Hey everyone, first time posting here, I hope I'm doing it right.
Anyway, right now I have a basic Kworld tuner that picks up the basic channels (2 of them actually for dual recording), but I am looking into getting the Centon tuner so I can record the stuff from my premium channels.
I have a few questions first, if anyone has experience with it..
1) What do I have to do regarding Comcast? I was told I need to have them activate the card or something similar?
2) I was reading the reviews on it working over the network. Right now I have win 7, my girlfriend has Vista, and in order to share the movies with the Kworld tuner, I need to convert them to a different format. Will this be the same way, or will she be able to watch the shows like I can through windows media center or something similar?
3) Are there any similar (but cheaper) options than Centon tuner?
4) My tv is near my computer, is there a way I can hook an HDMI cable from the tuner to my tv and just use my computer as a cable box / dvr to save myself $16/month?
I have the Ceton card, but it's not installed yet (waiting on Comcast).
1) You'll need to contact Comcast and request an installation of the m-Card cablecard. They will come out (hopefully know how to install the card) and then activate it. There is a $15 visit fee. Starting on August 1st, 2011, Comcast will begin offering Self-Installation kits for the cablecards.
2) Can't answer this one as I don't have Vista installed on any of my machines. In Windows 7, you can assign one of the four Ceton Tuners to a PC over the network; allowing it to view live TV as if the card was installed on that system. Viewing recorded content may have issues. As far as converting it to a different format, you probably won't be able to do that. In many of the cases I've read about, Comcast encrypts their premium channels as "Copy-Once". What this means is you can record it, but only view it. You will not be able to convert any recorded media tagged as "Copy-Once"
3) SiliconDust is coming out with a similar device called the HD HomeRun Prime on July 25th. It's said to be a bit cheaper than the Ceton Card (~ $200) , but it only has three tuners.
4) The Ceton card does not have any outputs. You'd need to connect the HDMI output of your graphics card to your HDTV. With the Ceton card installed, your computer IS the "cable box".
When I called Customer Support, they said they did not have self install packages (even though they will on the 1st of August). When I called Technical Support, they said they DID offer self install packages. All I needed to do was go to my local office and pick one up. When I got to the local office, the said the would give me a self install package, but they didn't have any at that location and that I had to set up an install visit. However, due to the time I wasted sitting in their office, they'll waive the installation visit fee.
So calling them is going to be hit and miss; depending on your location.
I'm sure that when the installer arrives tonight, they won't have a clue and I'll have to do it myself, anyway.
It's been a real nasty couple of weeks. The installer did show up and as expected, didn't have a clue. Unfortunately, there was an issue with my installation and a Microsoft feature called PlayReady. It could not complete the installation so I had to do a complete re-install of the OS. Right about that time, the CPU fan died and I had to wait until this past weekend to get out to a Microcenter. Since then, I have not been able to get my HDTV to show any content full-screen.
I've been battling that issue since Saturday with no luck.
While I still don't have all my issues resolved, I did manage to get it up and running well enough to record some TV last night. Checking on my other Windows 7 PC (this one, not the HTPC), the video played just fine in Windows Media Center. I could not, however, get it to play on my Dell XP Laptop (running Dell Media Direct, VLC, or Windows Media Player). Perhaps if I could find a codec for .wtv files, it might play, but I think you'll have better luck with Windows Vista.
I would also note that since this thread started, there are been some changes in the cablecard TV Tuner world. Prices have come down for the Ceton card (lowest I've seen was $269) and apparently, Hauppauge is about to come out with a dual-tuner external cablecard device for around $129.
So it does record as a .wtv file like my current tuner does? That will be good because even if she can't view it, I can still do the conversion like I was doing before.. although I see windows 7 in her near future if that has to keep happening.
I did notice the price go down, I wonder if I should wait a little, especially after Aug 1st so I don't have to deal with a visit from comcast as well
That $129 tuner seems like the best option for me, since it's mostly just to record shows and take screenshots for blogs. I don't really need 3+ tuners. My main goal is to be able to record shows from the channels I pay for.