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VisionTek TV Wonder HD 650 PCI Express

3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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  • Dual Tuner 1X PCIE
  • ATI Avivo Video Converter
  • User-Friendly Interface
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Product Description

p The TV Wonder 650 of HD PVRs are loaded with the very latest in digital TV technologies. Features such as advanced 3D comb filter, noise reduction, automatic color control, and edge enhancement produce brilliant, sharp video that rivals high-end consumer television sets. /p pLoaded with abilities, schedule, watch and record analog TV, free-to-air HDTV, unencrypted digital ClearQAM cable TV and FM stations, making the TV Wonder 650 the ultimate media upgrade for your PC. These complete solutions even allow you to watch the latest DVD titles, author your own DVD, or convert your recorded TV shows to take with you on your Portable Media Player. The entire experience is then elegantly packaged within the attractive, easy-to-use 3D interface of ATI Catalyst Media Center software. p

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.2 x 3 inches ; 1.6 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000W5U3N2
  • California residents: Click here for Proposition 65 warning.
  • Item model number: 900192
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,441 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 18, 2007

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I have owned seven different TV cards - this one is the best so far. I have two of these, and experienced none of the problems mentioned by other reviewers. The analog tuner is excellent, and makes very good quality video captures, free of the problems on certain channels I noticed with my previous card. The ATSC tuner works well with all the signals in my area (which not all other cards did). The dual tuner allows configuring a fully-loaded media center PC with just two TV tuner cards, making motherboard selection much easier. As the cards use the PCI Express interface, future compatibility is assured. The only downside is the poor software support for clear QAM (unencrypted digital cable). This worked poorly or not at all. Its about time Microsoft supported clear QAM in media center.

Update: the "Fiji" release of media center supports clear QAM, and it works! Yes!!
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I compared this card with the "Hauppauge HVR-1800" and the "AVerTv Hybrid Ultra USB". The ATI/Visiontek beats the competition hands down. The picture quality (analog cable) is considerably crisper and clearer on my Samsung 244T monitor. Highly recommended, particularly in combination with SageTV.
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I have owned 4 TV cards from ATI and almost every version of all-in-wonder video cards from ATI. Every newer version has better visual quality than it predecessor. The problem is the driver quality indeed has fluctuated over the time. The time is different though with vista supporting the tv card. I just plugged it to PCIe in a vista PC and then had the vista install its driver. Open and configured the MMC as it should be. Then enjoy your good picture quality TV show. That is it. Since MMC has tv, dvd, music,and video under its control. So switching among them are very dependable and friendly.

I suggest that you dont install its dirver in vista where the problem will begin unless you are looking for trouble. So the hardware is just fine and just install the driver provided by vista which seems pretty reliable so far.
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The board arrived with a capacitor broken off and rolling around in the bag. I wanted to try the board out so I just soldered it on myself and kept truckin. The software came on a disk with a white label and no markings (remember the Beatles White Album? Like that.) I thought that was weird but went ahead and loaded it. It loaded fine but then asked for a registration code which is nowhere to be found. I called VisionTek tech support and they gave a wimpy answer and said they would send out a new disk (you can't download the software? NO!) That was friday, this is monday and they obviously didn't send it "Next Day". So much for the "satisfied customer" part. I'll check in later when I get the software and let you know how it all went. My take? I think it's a case of AMD taking over ATI - buyer beware until they get their acts together.

UPDATE - 4 weeks later: I never received the correct software, even after 4 telephone calls. I sent the unit back for a refund. I received the credit to my card exactly 29 days later.
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I bought the PCI Express version of this tuner because I have a Shuttle XPC which is very small and I already had an ATI 650 tuner in the only standard PCI slot, but I wanted to be able to record two shows at once. Since this card and my older card share the same driver, I was able to just install this new tuner in the case, and boot up the PC. It popped up in Vista's Media Center and I was able to record two shows right away. I haven't had any problems at all. Also, the included IR remote and IR receiver work great with Media Center!
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I'm using with with Vista Home Premium and Windows Media Center. It's just great! I love it so much (now that I've connected my pc to my flat screen) that I've disconnected my Direct TV service with TiVo. It does everything that a DVR does and the picture is great. I can get full screen on most channels over the air on my 42in and the picture quality is very good. It will record shows when I'm not home, I can use the remote to control it (most of the time anyway), and radio works pretty well to.

But the downside is that the included software from ATI does not work very well with my system, at least. It's very buggy and stalls often. I avoid using it all together. Also, I have not figured out how to get full use of the remote control to use it with MMC instead of ATI's software. Also, I had to use an amplified antenna to get a good solid signal, but I'm in a wooded area and signal will differ for each user.

Other than that, if you can find this card cheap (got mine for $40 at Best Buy!), it's well worth it. Very good hardware, questionable software.
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Verified Purchase
I upgraded from XP Pro to Vista Ultimate for the sole purpose of using this card to receive clear QAM channels that are available on my cable, but the card simply doesn't work. I waited too long to return it and am now stuck with nothing. The pathetic instructions with the card tells nothing about how to install the drivers. For me it was just guesswork. Still not sure I installed the right ones, but my system claimed the card was installed and "working properly." Working properly at doing NOTHING is what that turned out to be. I never saw a single channel on this thing. Just another hard luck story for me in selecting TV tuner cards. Have had only moderate success with any of them, but this card is the most dissatisfying of all.
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