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ATI Multimedia Center

The software part of any video adapter that tends to be called a multimedia combine is very often even more important than its hardware features. The software of contemporary multimedia graphics adapters is actually none other but their “soul”, so that no matter how advanced the combine is from the hardware prospective, without appropriate software bundle it is just a simple 3D graphics card, nothing else. The “soul” of the All-In-Wonder family lies in the software package called ATI Multimedia Center, or simply MMC boasting the following major peculiarities:

  • Windows XP/2000 operating systems support;
  • Easy installation and adjustment with the help of Initialization Wizards;
  • Skins support (Classic, Modern, Tranquility and ZeroG);
  • Universal user interface;
  • Full support of Remote Wonder/Remote Wonder II/Remote Wonder Plus;
  • Convenient and very intuitive EazyLook interface (with the remote control system);
  • Supports full-screen and window mode, as well as Video Desktop mode;
  • ThruView technology support;
  • mulTView technology support (picture-in-picture/picture-out-of-picture, in case the system is equipped with an additional TV-tuner);
  • VideoSoap image quality enhancement technology (uses the ability of the GPU to process vertex shaders);
  • Network video broadcast support (EazyConnect technology);
  • TV-on-Demand support with the option to archive data in different formats;
  • Serves as a digital recorder;
  • One-button quick recoding feature;
  • Real-time MPEG2/4 encoding;
  • Scheduled recording;
  • Adjustable resolution/bitrate/recording format;
  • Frames capturing into a file, desktop, printer;
  • Zoom support;
  • Closed Caption support;
  • TELETEXT support (only for European region).

Of course, this is not the complete list of the MMC functions, because it includes not only the software for viewing and recording of TV programs or video played from external sources, but also different players: DVD, CD, VCD, FilePlayer. Besides it also offers the user a pretty powerful video library called MMC Library, which serves as an excellent means for arranging and storing your media-files collection.

I would like to stress that the concept of ATI MMC remained unchanged for quite a while already, and in it is a little bit outdates for today, IMHO. For example, the DVD, CD, FilePlayer and VCD players could be combined into one universal player, like Windows media Player or Winamp, especially since it is quite easy to do these days. Another step towards higher level of integration could be combining this universal player with the media-library. However, for some unknown reason ATI Technologies doesn’t do it and continues to distinguish between the players depending on the type of the media they work with. At least, this is what we see in the today’s latest ATI multimedia Center version 9.10, which is bundled with ATI All-In-Wonder X1800 XL.

 
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