Yesterday AMD to showed us the VERY impressive ATI TV Wonder Line by Diamond in person. There is big misconception with the fact that HD quality TV can only be attained through your local cable service provider. But the ATI TV Wonder line proves that over the air HD quality television is possible and available for FREE! But somehow most consumers aren’t even aware of it, or perhaps they are but they are skeptical about its quality. We got to see the TV Wonder HD 650 Combo USB ($149) in action and the quality was excellent. Granted, the quality of the experience varies according to the reception in your area, but we were still mightily impressed by the quality of the over-the-air HD broadcasts that are available in New York City. No cable lines – no nothing. It received better reception than the plasma hooked up the old fashioned way in the suite we were in. Regular television programming streamed across the the laptop demonstration, as if I was watching my regular HDTV but in some cases even better. The picture was crisp and clear in 1080p with barely a flicker or boxy/noisy image in sight.
There is also the ATI TV Wonder HD 650 USB for MAC which streams just as easily but is MAC OS specific, so don’t be thinking if you have boot camp you can use one over the other – you will need both. Overall, this line has some great solutions for those TV junkies out there, as it doubles as a DVR. The software included is extremely user friendly and by just right clicking on a show that you have recorded, you can convert video to different formats for the iPod, PSP, to a Divx file or to a DVD, etc…
Aside from providing TV Tuner and DVR capabilities, The ATI TV Wonder line also does the job of preserving those VCR tapes that are sure to have disappearing images as we speak. You can connect your VCR to them via S-video and have memories recorded from old analog VHS to a digital file on your hard drive that wont degrade.
Overall, these great HD solutions are perfect for tiny dorm rooms and NYC apts. They can transform your desktop or laptop (the $99 ATI TV wonder HD 600 USB is perfect for laptops – it’s small and does a great job with as little wires as possible) into a television with over the air HD quality TV, and it won’t cost you a penny except for the TV Wonder equipment.
Please note that the above HDTV shots playing on the laptop and iPod are copyright of Fox & ABC.