I just purchased a HDTV wonder and spent the last two days trying to install it. At first I thought it might be the NForce2 based boards I was trying it in but I still got the CHOPPY reception. I was pairing it with a Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9600 256MB AGP card which seemed to be a good match.
I was about to return the HDTV Wonder since it was unwatchable but decided to do one last test. I have a ATI Radeon 9700 128MB card in my desktop system so I decided to pair it with the HDTV Wonder. I put it in the exact same system that wasn't working properly with the 9600 and guess what?
IT WORKS! What the heck?!
I didn't even reinstall the drivers or any of the apps. CPU utilization is around 20% which is normal from what I hear. I quickly put the 9600 back and CPU utilization jumps to 90-100%. I then put the 9700 back and then the CPU utilization drops to 20%. I can now watch/record/playback HDTV. I have e-mailed ATI Tech Support regarding this as it doesn't make any sense to me. However, I thought some of you might want to know that the slightly older and more expensive Radeon 9700 seems to work fine.
All of the bundled software is crap. It's just atrocious. It's obviously cobbled together and lacking polish. I hate how companies feel like they need to create new interfaces which are cryptic at best. I would prefer they use simple Windows conventions and interfaces. It's just very disjointed. I do hope they address this in the very near future.
I have noticed that it seems that the card doesn't pick up 720p broadcasts. I live in the Los Angeles, CA (the west side) and get strong signals from ABC, CBS, NBC, KTTV (FOX), KTLA and a bunch of local stations. They're a mix of SDTV, 1080i and one 720p station (ABC). ABC's 720p station doesn't show up at all. I hear sound but don't see a picture. NBC's HDTV broadcast of the Olympics is pretty amazing though...it might be worth keeping the HDTV Wonder for that alone. It's almost impossible for me to watch the regular broadcasts now...