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ATI HDTV Wonder: Step-by-Step WMCE

55368 Views 161 Replies 55 Participants Last post by  JohnDiamant
In another thread, we think we've come up with a step-by-step guide for a successful installation of the ATI HDTV Wonder hd tv tuner card and another analog tv tuner in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

A few caveats: (1) the procedure assumes a new installation of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 on a clean hard drive, (2) the procedure does not apply to a plain Windows XP installation, (3) you will use the latest applicable Windows Updates and drivers, and (4) it is essential that you install a DVD decoder like Nvidia's DVD decoder.

Also, we strongly recommend that you properly analyze your antenna requirements before hand. See AntennaWeb.org and CheckHD.com.

1. Install Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 without the tv tuner cards. Do the Windows Update. Don't go into MCE to setup TV yet, of course.

2. Install the HDTV Rollup update from Microsoft, if not previously installed

3. Install the analog TV tuner drivers. Shutdown.

4. Physically install the analog TV tuner in the PCI slot. Restart. Check Device Manager

5. Install the HDTV Wonder driver from ATI. Shutdown.

6. Physically install the ATI card in a PCI slot

5. ReStart. The card gets detected and set up automatically. Check Device Manager.

6. Launch MCE and setup TV channels that you want; you need an internet connection.

See our friend "psxjunky" #2 message below for additional important information.

Briefly, the ATI HDTV Wonder will not work in WMCE without the presence of an analogue TV tuner with hardware MPEG encoding unless you use the so-called Kram drivers. The Kram drivers are a hacked version of ATI's Catalyst drivers, the WMCE portion of which is used to make the ATI HDTV Wonder work. However, there are reports that the quality of the TV from the analogue part of the HDTV Wonder is not very good. As this software is not official, you are generally on your own as to getting them to work.

The ATI HDTV Wonder and the Avermedia AverTVHD MCE A180 are presently the only two HD tuners that have been certified for the WMCE "Logo". However, there are other HD tuners that work in WMCE that are not on the certififed "logo" list. For instance, Dvico reports that it's FusionHDTV model works, and has WMCE drivers and instructions on its website.

The ATI HDTV Wonder, the Avermedia AverTVHD MCE A180, and the FusionHDTV will not work in WMCE unless there is also present an analogue tuner with hardware MPEG encoding. As far as we know, there are no hacked drivers like Kram's for the Fusion and Aver cards that will make them work in WMCE without an analogue tuner.

Notes: you can get away with physically installing the analog TV card as you are installing Windows MCE. We don't think it will cause an issue. It is essential that you install a DVD decoder like Nvidia's decoders.

Microsoft says that unofficially Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 does not support two HD tuners. Like several other users, I can verify that two HD tuners does work in WMCE 2005. I have installed and working an ATI HDTV Wonder and an AverTVHD MCE A180. Two HD tuners makes possible recording two HD programs simultaneously.

A USB analogue TV tuner will serve these purposes as well as a PCI analogue tv card. Hauppauge's USB2 tuner is an example. After setting up the channels in WMCE, you can remove the analogue tuner.

Lastly, your best MCE pc system design is one for a high performance computer. Trying to do this on the cheap or with spare pc parts will increase your risk of a poorly performing system or of outright failure. After all, you will be processing video in all its forms. MS's and ATI's recommended (not minimum) system requirements are good starts.

We do not guarantee that the above procedure will work for you or with all system configurations. We are volunteers, not paid by anyone, and have no connections with Microsoft, ATI, or any other company. To the extent copyright laws are applicable, I grant a non-exclusive right to all individuals for private copying and use. There are no warranties of any kind, and where an express or implied warranty may apply, total damages shall be limited to one centUSA. In other words, use the above at your own risk.
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Thanks for taking the time to put this together, GeekFunk ! This guide should help anyone trying to get started with MCE 2005 and ATI HDTV Wonder.

I wanted to add a couple points to make this guide even more helpful.

1. MCE HDTV Update Rollup 1 can be found here

2. If you do plan on using an analog tuner with MCE, take note that MCE only supports analog tuners which can do hardware based MPEG2 encoding. Some examples of these types of cards are - Hauppauge WinTV PVR series (models 150, 150MCE, 250, 250MCE, 350, 500MCE, USB2 etc.), AVerMedia M1500, ATI E-Home Wonder, eVGA NVTV etc. If you already have an analog TV tuner card and not sure if it supports hardware based encoding, look at its specification and ask here. If you are planning to buy a new analog TV tuner, consider the Hauppauge cards - they are most well known and widely supported. You may also want to look at the new ATI Theater 550 based cards (e.g. ATI TV Wonder Elite)

3. If you are already planning to use MCE 2005 with the ATI HDTV Wonder, do NOT bother about installing ANY of ATI's own software (MultiMedia Center, DTV app, GuidePlus etc.). In fact, do not even touch the CD that comes with the ATI HDTV Wonder card. Specifically, DO NOT install the HDTV Wonder driver that is on the CD ... most likely it is an older version that will cause you a great deal of heartache. Instead just download the latest Windows MCE driver for the HDTV Wonder from ATI (check here or get the latest download (as of Feb 09, 2005) from here ). Install *JUST* the HDTV Wonder driver ... no other ATI software.

Note: The only exception to this would be the ATI DVD Decoder, which you may want to install (and will need the original CD if you want to do so). However, you will be better off with the NVIDIA DVD Decoder anyway (which you can find here

4. When Windows MCE starts up after following all the steps mentioned above in the guide, use the setup wizard (or go into Settings->TV->Setup TV Signal to setup the analog channels and Settings->TV->Setup Digital TV Signal to set up the HD channels)

Good luck and post a question here if you run into any issues !
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Everyone but me may already know this but I just found this out:

MCE will not work with ONLY the ATI HDTV Wonder installed.

There must be a supported analog tuner installed or you won't get past Settings->TV.


But, everyone should know that you have provided the most important part to this procedure, and everyone should be grateful to you for that.

warloadbb - you're right, but there are privately developed drivers, called Kram drivers, for the HDTV Wonder that will cause the HDTV Wonder to run without the presence of an analog tv tuner in WMC. Of course, we are not dealing with that procedure here, and it makes the installation more complicated.
Wow, good info. I was about to get an HDTV Wonder card for my new MCE 2k5 machine as the only tuner card installed. I guess I'll get me an SD card first and then add the HDTV Wonder card.

Good info!
If you check around the posts here you'll find a FIX to allow you to use ONLY the ATI HDTV Wonder card with MCE - using it as both the Analog and Digital tuners. Just use the search option!
If someone, who is using ONLY the ATI HDTV Wonder in MCE 2005 (without using an SD card as well), is reading this post - could you please let us know the step-by-step procedure of how to get this done.

I have seen this question asked many times (How do I use JUST the ATI card without using an analog tuner ?), so having this information captured in this installation guide will be very useful. I am sure this information is burried somewhere deep in the huge ATI thread, but given that this is such a common question, having it here separately makes sense.
I followed this procedure exactly, including not touching the HDTV's install CD.

I have:

Settings->TV->Setup TV Signal

but I DON'T have:

Settings->TV->Setup Digital TV Signal

Everything looks great in Device Manager.

I have no idea what to try as far as troubleshooting.
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Wow. Ok, I wasn't bothering to fully setup Settings->TV->Setup TV Signal for my analog (via Theatrix 550).

Now that I have, I've now got Settings->TV->Setup DIGITAL TV Signal!

I DID go through the analog setup enough to get no signal on Antenna settings. Apparently MCE detected that I wasn't getting any signal on my analog and so wasn't letting me setup my Digital.


So, you're saying it works?

Glad to hear it.

Don't mean to impose. Can you can point us directly to the link where we use only the ATI HDTV wonder exclusively?

The whole issue about the ATI HDTV Wonder is sooooooooooooooo long, you can get lost in it!

The Kram modification of the Catalyst drivers will get the HDTV Wonder going in MCE without the presence of an analog TV tuner.

From another forum:


This is download of the Kram drivers. I haven't used them myself as I have analog tuner.
Reading up on it, looks like ony Kram can make it work without an analog tuner.

I don't have the luxury of plugging in another analog tuner.

My Asus P5AD2 Premium Motherboard only has two PCI slots. One slot is taken by my sound card and the other one the HDTV Wonder.

Dang, man. Your Asus P6AD2 motherboard has a helfire onboard 8-channel producing audio chpset.

This is how it is described on Asus's website:

"Enjoy high-end sound system on your PC! The onboard 8-channel HD audio (High Definition Audio, previously codenamed Azalia) CODEC enables high-quality 192KHz/24-bit audio output, jack-sensing feature, retasking functions and multi-streaming technology that simultaneously sends different audio streams to different destinations. You can now talk to your partners on the headphone while playing a multi-channel network games. All of these are done on one computer. The Dolby Digital Live technology from Dolby Lab encodes the multi-channel audio source into AC-3 bit-stream and outputs it to S/PDIF port in real time"

I'd say, dump that PCI sound card.
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Thanks for the input GeekFunk.

However, the M-Audio Delta Audiophile 102 "DOES" sound much better than the internal audio of the Asus P5AD2.

They can give me all the reviews they want. I am talking based on what I hear. And sounding good is very important to me..


Is that your room in the link?
I just edited the procedure to add that you need an internet connection during the set up of the channels in WMCE.
So will this kind of process work for the Fusion tuner, too?
S Griffin

I believe it will, although I haven't tried it.

If someone will send me a FusionHDTV card, I'll run it through the procedure and report back here on the results.

However, go to the Dvico website, review the FAQs there, and you'll probably run across an anwer that includes a similar WMCE install procedure for the Fusion card.
Thanks. I found some information on their site. They do say that an analog tuner needs to be installed first. Unfortunately, their KB states that MCE doesn't support a QAM HDTV tuner.
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