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Written by Dan Ferguson   
Sunday, 27 February 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Diamond All-In-Wonder HD Premium AIW5000
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Diamond HD5570
Closer Look: Diamond HD750
Diamond AIW5000 Software
Multimedia Testing Methodology
Tuner Performance
3DMark Vantage GPU Tests
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Unigine Heaven Benchmarks
Diamond HD5570 Temperatures
Diamond AIW5000 Power Consumption
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: Diamond HD750

When it comes to an HTPC or PVR setup, it's the TV Tuner that makes most of the magic happen. With video cards the choices are practically endless, and most products will deliver decent return on your investment. With the TV Tuner the variation in features and performance is much greater, and the selections are fewer. So it's more important to make sure you get a tuner that has the features you need. When building your own system knowing the resource demand is important for choosing the right CPU and memory while keeping costs minimal.

Diamond All-In-Wonder HD Premium 5000 (AIW5000)

The TV Wonder HD750 is Diamond's newest release. While there is a USB version, the AIW5000 includes the PCIe version. The actual card is small enough to fit in any PC case, but the mount bracket is for full-height mounting. The layout is quite simple relying on only a handful of chips. For any given technology, the board layout is often a good indicator of the feature set.

Diamond All-In-Wonder HD Premium 5000 (AIW5000)

There are only two ports, one digital andone analog. There is only one visible tuner, and no visible encoders. As you could guess, this is a single tuner card which can decode digital signals and record analog inputs from S-Video, composite, and stereo.The lack of encoders also means that any encoding work will be software based. Software-based encoding or transcoding is CPU intensive unless you have software and hardware which can distribute the load across the GPU as well.

Diamond All-In-Wonder HD Premium 5000 (AIW5000)

The HD750 has three ports. One F-Type coaxial port, one S-Video port and a micro-jack for the IR reciever. If you want to pipe multiple signals into the tuner then you'll need to daisy-chain your devices or use a switching device. For me this is a can of worms that I'll open during my final thoughts.

Diamond All-In-Wonder HD Premium 5000 (AIW5000)

To make TV watching and recording easier the HD750 includes a kit of peripheral. A remote is included with the IR receiver so you can watch from a couch without requiring a wireless mouse and keyboard. Digital tuners are still slower than their analog counterparts when it comes to changing channels. I've grown accustomed to the extra delay while switching channels on set-top tuners. But using the remote with this PC tuner was more than I could bear. I had to hold down the button "forever" until I saw the screen change. But if I held it for even a split second too long then I'd end up changing two channels instead of one.

Also included with the kit is an adapter cable for the S-Video port which allows S-Video, composite and stereo inputs. A metal adapter for the coaxial port converts it from unthreaded F-Type to threaded.Finally there is a small antenna whilch plugs into the coaxial port for receiving radio and TV signals. While the antenna is a nice thought, it only worked for the strongest signals.



 

Comments 

 
# I don't think Diamond thought this through...aussiebear 2011-03-01 05:33
Good article.

Its just too bad that the Radeon HD 5570 part is going to be made a bit pointless as AMD's A-series (Llano) arrives sometime in June or so. It's GPU-based IGP is spec like a 5570, but from the charts I've seen; it performs a tad higher than a 5550 because of the shared memory bandwidth with the x86 cores.

The other part is with Diamond itself. They didn't make an effort on a solution that is thoughtful for the role that it was intended. It feels like they wanted to save as little money spent as possible.

They would be better off with a Mini-ITX mobo based on the Socket FM1 for A-series (Llano) Fusion APU and a digital/analog tuner integrated onto the motherboard.
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# RE: I don't think Diamond thought this through...Olin Coles 2011-03-01 07:15
Hardware is never 'made pointless' because a newer generation is coming. 60Hz HDTV's are still being sold and used, even though 120Hz became the standard and 240/480Hz versions are available. The same is true for video cards: what one person uses for Crysis 2 another person may only need for WoW.
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# All-In-WonderMaster Zoen 2011-03-04 04:53
You know, this is really odd. I was going through my parts closet last week to get a jump on spring cleaning, and came across my old AIW 1900. As I held it, thinking of all the fun transferring and encoding I had done when I received it nearly 4 years ago, I thought, "Huh, I haven't heard of a new All-In-Wonder card in a while. I wonder if they still make them?"
Suddenly, here it is! Providence! Coincidence? Who cares?! It's All-In-Wonder!
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# retireeOrville 2011-03-04 05:38
Dan,

So, why didn't Diamond put two receivers on the tiny card and add the minimal circuits to multiplex? Why didn't they go with a USB receiver that met the WMC spec? We all need one more remote don't we? Why do they push another god damned fan on HTPCs. Can't they passively cool their 5570. If not, why not a passively cooled 5550.

The single thing I like about this product is the possible way better signal sensitivity. Please write more about that aspect, not gaming.

Orville
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# RE: retireeDan Ferguson 2011-03-04 12:01
Orville,

thank you for your opinion. It sounds to me like you are calling for Diamond (and others) to expand their vision of a product and consider how it will most likely be deployed. I agree on your points on desired features. I don't need another remote.

This emphasizes my feeling that All-In-Wonder is best for a new or first-time builder and multitasker. If you already know your way around an HTPC and its peripherals then you'll probably want more features than an 'all in one', 'out-of-the-box' setup.

We try to balance our reviews around both the pros and cons of every product, highlighting areas of both that will most likely be of interest to our readers. What specifically do you like to know about signal integrity? Station capture is something to which everyone can relate.
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# RE: RE: retireeOrville 2011-03-05 07:09
Dan,
I have a small home theater system that I use for watching live TV, playing movies from my NAS and surfing the Internet. My system consists of a home assembled PC, a 7.1 channel Sony AV receiver, a 5.1 Channel JBL speaker system, a Sharp 46” HDTV set and a homemade TV antenna perched on my second story roof.
The HTPC includes a Core i3 530 CPU on an MSI HD57M-ED65 motherboard with 2x2GB 1.35 volt DDR3-1333 memory. Drive C: is an Intel 80GB SSD. Drive D: is a WD 500GB 2½” HDD. The PC also includes a Blu-ray combo ODD. My graphics card is a Radeon HD 5450 with 512MG GDDR3. My tuner is a Hauppauge WinTV-2250 TV receiver card that is based on the NXP SAA7164E chip made on older 90nm lithography and released way back in 2006. My HTPC runs Windows 7 Home Premium. I use HDMI 1.3 to connect the HTPC to the AV receiver and the AV receiver on to the TV Set. The only functions of the AV receiver are to siphon off the audio stream and drive the 5.1 speaker system and multiplex the video stream on to the HDTV set.
I chose the Radeon HD 5450 made by PowerColor because I thought it would do the job and because it was passively cooled. So far it seems to be working OK.
The HTPC burns about 65 Watts, at the wall, when it is active no matter what I ask it to do. When it is hibernated it burns less than 1 Watt, near as my WattsUp? Pro can measure. The whole home entertainment system burns 300 Watts, at the wall, active and 130 Watts, at the wall, when the HTPC is hibernated.
I dislike very much having to use a goddamned keyboard to operate the home entertainment system, but since I want access to files on other PCs and NASs connected to my copper network using the Windows drive mapping method, and those files are password protected, I am forced to use password protection on the HTPC to get automatic connection to shares. Therefore, I hibernate the HTPC instead of shut it down because from hibernation it will resume to the desktop without requiring a keyboard logon.
My home theater has two glaring weaknesses. The first is Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium as it relates to home entertainment. It is pure #, in my opinion. The second is the lack of sensitivity of the Hauppauge WinTV-2250 TV receiver. I live near the epicenter of Houston, TX. There, the blessed NXP SAA7164E chip does not do a decent job of picking up even the major TV channels. It really sucks.
I tried out Dish Network last year, but their fraudulent over-billing practice led me to send their receiver back after three months of double billing. I didn't find out about the class-action lawsuit against them until after it was already settled. Anyway, I'm making do with my homemade OTA antenna and I read every article like yours with interest. If you have any suggestions relating to better TV reception I would welcome them.
Thanks again for your article on the Diamond AIW5000,
Orville
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# RE: RE: RE: retireeDan Ferguson 2011-03-07 00:45
I find two resources helpful for improving my signal with ANY setup: rabbitears.info and TSReader. This combo allows me to know the technical data for each station and measure the performance for very small changes in my setup (orientation). I especially like TSReader for antenna tweaking, which could be useful in getting SNR for you homemade antenna. Best of luck.
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