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The CETON Digital Cable Quad Tuner PC Card and why you should seriously consider it


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#1 of 92 RAF

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Posted November 10 2010 - 07:29 PM

If you are a person who gets your TV source material from a cable system (which also includes FIOS, AT&T Uverse, et. al.) then you can do yourself a big favor by following this thread to see how you can greatly enhance your TV experience.  Basically, if your provider offers a Cable Card as an option (which is just about every provider except for The Satellite Services - Dish and DirecTV) then you are a candidate for the CETON card and all that it offers in conjunction with a PC and Windows Media Center (built into Windows 7).


Originally I was going to create a long essay outlining my very favorable experience with a CETON Expansion Card, a PC, a Multituner Cable Card from FIOS (known as an "M-Card"), Windows 7 (for Windows Media Center) and multimedia extenders (the XBox 360 being the most cost-effective solution).  Various health issues have continually pushed off the creation of such an essay on my part - during which time my use of and experience with my FIOS/CETON configuration has continued to blossom and become even better.  There are already many sources of general information regarding the CETON card and how it works.  An excellent starting point that will provide some insight about the entire process from hardware through software can be found HERE at the CETON site.  Feel free to browse the various pages to get your feet wet and to bring newcomers up to speed.  Then come back here and ask any questions that you have regarding the system, its set-up and a wide range of other questions that are bound to come up and whose answers will benefit a lot of members here.,


Basically let me start by stating that I have a fully functional system throughout my house using one of the first CETON cards released a couple of months ago.  When someone asked me, "Does the system meet your expectations?" my answer was quickly, "It has exceeded my expectations in just about every area."  Adam Gregorich, one of the owners of the HTF has been running a FIOS system much longer.  He was involved in some of the early beta-testing of Windows 7, Windows Media Center and external cable cards prior to the release of the Ceton PC Card.  It basically performs the same functions but with a bunch of external boxes hanging off of USB ports rather than an internal card.  Adam has indicated that he will be monitoring the thread and will provide some valuable insights - probably even more extensive than my own - in an attempt to answer member questions as the thread progresses.


A little background about my own system.  In 1999 I had had my fill of Cablevision and all that this involved, both good and bad (mostly bad) and I switched over to The Dish Network for my TV needs.  My system eventually grew into a four box, eight tuner HD capable system in four locations in my home.  Each box was a dual channel, HD capable DVR with external drives to supplement the storage available to me in each room.  I was generally satisfied with the Dish DVRs (Model 722s and 622s) and they were essentially TiVo units (after all, TiVo successfully sued The Dish Network and won a $20 million judgment which Dish has been stalling on for several years so it's not a stretch to call the Dish boxes TiVo units.)  As the price of Dish subscriptions increased and as Dish refused to offer several stations that I wanted (the YES network in any form and PBS, AMC, and several local channels here in the NYC area in HD) I began to look elsewhere for a better solution.  By the spring of 2009 there were at least 15 channels of HD content that Dish did not carry and then along came FIOS.  I immediately jumped on board and added a FIOS DVR to the Home Theater and a "regular" HD box in the bedroom to provide the extra programming at an extra cost, of course.  The one thing that kept me with the Dish Network was the quality and the flexibility of the Dish DVRs.  The FIOS DVRs were, to put it kindly, less than ideal (in other words - quite bad.) Very limited storage, poor menu navigation, etc. etc.  In April of 2009 I was out in Washington visiting Adam Gregorich where I first saw his FIOS/Windows Media Center whole house beta testing (in conjunction with Microsoft) site and once I saw it I knew that this would be the direction of my next TV programming upgrade.  I immediately put my name on a list to purchase a CETON card when they became available and after several false starts by the company I finally received one of the first quad-tuner cards in the late Spring of this year.  I immediately ordered an M-card from FIOS and the technician came out to install his first such card in a PC card.  Installation was actually quite painless (thank to advice from Adam to remove any firewalls and other protective software - I favor Norton - in its entirety, only leaving the protection offered by Windows 7, which seems to be more than adequate.  And a tip of the hat to Kevin Collins who also suggested eliminating Norton and similar to allow programming to get through)


And here's Tip #1 (lots more as the thread progresses):  Remove any protective software - other than Windows 7 itself.  Remove means fully uninstall it, not just turn it off.  Apparently, Norton and similar consider any TV signals to be external threats and they won't let such signals through.  As soon as the software was removed the program guide magically (o.k. No so magically) appeared.


I then continued to follow the prompts until everything was set up and I was ready to connect my first TV to the system.  For this to work you need a PC (I recommend a dedicated one for the TV server and storage) - price depends on what processor, memory and storage you want aboard - A CETON card ($400) which you will plug the M-Card into, and one multimedia extender for each TV in your system.  As I mentioned before, the easiest multimedia extension to obtain (and one of the least expensive) is an XBox360 which has the ability to run Windows Media Center right from its menus.  And you don't need anything other than the least expensive Xbox 360 - currently the 4Gigabyte "Arcade" Model at $199.  There are other multimedia extenders out there from vendors such as HP (Adam probably can fill in some more - I went exclusively with XBoxes) but I think that the Xbox is comparably priced and you get an upscaling DVD player for each TV in the bargain.


As you begin to add everything up it might seem at first that you will have an initial hardware outlay of some significance.  You need the PC with at least Windows 7 Home Premium (you may upgrade further at any time) and the PC should be one of the faster ones (at least an i3 although Adam is using a dual core unit from about 2 years ago.  I opted for 8 gigs of RAM because Windows 7 seems to work more efficiently with a bit of RAM elbow room and a D drive to store recorded programs of 1.5 Terabytes (you can fin d these for under $100 without looking too hard).  Incidentally, 1.5 terabytes of disk space stores about 170 hours of HD programming and about 1200 hours of SD programming - each worst case scenarios. Add in $199 for each Xbox360 as a minimum to connect each TV into the system and you begin to see what the hardware is going to cost.


But after that it's clear sailing.  While FIOS charges $20/month to "rent" their "multi-room DVR" and $6/month for each HD box at any other TVs in the house, there are no such fees with your own PC and Xboxes.  The only charge is $3.99/month for the M-card which will allow you to simultaneously record 4 different events.  I understand that similar pricing is in effect for cable systems.  Remember - what I'm saying about setting up FIOS also applies to Comcast, Cable Vision and and other "cable" based system that uses cable cards.  Satellite systems are supposed to be offering their own special boxes to interface with Windows Media Center but they appear to have stalled at the moment.  I predict that they will eventually offer hardware - but then they have more control over the recurring monthly hardware costs.  When I switched over from FIOS with their DVR and Boxes I went from a monthly hardware charge of about $40 to a monthly charge of $4 (for the M-Card).  That's a savings of $432/year so you would eventually recoup your initial HW cost for the PC, the CETON Card and the XBoxes.


But this isn't just about saving money - it's about what you get with a PC/CETON/XBox approach to TV in your home.  The program guide comes from the meta data made available for every show and movie out there.  Windows 7 and the Windows Media Center takes care of all that and the options available to each viewer are far better than anything else I've seen.  Even the Dish Network boxes pale in comparison.  But let's stop at this point and take stock.  There are many directions that this thread can go at this time and what might interest one person might not interest another.  Rather than trying to cover everything and possibly leave something important out let's turn it over to you - the membership.  Read over the CETON material as well as other sources.  Speaking of which, here's another valuable source, The Green Button, which is known as The Official Windows Media Center Community.  While not confined to TV systems in the home it does provide a place where the "elite meet to greet" (to paraphrase Duffy's Tavern for those of you old enough to remember this radio show).  In other words, the Windows Media Gurus hang out there.  Valuable stuff.


Which brings up one last point.  As of this writing there doesn't seem to be any one manual or source that covers Windows Media Center and/or setting up a TV system using Windows 7 as described in this thread.  Perhaps someone from our ranks will see fit to come up with such a tome.  Until then, let's use this thread to start exchanging ideas, questions, answers, hints, etc.  I would hope that several of our members have started using CETON cards and have something to share.  There are hints galore waiting to be listed.  For example, you can purchase a Windows Media Center Remote on Amazon for under $11.  This essentially replaces the game controller with something much more familiar for TV watching.  But how many people know that the TITLE control also acts as a MUTE button or that the OK button acts as a LAST CHANNEL toggle?  And I'm sure that there are many, many other such hints just waiting to be discovered and shared.


So there you are.  The opening salvo in the CETON/PC/WINDOW MEDIA CENTER thread has been fired.


Let the discourse begin!


RAF
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#2 of 92 DaveF

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Posted November 11 2010 - 10:05 AM

Does Windows Media Center do live pause / rewind / fast forward? I've heard that it doesn't do auto-buffering of live TV and you must first set it record the program and then you can do Tivo-like live pausing. Can you clarify / correct my understanding?



#3 of 92 Parker Clack

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Posted November 11 2010 - 10:24 AM

Dave:


MCE does live buffering, You can be watching a show and take off to the store and then come back and rewind what you were watching, then fast forward it and pause/play the show you were/are watching. I think this is set at 60 minutes worth of time.


There are major advantages to using MCE. Number one being that it is integrated with the Windows OS so you can always drop out of MCE and surf the net, read your email, etc. The EPG is free. No monthly fees. With the use of the CETON or dual tuner cards you can record 4 shows at once either in analogue or HD. Of course your storage can be endless with the use of a NAS and so on.


If I had the money to pick up one of these cards it would be in my house without a second thought.


RAF:


Great article and review as usual.


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#4 of 92 mattCR

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Posted November 11 2010 - 10:33 AM

Yes, Dave, it autobuffers.   Robert, you've missed my threads in the HTPC area where I have mentioned this repeatedly.  I've just added my second Ceton card (so 8 tuners) and I am absolutely ecstatic with this solution.  Video quality is far superior to what I have received from any cable box.   The fast forward/rewind can be set in increments I chose.. and the archival quality is dead perfect.



The Ceton support is also fantastic. I've tried to open some doors on how quality a product I really feel Win7 MCE is, but let me add a few other references. Check out these sites


Hack7MC.Com

Mytv.senseitweb.net

MyMovies.Name

Mediabrowser.TV


Are great sites with more information.


Here's another "Wow" factor for MCE I've found nowhere else.     Thanks to family in Japan and the UK, I have instant access at a mere 20 second delay to BBC, ITV, and Japanese TV... all nice and ready for me to use.


With SecondRun, ( http://secondrun.tv/...e&articleid=136 ) I have GUIDE staggered content access to Hulu, BBC, and other content from around the world.   With access to forwarders, I've found some of the programs I follow.  I rarely miss 'Merlin" (UK), I watch 2 Japanese shows (KNOCK IT OFF) etc.


Media Center has been one of the most open development platforms out there and Ceton's product is absolutely incredible.  I change channels quick, the performance is solid, and hell, using Ceton I have instant knowledge of the format my broadcasters are using (720, 1080, and whether or not they are actually putting out the right audio feed; I've twice corrected our local Fox here in KC for outputting DD2.0 instead of 5.1!) 

Windows MCE is one of the least really pushed products on the market, but I LOVE mine.   I keep a MCE in our main living room, an XBOX as an extender in the bedroom and one in the kids room as an extender.  I wiped out a big chunk of my cable bill and I have more options at higher quality then I have ever had before.   Nothing like it!  Posted Image




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#5 of 92 DaveF

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Posted November 11 2010 - 12:37 PM

Thanks. A recent Engadget review seemed to say otherwise, which left me confused.

But TiVo has a few tricks too, like the ability to control both tuners and keep two live buffers -- Media Center makes you record both channels to maintain multiple buffers (you can have up to 16 of these if you max out the number of tuners).

Another great old school TiVo feature that's great for watching live TV is its ability to record the buffer; on Media Center if you decide to record a show half way through, the recording only includes from that point forward.

http://i.engadget.co...7-media-center/ I'm still confused on how MCE behaves, but I take it it does have at least one auto buffer.

#6 of 92 Adam Gregorich

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Posted November 11 2010 - 12:58 PM


 Windows MCE is one of the least really pushed products on the market, but I LOVE mine.   I keep a MCE in our main living room, an XBOX as an extender in the bedroom and one in the kids room as an extender.  I wiped out a big chunk of my cable bill and I have more options at higher quality then I have ever had before.   Nothing like it!  Posted Image

 I totally agree.  I don't have a Ceton yet.  I have 3 ATI cable card tuners.  I plan on eventually replacing them with a Ceton, I just haven't got around to it yet.  I have the Media Center PC in a closet and have extenders (older linksys or 360s) at all the TVs.



#7 of 92 DaveF

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Posted November 11 2010 - 01:15 PM

Another two minor questions:


Can an MCE stream recorded TV shows over your home network to an Xbox (used as an extender)? A recent podcast of Home Theater Geek said that wasn't possible, but I wondered if they mis-spoke or left out some details.


Can an Xbox as extender do any live TV buffering? Or is it solely a client for a PC running MCE?


I'm intrigued by the idea of a central DVR with 4 tuners that can stream shows to a bedroom system. I have two Tivos now that require juggling shows back and forth on occasion. I like them a lot, but I'm watching for what might replace those in the future.



#8 of 92 mattCR

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Posted November 11 2010 - 01:43 PM

Dave:


as far as the buffer goes, it keeps a buffer of whatever you are watching, and if you start recording, it grabs it from when you started watching.   That happened in a windows update a long time ago.  It's always had a buffer, it's just now also part of the recording.


XBOXes as extenders can watch live TV through your Media Center, or they can watch any stored recording.    If you have a Windows Home Server, it has a "TV archive" it also connects to, and you can store about as much TV as you want (I keep about 2TB of TV recordings on tap; my kids have damn near everything from NickJr and DisneyXD recorded).


The XBOX can also do TV buffering, forward and back, whether it's recording or not, you can also schedule recording, either immediate or a series through an XBOX, the XBOX interface is a 100% clone of the PC, it's an exact copy with almost no functions left out.. it can go through your videos, content, tv recordings, watch live TV, etc. all on an XBOX.


With my Ceton, I can be watching a show in HD, recording another, and my wife can watch live TV or a recording in our room and the kids can watch something else.  All with a central recording....  and like I said, integration of external feeds is -incredible-.   The moment I realized I could legitimately, legally get hold of BBC and a few other TV sources (small fee on some) I was bowled over.   As a Doctor Who fan (damnit! I'm outted!), Top Gear, The IT Crowd and Merlin fan, I was hooked easily about 2 years ago once I figured that out.


The fact that we have no cable boxes anywhere, which cuts expense on the bill?  Perfect.  And the XBOXes are cheap to find now, all of them do it, and they act as halfway decent DVD players as well ;)


(Note:  While a PS3 won't interface or show the Media Center front end, a PS3 CAN playback TV recordings from a MediaCenter with small, freely available tools)




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#9 of 92 Parker Clack

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Posted November 11 2010 - 02:04 PM

Dave:


I am with matt, Adam and RAF that MCE is the least known yet best solution out there as a DVR with streaming. I have an HTPC in the living room that is using two Hauppauge dual tuners. I can be watching a program in the living room, while recording a couple others shows and my wife can be upstairs using the XBox to watch something that has already been recorded on the HTPC earlier. The phone rings or I have to help with dinner and I can pause the show I am watching and come back to it a few minutes right where I left off. The XBox acting as an extender gives you the same EPG and options that you see on your HTPC using MCE. You can buy a MCE remote and use it to control the Xbox like MCE on your HTPC.


I wish that Microsoft would just give us a solution like Google or Apple that just has MCE on it in a box. While it is nice to have the option to jump on the net or using the other programs loaded on Windows 7 I rarely use them. It would be a really nice box that they could load the OS on to the RAM or ROM and then plug it into a Media Server like those available from HP. I am not sure why Microsoft hasn't come out with a dedicated box for MCE without all the other software that isn't needed. It would really give Apple TV and Google a run for their money.


Parker


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#10 of 92 DaveF

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Posted November 11 2010 - 03:42 PM

Thanks. :) I don't understand why I'm getting such wrong / confusing info from presumably reliable sources. Do you have a wired or wifi LAN.?

#11 of 92 mattCR

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Posted November 11 2010 - 04:03 PM

I use wired lan throughout our house, and supporting a bunch via WiFi would be trickier... but not impossible.   I know several who use HPN (Powerline networking) with very good success.



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#12 of 92 Parker Clack

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Posted November 11 2010 - 04:28 PM

I am in the group that uses a Netgear Powerline. Wireless didn't work that well for me when streaming in my house. Ideally you want to use wired but the Netgear works without a hitch. Parker

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#13 of 92 Parker Clack

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Posted November 12 2010 - 01:54 PM

I would love it if Microsoft would release Mediaroom as a software program that you could load on to Windows 7. As of now the only one using this in the US is ATT Uverse. It would be great to be able to use the software for a whole house solution without having to be restricted to ATT only.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#14 of 92 RAF

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Posted November 13 2010 - 08:18 AM

 My thanks to Adam, Partker, Matt et. al. for jumping in here and fielding the questions from Dave and, potentially, many other members in regards to Win7and MCE (a.k.a. Windows Media Center which was originally called "Media Center Edition" - thus the "MCE" when it first debuted in Win XP).  I am aware that this has always been a hot topic in the HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) section of the forum and it was my intention, which is now being realized, to bring the discussion more out in the "open" in the Hi Def Source Hardware section of the forum.  With the maturation of MCE (or WMC) in Windows 7 as well as the integration of Xboxes as Media Extenders in a Home set-up being readily available to PC users with CETON cards I hope to convince more members to at least investigate the possibility of switching over from their current cable provider from a Set Top Box environment to a Cable Card environment.  I also suggest that Satellite subscribers also look into this option.  I was a Dish Network subscriber for over a dozen years and when I set up my PC-based Cable Card system I dumped Dish much quicker than I thought that I would.


My original plan was to run parallel systems (Dish Network with their Set Top DVRs) and Cable Card-based (CETON/PC) for a couple of months while I learned the ins and outs of the Cable Card/WMC system.  It took me less than a week to realize that not only does the Cable Card/WMC system do everything that my Dish Network system does but it does it better and is far more configurable.  I certainly don't claim to be a Cable Card/WMC poweer user yet (like MattCR, Parker and Adam among others here) but I'm learning.  I fully understand the questions that DaveF raises here for these were some of the questions that I had myself during the switchover from Dish to Cable Card/WMC.


Editor's Note:  I'm having a hard time coming up with a simple phrase to represent a PC with the ability to accept a Cable Card - ala CETON or similar - and then use Media Extenders such as Xboxes and Windows Media Center (WMC) to provide all the viewing, programming, recording and program distribution throughout one's home.  To simplify things I will use the term CETON/WMC to represent such a system although I realize that there will be other manufacturers than just CETON which will provide similar functionality either internally or externally (Like Adam's ATI units) to link Cable Cards to WMC. So CETON/WMC it is for purposes of clarity here.


The bottom line is that within a week I was able to figure out that my CETON/WMC system was able to do everything that my Dish Boxes were able to deliver - and much more.  The hardest thing to figure out was which buttons on the remote did what but with a bit of trial and error I found the "fast forward" and "reverse" buttons which allows me to view the program buffers and similar functions.  Incidentally, Adam pointed out to me that the default values for Fast Forward and Reverse are 29 seconds and seven seconds respectively.  He even pointed out to me that I could change these default values by looking for the appropriate section of the register where these numbers are located.  In other words, with a bit of investigation the values are highly configurable - although I'm learning that most if not all of the default values work just fine and are probably the result of many man or woman-hours of trial and error.


What I'm trying to say is that Dave's questions are good ones and, as far as I can see, the CETON/WMC system is at least as capable as any other system available for the home user and probably much more so.  I see that others have already answered the buffer question and it is also obvious that these members have much more time logged with their own CETON/WMC type systems - which is a good thing.  I'm sure that I will learn a lot more myself from these individuals.  At the moment I'm totally up to speed with my CETON/WMC system and at present it has completely replaced my Dish system (and the hefty bill that Dish asked of me every month!)  While I don't expect the system to be flawless, so far so good.  I'm learning more as I go along and at this point I don't miss Dish at all.  My FIOS Cable Card system works flawlessly with the CETON PC Card and I don't see why any Cable Card would work any differently (and far less expensively in the long run than other providers' monthly Set Top Box fees).


I've accomplished what I set out to do - bring the CETON/WMC matter to the forefront here in the HD Source HW section which is a bit more mainstream than the HTPC area (with all due respect to those who frequent that section.)  There is already a nice dialogue going on and I encourage it to continue.  We obviously have some very knowledgable users who are more than willing to answer questions of those who have them.  I know that I'm learning a lot from the current thread.  MattCR has listed some very good references for further exploration.


My personal health issues (Pancreatic Cancer) prevent me from being as active on the forum as I have in the past but I feel that the thread is in good hands.  Keep them cards and letters coming!


Posted Image Posted Image


RAF
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["PITA" since 1942]
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#15 of 92 RAF

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Posted November 13 2010 - 08:36 AM

It occurs to me, after reading over my previous response, that the CETON/WMC topic would be a good subject for a Wiki Article.  There might be some "how-to" information to let people know exactly what is required to get up and running.  This is really not a PC/Mac situation - which is why I wanted to move some of the basic discussion over here to this less PC-centric arena.  True, this CETON/WMC works on a Windows 7 machine but that's just because WMC is the best at what it does and it's not about being a PC or a Mac person.  I bring this up because Ron mentioned me that he had no personal interest in this thread because he is a "Mac Person."  He misses the point.  You purchase a PC (or resurrect an old one that is up to specs) for the specific purpose of acting as your TV server. That doesn't change anything in your house if it's filled with Macs for your computer needs.  This is simply getting the best tool for the job.  Heck, I'm a PC guy (which in a display of gallows humor by a friend of mine might stand for Pancreatic Cancer) but I still own and love an iPad.  The best tool for the job.


Normally I would be the person who would probably start a WIKI (or perhaps a series of WIKIs on the subject such as

  • Basics of CETON/WMC.  What you need to get started
  • FAQ's regarding CETON/WMC issues
  • Valuable Resources and sites to learn more about CETON/WMC
  • Hints and Tricks of the Trade.  What the missing manual doesn't tell you.
Some of you could probably expand on my WIKI list or offer alternate suggestions.


But what I'm getting to is - I can't devote the time needed to do the job right (although I might be able to add to any existing WIKIs on the subject if I feel that I have something valuable to share.)  I can't commit to a definite time frame to do the job right because of my health issues, but I'd hate to see the job wither on the vine if it could benefit our members.  I really think that this might be a most beneficial endeavor.


Thoughts?


RAF
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#16 of 92 mattCR

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Posted November 14 2010 - 03:53 PM

Robert- I think you're right. I also agree with the point on Mac. For many, a well handled Win7MC almost never sees the desktop; my parents, who are in their 70s, NEVER drop to the desktop, have no keyboard anywhere near it, and it has worked flawlessly for them for over a year. I think sometimes we take the "I'm a Mac" "I'm a PC" .. a well setup MC is like an AppleTV or Google box on steroids, in that if it's setup right, you almost never look under the hood ;)

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#17 of 92 Andrew Pierce

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Posted November 15 2010 - 08:29 AM

Guys, I see the confusion here.

But TiVo has a few tricks too, like the ability to control both tuners and keep two live buffers


Media center buffers live TV, it's the TWO buffer ability which I believe is unique to Tivo -- Tivo will buffer what you're watching and also buffer the previous channel you were on, assuming you have two free tuners. So you're watching one show, and decide to switch over to another channel and then switch back, after the end of the commercial break. With Tivo's dual live buffers you can rewind back to the end of the commercial break, even though 1) You were not recording the show and 2) You changed the channel. With most DVRs, once you change the live tv channel away from what you were watching, the DVR would have stopped buffering it, unless you were specifically recording. Also worth noting, if you were recording something else, or if you changed channels twice before retuning to your original channel you're still boned on a Tivo, but I can see where it could be handy in certain cases. But because of those two gotchas, it's still best to go ahead and record your show to be guaranteed it'll be buffered while you're switching channels.


Frankly, I'd rather have the 4 tuners, and the massive, cheap drive space with the Ceton. Why would I want to switch between 2 channels anyway? Probably I don't, probably I want to watch one thing all the way and then watch the other. But I'm not a sports nut, which I suspect is where this feature comes from. Anyway, it's pretty easy to go ahead and tell it to record both with Media Center, and then I have effectively the same functionality.



#18 of 92 RAF

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Posted November 15 2010 - 08:54 AM

Andrew,


I agree with you.  While a two buffer Tivo seems like an interesting feature you can effectively do the same thing with a CETON which has two tuners free by simply telling it to record both channels you are watching.  Heck, you could do this with FOUR channels if you have all four tuners free, thus emulating FOUR buffers of TV.  And then you could either watch each show in whatever order you want or dump any of the non-copy protected shows to DVD to distribute through "sneaker net."  Posted Image


Yes, real time live buffers are nice, but 4 tuners and flexible recording options has a lot (more) going for itself.


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#19 of 92 mattCR

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Posted November 15 2010 - 09:00 AM

More importantly, if you are interested enough in both programs, and you are already recording them, you have "4" live buffers going at anytime, you can switch to any of the shows you are actually recording and they are fully buffered, all the way. So, the idea of dual buffer of programs I'm not interested enough to record seems like.. well "eh". If it meant enough I was going to switch back and forth, I'd just record one (or both) of them.

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#20 of 92 DaveF

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Posted November 15 2010 - 09:26 AM

Originally Posted by Andrew Pierce 

Guys, I see the confusion here.

Quote:
But TiVo has a few tricks too, like the ability to control both tuners and keep two live buffers



Why would I want to switch between 2 channels anyway? Probably I don't ....


You don't, until you can do it. And then you find it's useful from time to time. :) But thanks for the clarification. That helps.



How about "Recommendations"? Does WCE have some akin to Tivo Recommendations, where it auto-finds interesting content? We rely on this for filler TV, though life would continue without it.


I've started talking with my wife about what we might replace our TivoHDs with, eventually. I may still be a year away from that upgrade, but as I understand WCE better, it's starting to seem more reasonable (And since the new Tivo Premiere seems to have UI and software bugs and goofs.)






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