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Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner CableCARD Receiver
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- WinTV-DCR-2650 needs a PC to work. Currently, only a PC with Windows Media Center (Windows 7 or 8) is compatible with the WinTV-DCR-2650
- WinTV-DCR-2650 does not have any internal disk storage: it uses your PC for storing recorded TV programs. The nice thing about using your PC for storage is that if you fill up your hard drive with TV programs, you can easily add a new hard drive to your PC
- Watch and record premium cable TV on your PC
- Simple to install via USB
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WinTV-DCR-2650 is a dual tuner CableCARD receiver set top box for your Windows 7 PC. Users are now able watch and record PREMIUM cable TV on your PC. Simple to install via USB, the DCR-2650 works with Windows 7 Media Center.
From the Manufacturer
The Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 is a dual tuner CableCARD receiver for Your Windows 7 PC. Watch and record basic and premium cable TV on your PC at the same time: The WinTV-DCR-2650 has two tuners so you can watch one cable TV program while recording another. Or record two programs at the same time. It's simple to install via USB, and works with Windows 7 Media Center with the free Electronic Program Guide. This CableCARD receiver works with all U.S. cable operators such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Cable, Cablevision, Fios, and Uverse.
How Does WinTV-DCR-2650 Work
WinTV-DCR-2650 is just like a cable TV set top box (a "DVR" box) in that it can be used to watch and record TV from digital cable, with some minor differences. The key difference is that a Windows 7 PC with Media Center is required to use the WinTV-DCR-2650, because it works directly with your PC to choose shows in the Program Guide, and to store recorded TV programs. Using your PC for storage gives you an advantage over standard DVR boxes, because if you fill up your hard drive with TV programs, you can easily add a new internal or external hard drive to your PC as needed for virtually unlimited storage of your favorite cable shows.
Plus, there is no monthly fee for the WinTV-DCR-2650. Once you buy it, it's yours to use forever. But you still need to sign up for cable TV service, and you will still need to rent a digital cable card from your local cable operator.
Watch and Record Premium Cable TV Channels Such As HBO and Showtime
All of your cable TV channels, including premium cable channels such as HBO and Showtime, can be watched and recorded with the WinTV-HVR-2650 and Windows Media Center. (Subscriptions to premium channels are required to watch and record those channels.)
Pay-Per-View and video on demand will not be available through the WinTV-DCR-2605, however, since it requires a two way communication to your cable operator.
Test Your Windows 7 PC for Compatibility with Digital Cable Advisor
It's easy to test your PC to ensure it has the correct resources to run the CableCARD receiver. Use Windows Media Center's built-in Digital Cable Advisor for a quick, simple wizard to make sure your Windows 7 PC will work optimally with the WinTV-DCR-2650.
Easy to Install via a USB Connector
The WinTV-DCR-2650 works with most Windows 7 systems with USB ports, including desktop and notebook PCs. It connects to your cable TV directly--no set top box required. You can control your CableCARD, including navigating, watching, and recording shows, using a standard Windows Media Center remote control (not included).
What's in the Box
Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 USB Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD receiver, USB cable, power supply, driver CD-ROM, Quick Installation Guide.
- Windows 7 PC, laptop, or Home Theater PC (HTPC)
- a PC which meets the Microsoft requirements for a digital CableCARD receiver (use Windows Media Center's built-in Digital Cable Advisor to check compatibility)
Note: The test to make sure your PC can run the digital CableCARD can be found by here:
Click the Digital Cable Advisor tab for instructions on running the Digital Cable Advisor.
Note: The test to make sure your PC can run the digital CableCARD can be found by here:
Top customer reviews
Cox gave me a cable card and cable adapter. Both needed to connect to my computer by USB, and I had to download the proper drivers from the Hauppauge website. Cox was difficult to deal with and It took five calls to get it working. One visit by a Cox tech who knew nothing about cable cards. The trick was that cox had to download the setup data to the cable adapter with the USB unplugged. If I left it plugged in during the setup, the cable adapter went into "brick" mode whatever that is. None of this was spelled out either in the Hauppauge instructions, or the literature Cox gave me with the cable card. It took experimentation and a lot of patience.
So if you are like me, a little technically savvy and persistent, you can continue to use Windows Media Center to record TV. Now I must hold onto Windows 7 as long as I can, and hope software comes along to replace Windows Media Center.
However, the 2650 needs a PC running Win Media Center 24/7 so really I am not sure that I am saving much because now I have two devices plugged in 24/7. So after the additional cost of Building my HTPC and the electricity used to run it 24/7 it's probably a break even on renting the DVR.
In contrast however, I am only limited on storage by the Hard Drive that I installed and it did add a second tuner and Picture in Picture with my setup
I will update the review as I get some more use out of my new toy
As far as the install......
I had some similar install issues with Comcast Cable in MD. I picked up a Cable card at the local office then called the Card Activation Center and got the card activated though the Comcast Cable Card Activation Department. That in of itself was a feat because I kept stumbling around in Windows Media Center trying to find where my Host ID was, and after getting there trying to figure out how to refresh that screen to find out if my Cable Card Activation was working. There was a huge learning curve for me and Media Center because I opened media center once like 2 years ago and then never revisited it.
That is until I went to the manufacture website and found this utility under the product support page WinTV-DCR-2650 Diagnostic Utiltiy. This utility will give you all the info you need give to the Cable Techs activating and pairing your card as well as the status of our Card Activation and Lock. This is huge because you don't have to deal with media center while activating and pairing the Cable card also there is a refresh button in the application that will refresh the values so you can test to see if whatever the tech did successfully activated and paired your card. It makes it so much easier to troubleshoot activation. Also it works outside of Windows Media Center so you don't have to guess if the card is activated.
Also, I was initially having trouble with the card so I downloaded and installed their Beta Firmware form the manufacture website. I am not really sure that it made a difference because the release notes indicated something about logging.
Follow the directions on the Quick Start sheet Step by Step and make sure to run the digital cable diagnostic and Windows Media Center activation or you will have some issues latter.
After activating the card I was only receiving the lower channels not the higher ones and so I had to call the 1-800-comcast number. (Once the Card is activated the Card Activation folks are done with you.) Well after several signals sent by Comcast the net result was that I stopped receiving any channels at all.
I put the project to bed and the next day after doing some googling I called Comcast back and had them Send a Initialization signal and then a refresh signal to my WinTV-DCR-2650 30 seconds later I started receiving all the channels. Be sure to Close and reopen Media Center if you don't see the new channels right way.
I think that setting up this card should be considered a 3 Phase approach.
1. Setup the PC you are going to use for a DVR. Just follow the directions on the quick start guide to run the Windows Digital Cable Advisor to make sure your PC is compatible with the WinTV-DCR-2650. And Activate Windows Media Center.
2. Use the WinTV-DCR-2650 Diagnostic Utiltiy to establish if and when the Cable Card has been activated and locked. If you go to the manufacture website then under utilities you will find a link to download it as well as a picture of what everything should look like the card is activated and locked. It you have an item displaying in Red something is wrong. Do not even bother going into Win Media Center to see if you have cannels until the utility is showing that the card is activated and locked, you will just be wasting your time. Do not remove and reseat your cable card unless of course it is backwards or you're not getting the values you need to give the cable company. If you have to remove and reinstall the card you MUST pair it again because you will get a different host ID. Again do not proceed unless the card is activated and locked according the Diagnostic Utility.
3. Once the Card is activated and Paired then go to Win Media Center to verify your that you have all your channels. If you are missing some you will need to call the 1-800-COMCAST Number to have them troubleshoot. In my case I did not get any HD channels so I had them send an Initialization signal and then a refresh signal to my WinTV-DCR-2650
Most recent customer reviews
See my few notes below:
1. Cable card is very inexpensive around $2.Read more
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