ATi HDTV Tuner For The PC Arrives
Anyone who follows the computer hardware industry knows that, aside from developing a broad range of Graphics cards, ATI has carved itself quite a niche in the multimedia market as well. Known for their "TV Wonder" and "All-In-Wonder" series multimedia cards, ATI is a true pioneer in the industry, being one of the first to bring TV to the PC.
Fast forward a decade or more and now we find ATI right at the forefront of the multimedia foray as the digital media revolution is in full swing. While the "Wonders" have matured with the times, bringing added features and improved image quality along the way, there was one area left relatively untouched, that being HDTV.
Introduced in the mid-90s, HDTV was touted as the TV of the future with a major initiative to have all broadcasters converted to the new format in 7 years. While the 7 year forecast was a bit lofty thanks, in part, to the high cost of HDTV-ready televisions, it is clearly catching on. Today, every state in the country is broadcasting HDTV signals to the public and all major electronic retailers carry a broad selection of HDTVs.
In recent years cable companies have moved from being standard TV broadcasters to mass marketers of digital content. Today, companies like Media One, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable all offer digital TV signal over analog. With a vast improvement in video quality and added functionality, digital and HDTV are well on their way to becoming the standard in TV media, for a fee.
Back in February 2004, ATI tipped their hand at their latest creation, the HDTV Wonder. While the product wasn't due to be released until Summer 2004, they had enough final details to give the world a glimpse of what they had planned. We had the opportunity to preview the product specifications and features then and ever since we have been eagerly anticipating its arrival. It's now June 22nd, 2004, the first full day of Summer and as promised, the HDTV Wonder has arrived.
Today, we have a complete rundown on the HDTV Wonder. We'll take a look at its features and the new Multimedia Center 9 software package, with a focus on the HDTV related features. If you haven't done so yet, we recommend taking a step back and reviewing our HDTV Wonder Preview where we covered the basics of the card as well as offering a primer on the differences between Analog and Digital signal.
“Hit them in the mouth, bloody their nose, throw them to the ground and step on their throat!”--Brooking, Pregame Huddle 2009