Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe - 4-channel Internal Cable TV Tuner Card for CableCARD
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- Whole-Home Entertainment: With Windows Media Center Extenders like the Ceton Echo or Xbox 360, your Media Center PC with a Ceton InfiniTV becomes a whole-home entertainment device for digital cable. Watch and record different channels in different rooms, all from one PC, and using the familiar Windows Media Center user interface on all TVs.
- Works with any U.S. cable provider: InfiniTV 4 PCIe connects to any U.S. cable system to receive all SD and HD digital cable channels without needing a separate set-top box.
- Brings cable TV services to the PC, enabling cable + DVR + Internet TV and more, all on one device.
- Low-profile PCIe card that also works in full-height PC cases.
- Eliminates costly set-top box lease fees and monthly DVR fees
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This item Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe - 4-channel Internal Cable TV Tuner Card for CableCARD
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||BeachAudio||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Connectivity Technology||Ethernet||Wired||Built-in Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi||Ethernet and MoCA|
|Item Dimensions||0.68 x 6.6 x 2.54 in||7 x 4 x 1 in||2.7 x 8 x 4.3 in||2.7 x 8 x 4.3 in||11.4 x 7.3 x 1.8 in||6.12 x 6.12 x 1.25 in|
|Item Weight||0.75 lb||1.5 lbs||0.7 lb||0.7 lb||1.9 lbs||0.78 lb|
|Internet Applications||Windows 7, Windows Media Center||.||Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube||Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora||Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Vudu|
|Total HDMI Ports||—||0||1||1||1||1|
|Total Usb Ports||—||1||2||2||—||1|
** THIS MODEL HAS BEEN UPGRADED. PLEASE SEE INFINITV 6 PCIe FOR THE LATEST VERSION **. The Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe was the world's first 4-tuner digital cable TV tuner for the PC. InfiniTV turns your PC into the ultimate set-top box and DVR. With InfiniTV on your PC, you can replace your cable set-top box and associated monthly lease and DVR fees and use Windows 7’s built-in Media Center functionality to watch and record 4 live cable TV channels at once, including HD and premium channels like HBO, Showtime and Starz! InfiniTV 4 PCIe is an internal device in the PCI Express (PCIe) form factor. If you’re looking for an external device with the same capabilities, check out the Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB model. When used with Windows Media Center Extenders like the Xbox 360, you can also stream live or recorded cable channels to other TVs in your home over your home network. Using only a single cable connection and single CableCARD from your cable operator, InfiniTV can deliver all your cable channels and full DVR capability on any TV set. Requires a compatible PC with Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 7 Ultimate and an available PCIe slot. Requires a cable TV subscription and CableCARD from your cable operator. Windows Media Center Extender(s) required to access cable channels and recordings on secondary TV sets. IMPORTANT NOTE: Only Ceton products sold on Amazon that are listed as "Sold by Ceton" are covered by the Ceton Warranty and eligible for free support. Ceton products sold on Amazon by other sellers do not qualify.
Top customer reviews
DVR v1.0 used an ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner. Since there are multiple people in my house, and the ATI tuner can handle only one channel at a time, the Ceton card was a welcome upgrade for DVR v2.0. The installation and configuration is straightforward and will take about 1 hour depending on your level of expertise. Here's a rough outline of the steps you'll need to follow.
1. Pickup a CableCard from your CableCo. (They may tell you a home visit is mandatory, violating an FCC directive. Read on below.)
2. Open up the PC and insert the Ceton InfiniTV card in an empty PCIx slot.
3. Insert the CableCard into the Ceton InfiniTV slot.
4. Visit the Ceton website to install the latest drivers and firmware.
5. Connect your coax cable and reboot.
6. Start Windows Media Center and follow the setup wizards. The first wizard certifies your PC as Cable Ready. The second establishes your channel lineup. Typical configuration time is about 30 minutes.
During your journey to build the perfect HTPC, there are three possible hurdles you may encounter, which are surmountable given some time, patience, and tenacity.
1. Faulty card
2. Poor signal strength
3. Reluctance from CableCo to support CableCard technology
I experienced two of these hurdles, which I'll share with you in the hopes it will bring you to a speedier resolution.
The first card I received from Ceton had a faulty OOB (Out of Band) tuner, which has been documented on several websites devoted to Windows HTPC enthusiasts. To make matters worse, when I initially explained the issue to their tech support department, they ignored my detailed analysis of the issue and sent a canned reply requesting that I jump though a bunch of time-consuming hoops that they would have realized were unnecessary had they actually read my email. After I became more assertive regarding the situation, they apologized, and overnighted a replacement card, which has been running without issue for a month. Since Ceton is a new company, I expect missteps such as these. In the end, they did the right thing and made me a happy customer. I can now record up to 4 programs simultaneously and stream those programs to any XBOX 360 in the house or any Windows 7 PC in the world. (Try doing that with the CableCo DVR!) The recorded programs look and sound great and so does live TV. The diagnostic software is useful and well organized.
As people here and elsewhere have pointed out, the CableCo's are very reluctant to support this technology, even though the FCC has directed them to. Since they will lose substantial income from your DVR rental cancellation, the sales staff will do everything in their power to talk you out of using a CableCard. Then the technician who visits your home will most likely not understand CableCard technology and know even less about Windows Media Center. In other words... they are going to make the whole process as frustrating as humanly possible and you're pretty much on your own. For example, Comcast/xFinity insisted that they had to send out a technician (even though the FCC rules say that they must allow customer self-installs). Once the technician arrived, he had no idea how to set anything up. And to add insult to injury, they wanted to charge me for the visit!
Bottom line is: Why am I paying for an untrained technician to make a home visit that according to the FCC shouldn't be necessary in the first place?
So if your CableCo tries to bully you into submission, ask to speak with a supervisor and refer the supervisor to the rules listed below:
* CableCARD fees have to be the same for everyone, no matter which package you have.
* If your cable company allows any self installs, they must allow CableCARD self-installs.
* Cable companies must support SDV for CableCARD users -- this was implied before, now it is black and white.
* By default, all new deployments must be M-Cards (unless you actually request a S-Card).
* Cable companies can include an IP interface in set-top-boxes lieu of a 1394 port.
* One way HD boxes without CableCARDs are no longer forbidden and they don't require IP interfaces.
The irony of course is that DVRs will be obsolete in 5-10 years thanks to advances in on-demand services (Internet TV in Windows Media Center, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, etc) combined with faster broadband and cellular data speeds. But for now, despite the hurdles I described, this is truly the best DVR option out there. Yes, it's a little pricey, but the money you save in DVR rental fees will pay for the card. If you can get past possible equipment failure and your CableCo's frustrating reluctance to support technology the FCC directed them to, it's all worth it in the end.
My HTPC Specs: goo.gl/dHBKr
I give the InfiniTV 4/5 since the first card was faulty and because the repair process wasn't as smooth as it could have been.
Wrap the external coax connector that comes with the Ceton in aluminum foil, it solved all of my pixelation issues. I just moved from Cox to Time Warner territory and had a ton of trouble setting it up. It turns out the problem was at Time Warner, they didn't ask for all of the data required to authenticate. Long story short, I ran the diag tool, generated a log file and Ceton quickly replied. I used that info to coach the Time Warner people through the process. Ceton just started beta testing the extenders (google "Ceton Echo") which will allow you to view your recorded shows and watch live TV in other rooms without needing a full blown PC or XBox 360 (the only available extender as of today).
This device has a cult-like following because it's the first of its kind and I worry people will buy this thinking it's easy to use due to the high rating. So some real world advice follows...
When I first installed the InfiniTV the audio was delayed by a fraction of a second which made watching dialogue painful. A reinstall of windows solved the problem and I'm assuming it was due to weird codecs that were previously installed.
Starting up Media Center often requires a minute or two for the tuners to get detected, not a big deal if you leave it running all the time.
Changing channels can be a sometimes slow process, I'm sitting here watching a Padre game and a channel changes take about 3 to 4 seconds. Sometimes it takes up to ten seconds but I generally don't change the channel much so it's no big deal.
When in doubt run through the tuner setup wizard in Media Center, I battled with the cable company for three hours before I realized the problem was on my end (better drivers/firmware could fix this).
Sometimes the audio stutters really severely, pausing and starting video solves it but it's a pain. Again, not sure if this is due to my Creative sound card or not.
I'm using an Intel 320 SSD for my C:/Boot drive and a big Samsung Spinpoint F4 for media storage. If you're using an SSD only be aware that you constantly write to the drive (live tv buffer) and this will shorten its lifespan. Get a big secondary HDD and make sure you reconfigure Media Center to use it for TV data storage. You don't need a super fast HDD for this purpose, in fact, I opted for the 5400RPM slow model because it's fast enough, quiet, low power, and reliable.
When you're not watching TV try to remember to hit the stop button. Otherwise you'll beat up your hard drive in a hurry. I killed a 1.5TB WD in about a month because I simply turned off the TV while leaving the channels tuned in.
I'm on a Core2Duo at 2.3Ghz with 4GB RAM and SSD+HDD.