Tag Archives: HTPC

Ceton InfiniTV 4 CableCard Tuner – First Impressions

I just got my InfiniTV 4 installed and setup today and all I can say is wow! I love it! For anyone who hasn’t seen my previous post it has support for 4 streams, and the HD content looks amazing. The device is a little pricey, but I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get rid of their cable box and have a first class DVR with MediaCenter (i.e. a slick, snappy, integrated interface instead of that clunky old UI the cable co provides). Check out the Ceton website to get pricing information, and remember that as of the time of this writing this card will only work with Windows 7 and Media Center.

The good:
Installation was a breeze. Simply install the card in your PC, install the software from the Ceton website, plug in your M-Card and you’re good to go! When you run the setup for your TV signal in Media Center it automatically detects your card, runs you through the setup, and gives you all the information you need to activate it. It couldn’t be simpler.
Four streams!

The bad:
This is nothing bad about the card, more with my cable company. They don’t have a self installation option, meaning you need to have them come and install the card for you when there’s really no reason why you can’t do it yourself. The $20 installation fee isn’t too bad, but it still seems like a rather pointless fee to pay. Worst part about it is that the technician didn’t even touch my PC. I installed the card and device, and I ran the setup in Media Center myself. All the technician had to do was call the cable co and give them the device ID to activate it. Guess they need to squeeze every penny they can out of you 🙁

So what was my first course of action after the installation? Setup a recording schedule for MythBusters and watch Transformers in HD!

If you have any questions about the card that I have not addressed here let me know in the comments section and I will be sure to answer them.

CableCards For All! Home Theatre PC Heaven.

It’s finally here! CableLabs finally loosened their reigns and is allowing custom built home theatre PC’s to get in on the digital cable goodness. I’ve got my eye on the Ceton Multi-Channel Cable TV Card which allows up to 6 digital cable streams! The only problem is that it’s projected release date is Q1 of 2010, which won’t come soon enough. Hauppauge is also looking to get one to market a little earlier, by end of 2009. This one looks like a single tuner only, but for those who just can’t wait it seems like it would be a great buy. It’s also good to note that these are alleged to only work with Windows 7, so you Vista users have another reason to upgrade (as if you needed one!)

For those of you looking to build an HTPC for yourself I posted my specs below. The final price tag came to around $1,100, but it was well worth it considering I use it every day. Note that I bought these parts almost a year ago, so the price for the some of the components has most likely went down some. The PC is currently used by 2 extenders, and I also use this machine as a PlayOn server so the PS3 in my house can get on demand content as well.

  • ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink – Retail
  • ZALMAN ZM – NBF 47 Aluminum Heatsinks only – Retail
  • CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 – Retail
  • LG Black LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L – OEM
  • [2x] – Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drives -Bare Drive
  • Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner / Encoder 1229 PCI-Express x1 Interface – Retail
  • RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply – Retail
  • GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 – Retail
  • Zalman Tech HD160PLUS Zalman HTC HD160 Plus Home Theatre PC Enclosure (Black)
  • Windows 7
  • Boxee – An awesome (free) application that allows you to stream sources (some in HighDef!) like NetFlix, YouTube, Pandora, last.fm, ShoutCast, ComedyCentral, AppleTrailers, Joost, Flickr, MTV and Hulu just to name a few. With 10 minutes worth of work it’s able to be launched completely from MediaCenter.
  • ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum – For Blu-Ray playback

One thing I would like to do as well is setup X10 Home Automation software for the media center. I’ll post on it later if I get it setup.

Media Center Machine

Media Center Machine

Remote

Remote

Media Center Available Space

Media Center Available Space

FM Radio

FM Radio

Fringe

Fringe

NFL Guide

NFL Guide

NFL Guide 2

NFL Guide 2

Iron Man on Blu-Ray

Iron Man on Blu-Ray

Boxee Link in Media Center

Boxee Link in Media Center

Boxee

Boxee

Boxee Applications

Boxee Applications

Pandora in Boxee

Pandora in Boxee

Pandora in Boxee 2

Pandora in Boxee 2

Pandora Boxee Visualization

Pandora Boxee Visualization

Pandora Boxee Visualization 2

Pandora Boxee Visualization 2