ATI's HDTV Wonder - It Has Arrived
(Update) The ATI HDTV Wonder Retail Package and Setup
Back when we initially reviewed the HDTV Wonder in June, ATI provided us with a completely pre-configured mini-PC that was ready to use. Because of this, we were not comfortable giving the HDTV Wonder a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating at the conclusion of the review because it did not necessarily represent what the customer would get in a retail package. With questions about the final Antenna design and the lack of an installation CD, we reserved the rating.
ATI understood our position and offered a full retail package when it became available so we could most accurately represent the HDTV Wonder "out-of-box" experience. The retail HDTV Wonder package recently arrived and this page will cover the contents and installation, which will also help us issue a rating at the end of this review.
The retail package of the HDTV Wonder comes in a triangular shaped box with an excited looking fellow on the front. Inside was everything we expected in the retail bundle including the HDTV Wonder, Remote Wonder, Antenna, Input/Output block and coaxial cable. A quick reference diagram is a common site with ATI cards, making installation and setup a very simple process. The Antenna was slightly different from the one we received for initial review, but we received the same performance when we compared them side by side. The only obvious difference we found was the retail model had a shorter stand compared to the original review sample.
The installation CD had a simple to follow menu system that made the process go relatively smooth. There were links to an electronic version of the installation manual as well as to ATI's website for product registration, which needs to be completed in order to receive support on the HDTV Wonder.
Installation of the HDTV Wonder was relatively easy, but you do need to be patient. There are a number of automatic steps the installation process has to go through which take about 10 minutes to complete. First the necessary drivers need to be installed, followed by the robust Multimedia Center 9 software, which we cover on the next page. When done, all you have to do is reboot and you're ready to go! The whole process completed without a hitch and we were up and running in about 15-20 minutes total.
While ATi claims the HDTV Wonder works with other brand video cards, the best combination is naturally with an ATi video card where advanced features such as ThruView and Video Desktop are unlocked.