Ceton has released a cool gadget that will turn your Windows 7 desktop or laptop into a streaming cable box. Called the InfiniTV 4 USB, it allows users to watch and record up to four live channels of HDTV at once, using their hard drive as a DVR. It will also stream live HD channels or recordings to multiple HDTVs throughout the home via a Media Center Extender like the Xbox 360 console. All it needs is a cable connection and a single CableCARD like this one.
"Adding InfiniTV 4 USB to your PC with Media Center brings all of your TV and video content together in one device, including four simultaneous channels of basic and premium high-definition cable TV plus DVDs, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and any Internet video service you can access online," the company said. "Windows Media Center is a free feature included in most versions of Windows 7, so you can get rid of those expensive set-top box rental costs and annoying monthly DVR service fees and use your PC with InfiniTV instead."
The device is reportedly compatible with most US-based cable providers, and it's even compatible with Switched Digital Video (SDV) Tuning Adapters. Yet with multiple viewers watching multiple channels throughout the house, you'd think the "source" PC would need beefy specs, but that's not the case.
According to the requirements, consumers interested in using the InfiniTV 4 USB device will need a computer with a 2.0 GHz or faster dual core or quad core processor, 3 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended), an HDCP-compliant graphics card or on-board graphics, HDMI output or DVI output with separate 5.1 audio output required for Dolby 5.1 surround sound, and 350 GB of available hard disk drive space to record 50 hours of HDTV recordings. PC's also need Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate installed. Other requirements include the Multi-stream CableCARD (M-Card), available from your cable TV provider, and of course a cable TV subscription.
"With today's economy, consumers are looking for ways to get more out of the gear they already own, and shave a few costs in the meantime," said Gary Hammer, Ceton CEO. "Windows Media Center and InfiniTV 4 USB help families actually get more out of their cable subscription, lets them ditch cable set-top boxes and monthly rental fees, all while giving them a better way to enjoy TV."
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freedom from expensive STB's :)Reply
I'm really dying to try this out, actually. Not this one, but the internal card along with a cablecard. I don't know how it'll work with my Verizon FiOS, though.Reply
Given how much cable hardware fails, I don't want to attach this to my computer.Reply
It would cost me roughly $2,000 to outfit my 4 TV's with media center extenders, build the HTPC, and buy this device. Where is the savings vs renting 4 cable boxes? It costs about $14 a month right now to rent them. It would take over 12 years just to recoup the initial investment. That's assuming the technology would even last for 12 years without needing to be updated. I guess it would work well for people who already have a PC and extenders/xbox though.Reply
"It would cost me roughly $2,000 to outfit my 4 TV's with media center extenders, build the HTPC, and buy this device. "Reply
No, One device. Then any computer on your internal network can play the contents. Not cheap ($300 plus whatever the m-card costs you) but not $2K.
How many family members can you get around your PC? It make more sense to get internet on your TV (like GoogleTV for $99.99) , not everyone wants to sit at their PC for a 2hour movie! I will & have, but my wife won't.Reply
If this requires a "CableCARD" then what good is it? Most CableCARD's come with DVR type software.
To me this is a......... FAIL!
extremepcsIt would cost me roughly $2,000 to outfit my 4 TV's with media center extenders, build the HTPC, and buy this device. Where is the savings vs renting 4 cable boxes?Reply
You can't really put a price on sticking it to the cable company.
Besides, It's a value add. You get essentially free DVR services with this device that you'd have to pay quite a bit extra for on those 4 boxes. More than that, it can record 4 channels at once, on one device. You only need the one device, on one PC to do this. You use MC extenders to view the programing on the other TV's. I get the impression that there is a solution on there that allows you to stream this content to DLNA capable TV's sans MCE. If that be the case, you'd only need one server with a cable connection, and the rest of your TV's would be golden.
neon871How many family members can you get around your PC? It make more sense to get internet on your TV (like GoogleTV for $99.99) , not everyone wants to sit at their PC for a 2hour movie! I will & have, but my wife won't.If this requires a "CableCARD" then what good is it? Most CableCARD's come with DVR type software.To me this is a......... FAIL!Reply
Your comment is a....fail. You use your TV for the PC monitor hence: HTPC. Get out of the 90's ffs.
it costs 5$ a month to rent the set top box for us with dvr. it would take 60 months, or 5 years to pay for the box aloneReply