The software enclosed with the combo-card constitutes a bulk of its functionality. So, after I installed ATI’s Catalyst, Control Panel and WDM driver, the operating system found the following devices:
The users of Windows 2000 and Windows XP have to install a patch from Microsoft to eliminate the problem connected with finding the TV-tuner. If you haven’t installed the patch, the tuner cannot be found and used. Besides that, you need to have DirectX 9.0 and Windows Media Encoder 9 already installed.
ATI Multimedia Center – Heart of the ALL-IN-WONDER Combo
I have already mentioned the exuberant functionality of the cards from the ALL-IN-WONDER series, and now it’s time I told you about the software you use to enjoy it. The software package comes under the name of ATI Multimedia Center (MMC) and I dealt with the version 8.7. I installed all the components of the MMC, so let’s now take a closer look at them.
LaunchPad: One-Click Access to the ATI Multimedia Center
If you choose the full install of the MMC, the ATI Multimedia Center LaunchPad is also installed. It is a kind of nerve center of the MMC allowing you to launch and configure other applications of the set from one easy-to-use panel.
The LaunchPad can take any shape. For example, it can stick to any border of the Desktop as a thin bar with application buttons. The bar can be made always visible, or can come out of the screen border when you approach it with your mouse pointer. The LaunchPad can also take the shape of an independent column or row located in any part of the screen. The first black icon atop serves to configure the MMC:
The DVD page contains DVD-related options and a button to enable dual-monitor configurations. In the TV page you can choose the source of the input TV signal. The EASYLOOK section is for setting up the namesake function, which is only available for the owners of the Remote Wonder control. Skins to be used by the MMC programs can be selected in the Skins section. The File Types tab is for associating multimedia files with applications, and the PC Check page tests your PC for compatibility with the MMC.
The next system icon is called Desktop Settings. It opens up the standard Display Settings window. Then, the next icon sends you to ATI Technologies website. The icons with the cross and the question mark are self-explanatory, I guess.
Now, let’s see what software you can run from the LaunchPad:
- ATI DVD Player 8.7;
- ATI TV Player 8.7;
- ATI File Player 8.7;
- ATI Video CD Player 8.7;
- ATI CD Audio Player 8.7;
- Gemstar Guide PLUS+;
- MMC Library.
ATI Technologies website contains something like a list of technical characteristics of the MMC:
- Support for MULTVIEW when combined with an ATI TV WONDER PCI card;
- Picture-in-Picture (PiP);
- Picture-outside-Picture (PoP);
- Record one while viewing another;
- Watch while channel surfing;
- VIDEOSOAP – advanced filtering and noise reduction technology for personal video recordings;
- Improved MPEG encoding performance and quality, including:
- True field based capture and TV-ON-DEMAND;
- Improved overall quality at half the bitrate;
- Extended automatic file naming options;
- User-remappable custom capture presets;
- User-configurable AVI Audio and Video codecs;
- Support for MS WMV9;
- AVI Files larger than 2 GB;
- Adds the Closed Caption (CC) database which includes:
- the ability to search CC data for TV-ON-DEMAND;
- the ability to seek based on CC data for TV-ON-DEMAND;
- the ability to seek and search based on CC data for captured ATI VCR files;
- Fast access to the most recently recorded content;
- Support for still capture;
- Support for simultaneous dual sub-titles;
- Improved S/PDIF support;
- Improved title compatibility;
- Protecting files from deletion;
- Recommending content for deletion (disk cleanup);
- Export “m3u”-style playlists;
- File Player supports the THRUVIEW desktop mode.