Latest Ceton InfiniTV 4 Info Thread - Page 157 - AVS Forum
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post #4681 of 4795 Old 11-03-2013, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

Wow, this is the first time I've heard that name mentioned since the official Echo thread got shut down.

Is there ANY news for the Ceton Echo since this?
To be honest, I really know next to nothing about the Echo. I do know that my nephew bought two when they came out, and went through quite a rough startup. I think they were delivered to the public before they were quite ready.

As for me, I've been using the same cablecard-enabled internal PCIe InfiniTV4 in my Win7 PC for three years now, along with three Linksys DMA2100 extenders (which perform essentially flawlessly). I used to also have an ATI 650 PCI 1-tuner OTA/ATSC card, but a few years ago replaced it with a 2-tuner OTA/ATSC Hauppauge HVR-2250. Again, flawless. So for several years now I've had 4 cable tuners and 2 OTA/ATSC tuners in my WMC setup.

I can go on using Win7 and WMC forever as my "whole home DVR solution", and have no reason to leave it. 30-second (xN) skip-forward and 12-second (xN) skip-backward, wonderful series scheduling, etc., I love it.

The only fear I have is that Microsoft's arrangement with Zap2it will end, and there will be no more GUIDE. As we all know, without a GUIDE there is no WMC.

But for me, the 100% silent and low-power-usage Linksys DMA2100 is the absolute best extender. I had two, with a third new-in-a-box reserved as a "spare" or replacement if one of my other two should die. Then I got a third HDTV and cracked open that third DMA2100 for primary use. I love them.
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post #4682 of 4795 Old 11-03-2013, 03:44 PM
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I think we've seen all the updates we're ever going to see for the Echo. But I still love all four of mine. They're quiet and efficient as a DMA2100, yet also wake my server on LAN are quite a bit smaller. They have a few bugs, but none are significant IMO.

I'm hopeful other guide solutions will come along if MS stops. The guide interface for WMC is well documented and would be fairly easy to automate in XML.
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post #4683 of 4795 Old 11-04-2013, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

But for me, the 100% silent and low-power-usage Linksys DMA2100 is the absolute best extender. I had two, with a third new-in-a-box reserved as a "spare" or replacement if one of my other two should die. Then I got a third HDTV and cracked open that third DMA2100 for primary use. I love them.
I've used the DMA2100, the HP x280n, the X-Box 360 slim, and the Echo. The X-Box gets too hot and is noisier than the rest, even in the current version. The Echo was just too problematic for me to even consider. Obviously, not everyone shared the same experience as me so it's nice to hear that it works well for them. The Linksys and the HP were very similar in performance, but the HP had a slight edge with a marginally better UI. The UI on every extender I've used has always had a washed out appearance when using it with WMC.

The one thing that never set well with me regarding a whole house solution that's dependent on a single PC is that when the PC goes down, everything grinds to a halt and your life suddenly becomes a living hell. This is why I also do not use networked tuners installed in a single PC. I prefer standalone PCs at every TV that have access to a couple of networked HDHomeRun tuners. I still use a pair of InfiniTV4's in my primary HTPC as the other PCs are used mostly for viewing live TV or watching an occasional movie from my server. The DVR functions are performed by my main HTPC. Fortunately, I'm on FIOS and I can use this type of arrangement and still share recordings with other PCs. The other PCs can also be used as standalone DVRs should anyone desire to do use them that way.
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post #4684 of 4795 Old 11-04-2013, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

Wow, this is the first time I've heard that name mentioned since the official Echo thread got shut down.

Is there ANY news for the Ceton Echo since this?
Nope, that's pretty much it. Given the complete silence from Ceton here and over at TGB when questions are raised about firmware releases, the guess is that the Echo is no longer being updated. Whatever is left will be sold and then discontinued, just like the DMAs.
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post #4685 of 4795 Old 11-04-2013, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

Ceton also has their own currently available and "in-production" Echo extender.

And you can still find the Linksys DMA2100 extender used on eBay (I've got three of my own but I'm not selling).

To clarify, If I remember correctly, the only extender that will work with Windows 8 is an Xbox.

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post #4686 of 4795 Old 11-04-2013, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by giomania View Post

To clarify, If I remember correctly, the only extender that will work with Windows 8 is an Xbox.
You could be right here. I honestly don't know and never investigated this as I have no plans to leave Win7 and its WMC for my HTPC.

But if what you say is true, and my DMA2100's would not be usable on a Win8 machine, well that's even more reason not to ever make that transition.

I want a 100% silent/passive extender with no hard drive or fan. I'm not a gamer, and have no interest in or use at all for an Xbox. All I want is a whole-home DVR system based around Win7, WMC, lots and lots of hard drive capacity, and DMA2100's.
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post #4687 of 4795 Old 11-04-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

You could be right here. I honestly don't know and never investigated this as I have no plans to leave Win7 and its WMC for my HTPC.

But if what you say is true, and my DMA2100's would not be usable on a Win8 machine, well that's even more reason not to ever make that transition.

I want a 100% silent/passive extender with no hard drive or fan. I'm not a gamer, and have no interest in or use at all for an Xbox. All I want is a whole-home DVR system based around Win7, WMC, lots and lots of hard drive capacity, and DMA2100's.
It's definitely true that only the XBOX 360 will work with Windows 8 as an extender, thanks to Microsoft making a boneheaded decision to disable all other extenders in Windows 8. And since the new XBOX will not include extender functionality, it will be pretty much impossible to purchase a new extender for Windows 8 before too long unless they continue to build XBOX 360's for a while.
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post #4688 of 4795 Old 11-04-2013, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post

It's definitely true that only the XBOX 360 will work with Windows 8 as an extender, thanks to Microsoft making a boneheaded decision to disable all other extenders in Windows 8. And since the new XBOX will not include extender functionality, it will be pretty much impossible to purchase a new extender for Windows 8 before too long unless they continue to build XBOX 360's for a while.

Well, kinda... Microsoft made some improvements to the RDP protocol that broke backwards compatibility with older clients. Since the XBox doesn't use RDP it didn't break. It wasn't a move to disable 3rd party extenders, but it's pretty clear Microsoft doesn't even factor in WMC users in the decision making process anymore.

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post #4689 of 4795 Old 11-06-2013, 09:18 AM
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And not only did it break backwards compat, it also broke Ceton's efforts to make the Echo work with Win8. This was way worse because it gave them another excuse to give up on the Echo, so now there's nothing you can get going forward other than the soon-to-be obsolete Xbox or even more obsolete legacy extenders. Good thing there will be a zillion 360's out there for a long time.
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post #4690 of 4795 Old 11-07-2013, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

To be honest, I really know next to nothing about the Echo. I do know that my nephew bought two when they came out, and went through quite a rough startup. I think they were delivered to the public before they were quite ready.

I can go on using Win7 and WMC forever as my "whole home DVR solution", and have no reason to leave it. 30-second (xN) skip-forward and 12-second (xN) skip-backward, wonderful series scheduling, etc., I love it.

The only fear I have is that Microsoft's arrangement with Zap2it will end, and there will be no more GUIDE. As we all know, without a GUIDE there is no WMC.

.

yep me too, and agree. I figure at this point, I've gotten my money back on the tuner, I do see an infinitv 6ETH in my future, so fingers crossed.

I'd really like to know at this point how many units of both ceton's and SD cable card tuners have been sold. These two companies really need to team up, and partner with i.e. JRiver, to get an alternative to MCE. I think this would really help the future sales, and maybe bring this product more mainstream. Just my two cents.

PSN: CAPTDANMAN
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post #4691 of 4795 Old 11-09-2013, 02:34 PM
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Hello. If I can interrupt with a quick question: I'm wondering if the Ceton 4 requires an internet connection. I'm sure it does for regular guide updates and coordinating the setup with WMC, but if I don't have a regular home connection, is it possible to still use it to record TV?

 

Thanks a lot.

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post #4692 of 4795 Old 11-09-2013, 03:27 PM
 
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The only thing you need is a way to download the drivers and firmware updates - but once you have them you do not need it for anything else. Also, it does not auto update itself when new versions come out, so it never "calls home".
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post #4693 of 4795 Old 11-09-2013, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 6079 View Post

Hello. If I can interrupt with a quick question: I'm wondering if the Ceton 4 requires an internet connection. I'm sure it does for regular guide updates and coordinating the setup with WMC, but if I don't have a regular home connection, is it possible to still use it to record TV?
It is Windows Media Center, not the Ceton card itself, which needs internet connectivity (for the nightly WMC Guide updates obtained through Zap2it).

As was explained above, yes the Ceton diaganostic utility also makes use of the internet to check for and obtain current software updates.

But aside from these situations, absence of access to the internet should not prevent WMC from performing previously scheduled one-off and series recordings through the Ceton card and its cablecard-enabled access to content from your cable provider.
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post #4694 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 07:05 PM
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For those of you contemplating investing in a Ceton InfiniTV based system, I thought I'd share the disdain they show for loyal customers having technical issues. I bought one of the first wave of tuners several years ago and have battled through countless issues but stayed loyal. This week I lost the ability to watch live TV and have gone back and forth on several increasingly dubious suggestions and finally got this response when I asked them to call me to get the problem taken care of:

"In regards to phone support, we’re sorry you are frustrated. Like many companies, we provide our support services online since that is well-proven to be the quickest and most effective way resolve customer issues. If you prefer phone-based support we can provide that on a fee basis for $100/hour with a 1-hour minimum."

I am doing the 3rd round of driver updates and looking into changing systems...

Sadly,
Paul
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post #4695 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rogersracerx View Post

For those of you contemplating investing in a Ceton InfiniTV based system, I thought I'd share the disdain they show for loyal customers having technical issues. I bought one of the first wave of tuners several years ago and have battled through countless issues but stayed loyal. This week I lost the ability to watch live TV and have gone back and forth on several increasingly dubious suggestions and finally got this response when I asked them to call me to get the problem taken care of:

"In regards to phone support, we’re sorry you are frustrated. Like many companies, we provide our support services online since that is well-proven to be the quickest and most effective way resolve customer issues. If you prefer phone-based support we can provide that on a fee basis for $100/hour with a 1-hour minimum."

I am doing the 3rd round of driver updates and looking into changing systems...

Sadly,
Paul

You do realize you are WELL outside of the one year warranty period, if you purchased it in the first wave. I'd say the fact that they are still helping you is above and beyond. You want them to continue to support you forever?


If you've battled through "countless issues" you should have RMA the card. If you continue to have issues, it's pretty obvious that it's something on your end and not the card itself.

Either way, it has nothing to do with disdain, it's just silly customers who expect endless help at no cost, not cRing that it's costing them money to continue to provide said support. That's a money loser and not worth a "loyal" one time purchase customer. Lol
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post #4696 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 08:09 PM
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I've had mostly very positive dealings with Ceton's support. When I was experiencing some issues with Comcast recently, Ceton offered to contact Comcast on my behalf to resolve the problem. To me, that's great support. My warranty is long over. In the end I pestered Comcast until they fixed it. I'm an expert at pestering Comcast ;-)

Prior to that, Ceton almost insisted that I RMA the card. I wasn't convinced it was necessary, but I figured, Hey, I'll probably get a newer HW revision. I did. They made it very simple, shipping the new card and covering return shipping.
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post #4697 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 08:14 PM
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Your reply is quite interesting. I assume if your car engine blew up once it was out of the warranty period you would consider it normal and by another of the same model? Why would I expect a 3 year old InfiniTV to work one week and stop the next? Am I missing something? Are these only supposed to last a couple years and then go in the trash? And I do expect a tech company that doesn't have a support forum and promotes their product as an alternative to cable or dish TV to provide at least the same level of support. Otherwise they should market it as a buyer-beware tech toy.
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post #4698 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 08:18 PM
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Thurston,

When I had trouble the last time about 6 months ago, the Ceton response was much more similar to what you describe. Now I get no diagnosis and repeated requests to update drivers. I don't know if something has changed or just I'm dealing with an inexperienced person. Either way, there is no solution in sight.
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post #4699 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by likelinus View Post

You do realize you are WELL outside of the one year warranty period, if you purchased it in the first wave. I'd say the fact that they are still helping you is above and beyond. You want them to continue to support you forever?


If you've battled through "countless issues" you should have RMA the card. If you continue to have issues, it's pretty obvious that it's something on your end and not the card itself.

Either way, it has nothing to do with disdain, it's just silly customers who expect endless help at no cost, not cRing that it's costing them money to continue to provide said support. That's a money loser and not worth a "loyal" one time purchase customer. Lol

If he had issues during the return period and ignored them, yes I agree, the problem is on the user's shoulders, but somehow I doubt that's the case. If he didn't have problems during the return period then requesting an RMA would have been a pointless endevor and if he was working with Ceton Support during the return period, they should have recommended that he RMA it if that was indeed the best course of action.

And it's a little presumptuous to suggest that the problem must be on the customer's end anyway. Lo' these many years after the product launched and they are still releasing new firmware with bug fixes.

I agree that expecting anything above and beyond the standard web support is unreasonable, but I don't think it is asking too much that they continue to try and resolve issues that were brought up during the warranty period but never fixed.

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post #4700 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 08:43 PM
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Basically, I've had issues about every 6 months since I've bought it. Each time they were fixed by some firmware update or setting tweak. The product loses tuning ability, its fixed for 6 months, and then the cycle starts again. I've never been told the unit is defective, just that the software had bugs that were now affecting me. That is why I would expect better ongoing support regardless of warranty periods. As long as there are bugs there should be support. Otherwise your just buying into a product with essentially planned obsolescence!
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post #4701 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rogersracerx View Post

Basically, I've had issues about every 6 months since I've bought it. Each time they were fixed by some firmware update or setting tweak. The product loses tuning ability, its fixed for 6 months, and then the cycle starts again. I've never been told the unit is defective, just that the software had bugs that were now affecting me. That is why I would expect better ongoing support regardless of warranty periods. As long as there are bugs there should be support. Otherwise your just buying into a product with essentially planned obsolescence!
Everything else aside, their response regarding phone support is, IMO, perfectly reasonable. Their support model is via their ticket system and I agree with them that it's a very effective way to offer support (and yes, I've used it). It's not as personal as a 1 on 1 conversation on the phone, but the conversation on the phone isn't likely to be any more effective, but will definitely be a lot less efficient for them.

Your car analogy isn't really a good one as it would be more analogous to expecting them to send out an Air Force cargo transport plane to rescue you if your car breaks down rather than a tow truck wink.gif.
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post #4702 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 09:14 PM
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And it's a little presumptuous to suggest that the problem must be on the customer's end anyway. Lo' these many years after the product launched and they are still releasing new firmware with bug fixes.

I agree that expecting anything above and beyond the standard web support is unreasonable, but I don't think it is asking too much that they continue to try and resolve issues that were brought up during the warranty period but never fixed.

There will always be bugs, that is a guarantee. I know my Dish and Directv DVR's received firmware updates a handful of times each year. They don't release updates just because they want to. Driver and firmware updates are a direct response to issues that are reported by the customer. They also include improvements.
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post #4703 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 09:38 PM
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I just wanted to add that the Infinitv4 PCIe that I purchased in March of this year has been rock solid. I installed the software that was available at that time (ceton_infinitv_setup_w7_sp1_20121227_12_12_26_1250) and it's been on cruise control ever since. I never updated the firmware or drivers until two weeks ago when I upgraded to the PCIe6 and installed the newer setup package (ceton_infinitv_setup_w7_sp1_13_06_03_1088).
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post #4704 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 10:07 PM
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There will always be bugs, that is a guarantee. I know my Dish and Directv DVR's received firmware updates a handful of times each year. They don't release updates just because they want to. Driver and firmware updates are a direct response to issues that are reported by the customer. They also include improvements.

True enough. But if you were to experience a problem that was fixed by a DirecTV or Dish firmware update, would you say the problem was with your configuration, or an issue with the product? I say that's a problem with the product, but likelinus implied that it is a problem with the end user's configuration. That is the point I'm trying to make.

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post #4705 of 4795 Old 11-16-2013, 11:26 PM
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True enough. But if you were to experience a problem that was fixed by a DirecTV or Dish firmware update, would you say the problem was with your configuration, or an issue with the product? I say that's a problem with the product, but likelinus implied that it is a problem with the end user's configuration. That is the point I'm trying to make.

Instinct would tell you that it's an issue with the product. But there are a ton of variables that impact a Ceton tuner that Ceton cannot control. Signal levels, noise, OS setup, network, pc compatibility, drivers(other than Ceton), etc. I'm not trying to defend them, but I don't think every problem is their fault. I'm not saying they shouldn't support their product, they do, but don't expect them to jump through hoops. They already gave an answer as to why they do email support only.

I sold my PCIe4 that worked flawlessly for me. The buyer couldn't even install it in his pc without it locking up and blue screening. He contacted me and wanted a refund claiming it was DOA. After an email to Ceton support, he found out that his system was not compatible. My point is that more often that not, the problem is with the end user's configuration.
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post #4706 of 4795 Old 11-17-2013, 07:07 AM
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My point is that more often that not, the problem is with the end user's configuration.

Again, I agree. But "more often than not" isn't the same thing as "always" and it was wrong of linus to suggest that the problem was definitively an end user problem, especially considering that at the time of his post, nothing was known about the problem other than there was one.

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post #4707 of 4795 Old 11-17-2013, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by likelinus View Post

You do realize you are WELL outside of the one year warranty period, if you purchased it in the first wave. I'd say the fact that they are still helping you is above and beyond. You want them to continue to support you forever?


If you've battled through "countless issues" you should have RMA the card. If you continue to have issues, it's pretty obvious that it's something on your end and not the card itself.

Either way, it has nothing to do with disdain, it's just silly customers who expect endless help at no cost, not cRing that it's costing them money to continue to provide said support. That's a money loser and not worth a "loyal" one time purchase customer. Lol

You obviously haven't read the pages of earlier forum posts during the first 1.5 years or so of the release of the InfiniTV4 devices. The firmware would crash and reboot constantly. It wasn't a computer problem, it was a ceton firmware issue. These issues were not being addressed by ceton after numerous support requests by a whole lot of customers. It took several of us publically posting the crash dump entries from the ceton card logs and by actively monitoring the cards by script to show a major memory leak was occurring in the cards firmware.

When the firmware would crash, dump and reboot, active recordings would stop and wouldn't restart after the card came back up.

They finally came out with a firmware that doesn't crash and reboot. I haven't had a partial recording in a long time and I no longer have to monitor the ceton card and restart recordings programmatically with my custom scripts.

It could certainly be a computer issue as well so I'd recommend the OP try different hardware. My first system running the infinitv4 card had a buggy ASUS motherboard, however, even with new hardware, the infinitv 4 card continued to have crash dump reboot issues even after ceton had me RMA the card. The new infinitv card had the exact same issues. The new motherboard, however, was rock solid.
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post #4708 of 4795 Old 11-22-2013, 04:07 PM
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I know I'm probably in a very small minority with this, and I believe I have a way around it, but I'm hoping to activate live TV on WMC without the internet having to be connected to my home setup..

 

I've got the card paired and I see you can download "Play Ready" online and install manually. The sticking point seems to be what's called the "TV Setup Data." I see nowhere to download and install this manually outside of WMC's Live TV setup process. An option for me would be to setup my PC with card on another internet connection and do it there, however, I would not be plugged into my coax cable.

 

Does it need to be connected to the coax cable? And if so, can "TV Setup Data" be found anywhere to install manually?

 

Thanks a lot.

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post #4709 of 4795 Old 11-22-2013, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6079 View Post

I know I'm probably in a very small minority with this, and I believe I have a way around it, but I'm hoping to activate live TV on WMC without the internet having to be connected to my home setup..

I've got the card paired and I see you can download "Play Ready" online and install manually. The sticking point seems to be what's called the "TV Setup Data." I see nowhere to download and install this manually outside of WMC's Live TV setup process. An option for me would be to setup my PC with card on another internet connection and do it there, however, I would not be plugged into my coax cable.

Does it need to be connected to the coax cable? And if so, can "TV Setup Data" be found anywhere to install manually?

Thanks a lot.

Without the internet you won't get any guide updates. I don't know how favorable an experience that might be. What's the point of building a kick-a** DVR if you can't schedule recordings. Unless I'm missing something here?
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post #4710 of 4795 Old 11-23-2013, 03:25 PM
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You're right. It was more a forced situation. For the negative-three people that might be curious, I got as far as being allowed to watch standard def channels after I manually installed Play Ready. But HD and guides, of course, had to be connected to the internet.

 

I was shocked how ****** the SD channels' quality is on an old analog computer monitor (my viewing source). Watching on a TV with more distance between you and the screen seems to help significantly to "hide" all the artifacts, etc. I'm also pretty disenchanted with HDTV image quality. For some reason, I assumed a raw recording would look very clean (I've only casually seen any HDTV over the years on large TVs where I assumed any compression and other artifacts were exaggerated, due to it being such a large screen).

 

Then I do some Googling to find HD artifacts are the bane of many an image quality-enthusiast's existence. When Youtube videos of something look far cleaner than what you're capturing through your HD cable, it's a sad day.  But I wasn't on top of this and just found out. I imagine the folks' whom HDTV downloads I've acquired over the years may have been overseas or had a better signal than my supplier. Or maybe I'm more critical now that it's right in front of me and a disappointment.

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