ATI Multimedia Center: Closer Look
ATI Multimedia Center consists of the following components:
- ATI DVD Player
- ATI FilePlayer
- ATI VCD Player
- ATI CD Player
- ATI FM Radio
- ATI TV Player
- ATI Multimedia Center Library
The first thing you will se when the installation of the MMC is complete will e the LaunchPad for quick launch of the applications included into the package. By default it looks like a narrow bar with vertical buttons on the right-hand side of the desktop. You can actually modify its looks the way you like: you can move it to any other side of the screen, hide it until the mouse pointer reaches the designated area or turn into a compact menu:
The LaunchPad settings include multi-display support, allow selecting the device for receiving TV broadcast, adjusting EAZYLOOK, associating media-files with the corresponding players, transmit video through local network, and setting your favorite skins for all the programs included into the MMC. The LaunchPad from ATI is very convenient to use and very functional, although its design doesn’t go very well with the entire Windows XP design concept.
I don’t think I need to dwell on the DVD, FilePlayer, VCD and CD players, since they haven’t really changed and you can read more about them in one of our previous reviews of an ATI All-In-Wonder solution called GeCube All-In-Wonder 9600XT Multimedia Combine Review . They interface and functionality remained unchanged.
Today these players look somewhat archaic, I should say, even if you set the “Modern” skin for them. VCD player has every chance to remain unused at all, because this format has already sunk into oblivion these days. The general feature typical of all the players included into ATI MMC is the absence of the opportunity to disable Splash Screen, which can be considered a minor drawback from our point of view.
FM Radio application used for listening to and recording radio programs broadcasting within the FM frequency range also remained unchanged:
The tool still allows presetting only 5 stations and records the programs in only one format: MP3, stereo at 224Kbit/sec. ATI FM Radio also has an alarm clock function and allows scheduled recording. That seems to be about it, however, most users will hardly need anything additional here.
As for the reception quality, it proved to be very high, even with the default antenna bundled with the product. In fact, there is nothing really surprising about it, because the area where our lab is located is rich in all sorts of radio stations broadcasting within the FM frequency range (88-108MHz). We had no problems with real-time and pre-scheduled recording.