hercules download page here work with all current flavours of Windows – 95, 98, and ME.

You also get a few bundled apps which you may find useful, and some others you’re almost certain to find useless. There’s also MusicMatch Jukebox, but the free downloadable Basic version of the software is good enough for most people. There’s Kool Karaoke Lite, which is another program you can download for free if you’re one of the sick, sick, evil, dedicated-to-the-destruction-of-all-that’s-good-about-living people who like that sort of thing.

There’s Magix PlayR Jukebox, another free-download program that’s one of the many less than totally exciting competitors to Winamp. Just hook ’em up to your surround amp and speakers, or to an appropriate collection of computer speakers; two, four or six speaker well, 5. Many other multi-output sound cards let you do some sort of surround-sound DVD playback, but they usually only have four direct outputs, with no centre or subwoofer channel.

And they may or may not work with the quality DVD playback program of your choice. If you’ve only got four speakers, the XP does proper downmixing of 5. You just tell it to use four speaker mode and you’re away. The full six speaker setup will only work when you’re playing DVDs, though. In games, the Sensaura technology that the XP uses means that it only sends sound to the four standard outputs – the front and rear stereo pairs.

But if you’ve connected a six speaker set, two of ’em won’t do anything unless you can connect them to another channel. Buy yourself a 5. You need an outboard 5. I don’t have a digital-in decoder to test it with, though, so I’m just going on others’ say-so here. The XP also supports Dolby Headphone , for positional-audio surround from headphones, so you don’t strictly speaking need a speaker set at all.

What there isn’t in the Game Theater XP software bundle, is a decent audio record-and-edit package. You do get Sonic Foundry’s ACID XPress , but that’s another free-to-download package, and it’s not a general purpose audio manipulator – it’s for making loop-based music.

If you’re buying a Game Theater XP as a cheap-ish way into semi-pro PC sound editing, you’ll therefore have to drop some dollars on Cool Edit , Sound Forge or whatever other audio editor takes your fancy. There also aren’t any bundled games – well, not full versions, anyway. Which is a good thing, if you ask me. The games that come bundled with many pieces of brand name hot gamer hardware are, often, quite good.

But they’re seldom very new, which means the nutty gamers that are paying for the hardware will either already have them, or not want them. Better to keep the frills to a minimum and the price down.

You do get the Gameloft multiplayer game-finding package, which seems to me to just be the GameSpy you use when you’re tired of the popular option. And Nvidia’s Quake 3 Arena level. These are all free downloads too, of course. And not particularly new, in the great tradition of bundled game-stuff. Not every Sensaura-supporting sound card comes with Virtual Ear, and it’s not a free download. No serious electronic music person’s going to use a consumer sound card as a MIDI sound module, and MIDI background music for games is also now pretty much a thing of the past.

Yamaha’s Soft Synthesiser can do a heck of a lot more, by making the PC do the mixing work and letting you download very large sample sets. It’s still no substitute for standalone MIDI gear, but it’s darn good for the money. In most intensive multi-audio-stream tests, it seems to beat the Sound Blaster Live models by a factor of two or so.

If you’ve got an old, slow processor, then the amount of CPU time a sound card takes up can matter, if you’re playing games that use a lot of positional audio. But if you’re shopping for a Game Theater XP, you probably don’t have an old, slow processor. The XP should have less than half of the CPU penalty, but you’re not at all likely to notice the difference. In the first case the game stays fast but sounds unexciting; in the second case the game takes a substantial frame rate hit, even if you’ve got a fast CPU.

But all of the high-end cards have a lot of 3D audio muscle on board, and so CPU utilisation on vaguely recent processors is low for all of them.

Well, it can do hardware MP3 decoding, provided your MP3 playback software asks it to. This is therefore not a big deal. Which means it’s not going to have much impact on anything. More and more games have MP3 background music and effects, because the super-compressed format lets the programmers fit a ton of sound on a CD. But even when the sound’s being played in real time, it doesn’t hurt performance much on any somewhat recent PC.

What’s bad about the Game Theater XP? Well, not much, except that most people don’t need it. If you ask me, the whole idea of using a PC as the core of your home theatre system is a bad one. The six analogue outputs on the XP rack let share-accommodation dwellers easily set up a home theatre in their room so they can watch what they want in multi-channel glory while the hoi polloi consort in the common room.

If that’s what you want, this is the product for you. Even the ones with a remote control still make you put the humming PC somewhere fairly near the TV if you’re not satisfied with the size of your monitor of course, you need a video card with TV output to do this at all , and the XP doesn’t have a remote anyway. If you’re a game hound, the lack of full 5.

When an SBLive feeds game sound to a six speaker system, it’s just filtering and mixing for the two extra speakers, and the result sounds no better than would a couple of three-piece stereo-input sub-sat systems of similar quality tot he 5.

If you’re the ninja-gamer type and want positional audio for tactical reasons as much as entertainment ones knowing which way to turn, and how far, to shoot the guy you hear walking up behind you, is a handy thing , then you’re going to be playing with quality headphones anyway and this issue goes away.

Yes, positional audio works with headphones. It works better than it does with multiple speakers.

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