The card has a high quality feel to it, feeling very solid with a gold coloured rear bracket and a small gold coloured DVB-T tuner present. At the rear, the AIW has to make do with a single dual-link DVI port, which means that you’ll only be able to connect a single 30in Dell screen to the card. Oh well. An adaptor is also provided that turns the DVI socket into Component output, which with the rise in popularity of LCD and Plasma TVs is becoming more relevant in Europe.
The second DVI port is omitted in order to make way for the TV and FM radio connectors. Next to this is a small connector for attaching a cable on which hangs a SCART and VGA outputs. A third cable on this connects to a dongle that contains the composite and S-Video inputs along with two RCA audio inputs.
The presence of a SCART connector is good news for those in Europe who wish to output to a CRT TV, while the inputs mean that you can connect analogue sources, such as older camcorders or set-top boxes.
Despite ATI’s stand-alone Theater 550 chip having been available for some time the All-in-Wonder is still powered by the older Theater 200. It’s frustrating to think that ATI’s top-of-the-line multimedia powerhouse doesn’t feature its best in picture quality. At least the tuner is digital, but when testing there was a noticeable amount of noise is the picture on some channels. Mostly this is down to the low bit-rates that Freeview uses but I would imagine that the 550 would do a better job at cleaning it up.
One thing that I’ve always noticed about ATI cards is that its drivers take ages to install, and it’s even worse with the AIW cards, which have loads of extra functionality. Once installed, and you’ve hooked up the card to a TV point, it took about ten minutes to scan through all the channels but not before a BSOD. I’d recommend installing on a fresh Windows installation if at all possible.
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