ATI touts low-cost HDTV tuner card

Well, cheaper than a digital TV, anyway...

ATI will this Spring allow North American buyers of its All-in-Wonder video cards to view free-to-air digital TV broadcasts.

The graphics chip company will bundle its new HDTV Wonder decoder with certain versions of the All-in-Wonder. The HDTV card will also be offered as a standalone product from ATI's web site.

In addition to digital TV reception and playback, the HDTV Wonder also allows programming to be recorded to straight to DVD - assuming your PC has a DVD writer, of course.

ATI's pitch is that the card offers a cut-price alternative to $2000-plus dedicated digital TV sets. Indeed, it said that PC maker Hy-Tek will be using the new card in a series of all-in-one multimedia PCs with integrated "state-of-the-art" 30in WXGA LCD screens. HDTV Wonder also supports North American analog TV standards.

ATI didn't reveal how much it will charge for the standalone HDTV Wonder, though it did say it will eventually offer the part through retailers as well as its own site. ®