Print 25 comment(s) - last by bohhad.. on Dec 8 at 6:25 PM

ATI TV Wonder 650 complete with bling

ATI TV Wonder 200

ATI Catalyst Media Center
Theater 650 Pro hits retail

ATI has released two new PCI TV tuner cards today. DailyTech previously reported that ATI had announced its Theater 650 Pro single-chip hardware MPEG2 encoder and video decoder chip back in June. The single-chip Theater 650 Pro has made its way into the retail TV Wonder 650 PCI TV tuner card. ATI’s TV Wonder 650 is capable of receiving standard definition analog and high definition over-the-air programming. Disappointingly, QAM unencrypted high definition cable broadcasts are not supported with the Theater 650 Pro.

To enhance video quality the Theater 650 Pro supports video enhancement features such as 3:2 pull-down, motion compensated noise reduction and edge enhancement. There’s also an integrated hardware DRM engine for support of the upcoming broadcast flag. FM radio capabilities are also supported. The TV Wonder 650 also comes with a Remote Wonder Plus wireless RF remote control too. ATI’s TV Wonder 650 is compatible with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and upcoming Windows Vista.

Also being released today is the ATI TV Wonder 200. The TV Wonder 200 appears to be an update to ATI’s older TV Wonder Pro tuner card. It is PCI based and features a Conexant TV decoder. This is a no frills software-based TV tuner card and is only available in PCI. As it’s a software-based TV tuner solution it supports recording in various video formats including MPEG2, MPEG4, Windows Media Video 9, AVI, DivX and H.264.

Both the TV Wonder 650 and TV Wonder 200 come with ATI’s new Catalyst Media Center suite which handles all personal video recording and video playback features in an easy to use TV friendly interface. ATI’s TV Wonder 650 is available now from select retailers with an MSRP of $129 while the TV Wonder 200 is available for an MSRP of $59.

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By Suomynona on 8/21/2006 3:51:12 PM , Rating: 5
Where are the PCI-E versions? It's so annoying that we've been forced to buy motherboards with PCI-E slots and companies are still making their new products PCI.

By LukFilm on 8/21/06, Rating: -1
By R Nilla on 8/21/2006 3:58:08 PM , Rating: 1
you're missing the point. A lot of new motherboards don't even have PCI ports, so there would be no place to put these TV Tuners unless PCIe versions are released...

By kamel5547 on 8/21/2006 6:47:32 PM , Rating: 3
No... your missing the point. Hes complaining that its PCI and NOT PCIe.

Of course my brand new spanking motherboard still has 3 PCI slots and 2 PCIe slots...

By R Nilla on 8/22/2006 11:28:16 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, I'm on point. If you set your threshold you'll see I'm defending the original post above me and responding to one that has now been hidden.

But since no one sees the post I'm responding to, it looks like I'm responding to the post I was trying to defend, and my rating has suffered because of it. Awesome.

By bohhad on 12/8/2006 6:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
show me some motherboards without pci "ports"

By sotti on 8/21/2006 3:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
but especially on newer mATX boards they only have maybe 1 PCI if you are using that for a sound card, then that empty PCIe slot could deffinetly use a TV tuner card.

By Matty P on 8/21/2006 4:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
I seem to remember that Powercolour did a pci-e version of the last ATI tv tuner. It didn't support digital tv though.

By Comdrpopnfresh on 8/21/2006 8:57:52 PM , Rating: 3
thats right. I have two in my computer. they're great quality. and now that I found out the 650 doesn't support QAM (i'm moving into a dorm- cable only). I'm not rushing out to get it. even tough ati isn' supporting pci-e. chances are that third parties will add support for pci-express. Powercolor went ahead and slapped the 550pro chipset on a pcie card. it has the same everything as the pci slot cousin. Unfortunately, it won't be in tis generation that we see any native support for pci-e; or any features that will come about from that (perhaps nvidia or hauppage will leapfrog ati...)

By akugami on 8/21/2006 10:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
These cards are dissappointing. I was hoping for QAM support and it has none. Granted these don't have the "HDTV Wonder" moniker on them so maybe a more full fledged card is in the works. At least one can hope so.

By Suomynona on 8/21/2006 4:00:54 PM , Rating: 3
Are you kidding? PCI-E x8/x16 is for video cards, but x1 is supposed to replace PCI for cards like this one.

By imaheadcase on 8/21/2006 5:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding, its hard enough finding mobo with PCI slots now. I found a nice one with 3 PCI slots, but network card/soundcard take 2.

I wish the PC industry was more communist in nature, new standards mean sweeping change overnight :D

By mendocinosummit on 8/21/2006 7:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to see a article asking the manus why they have yet to utilize x1 or other express slots. After this long and with so many x1 slots on mobos I would like a explanation.

By redbone75 on 8/22/2006 2:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
Your network card takes a slot? Man, who releases a board nowadays without at least one integrated NIC?

What is the Difference
By jimmy43 on 8/21/2006 5:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
As it’s a software-based TV tuner solution it supports recording in various video formats including MPEG2, MPEG4, Windows Media Video 9, AVI, DivX and H.264.

Can someone clarify weather the 650 version can also record in any type of format? DailyTech makes it sound like only the 200 version can

RE: What is the Difference
By BigLan on 8/21/2006 5:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
It is a 'hardware' card so produces MPEG2 files. The benefit is that it requires ~5% CPU utilisation to do so. Software cards take anything from 30% upwards.

Also, the digital tuner just captures the raw digital file (.ts in the US, which is an MEPEG2 variant.) The card doesn't have to encode it at all.

RE: What is the Difference
By mino on 8/21/2006 5:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it can, same as the 200, just MPEG2 is done on hardware.

It says Window XP media Center Edition
By TacticalTrading on 8/21/2006 4:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
Call me a noob if you want,

What is the difference between XP Media Center and standard XP pro SP2

I like the idea of being able to try out HDTV for $130 before committing 10-20x that for a big screen HDTV.
I also assume these cards come with some kind of DVR software

By Trisped on 8/21/2006 4:40:11 PM , Rating: 3
Windows MCE has extra programs that make it easier to use TV tuners and keep your media organized. Personally I find that ATI's Multi Media Center software does all the same stuff. The problem is that MMC is only useable on products that ship with it, and most companies don't do that. So if you want MMC then you need to buy the ATI version.

There is also the TV Tuner card problem, or long delays. Most Tuner cards have a 2-3 second delay when changing channels and displaying what is there. I personally use an ATI AIW which is a video card with a built in tuner. This effectively limits the delay to .5-1.5 seconds (I think it is closer to .5, but I haven't timed it yet).

Hope that answers you question about quality... Oh, and the MMC software is nice also because it cleans up video feeds. The cable provider in my area has a bad connection to the Sci-Fi channel, so you get snow and ghosting from other channels pretty often. ATI's video soap takes care of that on my PC though.

No thanks
By DigitalFreak on 8/21/2006 7:41:04 PM , Rating: 3
There’s also an integrated hardware DRM engine for support of the upcoming broadcast flag.

That, plus no dual ATSC tuner, no PCI-E = No sale for you, ATI!

RE: No thanks
By DigitalFreak on 8/21/2006 7:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
BTW, thank god for the South Koreans!

Catlyst Media Center
By Ecmaster76 on 8/21/2006 5:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Judging from all the screenshots, here and elsewhere, it is none other than a rebadged Powercinema 4 (hopefully with better EPG support).

Availability in Europe?
By StriderGT on 8/21/2006 5:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
When will these cards reach European Retail?

It's about time
By Spyvie on 8/21/2006 5:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
The 650 looks pretty cool, wonder when it’s gunna show up on Newegg.

It’s about time ATI updated their media center software. The old version has been around forever and is unbelievably bad, like crappy shareware bad. I wonder if AIW owners without MCE can use the new software?

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