Ceton Reveals Tiny External CableCARD Tuner


Looks like the HDHomeRun Prime may see a little competition later this year via Ceton’s newly revealed USB CableCARD tuner. The InfiniTV 4 USB is surely the most handsome and compact external CableCARD device to date. And given my penchant for small form factor PCs, this is a more practical solution than Ceton’s PCI CableCARD tuner (which is actually pretty hard to actually acquire from what I’ve heard). Unfortunately, Ben Drawbaugh wasn’t able to lock down a ship date or price from the Ceton folks.

Related, while the big CES splash anticipated from Microsoft didn’t happen, Windows Media Center embedded (with CableCARD!) was indeed spotted on the show floor. MC and CC will live to fight another day. Although I doubt many will pony up the estimated $500 – $700, versus rolling their own solution or taking the easy way out by renting a cable box.

8 thoughts on “Ceton Reveals Tiny External CableCARD Tuner”

  1. Incidentally, I tried to track down that Gateway box at CES and queried six people in Microsoft’s booth. Not a single one knew anything of Windows Media Center Embedded, this product, nor had any idea which partner booth might be displaying it. Keep that in mind before bankrolling a new Media Center solution. It’s still an afterthought. And, unfortunately, still trapped within the Windows software group rather than merged with the Mediaroom, Xbox, Zune folks where it belongs.

  2. That’s sad because Media Center is the most polished DVR solution out there. Way over the top in performance, looks and ease of use compared to the providers DVR’s, Tivo, or Moxi.

    If the product was put in the right hands and managed appropriately, they could really make a run with this product. It has so much potential to be embedded in all types of set top boxes with or without cable card. It could be ported to ARM (like Windows 8) and an ARM or CE4100 set top box for Cable or DBS providers could even be created. You could integrate it into xbox (instead of just an extender). You could merge features with Mediaroom. The list goes on. I hope that the emergence of Cable Card tuners (always on backorder because Ceton cannot keep up with demand), proves to Microsoft that this is something that deserves a little more attention.

    I noticed not a hair was mentioned during Steve Ballmer’s keynote at CES.

  3. way too late to the party for ceton and the hdhomerun. they should of done this years ago when cablecard was on the minds of people who were clamoring for it.

    in 2011, the shift is moving away from cablecard and moving to better solutions like ip or partnerships with embedded tv’s.

    no matter what that PR monkey twitterJoe told you from verizon, its in their best interest to dump the technology for something cheaper and more efficient.

    its ridiculous to think that a product that enables dvr and tv watching functions costs as much as the LCD tv that its being hooked up to, and thats not including the same for the price computer that is needed in order for this thing to work.

    i just dont get it.

  4. “in 2011, the shift is moving away from cablecard and moving to better solutions like ip or partnerships with embedded tv’s … i just dont get it.”

    That shift has been underway for a couple of years now, and that shift will continue to take place for years to come.

    I love streaming solutions, but I can still get lots more high-PQ programming that I want at a price I can afford if I locally cache. Platter hard drives are damn cheap these days.

    CableCARD is dead, yet we are living in the golden age of CableCARD…

  5. Hypothetically, I’m guessing this would allow two or more SDV adapters, then, for Cox?

    That’s kind of promising.

  6. Two things… First, there’s one USB port so I’m not sure how two tuning adapters would work. Could you use a hub? Second, the FCC supposedly now requires tuning adapters like Cisco’s) support quad tuning. We’ll see if/when it happens.

  7. This is very nice because many people probably don’t use central “server” concept and instead have small HTPC boxes next to their flat-screens.

    One can only hope that Ceton will be able to ramp up production on PCI card soon and then focus on 6-tuner and USB models sooner than later.

  8. Dave, I don’t see any USB host ports – I’m guessing Ceton’s software will use the ports on the computer itself. Which means, theoretically, as many ports as the computer can support – at least two is doable.

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