With the advent of Personal Video Recorders or the "PVR", TV and Multimedia industries have entered a new realm of technology. The ability to pause, rewind, and record live TV all with the click of a button is not only cool, it is extremely convenient. Let's be honest, how often do you have the time to catch your favorite TV shows all the time, every time one is on? The one downfall of owning a PVR up to this point, is the price. Most PVR's will run you upwards of $300 and while the thought of having one is truly exciting, in most cases, it simply doesn't justify the price.
ATi Tecnologies, mostly known for its line of consumer graphics cards, has a long history of TV Tuner cards for the PC that have the ability to capture live TV in "TiVO" fashion. Up to this point, PC users had the option to purchase an add-in card from ATI's line of All-In-Wonder cards or TV Wonder cards. Most PC enthusiasts don't mind having to take apart their case and throw in a video card, but there are some that would prefer not to do that. Some may think it's annoying to take apart their cases. What about laptop owners? Today in the HotHardware labs, we have the ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 which brings live TV to anyone with a machine that sports a USB 2.0 port. We'll take a close look at what the TV Wonder USB 2.0 has to offer and show you how easy getting live TV can be.
|Features and Specifications
|What You Get
TV Wonder USB 2.0 box
External USB 2.0 box with one analog cable f-connector, audio/video in connectors, s-video composite connector, USB 2.0 connector, and a VDC power connector
1 - Power Adapter
1 - VDC Power Adapter
Setup and Installation:
1 - Installation and Setup Guide
1 - Multimedia Center User Guide (on CD)
1 - ATI Driver and Utility CD (includes ATI Multimedia Center 9.02 software)
Intel Pentium 4, Celeron, AMD Athlon or compatible processor
128MB of system memory (256MB recommended)
Available USB 2.0 port required
Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
Sound card and speakers
Cable TV signal or amplified antenna
Interactive Program Guide requires Internet connection
WTV WONDER USB 2.0 is compatible with graphics sub-systems supporting Microsoft DirectX overlay, including products from the following manufacturers: ATI, NVIDIA and S3
Pricing and Availability:
The TV WONDER USB 2.0 will have a suggested retail price of $99 USD. It will be available from shop@ATI.com as well as major retailers world-wide in September 2004
The TV WONDER USB 2.0 has a 3 year limited warranty
Click to Enlarge
TV and beyond on your PC:
•Stereo TV Tuner with 125 channels.
•The power to pause live TV, get instant replays, record live broadcasts for later viewing.
•VIDEOSOAP™ - next Generation filtering options for Personal Video Recordings that improve captured image quality, particularly when capturing at low bit-rates.
•Gemstar GUIDE Plus+™ Interactive Program Guide- allows user to view and search TV listing by category, actor/performer, or date. Schedule and record programs at the click of a mouse button– all the benefits of a PVR without the monthly fees.
•MPEG-4 capture abilities for high quality files at small sizes.
•Burn recorded content to CD or DVD.
Easy Video Editing:
•Capture still images and video for use in your own creations.
•Save your authored videos to VideoCD and DVD formats and burn to disc with one click