Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

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


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#61 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 01 2012 - 04:07 AM



Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

Usually the flags are set by the cable provider. Some will flag everything except the local channels; ie. what you can get over the air ATSC via antenna. Most will only flag the premium stations (Starz, HBO, Showtime, etc.) and leave everything else open copy. Some don't flag anything.
It's my understanding that flagged content can still be pushed into multiple rooms with a Microsoft-approved WMC extender like the Xbox 360. The WDTV Live Hub I use isn't an approved extender, but it can play all of the DVR-MS files when I drag and drop them.
One thing to consider in your setup, since I know you've done without cable for a while, is that the Ceton card handles neither ATSC signals nor ClearQAM signals. Theoretically it should still pick up ClearQAM signals if you plug in a coaxial cable without an M Card installed, but there's a problem on the Windows Media Center end that keeps it from recognizing the card right without a CableCARD installed. I believe Ceton is working with Microsoft to get this rectified, probably with a combination WMC software update and Ceton firmware update.
The main thing that pushed me to the Ceton card is that FiOS did not play well with WMC's ClearQAM capabilities well at all. When we were still with Time Warner, my HVR-1850 worked just fine for my needs.


Thanks.


And I've read that TivoPremiere has the similar issues with protected content: it moves content from one device to another and doesn't stream. Engadget has some explanation I need to re-read.


I'm probably getting digital cable this year, and hopefully FIOS, with my move to Virginia. Knowing that Ceton can't do ClearQAM is helpful, since I might have considered "lifeline" as a cheap option.




#62 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 01 2012 - 04:21 AM

Here it is:



A category that we give TiVo credit for inventing, also easily goes to Media Center. TiVo's older hardware limited its network throughput and in most cases there isn't enough throughput for real time transfers. So the TiVo solution is to copy a show from one DVR to another so you can watch it in another room. The problem is that most cable providers mark their programming as Copy Once which means another copy can't be made for the bedroom. The TiVo Premiere's hardware can easily manage this but its software still only facilitates copying instead of streaming. Meanwhile Media Center offers the same fate, but with one big difference, the Xbox 360 will act as an Extender for Media Center. This means that all the content is streamed from the PC to the 360 and Copy Once DRM doesn't get in the way. Of course even the new 360 isn't exactly the ideal set-top box in a number of ways, and so it isn't a solution for some. Both desperately need the meaning of Copy Once redefined to more closely compare to the way Amazon or iTunes's DRM works, but in the meantime Media Center wins this one because although the 360 isn't the perfect extender, it is better than TiVo's solution, which is nothing.

http://www.engadget....7-media-center/



#63 of 92 mattCR

mattCR

    Advanced Member

  • 9,824 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 2005
  • Real Name:Matt
  • LocationOverland Park, KS

Posted January 01 2012 - 05:08 AM

Dave, here's my real advice:


I've run Media Center in various formats for 5+ years.   WMC 7 is about as close to "perfect" as it gets.   But I will tell you this before you get going:   Don't just "sling something together".   Good Media Centers are often ones that are used dedicated for that purpose and are built with Media Center function in mind.   You don't have to spend a lot to get that, but you have to have realistic expectations of what you want and what you expect.   People who "slowly cobble together" a media center, or who just pick out pieces/parts based on "new/hot" or "old preferences" often find the entire experience clunky, annoying, and hard to handle.


My wife frankly loves MC.   WIth Ceton (and yes, XBOXs) we have a common pool of recordings that travel through our house, live TV in every room we want it, outbound streams to her iPad (remotepotatoe and some.. other stuff) and the like.  If done right, it's one of the best experiences with live TV on the market (period).   Done wrong, you're going to be frustrated, annoyed and deal with issues. 

That's the difference.

trakt.tv

Ask Me about HTPC! (Threads in HTPC / PMs always responded to)

This signature is povided by MediaBrowser 3 Trakt Plugin: Media Browser 3


#64 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 01 2012 - 12:46 PM

Good idea, and that's generally my plan. I don't want to spend $800 on new a Windows computer, invest several weekends, and  discover my wife hates it because it's missing some basic functionality I should have known about ahead of time.


As you've got 4+ tuners and an extender, can you comment (perhaps not for the first time :) on how it handles live (Tivo-ish) DVR functionality? With a Ceton, can 7MC do two or more live TV streams with DVR controls (assuming they're not being used for scheduled recordings)?


If so, this is probably a winner. If not...I'm not sure. Maybe I'd build two separate computers that can stream back and forth?


#65 of 92 mattCR

mattCR

    Advanced Member

  • 9,824 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 2005
  • Real Name:Matt
  • LocationOverland Park, KS

Posted January 02 2012 - 12:40 AM

OK.   Let's say I'm recording multiple shows at once.  In fact, I'll give a straight on example:


I've got Bones, Grey's Anatomy and 30 Rock recording at the same time.


In my main room, I have the HTPC.   In our bedroom my wife has an XBOX, my kids have an XBOX as Extenders.    In the main room, live, I'm watching   Bones.   Fine.   I get up, and go make a sandwich (could happen) pausing it.   My wife is in the bedroom watching 30 Rock.. live.  She pauses too, to come out and tell me about (whatever).   In the kid's room they are watching Team Umizoomi (live) which I'm not recording, but I have four more tuners free for that.. or they are watching DVR content, etc.


All of that works - so every room on an extender works with watching DVR in progress content or live streams.  Full pause/fastforward/rewind available to them.




trakt.tv

Ask Me about HTPC! (Threads in HTPC / PMs always responded to)

This signature is povided by MediaBrowser 3 Trakt Plugin: Media Browser 3


#66 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 02 2012 - 11:54 AM

I want to make sure I understand, because this is a fundamental feature for WAF: In your example. those multiple streams are not pre-scheduled programs. All live, spontaneously selected viewing.

Thanks.



#67 of 92 mattCR

mattCR

    Advanced Member

  • 9,824 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 2005
  • Real Name:Matt
  • LocationOverland Park, KS

Posted January 02 2012 - 12:08 PM

OK.  Now I'm not so sure what you're thinking of.   Ok, but let me give an example:


I right now am watching live "The Rose Bowl"


My wife is in the other room watching something else (I think probably some crap like "Say Yes to the Dress") anyway, both live, neither being recorded.   I can press pause, she can press pause, etc.   All stays working.


Your maximum pause time is 45 minutes.


trakt.tv

Ask Me about HTPC! (Threads in HTPC / PMs always responded to)

This signature is povided by MediaBrowser 3 Trakt Plugin: Media Browser 3


#68 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 02 2012 - 09:59 PM

Live TV, without any "season passes" running. That is, like what a Tivo normally does.


Tivo has two tuners always running, with a 30 min buffer. Turn on the TV and you can pause, rewind. It's not user-scheduled TV; just random stuff (like early evening news or Jeopardy, for us). And you can switch between both tuners without losing the other's buffer. With a second Tivo (in a second) room, you can also do the same thing there.



So my question is whether WMC can do the same: multiple live TV streams, without any user-scheduled programming running. Just turn on random live TV, e.g. NBC on the main tuner and FOX on the extender, and have the 45 min buffer of pause, rewind? The engadget review said WMC can only do 1 tuner of live TV; all other tuners had to be scheduled programming or pre-recorded content:



While DVR owners probably don't spend much time watching live TV, it is still an important feature. [...] 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). 


and



Buffers run 24x7 so if you turn on your TV to discover a show you like, you can rewind to see it. This also makes it respond to the Live TV button quicker than Media Center.


Your comments suggest otherwise, but I want to make sure we're talking about the same thing.



#69 of 92 mattCR

mattCR

    Advanced Member

  • 9,824 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 2005
  • Real Name:Matt
  • LocationOverland Park, KS

Posted January 03 2012 - 01:21 AM

I'm just not sure I quite get this.


Ok, if you turn on the TV function of media center, there is no "rewind" outside of where you start; because it assumes no tuners are in use (unless they are recording, etc.)


So, if that's the question, that's true.  I guess I've never thought of this as a disadvantage because I have no idea what channel it would just "leave spooling" all the time ...


As far as live tuners;  you have as many recording as you want (well, up to twelve) and as many as 5 live tuners (1 in the main, and then 4 extenders)


But I don't quite grasp what the goal is of what you propose (?)  I just don't see the benefit.. I mean, I see where you could rewind some random show that it was on, but I don't know whether I'd perceive that as good or not.


trakt.tv

Ask Me about HTPC! (Threads in HTPC / PMs always responded to)

This signature is povided by MediaBrowser 3 Trakt Plugin: Media Browser 3


#70 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 03 2012 - 11:02 AM



Originally Posted by mattCR 

I'm just not sure I quite get this.


Ok, if you turn on the TV function of media center, there is no "rewind" outside of where you start; because it assumes no tuners are in use (unless they are recording, etc.)


So, if that's the question, that's true.  I guess I've never thought of this as a disadvantage because I have no idea what channel it would just "leave spooling" all the time ...


As far as live tuners;  you have as many recording as you want (well, up to twelve) and as many as 5 live tuners (1 in the main, and then 4 extenders)


But I don't quite grasp what the goal is of what you propose (?)  I just don't see the benefit.. I mean, I see where you could rewind some random show that it was on, but I don't know whether I'd perceive that as good or not.

Ok, I think I'm with you.


Here's what I took from Engadget: My wife is watching random live TV in the living room (e.g. 7pm Jeopardy at CBS). If I went to the bedroom (extender system) TV, I could only watch previously-recorded content, or I could stream live whatever show she is watching. I could not watch random live TV on a different tuner / different channel (e.g 7pm Simpsons on FOX). I would also not be able to swap between e.g 7pm Simpsons on FOX and 7pm news on NBC, while preserving the buffers on both.



But you're saying Engadget is wrong (or I misunderstand), and that at least one live stream per TV is doable.


Why is this useful? Mostly because we're used to it, and if I remove basic features that we're used to, we'll be frustrated and this project will be a harder sell especially to my wife.

But also because...Tivo is pretty much always recording and generally has a live 30 minute buffer. The benefit on one Tivo is:

* If you happen upon a show by happy accident, you can record it back to the start of the half-hour (as I did with PBS's Steve Jobs Bio)

* You can flip between the two tuners, live, and bop around between them, with pause and rewind active on both. I do that sometimes. It's handy when I find something of modest interest but I'm searching for something better. I can hunt on one tuner without losing the buffer of the other channel.

And with two separate Tivos:

* my wife can be watching something live in the living room while I'm watching something live in the bedroom.


The Engadget articles suggest a system that's difficult to use with live TV, at least beyond a single tuner on a single TV, constantly having to turn on and off "recording" as you change channels. And while a DVR gets us away from live TV, we still watch some, particularly when making dinner or getting ready for bed or for background viewing.


I can live without Suggestions. Even without two -live tuners on a single set. But multi-room, multi-channel live viewing is necessary for us, at least to make the transition from Tivo. Fortunately, you're saying that's possible. :)






#71 of 92 Adam Lenhardt

Adam Lenhardt

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 13,814 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2001
  • LocationAlbany, NY

Posted January 03 2012 - 11:04 AM

But I will tell you this before you get going:   Don't just "sling something together".   Good Media Centers are often ones that are used dedicated for that purpose and are built with Media Center function in mind.   You don't have to spend a lot to get that, but you have to have realistic expectations of what you want and what you expect.

Having spent just over a week with the Ceton CableCARD setup in a computer that is NOT dedicated to HTPC, I really have to second this. Once everything's up and running, it runs splendidly. But sometimes when the computer first boots back up, there's hiccups with Windows Media Center. None of these would be a problem if the computer was left on 24/7 as a dedicated media server, in the way that a Tivo or other DVR is.

#72 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 03 2012 - 11:16 AM

I intend a dedicated, custom-built master unit.


The extender, I hope to be my Xbox 360 to save money and difficulty. But as I consider leaving that on 24/7, perhaps that's not a great idea. Mine is from 2008, after the major overheating problems were fixed, but it's not the "slim" which is supposed to be much lower heat and power consumption.



#73 of 92 Adam Lenhardt

Adam Lenhardt

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 13,814 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2001
  • LocationAlbany, NY

Posted January 03 2012 - 11:17 AM

* If you happen upon a show by happy accident, you can record it back to the start of the half-hour (as I did with PBS's Steve Jobs Bio)

You couldn't do this because of the nature of Windows Media Center. When WMC isn't loaded, it's not on any channel. It only starts using a tuner when a) someone is watching live TV using the HTPC or one of the extenders; or b) when the scheduler fires up one to record a scheduled program. The way around this is to leave Windows Media Center in live TV, and just switch turn the TV itself off. The downside of this is that it's draining power at full speed, much as your Tivo is when it's "off".

* You can flip between the two tuners, live, and bop around between them, with pause and rewind active on both. I do that sometimes. It's handy when I find something of modest interest but I'm searching for something better. I can hunt on one tuner without losing the buffer of the other channel.

You should be able to do this as long as you hit record before swapping to the other channel. Theoretically, if you don't have any programs scheduled to record, you should be able to hop between as many channels as you have tuners. The only difference operationally is that playback on each channel will pick up where you left off once you cycle back to it. From there, you can either fast forward to catch up to the live broadcast or rewind to go back all the way to when you started recording.

#74 of 92 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,508 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted January 03 2012 - 12:12 PM



Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

You couldn't do this because of the nature of Windows Media Center. When WMC isn't loaded, it's not on any channel. It only starts using a tuner when a) someone is watching live TV using the HTPC or one of the extenders; or b) when the scheduler fires up one to record a scheduled program. The way around this is to leave Windows Media Center in live TV, and just switch turn the TV itself off. The downside of this is that it's draining power at full speed, much as your Tivo is when it's "off".

That's OK. This will be a dedicated, living room machine. It's meant to be a TivoHD upgrade and replacement in our house. Using similar power 24x7 as a Tivo is acceptable.



#75 of 92 eaglescout624

eaglescout624

    Newbie

  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 01 2012

Posted September 01 2012 - 06:16 PM

Hey all, I am not sure if this is still an active thread but here goes nothing. I am running a ceton card on a machine with a fresh install of win 7 ultimate, my provider is comcast. the only channels i can recieve are the ones that are still analog.

#76 of 92 Adam Lenhardt

Adam Lenhardt

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 13,814 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2001
  • LocationAlbany, NY

Posted September 16 2012 - 11:43 AM

Talk to your cable provider. You're CableCARD probably isn't validating correctly. Also, check your anti-virus software. When I had McAfee installed, the Ceton card gave me real problems. Since I dumped it for Avast, everything's been smooth sailing.

#77 of 92 mattCR

mattCR

    Advanced Member

  • 9,824 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 2005
  • Real Name:Matt
  • LocationOverland Park, KS

Posted September 17 2012 - 02:49 AM

Agreed.  Make sure you have a multi-band cable card, and that you have contacted your cable provider and they show it as active.  You also need to make sure that your digital tuners are connected via USB, recognized and functioning correctly.


trakt.tv

Ask Me about HTPC! (Threads in HTPC / PMs always responded to)

This signature is povided by MediaBrowser 3 Trakt Plugin: Media Browser 3


#78 of 92 HoustonDad

HoustonDad

    Newbie

  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 03 2012

Posted October 03 2012 - 12:34 PM

First time poster here guys so please forgive me if i break any forum rules. This Ceton card seems like the answer to my cable box hating prayers! The wife and I are almost building our house and I smartly had the builder run cat6 to every room in the house and terminate them in a wall in the closet of the office. I have always wanted to build a home server setup and allow multiple flat screens to view movies and pics etc. When I came across the Ceton card in my web surfing it seemed to good to be true so I went to my local computer store and started talking with the salesperson. He very confidently informed me the card wouldn't allow me to watch more than one channel at a time or have more than one tv watching live tv. I'm sooooo glad he was wrong! My question for the group is around the use of extenders. Everything I have read says I need an extender like the Xbox to view this on my tv including the Ceton website. The salesperson at the store who has already been wrong once assured me that if I had a "smart" tv that I wouldn't need the extender and could just plug the Ethernet cable into the back of the tv and I would be able to see the WMC. Is this the case? I haven't purchased the tv ( Panasonic p50gt50) or built the server yet so I still have time to adjust my plan if I need to. I would love to not have to run anything other than the cable but it seems to good to be true. Can anyone shed some light on this? All help is appreciated!!!

#79 of 92 Adam Lenhardt

Adam Lenhardt

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 13,814 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2001
  • LocationAlbany, NY

Posted May 08 2013 - 03:42 PM

Just went through my second install with the Ceton InfiniTV card. The first time was with Verizon FiOS, a great service that doesn't use switched video.

But at the beginning of the month, I moved to a city that has granted Time Warner Cable an exclusive franchise. The installers came today, dropped off the CableCARD and the tuning adapter. Everything was working great at first, but then when I came home from work a good number of the channels weren't working. I went into the Ceton diagnostics with WMC, and sure enough the tuning adapter was disabled. What could be the problem? After 45 minutes of futzing around, I figure it out: the USB cord pulled out of the computer. I plugged that in, and everything was peachy again.

This is also my first experience using my computer as the front line DVR; with FiOS I used the HD DVR that I got as part of the 2-year contract, and used the PC setup with the Ceton card as a backup to record shows when I'd already filled the two slots on the FiOS box.

My next problem with the TWC setup was the copy-protection flags. FiOS uses the copy-protection flag on very few channels, whereas TWC uses the copy-protection flag on nearly all of the non-local channels. To make it easier on myself, with FiOS I'd just selected "Duplicate these displays" so that the same screen was shown on both the PC monitor and the TV. But for some reason, that disables HDCP compliance and you get the “Display Driver error.The video playback device does not support playback of protected content” error. So I had to figure out how to get the WMC to load maximized at startup on the second screen, and then get my mouse back on the first screen.

It's been quite an adventure! As of right now, things appear to be working good.

#80 of 92 Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Nutter

  • 14,800 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted May 13 2013 - 05:48 AM

Anyone have experience with the external USB version?  I'm looking to add this to a box I've got on my desktop and won't be replacing the FIOS DVR but using it along side it.  So I won't be DVRing a ton via this device, mostly using it for live TV.

 

I thought I was going to be able to simply use the XBOX Fios app for live tv but there's only like 75 crappy channels on that, it's not a real live device but an overlaid stream.

 

What's the FIOS charge for a cable card per month?

 

Edit:  $3.99 a month for the Fios cable card, so ordered that and the CETON USB.  Will let you know how ite goes...


"Sam, you are the biggest nutter we have here."

Blog: Navesink.net - My Flickr Stream - Dolby Atmos Discussion Thread - Updates at Twitter - Join the HTF Flickr Pool





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users