updated 10:10 am EDT, Mon August 21, 2006
ATI TV Wonder 650
Those building home theater PCs often need personal video recording as a central feature. It's easy to achieve this with analog television signals, but until recently HDTV recording was difficult, if not impossible. ATI hopes to make this easier with the TV Wonder 650, a new-generation HD video recording card the company is releasing today. It can capture both analog and HD signals and record them to formats such as DivX, H.264, MPEG-2/4, or Windows Media 9. HD video recording is limited to over-the-air broadcasts due to the copy-protection prevalent on cable and satellite networks, but it's also possible to use a second card to record one show while watching another. The 650 is on sale immediately for $129 and requires either Windows XP or Vista (Media Center 2005 is currently recommended).