Does anyone have a clue when the ALL-IN-WONDER X800 will be really on
sale. I can't believe ATI announced this card in Sept. and have still
not produced even one for sale or review! The last rumour I heard was
late December. Well its late December....and nothing. I have the
original All In Wonder Radeon and although it has done yeoman service
for 5 years its starting to show its age. I even own a copy of Half
Life 2 but have not bothered to download it as my old card just will
not do it justice. So if anyone one has hard facts on this case let me
know. If ATI used the "launch" as a smoke screen then I'll give up my
quest and buy the All In Wonder 9800 pro.

First of One

Just get a separate PCI tuner card like ATi's TV Wonder or LeadTek's
WinfastTV. No point in compromising 3D capability just for the AIW features.

A separate tuner card will also survive multiple video card upgrades, so you
don't have to redundantly spend money for AIW features.

Paul Murphy

Since Leo's in the habit of keeping video cards for 5 years - I'm not sure
looking at the upgradeability of the card should be high up the priority
list. Besides, anyone upgrading cards will get more for an AIW second-hand
so the actual loss would be low. Its just like if you buy a car with all the
bells and whistles, you tend to get more for it when you sell it - and you
get to take advantage of the creature comforts in the mean time. ATI are
renowned for putting out press releases for new products well before they
hit store shelves (and even then in many countries, the equivalent 3rd party
ATI Partner made products never arrive at all - who's ever seen a Universal
PAL/SECAM version of the TV Wonder Pro PCI card for example).

The good thing about such delays (at least in the case of the AIW X800) is
that it will give the prospective buyer time to go out and remortgage the
house in order to afford it! I have 3 AIW Radeons (2 x original 32 MB
versions and an 8500DV) and although I'm considering a new card the fact
that the AIW X800 only includes the old Theatre 200 chipset and not the new
Theatre 550 Pro is off-putting - not that there's anything wrong with AIW
video quality though. Having had a couple of separate TV Tuner cards in the
past (I even have an eHome Wonder in another machine currently), I believe
the advantages to an AIW setup (the ability to use MulTView with a TV Wonder
(Pro - if you can get them where you are), no need to use a separate PCI
slot, lower PCI bus traffic and no need for another IRQ to be used spring to
mind immediately) far outweigh any disadvantage regarding purchasing/selling

The X800 has been reviewed on the web - albeit perhaps without actual
examples in the reviewers hands - they don't say. Here's one from
that Leo could look at .
Some time with a search engine would turn up additional results.


I discuss

Some AIW disadvantages spring to mind too:

- No hardware MPEG encoding
- Does not support Microsoft MCE 2005 edition
- Does not support watching one TV channel while recording another one, even
if you have an additional TV wonder Pro PCI installed
- Does not support DVI + VGA dual monitor setup (maybe AIW x800 will, but
not any of its AGP or PCI predecessors).

Paul Murphy

Fair enough to present the other side of the coin but AIW Radeons *DO*
support watching one channel while recording another with a TV Wonder (incl
Pro & VE models) in the machine as well - they call it MulTView and it also
does this: Picture-in-Picture (PiP), Picture-outside-Picture (PoP) and Watch
one channel while channel surfing. Its true that AIWs don't do hardware
MPEG encoding and don't support MCE 2005 but then ATI has the eHome Wonder
for those (the eHome Wonder will ONLY run under MCE though). Anyone looking
for an MCE 2005 machine would be well advised to buy hardware specifically
for the machine anyway rather than trying to convert an existing machine
over to run the OS. Interestingly, a review on a MCE 2005 machine I read
about on the web, found that the CPU usage during standard TV playback (not
even recording was quite high (20% ish from memory) and this was on a
Pentium 4. I really don't think that hardware MPEG encoding makes that much
difference to CPU utilisation with modern high speed CPUs. Besides, when
people are watching TV on their PCs, they're usually not doing other things
as well to task the CPU. I do understand dislikes of equipment which drain
CPU resources though. I steer well clear of modems which are controllerless
(eg Winmodems) and softmodems which use the CPU to perform varying levels of
their own work.

Although most AIWs don't support dual monitors, a second (PCI) VGA card
could always be installed if this is essential.


I discuss


To realize PIP, a second TV woder pro PCI card need to be added.
How do you hook up the audio? Does your system has two sound cards? what if
you don't have two sound cards?

Paul Murphy

I don't think that 2 TV Wonder Pro cards will permit MulTView - ATIs line is
it must be an *AIW Radeon* or above as well as one TV Wonder (incl Pro and
VE versions but not USB external types). I couldn't even try because where I
live the TV Wonder Pro isn't sold (it's only currently available in NTSC
form not Universal PAL/SECAM - this refers to the broadcast formats the
tuners are capable of tuning into). I believe there are plans afoot to
introduce a Theatre 550 Pro chip based tuner card soon - Sapphire call
theirs the Theatrix, perhaps that will come here.... There are instructions
in the applicable downloadable product manuals for how to connect sound but
I think you can do it with a good sound card using 2 separate inputs - i.e.
the AIW going into the AUX connector and the TV Wonder Pro into Line In.
Most decent soundcards (and even motherboards with sound chips these days)
have multiple sound input connectors.


I discuss said:

To realize PIP, a second TV woder pro PCI card need to be added.
How do you hook up the audio? Does your system has two sound cards? what
if you don't have two sound cards?

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