ATI TV Wonder 650 Total Recall
August 28, 2006 6:56 PM
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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
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
claiming that ATI TV Wonder 650 was already off the store floor this morning. One
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
"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.
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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8/29/2006 2:53:48 PM
I read somewhere else that the flaw was simply that some channels would not tune in.
Considering how buggy and horrible ATI's media software has gotten lately, it is not surprising to see this slip through what little QA process they have left. I still can't get a T550 based card to work at all with the latest versions of MMC.
Of course, now they have dumped the PC oriented MMC for "ATI Media Center" which has a pathetic, inefficient, TV display interface. The idea that users might want to control their tuner on a computer monitor with a densely populated GUI is dead.
I used to be able to record TV by simply hitting record/pause/stop buttons. (Yes there was a pause button for mpeg recording in MMC 9.0x!) Now you have to go through 10 layers of obfuscation to save video and do not even have the option to disable the PVR function to prevent unwanted disk activity. And who knows whether the mpeg encoding and file naming parameters are accessible anymore.
Certainly proprietary encode formats with full DRM, even on personal video, is not far off.
RE: Bad trends
8/29/2006 6:02:48 PM
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
8/29/2006 7:49:58 PM
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.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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