lost it


New member
I've gone around the bend.

I started in 1999 with my first ATI AIW product, the AIW AGP Wonder 16 (hope I got the model right.) I couldn't afford the 32mb version. Turns out it locked up solid on Via chipset based boards. Of course my AMD cpu Super Socket 7 boards had Via chipsets instead of Intel. IIRC it took many months before ATI had drivers that worked with Via. But when they did, life was sweet for awhile....Win98SE,AIW, sigh, good days indeed.

Then came Win2k. I managed to get my flaky Wonder 16 replaced with a 32mb AIW Radeon and then another round of nightmares began. I don't think I ever got the recording side ever completely resolved. Stuttering, out of sync, terrible quality, crackly audio. I gave up recording and used the Radeon to watch TV a bit, then eventually gave that up.

Fast forward to summer 2006. For reasons unknown I bought a TV Wonder USB 2.0 and an AIW 9600XT because they were so cheap. Big mistake. I never got the TV Wonder to work properly. It locked up with VIA based stuff when trying to record and ran hot as hell. It got used for about a month before I gave up and packed it away. I never even opened the 9600XT.

Fast forward to now. My Radeon equipped desktop melted (the Radeon survived) and I discovered the world of home theatre and OTA HD. So it's time to build myself a home theatre system. I bought a lot of stuff to experiment with.

Here's where I went around the bend.

Knowing what I know about ATI abandoning products I bought, in no order, a Silicondust Homerun dual tuner. That's a keeper. It just works. A Diamond 750 USB. I have my doubts about keeping this. A Diamond 650 USB Combo. This looks promising. I need a NTSC tuner for at least a year until we transition in Canada. The 650 has hardware encoding and lots of people have it running fine in Win7/64. An AIWHD3650. I bought this because it was silly cheap. I'll probably keep it if I can get the tuner to work and likely use it in a dual purpose light duty gaming pc/home theatre backup machine.

Along with the tuners I bought a new motherboard, an Asus 785 something, a Phemon quad core 9850 and a sata hdd and dvd burner.

If everything goes well I'll have a simple 4 tuner OTA rig.
I've owned 3 ATI AIW Radeons: The Original AIW Radeon 32MB, AIW 9600 Pro and an AIW X800XT. ALL of them worked well and ALL of them still work. Of course, analog cable is dead, so they're useless for TV watching. But, I never encountered those kinds of problems and I used VIA based mobos with AMD CPU's for years.

The AIW X800XT has been in continuous service in one machine or another since I bought it in late 05 or early 06. It's currently in a machine with an EPoX 8RDA3+ Pro with an Athlon XP Mobile chip running @2.2GHz. It's my youngest son's PC. It doesn't do TV duty. The AIW 9600 Pro has also been in continuous use since I bought it in 04 and it is now in my EazyShare TV Server, but I retired that machine and will prolly part it out.

The AIW Radeon's cooler fan died a a noisy, failing bearing death several years ago (it's 10 years old), but it was doing EazyShare TV Service in my server when that happened and did not need the fan for 2D, only 3D and since it wasn't doing any of that while in that role, I never bothered to replace the fan. It's sitting in a box now in my parts closet.

I've been using Hauppauge Tuner Cards for 3+ years now since ATI dropped support for the AIW line on newer OS's.
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I ran AIW's with the 9800SE (they unlocked to 9800 Pro and usually would OC to XT levels :D) and the X800XT AIW, as well. Got out of them when I went to PCIe. These days my only running tv card is a Theater 650 PCI, works pretty good now. Not sure how the upgrade to Windows 7 will work on that machine (currently running Vista SP2).

I had a hauppauage card or two, they worked pretty good. I need to re-work my cable TV setup to get the most out of the cards and try QAM on the 650. But it works for my basic cable service, the digital boxes give me the extended service.

If I buy any more tuners I'm going the HDHome run way. Less dependencies, just work...
ALL of them worked well and ALL of them still work. Of course, analog cable is dead, so they're useless for TV watching. ...
Well broadcast Analog is dead. But for most users of cable analog it's still very much alive and will be for a number of years to come.
It's years of broadcast are numbered but on a YMMV basis. Each cable company has to weigh the willingness of the customers (consider those who still don't know what the hell the Digital Transition is/was - to the little old lady that pays here cable bill on time every monthly) to upgrade vs losing customers / alienation ==> loss of customers to other services like (dishes). A small few cable districts have completely jumped the shark and ended analog broadcast (imo to get another $10 out of customers).

Anyway, it hardly renders the AIW analog or any other dual/combo cards analog port useless. DTV converters take the Digital OTA broadcast and serve them up as crystal clear analog (properly tuned / antenna etc.).
And if Cable is your thing, some of the HD boxes (i had one by motorolla 6200 that allowed me to take the signal output via coaxial F type connection and plug that into the analog port of my AIW's to view & or record. While it's not HD or digital at all for that matter using that input it's still super clean & crisp.
Some of the new boxes did away with that port which is unfortunate.
I'm still running my old X800XT (went through the mandatory upgrade path over the years as well). I haven't recorded anything with it in years though. I've got a hacked up set of drivers that are about 5 years old that just work.

I guess that the more that I had to work on PC's at my actual job the less interested I became in keeping up with the stuff at home. To be honest it just stopped being fun when it wasn't as hard if that makes any sense. It was always a challenge to hang out here and at other video forums and trying to reverse engineer everything, modify stuff and just learn how the stuff works.

It all helped me with my real job, but I'm burned out now. I just migrated over to a huge HD studio and it's a whole new set of headaches and issues. Worst part is that when something doesn't work it seems to be acceptable now. Broadcast has taken countless steps backwards with the integration of IT solutions and digital based companies getting into the mix. When it was Sony and GVG everything you bought worked perfectly out of the box and it was all compatible and it would last for 20 years without a hitch. Now you get blue LED's, proprietary codecs and stuff that doesn't do half of what it's supposed to. And even worse you get promises of bug fixes and they never come and by the time you figure it out they dropped support of your product because at 3 years old it's legacy.

Sorry I got so OT there. It's just been a crappy week at work and I think I'm coming down with something. Haven't been on here in ages and thought that I'd stop in and see what was going on.

Nothing like a trip down memory lane. :lol: I know that the good old days are never as great as they are looking back at them, but I miss the good old analog TV days sometimes when all this stuff worked from time to time. It wasn't that big a deal because it was at home. Now it's infested my work and made my life difficult.