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ATI TV Wonder 650
In stores this week and immediately pulled out

In what appears to be a quick retail turnaround, ATI has issued a major nationwide recall of its ATI TV Wonder 650 graphics cards. Although details of the recall remain unclear and ATI has not issued official reasons for the recall, several readers have emailed DailyTech noting that the TV Wonder 650 cards have begun disappearing from store shelves.

Retail chains such as Best Buy were the first to take the new cards off store shelves. A few readers have emailed DailyTech claiming that ATI TV Wonder 650 was already off the store floor this morning. One DailyTech reader emailed us to claim, ATI has also asked Best Buy stores to note to customers that a "similar product [will be released] in the near future." At this time, no word has come out on what the new product actually is, or if the defective card actually made its way to customers.

The majority of the recall seems to affect Best Buy stores, where an ATI insider has noted that there is a problem with the boards. An ATI insider told DailyTech "the TV Wonder 650's have been removed and were mostly in Best Buy chains. They claimed to have 40 channels, but only about 30% to 50% of them worked." At the moment, it's also unclear whether or not more recalls will be issued in other retail chains such as Fry's Electronics.

ATI PR and official roadmaps have been talking a great deal about the TV Wonder 650, and the roadmaps indicate that the product is still on schedule. DailyTech originally covered ATI's release of the TV Wonder 650 as well as the TV Wonder 200 here. The 200 model, however, appears to be safe from recalls.

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Is it possible?
By mixpix on 8/28/2006 8:46:12 PM , Rating: 4
Is it possible that somehow this card let users get around DRM or something and that's why it was pulled. I have a hard time believing that the card could just be that bad and still make it to the stores.

RE: Is it possible?
By LumbergTech on 8/28/2006 9:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
that was the first thing that came to mind to me as well, but it is just a paranoia theres no evidence theres no info whatseover about whats going on

RE: Is it possible?
By Esquire on 8/28/06, Rating: 0
RE: Is it possible?
By yacoub on 8/29/2006 7:50:18 AM , Rating: 3
my first thought as well.

RE: Is it possible?
By Alphafox78 on 8/29/2006 8:57:20 AM , Rating: 3
There is no content protection with analog tv tuners, they record whatever you want.

RE: Is it possible?
By SunAngel on 8/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: Is it possible?
By Alphafox78 on 8/29/2006 11:55:13 AM , Rating: 3
I have a Hauppauge PVR-150
I have never run into these problems, but I dont burn stuff to dvds either.

RE: Is it possible?
By Trisped on 8/29/2006 11:14:54 AM , Rating: 2
Since they have just moved to a new tuner that is very small compared to the old one, it is much more likely a problem with this component then DRM protection. DRM can be fixed with software and driver patches, while a hardware faults must be physically addressed.

ATI probably knew about the problem, but thought it was something that could be fixed with a patch. Luckily the realized that it couldn't be before it was bought by customers.

Recall Hoax?
By golfe on 8/29/2006 10:40:03 AM , Rating: 2
I am uncertain about the validity of this news story.

The ATI website does not list any official recall notice.

In addition, I just contacted ATI technical support and spoke with 2 different support personnel (including a manager) regarding any recall for this product.

I was advised by them that, at this time, they were unaware of any official recall on this product and that, at this time, there is no reason for me to return the product.

Why would Best Buy be removing these from shelves? Can someone confirm this? I do not believe a recall would be coming from Best Buy - only ATI should be issuing recalls for its products.

RE: Recall Hoax?
By Trisped on 8/29/2006 11:31:46 AM , Rating: 2
It could be the batch sent to Best Buy was bad. They are the only retailer that seems to be affected by the recall.

RE: Recall Hoax?
By Tebor0 on 8/29/2006 12:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see a source or anything other than assumptions in this 'news' article.

True or not this article doesn't backup the statements.

RE: Recall Hoax?
By Tebor0 on 8/29/2006 12:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry. "ATI Insider"

RE: Recall Hoax?
By KristopherKubicki on 8/29/2006 3:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
We had a few news submissions about it, including two emails claiming to be BB employees. We then called an AIB partner and received verification that the cards were being pulled from store shelves with the quote above. We're trying to get more information on this as well.

RE: Recall Hoax?
By Deauboy19 on 9/11/2006 5:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
Im an Ex-bestbuy computer sales employee. The last time that an ATI product was recalled was the ATI HD Wonder TV tuner. It was taken off the shelves and sent back to ATI that morning. The reason given to me, by the store product process manger, was that the remote controls were bad. However the product was still being sold on ATI's website. Strange.

RE: Recall Hoax?
By AGReklaw on 8/29/2006 5:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
Could this news be from the same source that started the MSI recall rumour? See link...

RE: Recall Hoax?
By Howard on 8/28/2006 9:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just a recall... it's Total Recall!

RE: Subject
By GoatMonkey on 8/28/2006 11:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
Get your ATI to Maaaars!

RE: Subject
By Alphafox78 on 8/29/2006 8:56:20 AM , Rating: 2
Get ready for a big suprise!

RE: Subject
By Samus on 9/3/2006 5:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
Two weeks.

By bobobeastie on 8/29/2006 8:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
I have one of theses cards and have been following many forums where people who made the same mistake are conversing. The problem that nearly everyone is having is that OTA HD support is non existant. The box states that an amplified antenna is needed. I bought a $40 philips antenna and it did not work.

Here is my question. I bought the card at home before I went back to college. There are no Best Buys within an hour and I don't have a car, so what will Best Buy/ATI do for me?

By Trisped on 8/29/2006 11:29:59 AM , Rating: 2
Contact ATI tech support and tell them the problem. Also have proof of some type showing that there are HD signals in your area. The ATI tech should tell you what to do.

By bobobeastie on 8/29/2006 3:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
I was already talking with them when the TItan Electronic Program Guide failed to work (worked after XP reinstall caused by removing all ATI software/drivers). The word from ATI is to suscribe to this knowledgebase article 737-23131. This is by no means a problem that only I am having. The reviewers apparently recieved cards with different chips, so they worked with OTA DTV recieving, and maybe a couple consumers recieved working cards (multiple in line amplifiers.

The standart ntsc image however is better than any other cards. You also dont have to send an audio cable into your sound card.

By carage on 8/30/2006 7:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
This kind of reminds me of when I first got my HDTVWonder.
It took ATI 3 months to come up with a patch that allowed me to get acceptable reception out of the supplied antenna that came with the box.

Flaw or DRM
By i2mfan on 8/29/2006 7:03:29 AM , Rating: 2
Could be that a flaw was discovered that affected the card safety/perfomance itself(most likely) or shipped with faulty/lacking proper DRM firmware(I doubt it but fun for those who got one :D ).

Does not help that they don't say the reason. This only make speculations more fun. ;)

But it's better to remove it before you get angry customer. That will cost them a bundle.

RE: Flaw or DRM
By lemonadesoda on 8/29/2006 1:54:53 PM , Rating: 2
One angry customer: no much, lah!

Many angry DRM content provider: big dollar, lah!

RE: Flaw or DRM
By peternelson on 8/29/2006 2:13:01 PM , Rating: 3
"Could be that a flaw was discovered that affected the card safety"

Surely they aren't using Sony-supplied LithiumIon batteries, are they?



Shipped with Sony batteries?
By stebog on 8/29/2006 9:03:26 AM , Rating: 5
Somehow this has to be Sony's fault.

Another possible reason?
By peternelson on 8/29/2006 12:45:19 PM , Rating: 3
They shipped the product then had to recall it because they forgot a vital part.....

The new AMD brand logos to replace the old ATI ones ;-)

RE: Another possible reason?
By AKhandyman on 8/29/2006 1:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
Could be that maybe the shipment of cards were compromised by terrorists and the DOJ is behind all of this ... never know nowadays, but I guess being safe is better than being unaware (you know, they, the terrorists somehow fiddeled with the tuner to reverse watch us or they wanted Aljazera TV on 24/7)

Not ready for Prime Time....
By AMDfreak on 8/28/2006 8:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
So we've gone from paper launches to false starts. At least they caught the problem and are fixing it before many cards got sold.

RE: Not ready for Prime Time....
By Samus on 9/3/2006 5:57:02 PM , Rating: 2
I picked one up on the 28th and have been using it nearly a week.

It doesn't run hot, it doesn't crash, the 'DRM' (flagging) is there as I can't burn various content in MCE, and overall it seems fine.

I don't get it.

Official Recall?
By golfe on 8/29/2006 7:13:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'm curious to know why we haven't seen anything about an offical recall on ATI's website. So, for those of us that have purchased one, what is our next action on this issue?

The card seems to be funtioning fine for me. Mine was purchased at Best Buy too.

RE: Official Recall?
By donxvi on 8/29/2006 7:32:27 AM , Rating: 2
That's the big question! Those that have them, are you satisfied with the card's performance?

To the Best Buy employees, have people been returning them?

What was the comment about "40 channels but only 30-50% of them work?" I'm sure that card has more than 40 channel capability...... ???

Let them know...
By Chadder007 on 8/30/2006 4:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
Let them know they need to add QAM support while they have them all back while they are add it since they forgot us Digital Cable folks apparently.

RE: Let them know...
By Bluestealth on 9/2/2006 3:14:10 AM , Rating: 2
I have a feeling they didnt forget about anyone... considering how many encypted cable channels there are, is there really a point to supporting digital cable atm?
However, next year everything changes, when Vista comes out you should have two way cable card support, digital cable, hd cable. All this as long as you are willing to buy a prebuilt computer, run windows vista, love TPM chips, and love DRM.
I think you need a TPM chip for at least the Video Card, motherboard, and tuner card. I am not sure about Audio, they may have given up on protecting that.
You have to love DRM though, it screws over ligitamate users and pirates indiscrimatly and probably will do little to stop pirating. High Definition and Digital Cable are just going to bring about the control media companies want over us.

Well, damn....
By AGReklaw on 8/28/2006 9:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
I bought this and registered it on Fri (08/25). Why couldn't ATI send me an e-mail telling me about this?

RE: Well, damn....
By ajalbetjr on 8/28/2006 10:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right...I'm one of the persons who reported the Best Buy 'Product Alert'...I saw the original fax in a store in New Jersey Sunday, and it was dated Aug. 25th. Obviously, ATI had time to warn new customers. Also, the fax said that Best Buy would "replace the sku with a similar product in the near future", not ATI. I hope this clears things up a little.

RE: Well, damn....
By Chairman MAO on 8/29/06, Rating: -1
By Scabies on 8/28/2006 11:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
..which is odd, because it is still listed at
Maybe we'll just be seeing a new manufacture of the same card, like a rev 1.1 or something?

If you got one, hold onto it.
By PAPutzback on 8/29/2006 8:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt it is a harmful issue otherwise there would of been a statement of the problem so people wouldn't possibly damage there computers. I'd wait a few months to hear what the issue is because every hardware site that got one to test is probably now going to work on figuring out there little secret. IMO. I am holding off for the 650 dual tuner. Space and slots are limited in MCE boxes.

Is this a regional recall?
By AGReklaw on 8/29/2006 12:23:29 PM , Rating: 2
I bought my card from a Best Buy in Northern California. (I haven't installed it yet.) Is the recall specific to a region within the country (US)?

If your card doesn't work, which part of the country (US) did you buy the card?

Response from ATI...
By AGReklaw on 8/30/2006 1:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
As incompetent as ATI has been in there replies to my inquiries, I don't know what to make of there response....

We have responded to your issue.

Solution: The TV Wonder 650 Recalled has not been recalled, the link you sent is just a rumor.
If you won th eproduct and have any issue with it, we can help you troubleshoot the issue.

Ticket Information:
Ticket #: 737-1091833
Date Created: 8/28/2006 10:04 PM EDT
Category: Product Information

To update or check the status of this Ticket:
- Go to:
- Log in, and you will be automatically taken to the Ticket page.

Customer Care
ATI Technologies Inc.

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How to impress AMD
By RogueSpear on 8/28/06, Rating: 0
It's Bush's fault.
By ricleo2 on 8/29/06, Rating: 0
Bad trends
By paulpod on 8/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: Bad trends
By Bluestealth on 8/29/2006 6:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to say this but well umm DUH...
I still can't get a T550 based card to work at all with the latest versions of MMC.

It was in the patch notes for MMC that they were removing support for t550pro based cards and requiring you to use Cyberlink PowerCinema w/Gemstar Guide. Both MMC and PowerCinema suck compared to alternatives. Don't ask me what version they did it in, but it happened. Pissed quite a few people off. I use Beyond TV, I only used PowerCinema for about a week.

RE: Bad trends
By carage on 8/29/2006 7:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still using ATI MMC 9.14 for my 550 Pro.
The PowerCinema 3.0 that came with the card really sucked (it was slow and it crashed alot), and the MMC version that my previous card, an HDTV Wonder, was using didn't work with the 550 Pro.
When I contacted ATI about it, they pointed me to use Windows MCE instead. I didn't feel like buying another OS just to watch TV on my PC, so in the mean time I tried SnapStream, WinDVR, DScaler, and a bunch of others. All of them were either equally slow or crashed a lot.
Finally, I think it was until MMC 9.13 that worked with the 550 Pro.

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