The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums


Product: TV Photo Viewer
Company: Microsoft
Estimated Street Price: $159.00
Review By: Robert Stein

Hardware Setup

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Setup
3: System Requirements

4: Design & Hardware Use
5. TV Photo Viewer Software
6: Troubleshooting
7: Conclusion

I must admit, before opening the Microsoft TV Photo Viewer box I was slightly worried if there was going to be some complex problem to solve before using this product. Needless to say I was very thankful when Microsoft silently put my fears to rest. Setting up the hardware is a breeze. Simply take the photo viewer out of the box, attach the yellow cable included to the “Video Out” plug on the back of the device and plug the other end to the “Video In” plug on the back of your TV. Plug in the device with the power cord (included) and put the two AA batteries (also included) into the remote and you are completely set up on the hardware side.

If you are one of those types that need to use the device right away there is a “Quick Tour” floppy disk ready to show you a product overview of your new purchase but before you can take your tour you need to press the Input, Source or TV/Video Button on your remote or TV (Input, in my case). If you are hesitant with my directions, Microsoft was smart enough to include a step-by-step index card with information how to setup this device. Setup time: less than two minutes.

If you have a VCR already connected to your TV your setup is a tad more tricky but not overly complex. First, disconnect the VCR from your TV. Make sure the dual end cable (which you already should have, if you have a VCR) is plugged in both the “L-R Audio In” plugs on the TV and the “L-R Audio Out” plugs on the VCR. Next, the yellow cord (provided) connects the “Video In” plug from the TV to the “Video Out” plug on the TV Photo Viewer. Connect the last cord (which you should also have) from the “Video In” plug to the “Video Out” plug on the VCR. After all that is done, you are all set! Setup time: less than five minutes.

If you are one of the last few that do not have a “Video In” plug, then you need a RF modulator to connect your Microsoft TV Photo Viewer to your TV. You can get a RF Modulator and an RF Cable for less than $20 at Radio Shack, Best Buy or any other electronics store. Connect the RF modulator to the TV and then connect your Photo Viewer to the RF modulator and you should be all set. Setup time: less than fifteen minutes (if you already have the RF modulator).

Software Setup

The software setup is even easier than setting up the hardware. Simply insert the disk and the prompt box comes up with options to install either TV Photo Viewer or Microsoft Picture It! Express (the one required by default is TV Photo Viewer. Windows Installer continues with some overly simplified options. First option: create a shortcut on desktop. Second Option: choose installation folder (default is C:\Program Files\Microsoft TV Photo Viewer\). That’s it. Setup takes less than a minute to complete and then asks you to restart. Not much space is required either with the full install (the only option) taking 11.3 MB. As usual Microsoft prompts you to register online if you choose. If you want advanced editing tools other than the basic included in this software, you can install Microsoft Picture It! Express which requires 250 MB. Anyway, upon restart you are ready to begin. The version that is installed is 1.0, however you can download the version 1.1 from the web.


 « Introduction System Requirements »


  *   *