I put the original post in another thread as a wake up call to MIT. I for one would rather know the landscape of what's going on instead of sticking my head in the ground....but regardless.
I played with the ATI HDTV Wonder Card for around 30 minutes total today at the NAB in Las Vegas. It is due out within 4-6 weeks with a $110 retail price.
This card only works with a 9500+ Series Radeon (9500, 9600, 9800 etc). They are not supporting other cards at this time - though they may in the future.
So your DVI or composite output is determined by the Radeon 9500+ card.
As this uses the same basic interface updated for HDTV as the AIW, you cannot use a 9800 AIW and this card together at the same time.
I am not sure if that means it will work with a 9800 AIW as the main video card or not - or just the TV features of the AIW. I could see how the hardware might conflict.
Their card of choice for use with the HDTV Wonder is the 9600XT
For the $110 retail price, that does not include the Remote. That is another $50 retail if you get their newest remote. The older series that is included with the AIW will work as well, but it is older.
Clearly, I could not compare it to MyHD Card in Florida. However, the live PBS HD feed in Vegas looked pretty damn good. It was an unfamilar Monitor and Source feed - so impossible to compare it to my MyHD setup.
Unlike the MyHD card, you could basically use all TIVO like effects - you could pause the live PBS-HD feed and pick it up at that point.....go back any amount of time and restart it from that point etc.
The capture software was amazing as it let you capture in about any format you wanted (transport stream, MPEG, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, Windows Media, AVI etc) - or downconvert it to that format for archival on a DVD or CD. At that point it even told you the size of the different formats so you could choose accordingly.
I was able to make the live feed start stuttering by clicking on a link to a network drive that wasn't there. However, this is the beta software, which they are trying to finish up on, and thus the hold up. I can lock up (not just stutter) MyHD much easier than this - so I am not overly concerned that will be fixed.
I was very blunt with them and told them their hardware has normally been really good for a number of years, but their software and drivers typical suck. They felt that they had a really good team and were trying to correct those past perceptions.
The OSD blew away anything from MyHD.
The only thing I liked more on MyHD was the Reservation Page - a single page where you can see everything. ATI is using a wizard. I don't like Wizards. However, as I had my laptop with wireless capabilities, I logged into my VPN at home and brought up my HTPC from the Convention Floor and showed her the Reservation screen from MyHD. She said that in the future they may make a novice/expert screen, but they originally went with a single page setup and their feedback was it was too confusing and John Q. Public liked the wizard better.....oh well.
Also, they originally made their Radeon Drivers with the Professional accepted overscan of 15%. With the latest set of drivers, they have it more defined where you can pretty much bring it in on a 16:9 - and in the future drivers they intend to have it right on the money.
Overall, I was highly impressed. I intend to get a unit upon release and run it beside MyHD card for Quality and make my decision then which to send back or sell on eBay.
We will know by the end of May.