Date: October 3rd, 2002
Article by: Nathan Glentworth
(Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: ATI
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION & PICTORIAL
Now, just what do I get with this interesting purchase...
As seen above, ATI uses the characteristic box design of most of its
product. Everyone out there can pick an ATI product off a shelf full quite
After opening the box and discarding the cardboard packaging, you are
left with a sealed bag containing...
An installation paper, a users guide to the included ATI Multimedia Center
(great guide!), a warranty card, the driver's CD, the batteries (love
when they are included), and the actual remote and the receiver.
The remote itself is quite a large unit and has the equivalent size of
most of the universal entertainment system remote control unit for your
Pictured above is the actual RF (Radio-Frequency) receiver that works
in conjunction with the RF transmitter in the remote itself. Installation
is easy and efficient using your USB connection in your computer but I
will have to tell you one thing, install the software on the CD before
inserting the unit into the computer for proper installation.
The RF technology used in this product is NOT like your normal everyday
Infrared remote control you you use to turn on your TV. Infrared Technology
uses a light beam which has a wavelength that can not be detected by the
human eye to transfer information from your remote control to the TV for
example. This technology relies on line of sight which means that if you
move to another room while using the remote control, it will not work
(its beam is blocked). Now, on the other hand, RF technology uses radiowaves
to transmit the information between the remote control and the receiver
(like a mini radio station) and will work through walls and enables it
to be used in other rooms for the same unit within a certain range. This
boiled down means that if you are within range, you can point the remote
anywhere (at the dog, in your leg, up at the ceiling) and it will work.
I wish all remotes were like this. *Update: The remote control has
a range of about 30 feet in an average household.*
ATI MULTIMEDIA CENTER BRIEFING
First off, lets check out the remote a little closer and give you
an introduction to its software.
The remote software allows you to use all the features included and have
some bonus characteristics that I enjoyed thoroughly. For one, all the
ATI multimedia functions, there is a quick open button on the remote and
if there is an application that you would like the remote to open, you
can program one of the six buttons pictured above to open the program
for you. Now one of the main features that I use allot is the arrow pad
which acts as a mouse when you are away from the computer. This function
allows me to pause a movie playing in my bedroom while I am viewing it
in the livingroom without having to get up. ULTIMATE LAZY MAN TOOL!! GRUNT!!
Now also, this feature would be great being used in a corporate presentation
and would allow you to roam freely around the theater or boardroom without
being tied to your laptop to open your programs. Nice touch.
The included software is a full featured suite of programs made to take
advantage of all you multimedia peripherals on your computer like...
Well, most computers have a CD-ROM of some sort installed on their computer,
so naturally a CD Player was included.
Got a DVD-ROM on your computer and want a full featured DVD Player to
watch your ever growing compilation of movies, don't spend any more money
because it is included in the suite. This suite is basic and will not
support more than a 2 speaker setup, so all of you with home theater setups
on your computer will not be able to take advantage of the 5.1 Dolby Pro-logic.