ATI All-In-Wonder HD, A Legend Returns

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Setup, Configuration and ATI Catalyst Media Center

Physically installing the All-In-Wonder HD is as simple a process as installing any other add on card.  Once inserted into a PCIe slot, connect the monitor and antenna source and the system is ready to be booted to continue the configuration within Windows.

The first step is relatively quick, installing the latest Catalyst driver package for proper hardware detection and setup.  Once complete, the next stage is to install the ATI Catalyst Media Center from the installation CD.  The robust software package helps bring all of the All-In-Wonders HD's capabilities to focus in a single, clean and easy to follow interface.

On first run, the ATI Catalyst Media Center prompts the user through some pre-configuration steps, setting up proper screen ratio (Standard 4:3 or Widescreen 16:9), speaker configuration (Headphone, SPDIF, 2, 4 or 6 Speakers), and signal input be it Analog or Digital (ATSC).  Once the signal type has been chosen, an appropriate source (Cable/Antenna) must be selected before channel scanning can commence.  Next, we set our region and initiated the lengthy process of auto channel scanning and programming.  This was relatively fast when using the antenna, however, when connected to cable, the process took roughly 15 minutes to complete.  After the channels have been scanned, the system offers to download Electronic Programming information for the latest channel lineup details for your area.  Once complete, the All-In-Wonder is ready to use within the ATI Catalyst Media Center.  (Note that further configuration will be needed when setting up the All-In-Wonder HD to operate with the Windows Media Center interface for analog viewing. Since DTV with be the standard in the coming months, we've opted to focus solely on the Catalyst Media Center, as it will be required to view DTV content.)

ATI Catalyst Media Center is broken down into six sections; TV, DVD, Videos, Radio, Extras and Settings.  When accessing the TV section, six options appear for further control; Video Input, Recorded TV, Schedule, Channel List, EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) and Settings, while a signal strength gauge loads at the top of the screen.  The Video Input area is for adjusting the input signal source, whether it be Analog TV (Cable/Antenna), DTV (Cable/Antenna), Composite or S-Video.  Recorded TV lists all recorded programming as well as browsing the computer for other video materials.  There is the option to sort the list by Name or Date as well as Burn to Disc.  There is no option to browse a network location for videos.  However, if you have a mapped drive, the software will recognize it and display its contents.  Once a location has been selected, further options appear including a Capture Device source and quality settings.  When selecting Burn to Disc and Author and Burn, a number of useful options appear including Name Disc, Select Menu for preloaded menus, Menu Music for setting music to the menu and Settings which sets the Format (DVD, SVCD and VCD), Video Quality (DVD Smart Fit, HQ, SP, LP), Video Format (National Standards), Audio Format (Linear PCM or Dolby Digital), Working Folder and Select Burner.

Under the Schedule menu, the ATI Catalyst Media Center allows for the scheduled recording of both TV and Radio content.  When scheduling programming, the channel, frequency, date and time can all be set.  For schedules already in place, the listing can be sorted by either Date or Frequency.  The Channel List displays a listing of all scanned channels for easy selection while the EPG offers detailed programming information per channel.  Lastly, the Setting menu offers direct access to all setting options, including Signal Settings, Recording Settings, Guide Settings as well as initiating a channel scan if desired.

One final note, the Extras menu is where AMD-ATI provides additional video editing software to compliment the All-In-Wonder HD, including Media Deluxe Pro, Cyberlink Live and Magic Director.

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