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ATi's All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro Unveiled
Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Better

By: Jeff Bouton
August 5th, 2003

 

Multimedia Center 8.6
Adding Some Panache

On the surface, the Multimedia Center 8.6 doesn't appear all that different compared to previous editions, sporting the same default theme we've become accustomed to seeing.  However, looks can be deceiving.  Accessible through the launch pad, the interface has the same common features as version 8.5.  The antenna/cable ready TV-Tuner has been revamped to handle some of the newer features added to the All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro.  One of the TV Players strongest and newest features is MULTVIEW which can display two separate TV sessions to the desktop, allowing for independent channel changing.  The TV Player supports frame reconstruction with VIDEOSOAP which can dynamically adjust for dropped frames during a recording session.  The technology can recognize a frame has been dropped and insert a replacement frame constructed from information gathered from analyzing the frame before and after the drop occurred.  The end-result should minimize the impact of dropped frames and improve overall playback.

Click to Enlarge

TV Tuner


 
DVD Player


 
VCD Player


 
File Player


 
MMC 8.6 Functions




 
MMC Library


 
CD Player

 

muvee auto Producer


 

FM On Demand

 

The fully functional DVD Player has a few nice features of its own including THRUVIEW, a transparency feature for watching video while allowing access to the desktop functions.  The DVD player has also been updated with the ability to output two separate subtitles simultaneously.  The VCD and File Players are functional players for viewing VCDs as well as captured video and audio files.  The File Player can access such formats as *.MP3, *.MPG and ATi's proprietary VCR format.  The Multimedia Center Library is the tool needed to keep all those captured files in order and can be programmed to run custom play lists and Slide Shows.  With a simple click of a button, users can even burn their files to a CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD±R directly from the Multimedia Center Library.

One completely new addition to Multimedia Center 8.6 is a nifty little product called muvee autoProducer.  If you are one of those people who always wanted to make your own music video, the muvee autoProducer may just be what you've been looking for.  This application can take just about any video input and match up an MP3 music file to make up a custom music video.  Just how useful muvee autoProducer is remains to be seen, but until we get a copy, we'll try to keep an open mind.
 

EAZYLOOK
Making It All Worth It

When ATi initially offered the Remote Wonder to the public, it gained a lot of praise for being an innovative, unique remote.  Boasting great versatility without the limitations of Infrared line-of-sight issues, something was still lacking.  While the Remote Wonder functioned well, there was no onscreen display to compliment the remote features.  First introduced in Multimedia Center 8.5, ATi released EAZYLOOK which enhanced the user's experience by marrying the functions of the Remote Wonder with an easy to see, intuitive on-screen display.  EAZYLOOK comes in handy when the All-In-Wonder is integrated into a home theater system where the video is output to a television.  The on screen menu maps to all of the major functions of Multimedia Center 8.6, making for easy control of the entire system with the Remote Wonder and Remote Wonder II.

EASYLOOK On Screen Features


Volume Control

Chapter Selection

Info Screen

 


Library Screen

Media Info

Channel Surf

EAZYLOOK is an excellent addition to the Multimedia Center package, offering full PVR functionality that is easy to control and configure.  EAZYLOOK provides complete control of the TV, DVD and File player and can also access the Multimedia Center Library.  The EAZYLOOK software can be configured much like a VCR with support for on demand and scheduled recording.  About the only thing missing is VCR+ compatibility.  Recorded shows can be easily exported from EAZYLOOK to be edited or burned later.

It seems that not only did ATi come out with a newly design All-In-Wonder, they applied the same approach to the Multimedia Center 8.6 and Remote Wonder II.  The All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro should offer great gaming potential with advanced video features to make any All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro own envious.  The only thing left to do is take a closer look at the All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro itself and then take it for a spin.  As soon as it arrives, we'll be right back here with the conclusion!      

A Closer Look at the All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro

 

To Be Continued...





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