Date: July 7th, 2005
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: ATI
<--SHOP FOR AN ATI TV WONDER ELITE
When you access the TV sub-section, you are confronted with a screen which you can do the following.
Return: Allows you access to the main menu page.
Full Screen: Sets the TV frame to full screen as seen below.
Allows you access to your stored pre-recorded TV programs for playback.
Schedule: Allows you to schedule PowerCinema to record a certain channel at a predetermined start and stop time. Very handy feature.
Settings: Setting & Configuration change sub-menu for changing the TV settings such as the TV source, Country, Recording Quality and Audio Source and Mode.
TV Preview: When used, it will show a snapshot of 12 currently running TV programs at one time. You can scroll up and down to expose and check out other channels as well and directly selecting a channel for immediate viewing.
TV viewing is easy, practical and pretty self explanatory. The one thing you have to note is the picture quality will be only as good as the source allows. If the cable network has a channel that is not crystal clear, don't expect the TV viewer to correct it. It can only display what it is provided. TV viewing was exactly what I expected except the following.
On the other hand, I did find a couple things that I found a little annoying. The channel changes were very slow which was a disappointment when comparing this software suite to ATI's Multimedia Center. Surfing channels was hard to take seeing every channel change took 1-2 seconds each. If you are surfing through trying to find something to view, you will quickly give up. Even with the TV Preview, the 12 preview channels loading up took almost 30 seconds. This practically makes this feature useless seeing changing the channels one by one is actually quicker.
Once you have a video collection whether through recording with this program or media from the internet, you can view, manage and even capture direct audio and video through the supplied A/V block. All you have to do is select whether you are using the composite or S-Video cable, press play on the source and start digitally recording directly to you computer.
How you are going to use this feature is up to you but it would be an excellent way to capture home movies and secure them digitally for a backup. Some people may ask if they can backup their DVD's via this method but unfortunately, I won't be covering that during this review due to possible legal implications. I personally never tried it.
Most of the command in the Pictures sub-menu are pretty easy to understand and there is no need explaining or going into more detail other than in one section called "Quick Edit". When you use this feature, you can select a photo or picture and do some quick orientation changes if you are viewing some of your latest vacation pictures. This is handy to correct the orientation of those side shots you took with your digital camera and will stop the visiting family from all tilting their heads at once every time you have a photo that is not setup to be viewed properly. I always leave one on its side seeing I get a kick out of seeing 10 people all tilting to one side once the photo comes on screen.
First things first, there was no FM antenna supplied with my particular package. Whether or not is comes in the retail package I cannot guarantee. Though you can easily fashion an antenna out of an old piece of cable TV cable.
Once you enter the FM Radio section, the software will start scanning the whole range of frequencies for the available stations in your area. As you can see, in my area we practically have squat. To listen to the station, just select the station you want to listen to and initialize it. It is just that easy.
Now if you are bored or have a lot of stations in your area, you can add them into your favorites list for quicker listening enjoyment. If not, you can delete a station you never listen to, add a station that for some reason the software didn't pick up when initially scanning, change the sound settings, schedule a radio broadcast recording and last but not least listen to your recorded audio programs.