All-In-Wonder Returns - AIW HD...

The delay doesn't bother me - its the same as watching on my analogue tv and walking into another room and having the same channel on my digital tv; there's a small delay but meh.

They really need two kinds of AIW - like the AIW X1900, 90% of the performance of a high end with the extra functionality of AIW, and a silent low-mid performance part, for HTPC use.

dual digital tuners is soon going to be a must.
:yes: true.

With a digital tuner shouldn't a multi-plex of sorts be available? 1 physical input, multiple signals to tuners, so you could have reams of streams
the issue becomes fitting it on the PCB thats why they didnt throw a 550 on the x1800 x1900 aiws
But on that field they actually did learn from their mistakes in the past, as that expansion board may not be ideal for small systems, but it offers a lot better quality than that new multi-connector they used with the AiW X800 series! So, things are getting better! :cool:

And regarding the live delay: some may not find it a problem at all, others really hate it in itself, but...
the really live TV, while causing abolutely no load on the bus or CPU, was what made the AiW special! Only an AiW could do that and in fact every AGP AiW still can, but no PCI-E one, including this new one, can... They could, but ATi decided not to support it anymore... Really too bad!
Has anyone ever experienced a Windows crash while watching TV!?... With an AGP AiW you can simply continue watching TV, even when nothing else works anymore! Of course you can't change the channel, but still... this is cool... :cool: don't you think!?...
AFAIK, or can figure anyway, ATI introduced the noticeable time delay in MMC to better implement the same sort of pause/commercial skip features you find on many cable boxes &/or dvrs, only for the theater cards... you couldn’t find a review of the then new 550 for example without a large section devoted to complaints about the ATI-branded Cyberlink software’s performance. MMC on the other hand sold a bunch of AIWs for them. Unfortunately the result IMHO was a rather un-delightful Rube Goldberg contraption of sorts, and MMC was eventually abandoned after absorbing a lot of ATI resources.:cry:

At any rate, I’m fairly certain any live TV delay is a software & driver issue... Hardware effects it by making things easier or harder to code, & the more functions performed in hardware, the less software (and the CPU) have to do, but whether or not there’s a delay is something decided by whomever designs the TV software. And to a very, very large extent, the software designers and developers also determine the load on the PC itself. The non-Avivo AIWs were/are a great example themselves: < 10% CPU usage capping mpg2 in older versions of MMC vs 20 - 30% in final versions. [as you couldn’t turn off capture in last versions of MMC - without mods - can’t compare watching TV to watching TV].

How the new AIWs perform then depends a LOT on ATI’s software people. A new AIW design would be much closer to the theater TV cards/devices, so developing one-fits-all software should be much easier, but the question is: if ATI would ever do it? There’s the cost involved - when MMC was developed the AIWs were a lot more expensive, without loads of cheap competition. And there’s consumer demand - would it make a positive difference to the majority of potential customers? Features like no TV delay would also depend on demand I’d think.

To me, with AMD in the picture, it might make more sense to support and encourage something like the MythTV project, rather than licensing Cyberlink or similar, but who knows? RE: HTPCs, for years AMD & Intel have been trying to drum up interest in motherboard chipsets with on-board graphics, which is more ideal for HDMI & HTPCs... It likely wouldn’t take much to implement tuner daughter cards [PAL/NTSC], and if by contributing code etc they could make sure a cross platform solution like Myth worked, could make a difference in the market.

That sort of set-up would also be more ideal I think for this sort of thing:
“With a digital tuner shouldn't a multi-plex of sorts be available? 1 physical input, multiple signals to tuners, so you could have reams of streams”

Every time you split the signal you lose strength, & inside the case, you have an opportunity for more interference from the PC’s other electronics. Rather than trying to fit sufficient shielding & maybe even signal amplification on a card where real estate is expensive, you can shift it elsewhere. You could use anything from hardware attached to a card opening at the rear of the case, to an enclosure fitting in a drive bay, to a regular break-out box. It’s not the bandwidth that makes separate cards necessary today - it’s the real estate taken up by bulky, off-the-shelf tuners & connectors. And completely external hardware suffers from bandwidth restrictions and being inherently dumb. Connecting directly to the motherboard’s graphics circuits could solve both.
These are out in the wild..

These are out in the wild..

Saw 2 AIW HD's at my local Best Buy, on the shelf, for $199. Unfortunately they were in solid plastic anti-theft boxes which blocked being able to read the side panels and such for whatever system requirements/etc the card required.

Just interesting to see them available...
So has anyone actually used this card? A coworker with some light gaming needs is buying a new PC, and I thought this card might be a good choice for him-- one card to install, decent 3d performance, decent TV/capture performance (I assume)... I told him it's brand new but I haven't seen many reviews/opinions...
I haven’t seen any reviews of it yet either. Honestly I would like to see some in depth review of this new card. I’m not buying one in part due to no real “bling” factor that is to say nothing that makes this a truly unique product IMO.

On a side note though, since the Microsoft Vista Media Center 2008 TV Pack has been leaked:

QAM functionality (native QAM) has therefore, with all due likelihood, come down to the typically thought of as less capable cards with respect to Vista Media Center. So, with the Vista Media Center TV Pack, the Silicondust HDHomeRun, AverMedia AverTV M780 / H788 and Hauppauge HVR 1600 / 1800 cards lose some of their edge with respect to the TV Wonder 650 line (and other QAM capable cards) which was previously relegated to OTA ATSC only.
Well yeah, if someone wants to use the leaked “TV Pack” and they have a supported version of Vista then they certainly can do so. Its not hard to find.

I have not used it personally, I’m trying to wait for the official announcement from Microsoft on what their plans are. Also, when you have tuners like the Silicondust HDHomeRun, AverMedia M780 / H788 and Hauppauge HVR 1600 / 1800 you already have clear QAM functionality in Vista Media Center. QAM is a big part of the TV Pack for US customers but if you already have hardware that gives you the functionality the TV Pack is of far less value.

Still, even so, the new All-In-Wonder HD wont have concurrent operation in in Media Center regardless of software version due to hardware limitations. A fairly debilitating limitation for the money IMO.

I just bought a second Silicondust HDHomeRun and am quite happy with it.
It's a nice looking design, but still not tempted for me. Too expensive.

I'm debating installing the leaked TV pack. Don't want to bork my install, or spend time messing with it for no return.

EDIT - Actually having said that, it might be a good drop in for my HTPC now. Bah, I guess seeing it doesnt make a difference...

EDIT 2 - looking some more, I'd be more tempted by a ASUS EAH3650 SILENT MAGIC and a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 ATSC/ClearQAM/NTSC TV Tuner PCI w/Remote for a combined total of $140 - $40 MIR = $100.
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Yeah, when it first came out, I bought the ATI TV Wonder 650 PCI card and I knew at least in my minds eye that it wasn’t worth the asking price of ~$149.99. After getting it home and using the 650 I had confirmation it wasn’t worth its asking price. Its probably worth about ~$60. I should have returned it but I was too lazy ;)

I’m sure I would feel the same way about the new AIW HD.

I’m interested in trying the TV Pack as well but I’m going to try and use some restraint at least for now. I’d recommend backing up your system fully before trying it though.

I’m more interested in trying this though:

How to get Windows Media Center receiving premium HD cable content without Cable CARD!36983156CAA83EA9!2551.entry?wa=wsignin1.0

Either that or possibly FireSTB:

Hopefully Microsoft will have something for us officially with respect to Vista Media Center and retail users but you never really can tell with them.



Here is a link to a post made by an owner of a shiny new All-In-Wonder HD used in conjuntion with the TV Pack:

Although I’m not too sure how happy is with it yet. Probably still in the assessment stage.
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In regards to the leaked Media Center TV Pack, does anyone know the exact size of the 953272 .msu file? Be nice to know, so you didn't have to worry about tag-along nasties attachments from assorted download sites.
Did that with Avira and got a clean result. Still, a little hesitant though, hate to reformat my tweaked Vista setup. FYI here are the stats from my .msu file:
Size: 43.0 MB (45,193,535)
Size on Disk: 43.1 MB (45,195,264)
Probably OK, so I guess I'll (gulp) try it.