New ATI external tuner on sale at Best Buy

New ATI TV tuner product

The new ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB AMD

BestBuy.com lists six Visiontex-branded ATI TV Wonder products today, including the never before seen ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB external ATSC/NTSC TV tuner. The others are merely reboxings of various 600 and 650 tuners on the market, ranging from a USB key-size model to two full PCI Express cards (excepting, of course, the CableCard-based TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner , which remains a PC vendor bundle exclusive).

All of these tuners support (as federally mandated) both analog and digital signals, and both the new $149 TV Wonder 650 Combo USB and the $129 TV Wonder 650 Combo PCI Express can tune into or record from both inputs at the same time. There's no Mac support yet, but they all work with Media Center in either Windows XP or Windows Vista. They also come with their own media software that, among other features, lets you reformat recordings into mobile-device-ready files.

We continue to appreciate AMD pushing forth its PC TV tuners, both in the interest of free PVR, as well as in helping to keep the dream of the home theater PC alive. The new PSP and iPod-friendly software features aren't bad, either. Still, we can't help thinking that as promising as many of these technologies can be, most people still find it vastly easier to keep the computer out of the living room.

About the author

Rich Brown is an executive editor for CNET Reviews. He has worked as a technology journalist since 1994.

 

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