HDTV Wonder and 1080i - audio works but no video
Recently I decided to make my own quick and dirty HD-DVR by
installing an ATI HDTV Wonder. Installation was pretty painless and
since I had a ATI
Radeon 9200SE I finally got everything working smoothly (Note: in
order to get the ATI Multimedia Software installed correctly I had to download
the latest drivers from the ATI website).
When I was finally up and running I could watch digital 480i and
720p channels (the included antenna is quite nice since I am about 25
miles from the broadcast station). With the 1080i channels, however, I
could see that I had a strong signal and the audio was coming in
perfectly but I couldn’t see any video. Also, the 480i and 720p
playback was a little choppy - every minute or so the video and audio
would skip - it was definitely still watchable, but I wanted to address
this problem as well.
I searched around online and noticed that a lot of people have had
this same problem so I decided to contact ATI support about it. The
first two layers of support were useless - they just told me to
uninstall the ATI multimedia center and reinstall it - I knew that
wasn’t it but I tried anyway - it didn’t work.
Finally my case was escalated and I received a real answer - in
order to display 1080i (apparently from any source) you need to have
DirectX 9.0 or higher. For the Radeon line this means a 9500 or higher
- there was my problem. I am amazed that in all the forums I checked
out nobody realized this - it’s a pretty simple explanation.
So I installed the ATI
Radeon 9600 with 256MB of DDR memory and reinstalled the ATI
Catalyst software and DirectX 9.0. I could immediately see an
improvement in video playback (ie, no skipping), but then the TV tuner
stopped working. I uninstalled everything ATI and started over from the
beginning, first installing Catalyst and the installing the drivers and
applications that came with the HDTV Wonder. After my final reboot
everything worked great and I am now streaming 1080i signals to my 42″
Sony Wega HDTV flawlessly.
My next project is to actually get TitanTV
to work with the HDTV Wonder - every time I try a dialog box just
flashes and then closes… stay tuned.