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."