ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review :: Setup and Usage

10-04-2006 · Category: Hardware -

By Benjamin Sun

Setup of the TV Wonder 650 was extremely easy. I located a free PCI slot, inserted the card, attached the coaxial cable line from the house and booted up the computer. On boot, the computer found new hardware and I proceeded to install the drivers off the included Driver CD. The driver install is an automated process requiring a reboot, after which you are taken to the Catalyst Media Center setup page.


ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Driver CD setup

Driver CD setup

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Setup components

Setup components

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review CMC Setup Wizard

CMC Setup Wizard

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review WDM Install

WDM Install


The first step of the Setup Wizard is to determine whether your PC monitor is the standard 4:3 ratio (i.e 1600x1200) or a Widescreen monitor, with resolutions like 1600x900. The next step is to determine what speaker configuration your computer has, with choices of Headphones, SPDIF, 2 Speakers, 4 Speakers or 6 Speakers available. At this point the software autodetects the type of TV tuner card (in this case I selected Analog, because I used an analog cable provider with the television and the country it is being used in.


ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Aspect Ratio

Aspect Ratio

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review TV Tuner type

TV Tuner type

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Antenna type

Antenna type

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Autoscan

Autoscan

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Scanning

Scanning

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Speaker config

Speaker config

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Hardware config scan

Hardware config scan


The AutoScan is important for several reasons. The scan determines what channels it detects the tuner as receiving and it sets up those channels for easy access. In this case the tuner detected the complete range of basic cable stations the cable provider (Charter Communications) offered, including such stations as the Food Channel, the Travel Channel, Sci-Fi channel, CNN, TBS, the local stations and GSN the network for games.


ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review EPG

EPG

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review OSD

OSD

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Burn to disc

Burn to disc

ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review Recorded Videos

Recorded Videos


ATI has had a long-term relationship with Gemstar's Guide+ Plus Extended Program Guide for several years. Guide+ Plus was a pretty good EPG, but one of the problems with Guide+ Plus was it didn't support such services as DirecTV or other satellite television providers. The solution was to move to TitanTV. TitanTV is a free comprehensive guide to television programs that you can access by going to their website here. The TV Wonder 650 has integrated TitanTV's interface, so when you change a channel, the show information is displayed on a On-Screen Display. The TitanTV EPG can keep up to 2 weeks of programming stored on the television.


TV shots


ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review


ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review

The TV ran flawlessly. I watched Arli$$ on ESPN Classic and Hogan Knows Best on VH1. Image quality was adequate, but not as good as if I was watching High Definition TV. Due to the lack of Digital Cable or an amplified antenna, I decided to watch TV using the cable. A total of three channels weren't picked up by the tuner. These channels had snow on them. Looking at the TitanTV listings the channels 124 and 125 did not have programs assigned to them.


Radio


ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner Review

FM Radio is a relatively new addition to the TV Wonder family, having been added a couple of years ago with the AIW 9600 cards. The setup is simple, simply attach the included radio antenna to the port labeled radio/Digital TV, and run the setup wizard. CMC detected all of the radio stations in the area I live and a couple from San Francisco and San Diego. That's pretty good for a FM radio. The next step is to include AM radio, but I doubt that'll happen.