If you had posted this two years ago, I could understand your rant but they pretty much have been discontinued for 2 years (support ceased April 1, 2010, I believe most of the computer companies stopped in 2008)
Originally Posted by racprops
The truth about ATI’s Wonder Digital Cable Tuner:
This is what I found and was told:
These were NEVER meant for retail sales.
These were made for HP and DELL SPECIALLY PREPAIRED Computers.
These are OEM Products for HP and DELL ONLY (which is why they come in brown boxes.)
They will NOT WORK with many cable systems that use switched channels, as there is no input for the tuner adaptor you need for these channels. (Cox in Phoenix AZ for one.)
The tuning adapter plugs into the computer not the ATI DCT and there are windows 7 drivers for the cisco ST1520 tuning adapter I haven't tried them with an ati since the firmware has been updated in them but from what I have heard from others it does work but may require an occasional reset
There is NO SUPPORT from ATI/AMD.
The product has been dead for years, why should there be
Getting Media Center to “see” the box is a hard fight.
This shouldn't be as I know a few people still using them however with them being "used" and much tech sold today isn't meant to last 3 years many are broke... The hardest part should be passing the DCA and getting the card paired... My understanding is they are supposed to work with the new "M" cards but I believe they worked better with the old S cards but now cable providers are required to provide m cards but may have a few s cards available for older devices.
Getting any real idea of what will work is next to impossible, I did hours of research on the internet and found almost no info.
You should have done more research prior to buying and you would have known they have been "dead" for 3 years, I suggest the thegreenbutton.tv
(whch is an attempt to win back people from the old thegreenbutton.com
which is now windows expert exchange but should still resolve properly, and many abandoned it after the switch), Also in your search, ATI DCT will probably post more results than ATI Digital Cable Tuner.
After a bunch of calls to ATI/AMD I reached a second level tech support and a tech whom was with ATI Before being bought by AMD and he said:” These were NEVER meant for retail sales. These were made for HP and DELL SPECIALLY PREPARED Computers. These are OEM Products for HP and DELL ONLY (which is why they come in brown boxes.) That he felt they were basically incompatible with Windows 7 and most cable systems now in use. That the techs at ATI were NEVER given ANY training on them. That there is NO SUPPORT WHAT SO EVER!!”
This has been known for years so isn't new however there were a few more companies that also had them other than just hp and dell (sony for one) and there was never meant to be support from ati as the computer manufacturers (HP, Dell, Sony) were the ones who would be giving support.
I spent hours working and searching for help installing and setting this up, I had to buy a upgraded video card as Win 7”s cable adviser would not pass my video card, only to get media center to finely “see” the box to then be unable to turn on the card and could not hook up to the cable provide tuner adapter due to not having a USB input on the ATI Box.
This being the only site with ANY information, and it is light...
I do not know as no one I talked with could say IF it will “see” and use the dual tuner card I received from the cable company.
My advice, skip this misbegotten POS and either get a full time cable box from your provider, or a much better cable card for your computer, this is not worth the trouble even at $29.00 I paid.
I mentioned two sites above you will probably get better results for the ATI DCT. There are ways to pass the DCA with lower end hardware, however with cox phoenix and nearly everything being marked copy once, usually the best it can do is record and serve to an xbox without the "upgrade" to your display/videocard to get a protected display path but requiring a protected path has been known for years about cablecard tuning. As far as skipping it, I agree with applying that advice to the ATI DCT as it had been abandoned years ago. Your choices now are Ceton, SD, or if on a budget perhaps the Hauppauge DCR-2650 (stripped down usb version of SD's prime) and I think all are better than cox's cable boxes. Another thing "bad" about the ATI in the cox market is that it isn't a 1GHz tuner so it can't tune the plus pack channels which is a real plus over the cox boxes (unless you have the WHDVR setup).