ATI syncs audio, video with Theater 550 chip

'PVR on a chip'

ATI today unveiled its latest video processing chip, the Theater 550 Pro, touting the part as a 'PVR on a chip'.

However, the company's recently announced All-in-Wonder X800 XT will not leverage the new chip.

The 550 Pro provides audio and video decoding on the same silicon - a first for the Theater family - which ensures audio and video remain in full synchronisation. The 12-bit video decoder features 3D Comb Filtering for NTSC and PAL, and five-line 2D Comb Filtering.

The chip also provides MPEG 2 encoding with digital video noise reduction, eliminating granularity within the picture and thus improving the quality of the compressed video.

The chip was designed to operated on both PCI and PCI Express add-in cards, but ATI is also pushing the product's scope for integration directly onto a PC's motherboard. In the notebook market, in particular, Acer, Compal, Quanta and Wistron have committed themselves to building the 550 Pro into upcoming laptops.

Add-in cards featuring the part will be offered by Gigabyte, Info-Tek, Micro-Star, Sapphire, Tul and Yuan, ATI said.

The NTSC version of the chip will ship next month, with the PAL version following in November. The chip is sampling now.

ATI's own plans for the part including future TV Wonder with HDTV boards, but the All-in-Wonder X800 XT, announced last week, still uses the previous chip, the Theater 200. So will an upcoming multimedia board believed to be based on ATI's RV370 graphics chip. ®

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