"does the job"on by topshooter187
Pros good enough quality, easy install
Cons the software is flaky
Summary the only problem I have with this card is ATI's software, I recommend you use WinDVR 3 instead. quality is okay but nothing to brag about
Pros DVD/VCD burning capabilities
Cons wonky software, system lock ups, mediocre picture, defective channel listing
Summary I bought this tv tuner card on a technology closeout website for pretty cheap. I feel sorry for everyone that payed full price.
The image you get from this product is passable. The image quality is neither this systems advantage or it's weakness. The actual downfall of the system is the software. It can be difficult to navigate until you get used to the layout, it suffers from random lock ups, and the worst part is the channel listing. I'm not saying it's a bad channel listing/on-screen program guide. I'm saying it's a program guide that doesn't work at all.
That feature is set up to draw tv listing data directly from titantv.com but the information never downloads. It'll be happy to use up system resources trying though. This only adds to the random lock ups I mentioned earlier.
There's no option to choose another listing information provider.
The video catologing system is pretty cool. It lets you watch any videos on your computer not just your recorded tv segments. So, I guess that's one thing they got right. The DVD menu creator/burning system is definately basic but works pretty good. A second point in ATI's favor.
However, a few pros don't make up for the cons.
I've tried to make this product function better, I've looked for updated drivers, a newer version of the card's media center software, I even signed up for an account at titantv.com thinking that I could solve some of the problems from that end but there's no help to be had.
In short the 200 appears to be the lost and neglected orphan of the ATI Wonder family. No support, no drivers, no new software.
Unlike some other reviews I read I believe the TV Wonder 200 could be a pretty good, functional product if it had the proper software and accompanying bug fixes but no one seems willing to put in the time.
Maybe someday a brilliant hacker will write a piece of software that runs this card 10 times better but I'm not holding my breath.
It looks like this card is destined to go down in history as nothing more than a dud.Updated
In my previous post on this product I said maybe there's another product out there that can run the card better than the OEM software can. I found a program that I believe does just that, Chris TV. It's not perfect. It takes a bit of effort to set up but once you get the hang of it, it runs better than the Catalyst Media Center. I'm using the freeware version so I haven't been able to try all the features but it has several advantages. Including being able to resize your viewing window to ANY size and Color/Contrast adjustments. (Features that you would definately see on a conventional tv.) The only thing it appears to be missing that is available on the factory software is the dvd authoring/burning feature. However, I alread have Nero so I'm not worried about that. It kinda sucks that you have to buy the card and then buy third party software to run it but for me, it's better than throwing the card out all together.
Pros Good Hardware
Cons Very poor software
Summary I asked 2 different sales reps at the store to find out if this would work with windows media center and all said yes. But it doesn't. I don't know why they are selling/making cards that don't work with it because it's becoming such a standard. I'll be returning the card and checking CNet first before I buy another one. Also, after installing, updating and uninstalling the software many times I couldn't even get it to work on the provided media center software. There are many bugs in it and it doesn't give you an error so you can't even attempt to blog fix it. Nothing happened and I don't recommend this to anyone!
Pros Absolutely None!
Cons Everything is a Con
Summary ATI is selling a product they know does not work. The Electronic Programming Guide does not work. They claim that it is has notified the company that produces the software, but how many months does it take to fix a problem. I can tell you. More than 3 months. ATI's tech support was useless. It took me 3 weeks before I actually could get a live person. Their phone system was always down for maintenance. The person I talked to tried to push the problem off on a different company. ATI bundled the software, ATI needs to fix the problem. They were unprofessional in their e-mails, and by the end, they went full circle and tried to tell me it worked, I just needed to wait because the server was busy. I think waiting 72 hours for nothing to happen shows that they do not have a fix. They abandoned my support call. I guess they were tired of me calling for an update.
Now for the part that kind of works. You get what you pay for. You pay for a cheap card, you get shoddy picture quality. The system CPU was running at 100% while running the ATI TV WONDER 200, which meant you could not do anything else without the other application running really slow. The software package is full of bugs. I have an All-in-Wonder video card (Don't get me started with the lack of support for this card), and the TV Wonder software keeps changing the video input every time I stop and start it. The software has lost all of my channels 3 times now, which means I need to rescan all the channels every time this happens. The scanning process is extremely slow.
As others have said, the "FREE REMOTE" will cost you $10. Good one ATI.
ATI's quality and service are lacking. Pay a little more money and buy from a different manufacturer.
Pros Easy setup, Channel guide is nice, Pausing TV function works great, Picture and sound is clear, And as always ATI's MultiMedia Center is real nice.
Cons Not HD ready,
Summary Overall for the price I paid (On sale for $40) It works great. With ATI You always get more than you pay for. The software works great, the Picture is As Clear at non HD gets and the sound is excellent. The recording options and Pausing Live TV function is superb compared to other Tuner cards I have used. Type in you Zip code and chose your Cable provider and It downloads all of your Channel information and "TV guide" information. If you are looking for a Tuner for watching and recording SD TV this Card is one Bang for your Buck. ATI is a great company and as always they prove this all the more with this Tuner Card.