Originally Published: Sunday, 9 April 2000 Author: Marius Aamodt Eriksen
Published to: enhance_articles_multimedia/Video Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

kWinTV - Can It Beat XawTV?

kWinTV (previously xwintv) is an X application built on qt that is used to display output from TV tuner cards (video4linux supported). I had previously only used XawTV and in spite of my satisfaction with it, I wanted to try other similar applications.

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I got kwintv from the Debian apt index (Debian's package management system) and had it installed without a glitch. Since my video4linux modules were all set up, kWinTV immideately displayed the TV signal when starting up. The first thing that struck me when it started up was the very clean and well done interface that is evidence of the feature-rich application. One particularly nice thing about kWinTV is the channel selection/storage mechanism. It works as a regular TV in that the different channels are stored in different 'programs'. kWinTV has a separate window to show the programs, and selecting from the different programs will change the channel of the TV tuner. The nice thing about kWinTVs program selector is that for every program, one can adjust a plethora of settings such as fine tuning, input format, source, frequency table, brightness, contrast, and so on. I found many of these options very useful, and they constitute one of the great advantages in using this program.

When resizing kWinTV, the image goes out of proportion. This, however, is easy to fix by adjusting the 'Fix Aspect Ration' option from the menu. I found XawTV's solution to this a little more elegant as it only allows for the window to resize within the aspect ratio, a less tedious process than kWinTV's.

The 'screen snapshot' feature worked well, as was expected. I was, however, not able to record into a file as kWinTV crashed every time I tried to. The quality of the snapshots were comparative with the quality of XawTV's. As for the image quality itself, I could not find any differences with that of XawTV. Generally, I found XawTV to be 'cleaner' than kWinTV in that it doesn't leave parts of the picture on the screen when the window is moved or desktop changed.

One feature that I missed from XawTV was the ability to use a roller mouse to change the channels (by rolling up and down). A second feature that I couldn't find in kWinTV was the ability to run in non-overlay mode (grabscreen). Hence, kWinTV cannot be run remotely over a network.

In conclusion, kWinTV is an extremely well-done application with a very nice and clean interface. However, kWinTV does need some bug-cleaning and some feature additions if it is to ultimately surpass XawTV.

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