Date: May 27th, 2005
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner & Head Editor)
Product was donated by: ATI
<--SHOP FOR AN ATI TV WONDER USB 2.0 HERE
PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH & PICTORIAL
Let's take a closer look at what you will be getting for your hard earned money.
The input connections consist of the cable TV, composite video, S-video and the stereo audio connections. The cable TV connection is very straight forward and the A/V connections allow you to connect and outside video source for viewing or for recording though the ATI Multimedia Software suite which is included on the software CD. More on the Multimedia software later.
Other than the input connections, you have the USB 2.0 and the power connection. There is a red LED right by the ATI symbol in this photo which is illuminated only when powered up. Overall, this is simple device with a lot of capabilities. Let's get it installed.
With the USB cable UNPLUGGED from the computer but with the power cable attached to the unit and insert the driver CD into the optical drive. You will be confronted with the following screen on your desktop.
Click install and stick to the defaults which will install all the appropriate drivers and software including ATI's Multimedia Center and the GemStar GuidePlus. Halfway through the install process the install engine will ask you to insert the USB cable into the computer so it can install the drivers and device properly. Please follow the instruction and allow the install to work properly. Thinking you know better and following your own install routine can lead to USB driver nightmares we have all gone through.
Once everything is installed and restarted, you can start enjoying the new device.
ATI MULTIMEDIA CENTRE 9.03
Here is what ATI says about their multimedia suite that takes advantage of every feature.
ATI's Multimedia Center 9.03 is a suite of applications providing high quality TV, DVD, VCD, and CD player functionality, with a host of functionality that has been integrated to improve the quality, simplify configuration and allow enthusiastic users control over video, audio, and file capture settings that is unparalleled in the industry.
Through a single, simple interface, LaunchPad, users may select their player and enter into a new world of entertainment features. The following sections will describe each of the applications within MMC 9.03, highlighting the advances, new features and enhancements, particularly those requested by existing users, that make the MMC experience great. In addition to the specific features each player has, details concerning common features, such as Still Capture, Scheduler and Help will be provided.
· Support for mulTView™ - control dual TV input feeds and provide Picture in Picture functionality, independent channel surf, live viewing of one input while recording the other, along with standard display and audio controls.
· VideoSoap™ - advanced filtering for live TV feeds, to improve the quality of recorded images.
· Closed Caption Database Search - during TV-ON-DEMAND™ sessions, users may search the Closed Caption database within the CC Text Window and replay portions of the video stream, creating instant replay.
· New Skins - personalization of control panel display per application provides customization of each for easy visual recognition.
· DVD Dual Subtitle - Within DVD Player, dual subtitles may now be displayed while playing movies.
· Improved multimedia file management - Through Multimedia Center Library, users can now protect files from deletion, cleanup broken or fragmented audio or video files, or review files for deletion based on a variety of search criteria.
· THRUVIEW™ window option - in addition to viewing your TV in a translucent window, THRUVIEW™ Window display has been added to DVD Player and File Player.
TV Player & Gemstar GUIDE Plus+™
TV Player takes standard TV input and adds increased viewing options with a simple to use application. Integrated with REMOTE WONDER™ and Gemstar GUIDE Plus+™, users have improved channel surfing, display control, and audio settings available, from searching listings by event type, actor name or show title with a click of the remote. Display options include THRUVIEW™ Desktop or Window, a feature that plays TV over the desktop, making icons and applications visible through the player. Advanced Closed Caption options allow a user to create HotWords™, a list of words to seek inside the closed caption stream. Users can configure a variety of actions to occur when the word is encountered, from restoring picture and sound, recording the feed for later playback, or creating a transcript, with images using TV Magazine™.
By far, other than gaming, I use this card for its TV capabilities. I took a photo as I was watching a cable news station.
You can stretch the TV to your particular taste of you like, make your monitor into a TV.
TV viewing is great and even my girlfriend states, its clearer than the normal TV in my livingroom. If you want fullscreen TV viewing and use your desktop at the same time, you can activate the THRUVIEW™ Desktop.