The ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 Review
Not Just a TV Card

By, Jeff Bouton
April 4, 2002



I'm sure if you asked any computer enthusiast to name a manufacturer of combination TV/Graphics cards, there is little doubt that many would say "ATi."  We're not saying that they are the only game in town but it is hard to argue that they haven't carved out quite a niche for themselves.  With competition from players like Hauppague, as well as the relatively recent edition of nVidia, with its "Personal Cinema" product, ATI still holds a major share of the combination TV/Graphics card market.

What sets ATI apart from the rest, is that they were one of the first to pioneer the idea of integrating high-end graphics capability and TV functions into a single product.  As technology has evolved, what once required two separate cards, could now be achieved on a single board product.  Coining the name "All-In-Wonder" seemed to be the most accurate way to describe the product line, since in essence, it does it all on one card.

Over the years, the All-In-Wonder line matured from a simple TV/Video combination to a powerful multimedia product capable of serious gaming, as well as offering advanced video functionality.  Today we'll be taking a look at one of ATI's latest offerings, the All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500.  Aiming for the user who wants an All-In-Wonder based solution with competitive 3D capabilities, for around $200, ATi has come up with a sister product to the Radeon 8500DV, which normally sells for twice the price.  The question is how much of the Radeon 8500DV's features and performance did they have to sacrifice to reach the lower price point?  You just might be surprised.  Let's take a look at the product specs and then we'll delve a little deeper into what the All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 has to offer.
 

Specifications of the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500
A Lot For The Money.

               

Overview
  • Powerful all-in-one 3D, TV and video for your PC
  • Powered by the RADEON 7500 GPU
  • 64MB DDR memory
  • Stereo TV-tuner
  • TV-ON-DEMAND Time shifting
  • Integrated Interactive Program Guide1
  • Easily capture and edit MPEG-2 video into your own creations
  • Wireless radio-frequency remote control
  • DVD video playback


Features

  • TV-ON-DEMAND
    • Pause live TV or record live broadcasts and watch them later
    • Get instant replays of favorite programs
    • Click through the transparent live TV window to access your desktop - no more moving the TV window to get to your work!
  • Use the integrated Gemstar GUIDE Plus+ Interactive Program Guide1 to view and search TV listings by category, actor/performer, or date. Schedule and record programs at the click of a mouse - all the benefits of a Personal Video Recorder without the monthly fees
  • Amazing TV features including:
    • TV Magazine1 - images and text from TV programs allowing you to read and archive TV programs
    • Hot Words1 - real-time notification when selected words are detected in programming
    • Zoom & pan - zoom in on the action on-screen and choose your own close-ups
    • Intelligent Teletext on your PC2


EXPERIENCE HOME THEATER WITH DVD AND DIGITAL AUDIO OUTPUT ON A PC
  • Industry-leading DVD playback with AC-3 Digital Audio* output to enable Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound
  • ATIs VIDEO IMMERSION technology allows for adaptive de-interlacing for excellent quality motion video and text

*Actual Dolby 5.1 AC-3 decoding is done by the external AC-3 decoder and is not included.

RADIO-FREQUENCY REMOTE CONTROL
  • Control the TV, video, DVD and gaming features of the ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 7500 from another room in the house using ATIs remote control*
  • No need to point the remote control at the receiver connect your PC to your TV and watch DVDs, search channels, or record TV shows from your couch

*Available USB port required

EASILY EDIT VIDEO INTO YOUR OWN CREATIONS
  • Capture still images and analog video in MPEG-2 format at resolutions up to 720x480 and 30 frames-per-second
  • Powerful video editing software allows you to add effects, transitions, sounds, and more to video footage
  • Create your own personal productions to share with family and friends
DUAL DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY
  • Connect to a TV and a monitor (VGA or DVI) simultaneously
  • HYDRAVISION software enables you to display information on a TV and monitor at the same time
POWERFUL 2D AND 3D PERFORMANCE
  • Powered by the RADEON 7500 GPU and 64MB DDR memory for advanced 3D graphics
  • Delivers realistic 32-bit color graphics without a decline in PC performance
  • CHARISMA ENGINE and PIXEL TAPESTRY technologies allow for phenomenally realistic 3D graphics details

 

The Bundle:

The ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 has a long list of built-in features.  To top it all off, they also offer a complete package to accompany the All-In-Wonder, providing all the necessary hardware and software to take full advantage of the its capabilities.  The package we received for review was a retail box, with everything needed to get up and running.

The package includes a nice complement of documentation to help the novice or expert user install their new video card with ease.  An installation guide is also included, which thoroughly covers the installation and setup of the All-In-Wonder.  The kit contains 3 CDs, a Setup disk, a full version copy of the game Expendable, and Ulead's Video Studio 5.

Click To Enlarge

            

The quick installation guide provides a clear picture of how each component should be connected to external devices such as Camcorders, Televisions, or VCRs.  This is accomplished using the ATI input adapter, which is an extension of the card itself.  The ATI input adapter connects to the video in on the card and provides four external connections; S-Video Out, Composite Video Out, L. Audio Out, R. Audio Out.  Although their names may imply they are outputs, they are in fact inputs.  All of the necessary wires and connectors are available to help accommodate virtually any external device.  1 S-Video, and 3 RCA cables are included as well as an S Video to RCA converter.  Probably one of the more innovative and exciting pieces of equipment to come with the All-In-Wonder is the remote control.  We'll touch more on that later, but before we do, let's take a closer look at the card itself and cover some of it's finer points.

Quality, Setup and the Drivers