"it's kinda lame."1.5 starson by turkeyburger
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I've tried to make this product function better, I've looked for updated drivers, a newer version of the card's media center software, I even signed up for an account at titantv.com thinking that I could solve some of the problems from that end but there's no help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.