I know there are some CableCard tuners for PCs coming out later this year and my question is that if I buy the Ceton will Comcast charge me a fee for addtional outlets since it's a quad-tuner or since it uses only one M-card I will not be charged for additional outlets. I'm sure I'm overthinking this but just making sure.
By the way, if you have problems with another box and are given the option to "send a signal to your box" to fix it, it might be a good idea to make sure you've disconnected the cable from your tuners. I no longer have any of my channels. Been trying for about two weeks to get someone on the phone who can fix it.
Well, they didn't. I ended up going to the office after being stood up on three separate occasions by technicians. I took my little Hauppauge tv tuner box with me, laid it on the counter, and told the lady at the desk, "I want a cable card in this box today before I leave this office." I hated to be so forward about it, but it ended up being the way I finally got my card.
I have seen this beofre in someone's house. It is a really neat interface with Windows Media Center really. You can watch any content, HD or standard digital, that is included in your package (i.e. Digital Starter, Preferred, Preferred Plus, etc and any premium chanels) You will not get any OnDemand content because the card is not a two-way device and is not authorized by any cable provider at this point for two way streaming content. Another thing to note is that the guide will be handled through the Windows Media Center and not the Comcast, TV Guide guide... so the interface will be a little different.
You will be able to record shows through Windows Media Center. All of the content will be DRM (digital rights management) protected through WMC. From there you will be able to playback your recordings through a Media Extender and your PC that the recordings were recorded on. You can also stream up to 4 things simultaneously through 4 different devices if desired. Just remember it "only" has 4 tuners available, so if you have 2 things recording you will only be able to stream 2 other things simultaneously... so for instance... 2 recordings on the PC and 2 Xbox 360s streaming HD content, let's say on HBO and FOX. Hope this answers your questions if they weren't already previously answered.
The Ceton Card and devices like it (from Silicondust and hauppauge) can get all the HD channels you subscribe too. These devices all use a cable card to supplied by comcast to get access to cable content. The channels are "enabled" just as they are for a set top box. These devices will not get On-Demand as they are only "one way" devices (but a lot of on demand content is now available through your comcast account directly to your computer).
The computer system they are attached too must meet certain standards (HDCP compliant) to play protected HD content. You would run the "Digital Cable Advisor" in windows 7 media center to determine this for your system.
As for sharing with other devices over your network you will need media extenders like an XBOX to access the recordings on, or stream live from a single computer. It is also possible to dedicate some of the tuners on the ceton card to another computer so that more than one PC can access the card directly.
Setting up and using items like the ceton card is not difficult but does require some research and a lot of patience. You can not really save any money as the cost of the hardware required is relatively high, but the DVR experience for the user is vastly superior to the current and past generations of set top boxes.
I have just started service with Comcast. I was very disappointed that I can't use the tv tuner card that I already use with the digital cable or HD box.
I'm wondering, though, if I buy this card, will it be able to replace the HD box altogether, as in, if I still pay for the HD service, this tuner will provide HD to any device connected to it through the network via extender / just the TV that my comp is physically connected to / both / neither?
You can only playback copy once recordings on the PC that recorded it. But you can view it on any media center extender. I don't think that you can make another computer 'a media center extender'. It has to be an xbox 360 or a certified MCE set top box.
The ones without any copy flags can be transferred over the network or sneakernet to any other PC and played.
The PPV and OOD sounds reasonable, if its understood that NO recording is fair use for that particular content. E.G. Movies still in theaters, movies still available for rent, PPV sporting events that are NOT released yet for general consumption.
As long as you can record it with a Comcast DVR, you can record it with the Ceton Tuner in a Media Center PC. Windows Media Center will only play the DRM'd dvr-ms files on the computer it was recorded on.
Is that for all copy flags, or only the "copy once" flag. i.e. some programing can be copied to another computer and viewed, if it has the correct flags to do so??
I sometimes archive some of my recordings to a home server, and then even watch that programing from another computer streaming it over the network, or copy it to a laptop to take with me on a trip. Understandably, If I record HBO original or premium programming, I would NOT be able to do that, I think thats reasonable.
But, if I record re-runs of Magnum P.I., I can't copy it to other computers??
I guess what I'm asking, do you have any indication what they will lock up only to be viewed on the computer it was recorded??
I would think only premium content would be fair, I wouldn't be surprised if they do it for anything broadcast in HD, I wouldn't put it past the providers to do it for everything, only able to view on the computer that recorded it.
If something was flagged as "Copy Never" then the regular DVR's wouldn't work either, and this is only ever used for some PPV and On Demand.
As long as you can record it with a Comcast DVR, you can record it with the Ceton Tuner in a Media Center PC. Windows Media Center will only play the DRM'd dvr-ms files on the computer it was recorded on. One Media Center computer can server "extenders" which can playback, schedule, record and view live TV by connecting to the Media Center computer over a wired or wireless network.
The most popular Media Center Extender is the Xbox 360 along with a Media Center remote. DLink and Linksys have some as well, but they do not do as smooth graphic transitions as the Xbox. They would be fine for the bedroom however.
Can COMCAST or their provider mark content "Copy Impossible" meaning that it can NOT be recorded at all?
For $400, and likely to get one anytime in the next 6 months means $500 or more, I'll think I'll wait to make sure COMCAST or providers aren't going to do something to scuttle this device.
HD, I can't make heads or tails of what I'll get from COMCAST website, its all sales pitch and no details. Anyone have a link to a page on the site that breaks it down to make an informed decision?
I was told at the retail outlet, that I just have to pay for the $10-$12/month HD STB to get HD, but I fear that just means I could get the 4 local HD channels I already get. Seeing how the next higher tier is $20 more a month to get HD, with no details on what channels are HD, I suspect I have to shell out even more to get a dozen popular channels or so in HD.
BTW, I had the basic expanded package, which I believe has now become the Digital Starter Package, which makes me laugh, because the digital starter package only provides ANALOG and no Digital.
BUT back to the original question; Can COMCAST charge me for 4 tuners since the Ceton card is a quad tuner? I'm going to guess NO, they will charge you the lease fee for the single CableCard you would use to work the tuner card. BUT, can the CableCard be programmed to limit the number of tuners it unlocks?? If it can, how much you want to bet that COMCAST will only allow the unlocking of a single of the 4 tuners? Unless you pay more, of course.
The multichannel cablecard will allow the Ceton tuners to receive any channels (HD or SD) that you could receive with your cable package and a Comcast cable box (other than On Demand) or TiVo. I'm not sure how the Ceton card will restrict your capability of copying content. TiVo restricts transfers of some files from their boxes to computers, and as noted in this review the Ceton card also honors CCI restrictions. I'm not sure how that works in this case.
Since the Ceton Card will allow digital recording of HD, how is COMCAST going to handle that? What will and will NOT be flagged to allow copying or even recording?
At $400, and likely going for well above the MSRP because they are NO other alternatives and its only available pre-order at the moment, that is a lot of money to risk just to find out that it just won't work.
As well, I can't really tell from COMCAST website, but how many HD channels will I recieve with the Ceton Card? Will I have to upgrade to the next tier of service and pay an additional $20 a month to get more than more 4 local HD channels in HD?
The Ceton tuner only has 1 cable card slot. Therefore you would only lease 1 cable card. The cable card has a MAC Address on it that is put into the billing system to authorize it. Since there is only 1 MAC address being entered (your ONE card), I do not see how the billing system would charge you four times.
After all a cable card has enough power to decode up to 6 simultaneous streams. Because of this capability, we don't see Tivo or Moxi users paying for 6 outlets with one M card.
From a technical aspect, I think you will be fine.