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ATI TV Wonder a good card for VCR capture?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 11, 2000 12:58:51 AM

I'm considering buying this card, I was just wondering if its a good card for hooking up a VCR for video capture. I just want to eventualy turn the video into asf or rm so quality I suppose isn't super important. But on the other hand I would like to capture high quality and encode in the DivX codec so I can keep high quality, but low file size.
If there is something better at the same price clue me in
Anonymous
December 13, 2000 1:30:50 PM

I half liked mine, but I felt the quality was poor. Like the capture on V7700 deluxe much better. TV Wonder had a problem with contrast that I could never seem to get worked out. Don't buy a TV Wonder. Also with TV wonder I could not view in overlay mode while capturing. Virtual Dub + MJPG codec is a great combo with V7700.
December 13, 2000 6:06:05 PM

ati's is very good

-- takes one to now one --
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Anonymous
December 13, 2000 9:11:40 PM

I agree. ATI is generally very good. You might be able to answer a question for me. Does the All In Wonder Radeon use the same capture chip that the TV wonder does? Seriously, the TV Wonder video when compared to what I get off of the V7700 ASUS card is night and day. The ASUS card is considerably better in all regards. Better contrast, better capture, easier to work with and I can use overlay when I am capturing. I don't seem to have the limitations I did on the TV Wonder. Also, Max res for 7700 is 704x480 where the TV Wonder is 640x480. I'm pretty sure the TV Wonder is a customized BT878 capture card and if i'm not mistaken, that's getting on the old side.

Another large selling factor for me was the fact that I only used 1 IRQ between my video card and my capture card as they are in an all in one solution. I can always use an extra IRQ and an open PCI slot.
December 19, 2000 3:36:02 PM

when you capture with your v7700 deluxe do you use the s-video on the board? or the asus TV tuner?
December 19, 2000 8:08:01 PM

I have ATI TV Wonder... I'm very happy with its picture, but I haven't seen the ASUS one so I can't compare...

I can record to Hard Drive in AVI without troubles and use Windows Media Tools to convert it to ASF -- and then publish it to my Web Page.

Once I worked out the quirks (mostly in the Windows Media Tools), the process works out nicely... however, as always, individual experiences may vary:) 
Anonymous
December 27, 2000 2:30:08 AM

Yes, I do use the S-Video input as I did for the TV-Wonder. Don't have the TV Tuner nor do I see a reason for buying one personally. I use an external tuner of sorts.
December 30, 2000 5:41:23 PM

Thanks for your help. I went ahead and bought the card and its arrived at my house and it works pretty good. TV tuner is decent, but its not directly plugged into the coaxial (It goes through a splitter) and I'm yet to test out the video capture, and video out. I tested the gaming with counter strike and it performed better than my TNT2 ultra so when it comes to gaming 60 to 75 fps in 1 or 2x AGP isn't that bad. For those of you who have new tbird systems with AGP 4x should be happy with this card. Or happier with the Radeon AIW.
December 30, 2000 5:43:04 PM

whoops just realized which message I replied to. I have the All in wonder 128 pro card, which basically has a TV-Wonder built into it.
:-)
I find it nice though
January 9, 2001 3:37:14 AM

ATI FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE

I will never buy another ATI product. ATI sucks. The new ATI Radeons suck. The drivers don’t work for scat on win2k. Driver updates are non-existent as in the past. They have no toll free tech support. Their new Radeon cards ship with win2k drivers, which don’t work properly. If you want to feel scat on buy Radeon.

NOTE: I bought two of the ATI AIW Radeon cards for two systems both identical accept in the amount of ram and a few different peripherals. Niether card worked on either system properly. Don’t believe me take a look around people are starting to figure it out for themselves. Some people will say I should stop complaining and switch to a different operating system like win98SE. Those same people are enabling ATI to get away with this crap.

Asus CUSL2
P3 700 (Not OC) Not necessary really. Can do 933 fine though.
320MB SDRAM PC133 Cas2
SBLive Platinum 5.1
2 Maxtor 45GB AT100 7200
Maxtor AT100 Controller
Toshiba 8x DVD
Plextor Plexwriter 8/20
Linksys 10/100 Ethernet Card

Previously Owned two V3 3500TV’s which didn’t support Win2k initially but has supported it for about half a year now and EVERYTHING worked even with the beta drivers, unlike ATI which released their newer card with Win2k drivers which don’t work with 70% of the card properly.

I wish I still had a copy of the long and detailed report I typed out to them concerning problems with their card. In the phone calls to them (which the customer pays for) they could not help me but were interested in my errors as some had already been reported and some were new to them and some helped them figure out more in detail why certain errors would occur. They encouraged a detailed write up. I did them a favor at my own expense and time and then they replied with we will only fix problems reported to a significant degree… Only if customers complain enough will they bother fixing problem. What a joke. In other words they know of problems but are not fixing them until their customers really start complaining in droves.

Under win2k these are the problems I encountered. All games using Glide of which I probably own 40 have graphics that look like [-peep-] and are too dark which cannot be fixed without second hand programs or special tweaking instructions/editing of CFG files etc... (3DFX had a Gamma slider allowing you to brighten or darken Direct 3d or Glide games independently besides the desktop quickly solving this problem. Direct3d, which works on some games, looks like crap on some (examples: Diablo 2, Quake one) and good on others… Compare Diablo 2 using 3DFX Glide versus Radeon Direct3d ((pixilated and snowy), (Radeon fails if you try Glide)). TV looks good but the downloading of the TV schedule fails half the time. TV out onscreen ATI software controls for turning the TV on and off do not work at all. When you plug in your Svideo your automatically outputting your pc signal to your TV and cannot switch it on and off like you’re supposed to be able to on your pc, instead you have to reboot!, but there is more… Furthermore once you view your pc on you TV your graphics no longer fit your pc monitor screen and you end up using your mouse to scroll to areas on the peripheral of your pc monitor you cant see any longer unless you scroll there. This problem is terrible since you cannot use the controls that come with the card to switch back to using the monitor as the screen properly. What happens is that you get stuck with this scrolling problem and it doesn’t go away even when you reboot. The only way I found to fix it is to completely uninstall the drivers and then reinstall them and then set the monitor resolution low to like 640x480 and then reset it back up to whatever you want. You see upon rebooting and reinstalling the drivers the problem is still there but now if you change the resolution down to 640x480 and then back up to whatever you want it set things back to normal. This is very time consuming process. ATI never even replied to this particular problem. DVD playback, which is hardware driven stutters! This I couldn’t believe and was the last straw because I thought that at least worked when I first watched the beginning of the Matrix for about 30 seconds to see if it was working. Later I go to show a friend and it is stuttering as we watch it for a few minutes. Mpeg4 playback fails! ATI was aware of the Mpeg4 playback failures but has not fixed this problem yet! This card is a nightmare folks! I have forgotten much of what I wrote them detailing errors received and better descriptions of the problems but this should be enough to explain what a piece of crap ATI is foisting. Foisting (Webster): “To give somebody something inferior: to give somebody something inferior on the pretence that it is genuine, valuable, or desirable.” A good synonym for foisting would be FRAUD.
After spending about four hours total on the phone with them and getting them all the information they wanted I get no reassurances. All I get is hopefully we will have an answer to some of these problems in the future. Blah Blah Blah. Month goes by and nothing. Many people have posted on Tomshardware as to the untrustworthy nature of ATI concerning drivers and their inability to act quickly to fix driver problems. I now know what they were talking about first hand. Don’t make the same mistake. How can you purchase a card that ships with Win2k drivers today and have it not work in everything properly accept TV in? When it takes half a year to fix all the problems on such a product why bother buying it since by that time the card will be selling for less than half what you paid for it and will be half as fast as newer cards on the market. ATI is going the way of the Dodos if they continue with this irresponsible behavior.

An email I sent ATI in response to a customer support reply that was more useless than the long distance phone support.

Thank you very much for you're very kind reply... I find the information I have provided your company with at my expense much more valuable to you than the information you have provided me. Reiteration of solutions I have already tried does neither of us any good. I have returned both cards to the original retailer. In the future please refrain from releasing unfinished products. I and other customers regard such actions as unlawful. I can no longer recommend your products due to poor driver performance under win2k (I have not tested any other OS nor do I wish to do so as your product ships with supposed perfect win2k drivers), which I have tested extensively. The long list of problems with your drivers is tiresome. DVD play, which I previously thought, worked perfectly stutters randomly. In the future please don't rely on your customer base to solve your problems for you because in the end you lose valuable promotional commentary along with a good customer. No need to reply I just thought you should know how thoroughly disgusted I am with your product and your company.


Interesting Article in Worth magazine Jan 2001, by Eric Alterman.
(How I feel)
Quote:

“”This “screw the consumer’s time, it’s not costing us anything” attitude appears to exist across the entire spectrum of new technology industries. I bought a scanner from UMAX that has never worked. There’s nobody at the other end to help, at least nobody I had the patience to find. The ugly thing has been sitting on my desk, unused, for two years. And have you tried to hook up a DSL line recently” I have, and I had to give up on that, too. It turned out Verizon, the new beast created out of Bell Atlantic’s merger with just about everybody else, had not yet come up with a modem compatible with Windows Me, though apparently it neglected to mention that to the person on the phone who was all to willing to take an order and let the caller waste hours trying to make the damn thing work. Chris Taylor of Time recently wrote of spending almost six months stuck inside a similar nightmare courtesy of Pacific Bell, which given its location, really ought to know better. The truth was that the company did not even offer the service, called D-Slam, that it had promised him, as it had run out of the hardware, but it continued to advertise it because, a rep admitted, their “competitors haven’t stopped advertising yet: The worst of it is that the entire time you are wasting away on hold, watching your fingernails grow, the company brags about its new and improved service menu.
This whole sector of the economy feels like the Soviet Union: Long waiting lines, no service, contempt for the consumer, products that don’t work when shipped, but somebody with the power to create a little trouble for the big boys arrives, and everybody starts jumping. Of course, the obvious differences are that innovation barely existed in Soviet industries, while the computer manufacturers are just about the most innovative people of all time. But the net result turns out to be more suffering for the rest of us.””
!