Build a CableCard MCE PC with Ceton TV Tuner

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Description

Last year Microsoft announced that we would let people add their own digital TV Tuners to their computers to create their own Media Center PC's. (The big difference with CableCard and the TV Tuners you can get today is the ability to record pay channels like HBO in HD.) This was great news, except the number of CableCard based TV Tuners is.. well, almost non-existent.

That's going to change in Q1 with Ceton's TV Tuners. This PCIe card will let you install a CableCard in your PC and record up to four HD channels at once. At one booth at CES, they were running two of these cards in one PC, and who wouldn't want to record 8 HD channels at the same time? I met up with Gary Hammer, the President and CEO of Ceton Corporation at CES and asked him some questions about their new TV Tuner.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    Haven't watched it yet...any word on a release date?

  • User profile image
    Dodo

    Sweet. Anything about power requirements (hardware processor efficiency ratings would be nice), maximum number of cards per machine, and PCB height?

  • User profile image
    justncase80

    Their website says March 31st!

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    But will this work with ATTs/Microsoft's own UVerse cable?  Does this also mean the complete "cable box" is on the card?  So media center can control the channels directly without having to control out to a IR to switch the channel to record?

  • User profile image
    LarryLarsen

    I don't want to respond for Ceton WRT UVerse, you might ping them on that. It does mean though that you've got a "cable box" (technically more like 4 cable boxes) in a card in your PC. So it's a straight through Media Center experience with no IR lag. Smiley

  • User profile image
    jpltim

    All controls are through WMC. If it is the same version that they had at CES 2010 then it will work great. You can watch one channel and record three others, or stream out to your Extenders, or record and distribute to your Windows Home Server and even downsample to your Zune. AC3 codec needed of course.

     

     

    Oh, and Microsoft modified the CES 2010 rig to have 8 tuners just for the show. We asked. All regular users will have the four tuner limit.

     

    Tim

  • User profile image
    ath0mps0

    All of the specs are available at http://www.cetoncorp.com.  Dual Core, 2.0Ghz+, 3GB RAM, Low Profile available.  Most of the processing is performed on the PCI-Ex card which is compatible with 1x, 4x, 8x, or 16x slots.  The card will be for sale Q1 or "by March 31, 2010".  It could be tomorrow or anytime before the end of the quarter.  If you want to know right away, go to their web site, click "Buy Now" and sign up for the newsletter (First, Last Name and email address).  Sales really depend on manufacturing ramp-up and getting full certification from CableLabs which seems to have gone very well since the initial launch of the product at CES 2009 (we've been waiting for over a year now).

     

    Ceton has stated that it will be sold through Amazon.com, other retail vendors (TBD) and via system builders.  Standard versions of WMC 2007 (Windows 2007 Home Premium or above) will support one card (4 tuners) while system builders that are licensed to sell the advanced media pack will support two cards (8 tuners).

     

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