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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

Diamond AIW5000 Software

Bundled up with the HD5570 and HD750 was a full version of TotalMedia 3.5 by Arcsoft. This provides an out-of-the box alternative to Windows 7 Media Center. I tested the AIW5000 with Windows 7 Media Center, and installation was quick and flawless. I scrapped the dinky antenna that came in the box for a middle-range unit from a local store. Within ten minutes I was recording TV froma full list of local broadcast channels.

After Installing TotalMedia 3.5 It took only slightly longer to get to watching and recording live television. The main difference in setup was finding local channels. Windows 7 MediaCenter downloads them as a first option, while TotalMedia prefers to scan the local channels. This can be a real annoyance if you have only a moderate signal on some channels. Where I live the signals for some of our favorite channels is rather weak, even with a strong antenna. Running a channel scan in TotalMedia is an "all or nothing" affair. You can't just run a scan with the antenna in a different position to pick up the ones you missed. It always overwrites the old channels with the most recent scan. Trying to manually add a channel is an exercise in frustration. It's really not worth the time.

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

Despite this drawback, the HD750 performed wuite well; it exceeded my expectations. Using the same antenna it found more chanels than my set-top tuner. I swapped out the HD750 for my ASUS PHC3-150 and ran the exact same scan with the exact same setup. It found only a handful of channels which displayed less than half the time. I was really, really impressed with the HD750 signal decoding. The EPG function is TotalMedia was a flop. It was more work to fenagle a schedule out of TotalMedia than to just look it up on my computer. I hope they improve this feature. Specifically, when using the internet feature it was impossible to update the schedule to reflect my local broadcast.

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

Well, I'm not big on watching live TV. I'llrecord or watch online whenever possible. The recording feature in TotalMedia was straight forward to use and hassle free. The scheduling worked well and allowed me to add multiple scheduled recordings. It takes a little time to setup with the remote, but using a mouse made thing really quick. The scheduling module allows you to setup a one-time record or to schedule a repeating show. It wasn't smart enough to do anything fancy like find similar shows or even the same show at different times. Also, with only a single tuner you can only record one show at a time. This also means you can only watch what you're recording or have already recorded.

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

The HD750 receives FM radio along with a glut of other signals. Just like the TV module you can scan for channels, listen to live radio and record. I was able to get most of my normal radio stations, but some of the weaker ones didn't get picked up. I again swapped in my PHC3-150 for comparison, and it didn't pick up any stations. Again, I'm impressed by the reception from the AIW5000.

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

Once you've recorded a video, what can you do with it? Well, you can watch it, edit it, burn it to disk, or export it to a mobile device. The burning module worked reasonably well. The software supports burning to both DVD and CD, but is a little finicky about how you go about it. You absolutely must set the media type in the settings before attempting to do anything. It won't even accept a blank disc that doesn't match the selected type. Shouldn't it just automatically detect my media and offer appropriate burning options?! Oh well, once you have your media loaded TotalMedia allows you to select which video to burn, and even includes the ability to build a quick disc menu.

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

But before you go burning all your episodes of...whatever...onto disc you might want to cut out the commercials first. TotalMedia includes a video editing module that allows a rough, manual methd to cut segments out of the video. It's nothing like an automated commercial clipper, but unless you archive everything you record it shouldn't be too much work. Once you cut out the junk you can select a thumbnail for the video from anywhere in the stream.

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

Going on a vacation? Ride the bus to school? Prefer to watch in your room?There is a "To Go" module in TotalMedia that will convert and export your videos to a portable device. At this time the software only supports iPod, Sony PSP, a windows device, and a couple other players. For the windows device you have a very limited amount of control over the output format. If the format is right for some other device you can always save the transcoded file to your hard drive and manually transfer the file to your device. This is a nifty feature, but it falls far short for power users. I need full-blown transcoding options. For me that means turning to an external application. It's just as well since it was hard for me to determine if TotalMedia really uses the GPU at all for decoding. If it does it doesn't take full advantage of the features from the graphics card.



 

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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