ATI's HDTV Wonder - It Has Arrived

Article Index

Multimedia Center 9 - DTV

Multimedia Center 9
Bringing Multimedia to the Desktop
The Multimedia Center series has been the core software component for ATI's "Wonder" products for years, maturing into a powerful package that gives the end user a complete solution without needing to buy additional software.  The Multimedia Center acts as a portal, providing access to all common functionality with a clean easy to use interface.  ATI includes fully functional DVD, CD, File and VCD players and a complete Library component while the Guide Plus software provides up-to-date program listings.  Also included is ATI's EAZYLOOK software, an interface for connecting an ATI TV equipped system to a television to be controlled with the Remote Wonder, eliminating the need for a mouse and keyboard.  With Multimedia Center 9 we see improved functionality applied to both EAZYLOOK and the Library while the new DTV component opens the door to the HDTV Wonder's Digital/HDTV features.  Multimedia Center 9 also comes with EAZYSHARE TV which allows for users to view the TV output of their ATI TV Card on another PC that has an ATI graphics card installed. 

Multimedia Center 9 offers a complete PVR experience with multiple recording options and formats, scheduling and newly added CD/DVD recording functionality.  Whether you simply want to watch TV on your PC or make your PC the center of your television experience, the Multimedia Center continues to deliver and grow with new features users need.

At the heart of the Multimedia Center 9 is a configuration module that gives access to all of the software's underlying settings, allowing for complete control over the behavior of the software.   Here the program's physical appearance can be changed from the skins of the various components to the color of EAZYLOOK.  



Here we can specify the files types associated with MMC 9 whereas the PC Check tab can run a system check to ensure that the system is equipped to handle all of the MMC 9's features.  The EAZYLOOK tab offers options for how the interface is managed and the EAZESHARE tab offers a space to specify which will be the server machine, if sharing TV with multiple systems is your goal.

In actuality, we could spend quite a bit of time on all of the Multimedia Center's features and abilities, but since this is a review of the new HDTV Wonder, we're going to focus on DTV and spotlight some improvements made to some of the other areas of Multimedia Center 9.

Multimedia Center 9 Continued

The newest addition to the Multimedia Center 9 software is DTV, which is essentially the digital equivalent of the TV component.  Here we see a lot of the common functionality we've become accustomed to with the TV component, with a few twists.  When it comes to watching channels, the process is rather simple.  After setting up the antenna, we pay a visit to the setup screen, access the Channel List and tell DTV to Autoscan.  A few moments later, we have a list of available channels being locally transmitted over the airwaves.  With each channel, we can access the signal strength meter which helps us to position the antenna for the best position.  



Once we configured the basic setting and loaded the DTV interface, we found ourselves in familiar territory.  ATI kept the overall appearance inline with the other modules of the Multimedia Center software.  The main screen resembled that of the TV module, including many of the same options such as Recording, Scheduling, ThruView, and TV-On-Demand.  With TV-On-Demand, we were able to pause, fast forward and rewind live programming without any noticeable loss in video quality.


Related content