There has been a growing market into the home server field, which is the driving force behind Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 and software titles such as SnapStream. The home server is unique in the sense that it is intended as a multimedia base for the entire home, where TV and media, in general, can be streamed from and hence the name. There are third party software titles on the market that can accomplish this, but at an additional cost, and they can raise compatibility concerns. The ideal platform would be from a one-stop solution provider for PC PVR functionality (hardware and software), which would bring along side the home server solution to share multimedia.

ATI has a unique position in the field because of the success of their All-in-Wonder line, a solution which has yet to be matched. Microsoft recognized this product line when they certified All-in-Wonder Encode, which ended up being the first software MPEG-2 encoder for the Windows Media Center Edition. ATI's ability to provide software support, namely in their Multimedia Center (MMC) suite, is more important than their hardware designs. As far as third party software solutions (i.e. InterVideo's WinDVR and Cyberlink's PowerVCR) go, nothing is more convenient and cost-effective than an all-in-one solution provider because it additionally guarantees support and compatibility.

ATI's Multimedia Center has come a very long way since the original All-in-Wonder cards and has gained more steam with features like MulTView, ThruView, EazyLook, etc. Multimedia Center 8.8 features EazyShare, a new feature that provides users the ability to share live or recorded TV from a single PC equipped with an All-in-Wonder card. Any PC on the network then can tap into the shared TV signal, but it must have a Radeon graphics card to do so. This transitions the All-in-Wonder from a personal video recorder into a public video recorder.

The Test
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  • jman037 - Sunday, January 18, 2004 - link

    I have an ATI AIW 9700 Pro on the server with Catalyst 3.10 and Multimedia Center 8.8..and none of my clients can find any servers running on my wired 100base-T network.

    I've totally uninstalled and reinstalled ALL ATI software on all machines several times. I've un-shared and reshared drives. I've tried every different setting I could find. I tried running the client after turning on TV on the server and switching to TV on Demand..(TV on Demand just stutters BTW).

    I'm running an AMD barton 2800+ with 1.5GBof DDR ram. Frankly I've spent over 8 hours on this issue and am at my wit's end.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Saturday, December 27, 2003 - link

    #4, it should be the same except you would need something else to change channels.

    I would like to see the AIW component of ati's cards be seperated from the video card. I can't justify paying hundreds more every year or so when I upgrade graphics cards just to have the tuner.

    It would be great if it could be split into 2 components. Perhaps with the AIW part as a daughterboard that's connected internally?
    Reply
  • belboz - Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - link

    Sorry if I missed this in the article, but how does this all work if you use an external tuner like a cable box or satellite tuner? Reply
  • belboz - Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - link

    Reply
  • Vanners - Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - link

    But does 8.8 solve my audio synch problem when capturing to DivX? Reply
  • vailr - Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - link

    Any info on the ATI "E-Home Wonder" TV tuner card?
    Will it be released, either retail or OEM, for sale to end users, without the necessity of also having WinXP MCE? (In case you weren't aware of this card, this PCI card includes a hardware MPG2 encoder, as well as analog TV tuner.
    http://www.ati.com/products/ehome/index.html ). Would seem to enable EasyShare at much lower CPU usage, if it were available as a retail product. And, if it worked with MMC 8.8.
    Reply

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