ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon 32MB DDRby Matthew Witheiler on August 21, 2000 3:00 AM EST
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As the role of the computer expanded, so did its audience. With PC games becoming more and more powerful, many households found themselves with not one but two personal computers: one in the study for work and one in the children's room for fun. The expansion continued, with the computer finding its way onto even more desks: one for mom, one for dad, one for sister and one for brother.
There has, unfortunately, been one room that the computer has yet to occupy. No it is not the closet; rather, it is the family room. One would think that with every member of the family possessing at least some knowledge of the computer, a computer would be quickly placed next to the TV. This, however, turns out not to be the case in many living areas. Users just did not find any use for keeping a computer even within a cable's range of their television. In recent years companies have tried to change this, attempting to make the PC less of a computer and more of a home entertainment center. With various companies attempting this transition, few have been met with as much success as ATI.
Ever since its first All-in-Wonder release that came powered by the Rage chipset, ATI has attempted to use each generation of their video processors on a one video card that possessed not only computer graphics capabilities but also TV-tuning features. With the goal of enhancing both computer use and TV watching, ATI's All-in-Wonder video cards have attracted two types of users. First are users who have no choice but to watch TV on their computer due to living space requirements. A perfect example of this may be a dorm room or a small apartment, where space may not allow both a full size television and a computer setup. By getting a video card with TV tuning capabilities, these users could use their monitor both as a computer display as well as a regular television.
The second type of user that All-in-Wonder products have attracted are those who want to enhance their television watching experience. All-in-Wonder type products offer not only the ability to watch TV from your computer but also watch your computer from your TV. Video-in and video-out systems offer this same type of feature, however with All-in-Wonder based products, the TV does not only have to display the computer screen but can also show, in full screen mode, just the television feed. Although this may not sound as attractive as having one TV input hooked up to the computer and the other, coaxial input connected to the cable line, watching TV through your computer offers many advantages.
Just what are these advantages and what can they do? Let's take a look at how ATI's newest All-in-Wonder card, the All-in-Wonder Radeon, plans on transforming the ugly cream colored box under your desk into a sheik black case that sits right next to your VCR.