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ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 Review! - 9/3/2004 8:22:41 AM   
SiliconFreak


Posts: 12103
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
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For those of you armed with notebook computers, the ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 is your ticket to quality TV viewing. The image quality was excellent, and the performance, thanks to the Theater 200 and USB 2.0 interface, was also very good.

The TV Wonder USB 2.0 is not limited to notebook users though, as those uncomfortable with dismantling their computers will also enjoy the device's ease of use. Surprisingly, I think even power users interested in TV viewing on their PCs should consider the TV Wonder USB 2.0, particularly those who are armed with an Intel LGA775 setup. There is no All-In-Wonder PCI Express card at the moment, so the PCIE 16X slot is useless for TV viewing. Most of the high end Alderwood motherboards are a little short on PCI slots, and if you're using a discreet sound card, SCSI card and/or another PCI device, you'll likely not have any PCI slots available. In this case, the TV Wonder USB 2.0 would be a fine solution.

Sound quality was quite good, but truth in the matter is, the sound will hinge on the quality of the sound card you use. We did not test channel surfing speed as we cannot surf the satellite channels on the TV Wonder, but switching between video inputs was quite smooth. At full screen 1280x1024, the TV Wonder USB 2.0 had absolutely no problem with lag. There were a couple of dropped frames during a two hour recording session, but the number was under 2%.

The TV Wonder USB 2.0 reviewed today carries a MSRP of $99 USD. A Pro version, which will include a Remote Wonder II will cost a bit more, but it is currently not available. There is no change in hardware in the Pro version though, save for the remote, so if you do have a Remote Wonder already, you can certainly use it with the device.

There are only a few minor issues we had with the TV Wonder USB 2.0. The 6V power adapter is going to eat up some power bar real estate. Given the power requirements of the device, I don't expect to see it USB bus powered anytime soon. CPU utilization is also little high, averaging about 19%, but it shouldn't be much of an issue as if you're doing something CPU intensive to begin with, you're probably not going to be watching TV at that time.

There are three video connection options available, but missing is component video. This is not an oversight on ATI's part, but rather an omission. Currently, due to digital copyright laws, the only unencrypted HDTV signals are found in over the air (OTA) broadcasts. The current technology found in the TV Wonder USB 2.0 is incapable of deciphering those signals, so if HDTV is important to you, you may want to checkout the ATI HDTV Wonder.

The story today is flexibility though. Certainly, quality PCI tuners are fully capable of doing quite well in comparison. The edge the TV Wonder USB 2.0 has is that it can work with any PC with a USB 2.0 slot... from notebooks to PCs. If you're uncomfortable opening up your PC, or you would rather reserve your free PCI slots for other uses, this is your ticket if you want some TV/PVR functionality. For notebook users wanting the same functionality, the choice is pretty clear.
Full Review...


Source : ViperLair




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RE: ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 Review! - 3/18/2007 1:52:26 PM   
coonsanders

 

Posts: 14
Joined: 2/21/2006
Status: offline
hi
im having a problem wirth the video part of this unit.im doing a video to dvd conversion.when i try to record the video from my vcr into the computer the picture quaility is not so good as the tv(im watching bothe tv and computer screens together).how or can i make the pictures in both tv and computer screen both good?thanks

                                                       coonsanders

(in reply to SiliconFreak)
Post #: 2
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