Date: December 24th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product Submitted by: ATI
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ATI's first PCI Express All in Wonder is now widely available on the market and can be purchased from online retailers for around US$215 to US$240 as of the time of this review. Prices will drop as the months roll on.
The documentation consists of an extensive user's manual along with an easy setup and configuration poster and the software is comprised of the standard ATI Catalyst(TM) software along with a full copy of Serious Magic's Visual Communicator Presentation Software (US$99 Value). The presentation software allows the user to create professional video presentations for home, office or education applications. Also included is a fully functional version of Matchware Mediator 7 (US$69) along with an ATI special version of Pinnacle Studio Version 9 (US$99).
*Cue TV Commercial Voice* But that is not all, included on the Catalyst CD is a lifetime membership of Gemstar's Guide Plus which can be compared to your local TV Guide for computing. This software alone weighs in at US$249 for a lifetime subscription which is included with the card for no additional charge.
As anyone can see, the software alone bundled with this card if purchased separately would be more expensive than the total cost of this package. Great value? You bet. I will break down the value even more in the upcoming pages.
Also included is this FM antenna for FM radio listening directly on your PC. You can simply listen or if an interesting radio program is coming up, you can record it directly to an audio file on your PC for future listening.
To make more room for more monitor connections on the back of the card, ATI decided to incorporate all the Audio and video inputs and outputs into one single main dongle. This allows for an additional VGA monitor connection on the back and allows the user to have native dual monitor support. You have your separate output and input block connections along with the Cable TV and the FM Antenna.
The main output block contains outputs for your standard S-Video and composite video connections along with your 1/8" audio output jacks for analog audio along with a composite S/PDIF composite digital. It doesn't matter whether you are patching into an older or newer multimedia device, the numerous connections should have almost everyone covered. You can purchase a separate component connection from ATI is you require a HDTV support.