ATI TV Wonder 650 review: ATI TV Wonder 650

Unlike ATI's new budget card, the TV Wonder 200, this card can also be used with MCE, as well as with other programs such as ArcSoft Total Media, a Media Center clone that does a great job mimicking the simple interface of MCE. ArcSoft's app also adds some nice additional functionality, such as basic photo editing.

Through the Catalyst Media Center, image quality was slightly fuzzier than what you would expect to see from a standard-definition TV signal on an HD display (which itself can be a poor viewing experience). Compared to the results from other TV tuner cards, however, the TV Wonder 650 produced a definite visible difference, giving us the most watchable image we've seen, even when using our 32-inch LCD.

It's a slight step down in image quality, but the Diamond XtremeTV PVR660--available for as little as $75 online--is a good substitute if you don't want to crack open your PC or your system lacks a free PCI slot and you need an external USB TV tuner.

The ATI TV Wonder 650 doesn't include a remote control; instead there's an offer for a free remote by mail. To take advantage of this offer, you must to go to a page on ATI's Web site and enter your serial number. Note that the serial number is physically on the card, so jot the number down before installation. With the offer, you can get either a Microsoft Media Center remote or an ATI Remote Wonder for free, plus shipping charges--$12.90 for standard three-to-five-day shipping. The normal retail cost of the remote is $39, so while it's not exactly free, it is deeply discounted.

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Where to Buy See all prices

ATI TV Wonder 650

Part Number: 100-715331 Released: Aug 21, 2006
MSRP: $129.00 Low Price: $233.03 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Aug 21, 2006
  • Interface Type PCI