I remember having to buy a Voodoo card for 3D video acceleration back in the day – like, when Pentium IIs were fresh and new! Fast forward to 2006 and it seems you can’t even play Solitaire without 256 megabytes of video RAM on a PCI-Express card. I was brand-loyal to Matrox for years, and when they started to fall behind, I jumped ship to the only viable contender at the time: nVidia. Up until a couple of years ago, though, nVidia ruled the roost. I wouldn’t touch ATI products with a ten-foot pole – largely due to their lousy drivers and mediocre hardware. When buzz started to circulate that ATI was doing a better job with their Radeon line, I took a leap of faith and installed one of their video cards in my system. My only complaint was that their control panel wasn’t (and still isn’t) as nice or intuitive as nVidia’s – but ATI’s hardware and software stability were no longer in question. Now, let me tell you what’s going to win you over to ATI: Avivo.

ATI’s new Avivo™ Video Converter is the fast and easy way to transform your videos to play on today’s new breed of portable entertainment devices. The Avivo Video Converter is a “transcoder,” a tool that converts digital video from one file format to another, enabling the same video clip to play on industry standard home DVD/DivX® players, PC’s or portable media devices such as the Apple® iPod®, Sony® portable gaming device, Creative® Zen™ and many others. ATI’s Avivo Video Converter can take a 30 minute recorded show, and convert it into a format playable by an iPod in less than 5 minutes. It can cut the conversion time by 80% or more. When compared to competitive solutions, the Avivo Video Converter easily beats them. This means you’ll be watching more, and waiting less.

What’s more, if you’re a Windows Media Center user (like myself), you’ll find a plugin ready to convert your recorded shows to any designated format! Sweet, sweet, sweet. Finally, we’re beginning to unleash the power of these fantastic video cards outside of the gaming universe. I know that PC games are a blast to play (and I wish I had more time to play them). Windows Vista promises to improve the role of the video card on the desktop, although that remains to be seen. Avivo is making ATI a must-have in my book – video conversion is becoming increasingly important in my day-to-day life. The only thing that’s really missing is an easy way to upload videos somewhere onto the Internet (like, my own site or a content account elsewhere online). Trust me, the video revolution is coming…

[tags]ati,nvidia,video cards,ati products,apple ipod,video converter,divx players,3d video acceleration,portable entertainment,voodoo card,avivo[/tags]