Some news about an early test I'm doing on a EM8475 X-Card with the Rev-S3 card AT2 chip, I suppose one of the latest cause the digital bracket connector was removed by the factory and using a Pentium III-500, ECS 440BX board, Windows ME and the best vga output card possible I choosed the Matrox G550; also I finally used the latest v2.1 Xcard drivers.
Interestingly enough as suggested in the past (thanks) the v2.1 application for Win XP -is working on Win ME- too so I suppose there was no differences from the missing "_W2" w9x app file that seems to be lost from their homepage for W9X o.s.
With the latest drivers and latest app I needed the configure in the register by regedit in the Sigma folder "Progressive" a string with my monitor config cause the default ones seems to be only oriented to 16:9 TVs not really 4:3 VGA pc monitor imho.
It's a bit boring to find the perfect match between the desktop mode and the isolated Xcard mode cause it's not overlayed.
But at the end I've to say the quality is just impressive. Smooth and stable, upscaling (even if on a 15" XGA lcd is not much needed) seems great. Certainly sharper video quality than the Hollywood+ boards but it also come with the usual already expected problems. The removal of overlaying logic for the vga and the decoder make the whole experience a continuous going out to the desktop and entering again to full screen, you can't do both. Windowed mode was not implemented and the full screen mode is an hardware switch not just a "sw mode".
Another problem is that seems like the brightness and color app control doesn't work, I don't know if it's cause the vga or the XP oriented application, it might be; I don't remember this problem when I tested the v2.0b w9x version.
I suppose the original package came with a remote control but I don't have it and also I don't have the original better thick cable while I'm using the H+ card one. Also I noticed that the EM8475 decoder becomes quite hot on the surface maybe normal for its specs but an heatsink might have been better to install like the EM8470 ones. Audio output connected to the original Audigy card is powerful and volume enough high.
An interesting find.. in the register strings there's an "overlay mode" that don't seems to be anywhere on the app. I still need to test it but it would be interesting if that in some way would enable the windowed overlayed mode and discovering that was still existing inside the chip maybe.. 😁.. I don't think so but it'll update on this soon.
I'll do more tests but in my opinion this card was more oriented for a second dedicated 16:9 tv/monitor and not the default one at first even if the quality is impressive. In this case the G550 should not be that important like it sure is with the H+ cards, considering the different logic, but I wanted to try this as the best possible config.