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HTPC & Ceton Infinitv 4

Happy new year to the forum.

I'm very close to pulling the trigger on a Ceton Infinitv 4 (PCI-e). Honestly I've been eyeing it since the first review a couple of years back. I was hoping someone might be able to share their personal experience with the card.

Hardware for the build (already owned);
Phenom II x6 (8320 taking its spot in main rig)
2 3TB WD Green
Win 7 pro x64 (other HTPC's (x3) are Win7 pro as well, thank you technet subscription)
HD 6450 - No gaming planned but may move to a Nvidia card for 3D gaming at some point. Although that would prob mean moving DVR responsibilties to another box.
60" Sammy 600hz 3D

Current provider is Fios, probably will be Comcast <24 months due to a move. Comcast is the primary reason I'm wanting to get this rolling now. I was just in Florida and every person had the same crappy box with terrible UI's.

1) My primary concerns with the Infinitv 4 are less about the cost and more about functionality compared to a standard STB DVR. My fiance needs to be able to use it without me there. Do you enjoy the WMC UI for cable, speed, and options?

2) I've also read about dedicating individual tuners to individual additional PC's you'll be streaming too. Does that mean you can't use those tuners for recording from the primary box, and can the assignments be dynamic if by chance that tuner is recording?

3) Currently not an issue in Manhattan (4 TV's / Streaming points) but when I relo I'm sure I'll have quite a few more screens to serve. Has anyone had experience running 2 Infinitv 4 in the same box? I'd imagine I'll need to upgrade to RAID 5 or something similar due to the I/O potential. Probably worthwhile just to get dummy HD boxes for guest rooms from the cable company.

4) Can anyone recommend a good remote for WMC. I've been using a few cheap Anker wireless HTPC keyboards around the apt and my phone for XBMC, but need something better suited for novice and daily use. This product caught my eye

5) Is there another product I should consider over the Infinity 4?

6) The build above represents the DVR and my primary HTPC. Should I consider a dedicated DVR box/server? I'd imagine the x6 will be more than capable of handling recording and playback simultaneously. I'm sure I could re-task the C2D as the DVR but ideally would like the primary HTPC to as snappy as possible for cable.

Thanks in advance I'll appreciate any feedback. I've got an itchy trigger finger, should have bought it last week when it was $169 on the egg.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    I got FIOS, works great. Make sure that you use a POE filter when you MOCA. FIOS will charge 3.99 for each cable card. Also their tech support is spotty I had to call 3 time to get it both my card working in their system

    1) It is slower to tune from channel to channel than a regular STB. I go the WAP (wife approval factor) in less than two days. WMC can crash when using nexflix, so be prepared to do a Ctrl Alt Del. Generally the WMC UI is great, make sure you get a remote that supports both the TV and WMC. I use the WR7.

    2) Ceton can't do true dynamic tuning. It can be configured such that a PC can be assigned a tuner; however that tuner is not longer available to the main machine. Dynamic turning does work with XBOX's, DMA2100 and other WMC Extenders. Note the UI of the extender is slow, so disable animations and something else.

    3) Yes I run 1 USB and one PCI-E. You have do download tunersalad (must pay now :( ) I have 5.5 TB no raid. Running 128 SSD for OS and E5200 8GB DDR3.

    4) See above...super cheap but discontinued. WR7

    5) AND all of their tuners are dynamic!

    6) My system is fine, I would get and i3 or better. Run as a primary cable card server box and use extenders.
  2. I really appreciate your response.

    The WR7 looks like a nice universal. What do you do when you need mouse functionality on the windows desktop? I use an xfinity account for premium stations therefore I need to navigate in a browser.

    Nice to know I can run 8 tuners if necessary. Thanks for pointing me to Tunersalad.

    It's apparent you have quite a bit of experience with the Centon. The HDhomerun has the dynamic tuner flexibility but only has 3 tuners. Regardless, would you choose to go a different route if you did it again? I'm curious if it would be possible to have the Centon be the primary PVR device and a HDhomerun for dynaminc tuner assignment, hmmmmm???

    Once I move into a house and out of Manhattan apt I'll probably go with a dedicated PVR box, but at this point pretty sure I've hit the saturation point for #(8) of PC's in 1,300 sqft of space.

    Thanks again. I'm really excited to tackle this project.
  3. Best answer selected by bjaminnyc.
  4. I have a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse that my kids like to use instead of the remote :) or if i can't fine the remote.

    Yep tunersalad support up to 12 tuners. I got my Ceton when it first came out. And while I like there product the Hdhomerun seems to have more flexibility even though it has less tuners. And yes you can run both simultaneously, but I have not done this option.

    Note: Comcast can will give you one cablecard for free. the second it 1.50, but they will charge you a 'outlet fee' of 9.95. However, you will get 2.50/mo credit for each cablecard equipment you use. So The outlet fee is how they get around the FFC rule FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5).

    Thanks for secleting the best answer!
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