ATI Remote Wonder
ATI TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATE PROFILE
ATI Technologies Inc. is a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative 3D graphics and digital media silicon solutions. An industry pioneer since 1985, ATI delivers leading-edge performance solutions for the full range of PC and Mac desktop and notebook platforms, workstation, set-top box, game console and handheld markets. With 2001 revenues in excess of US $1 billion, ATI has more than 1,900 employees in the Americas, Europe and Asia. ATI common shares trade on NASDAQ (ATYT) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (ATY).
Ah yes!, I called it! It was only time until the proverbial "god box" came the the home and work computing environment. Since the release of the ALL-in-Wonder line of cards from ATI, the introduction of the remote wonder being bundled with already a great package has spurred ATI to release the Remote Wonder as a product all on its own. Has this gamble by ATI's marketing department paid off feature wise, well stay tuned and decide for yourself.....
The wireless remote that works through walls
- Wireless remote that operates using Radio Frequency,
eliminating the need to point the remote at the receiver
Full control of your multimedia options
- REMOTE WONDER™ controls your mouse pointer and cursor
movements easily with its large thumb pad
Experience PC freedom
- REMOTE WONDER™ provides you the freedom to remotely move
PowerPoint presentations forward or backward, launch your multimedia
demonstrations and web browser. Interact with your audience not your PC
Now, lets see what you actually get with the purchase...
PRODUCT COMPOSITION & PICTORIAL
Now, just what do I get with this interesting purchase...
As seen above, ATI uses the characteristic box design of most of its product. Everyone out there can pick an ATI product off a shelf full quite easily.
After opening the box and discarding the cardboard packaging, you are left with a sealed bag containing...
An installation paper, a users guide to the included ATI Multimedia Center (great guide!), a warranty card, the driver's CD, the batteries (love when they are included), and the actual remote and the receiver.
The remote itself is quite a large unit and has the equivalent size of most of the universal entertainment system remote control unit for your home theater.
Pictured above is the actual RF (Radio-Frequency) receiver that works in conjunction with the RF transmitter in the remote itself. Installation is easy and efficient using your USB connection in your computer but I will have to tell you one thing, install the software on the CD BEFORE inserting the unit into the computer for proper installation.
The RF technology used in this product is NOT like your normal everyday Infrared remote control you you use to turn on your TV. Infrared Technology uses a light beam which has a wavelength that can not be detected by the human eye to transfer information from your remote control to the TV for example. This technology relies on line of sight which means that if you move to another room while using the remote control, it will not work (its beam is blocked). Now, on the other hand, RF technology uses radiowaves to transmit the information between the remote control and the receiver (like a mini radio station) and will work through walls and enables it to be used in other rooms for the same unit within a certain range. This boiled down means that if you are within range, you can point the remote anywhere (at the dog, in your leg, up at the ceiling) and it will work. I wish all remotes were like this.
ATI MULTIMEDIA CENTER BRIEFING
The remote software allows you to use all the features included and have some bonus characteristics that I enjoyed thoroughly. For one, all the ATI multimedia functions, there is a quick open button on the remote and if there is an application that you would like the remote to open, you can program one of the six buttons pictured above to open the program for you. Now one of the main features that I use allot is the arrow pad which acts as a mouse when you are away from the computer. This function allows me to pause a movie playing in my bedroom while I am viewing it in the livingroom without having to get up. ULTIMATE LAZY MAN TOOL!! GRUNT!! Now also, this feature would be great being used in a corporate presentation and would allow you to roam freely around the theater or boardroom without being tied to your laptop to open your programs. Nice touch.
The included software is a full featured suite of programs
made to take advantage of all you multimedia peripherals on your computer
Well, most computers have a CD-ROM of some sort installed on their computer, so naturally a CD Player was included.
Got a DVD-ROM on your computer and want a full featured DVD Player to watch your ever growing compilation of movies, don't spend any more money because it is included in the suite. This suite is basic and will not support more than a 2 speaker setup, so all of you with home theater setups on your computer will not be able to take advantage of the 5.1 Dolby Pro-logic.
ATI MULTIMEDIA CENTER BRIEFING (cont'd)
To play those comedy movie clips you have downloaded, a convenient File Player is included. I found the player to take over the computer a little too much seeing that I use Windows Media Player mostly and ATI kinda assumed ownership of all the media file associations without my permission. A little irritating, but reversible.
Got a Video CD you would like to view, well, it's included also.
Also, if you have a videocard capable of TV input like the Radeon series of videocards from ATI or another brand, you can take advantage of the cable tv viewing with their TV software which is simple and really easy to use. I never thought I would like to watch TV while working, but I find it more enjoyable sometimes than music.
CONCLUSIONS & AFTERTHOUGHTS
Do you have TV-out and are viewing movies in another room? Are you sick of getting up and constantly walking back and forth to your room to pause the movie or change programs. Or perhaps on the other hand, you are a business man/woman that spends a great amount of time doing boardroom presentations and would like some freedom from being tied to your computer while going through your slideshows. If any of these traits sound familiar or if you could find another use for such a versatile product, at $49USD, I find this product to be quite affordable and would make life a lot easier around the home and/or office. This is a great product and I use it everyday. You will find that it incorporates itself into your computing life and will make you more efficient in the workplace.
- Completely wireless
- File Player takes over Media file extensions without
permission from the user during installation.
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