ATI All-In-Wonder 2006
Guide+ and Image Quality
Gemstar's Guide+ is basically a digital TV Guide but it's also a little more than that. You'll first need to enter your zip code, and select your cable provider when setting up Guide+, then it will download the channel listing information. You can browse to see what's on throughout the day, but you'll also be able to see what's playing four days ahead of time, which is great for time-recording shows. Program listings can be broken up into categories such as by station or title. You're also able to browse movies by genre, and shows by actors. Want to see what channels Bruce Willis is fighting on? All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse. There's also an excellent search feature as shown in the picture below. You'er given the options of filtering search results by category, station, time/date, rating, and parental guidance rating.
This software really improves the AIW 2006's appeal. Most TV Tuner's on the market come with some sort of channel browsing software, but we especially liked Gemstar's Guide+. It's clean, simple to understand, and best of all, it's free. That's right, no subscription fee.
So how's the image quality with ATI's Theater 200 chip? It's not perfect, but it's decent enough. We've taken five different screenshots from various channels, using our analog cable connection. Image quality is a tricky thing however, as much of the quality can depend on signal strength and line quality. A quick warning to those of you using slower internet connections such as dial-up; we did not change the quality with the full sized images, so the file sizes are fairly large.
There's some noticeable noise and static in the background of all the images. However, those imperfections are much easier to notice when viewing on a computer monitor, than if you were to view it on your average TV. When viewing with a TV, the noise is a bit less noticeable, but still there. Image Quality certainly isn't 100% perfect here, but it's good enough for most. After a while the flaws are hardly noticeable unless you're really looking for them. Unfortunately this card still uses ATI's older Theater 200 chip. Based on previous reviews, we find ATI's Theater 550 Pro chip produces better image quality, with less noise and distortion.