Over the last few years, a relatively simple PC technology, the TV tuner, has helped to transform the way that millions of people use their personal computers. TV tuners - in conjunction with smaller form factors - have helped to create a new category of PC, the HTPC, that blends the audio and video capabilities of your television with the raw power and productivity of your home computer.
Although the PC TV tuner has become a very important part of millions of computer systems all over the world, the fundamental technology behind the PC tuner has barely changed over the last 9 years. Most tuners simply use an analog coax input to take video in and use an embedded chip to convert the video stream into a format that is viewable on your PC monitor. However, with the advent of Digital Television and High Definition TV, PC TV tuner manufacturers have had to adopt to the changing television landscape.
Probably the most successful of these companies is ATI, who almost three years ago, released their first HDTV tuner. Because of copyright issues, the tuner was only able to display HDTV from OTA (over the air) broadcasts, limiting the content you could watch on your TV to only local stations that occasionally carried HD broadcasts of sporting events or prime time television programs. Late last year, ATI released their Theatre 650 chip, a chip that added the HDTV tuning of the HDTV wonder with improved analog image quality and FM radio tuning, creating an all-in-one media tuning powerhouse.
Today we’re looking at ATI’s latest endevour on the TV tuning front, the ATI TV Wonder 650 PCIe, which as its name suggests is based on the ATI Theatre 650 chip utilizes a PCI Express interface.
* 125 channel TV tuner with stereo audio
* Intel Pentium 4/3/II, Celeron, AMD K6, Athlon or compatible
* Windows XP/SP1/SP2
* TV signal from amplified antenna or cable
* 12-bit video pipeline offer higher quality colors than the competition's 10-bit solutions
* Single chip support for NTSC, PAL and SECAM allows you to watch TV from Australia to Zimbabwe
Digital TV Support
* High quality ATSC HDTV powered by ATI's Theater 311 and DVB-T solutions available
Windows Vista Ready
* Prepare for the future - The Theater 650 PRO is Windows Vista premium logo ready
* Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition