Ceton Q DVR-HTPC Info Thread - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 324 Old 02-06-2012, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mo0sic View Post

Lots of people are hoping this is a HTPC. I hope it isn't. OTA tuners, network storage? If you want all that continue to use your HTPC. This thing needs to be simple and rock solid. I hope it doesn't have all that crap. Network storage would be awesome though...

I agree... it needs to be a simple as possible and marketed to the Cable Subscribers so we can get this type of hardware to the masses. Once the masses can use it, then add-ons can be developed for the advanced users. Ceton has the ability to be the first company to finally deliver the promise of CableCard which is the ability to move away from the Cable Co. hardware. That promise needs to be fullfilled before moving to the next level.
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post #32 of 324 Old 02-07-2012, 06:46 PM
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You cannot tell me that having OTA as an option would make the product any less reliable or less simple. Other than building my own HTPC or buying Tivo (I am currently a happy Tivo customer), there really are no comparable options out there. Ceton could only sell more boxes by offering OTA.
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post #33 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Audiophiliac View Post

You cannot tell me that having OTA as an option would make the product any less reliable or less simple. Other than building my own HTPC or buying Tivo (I am currently a happy Tivo customer), there really are no comparable options out there. Ceton could only sell more boxes by offering OTA.

I believe adding integrated OTA would be more complicated than you imagine. The Q is nothing more than a dedicated HTCP using a Ceton 6 tuner card. The software is written around using a single card to tune up to 6 streams. If you add OTA, you will need an OTA card for every OTA stream or design a new OTA card that will tune multiple channels. Then, you will need to change the software to determine if you are trying to tune a Cable channel or an OTA channel. You would also need to keep track of which shows are to be recorded from OTA and Cable and manage the limited resources of each separately. Lastly, adding additional tuner streams may or may-not exceed the hardware limits if your are using more than the 6 tuners of the single Ceton card.

Adding OTA or DTV tuners may be simple in concept, but the hardware and software integration would most likely be complex. As a software designer I know all too well the difficulties of trying to manage user expectations for conceptually simple ideas that add a magnitude of complexity to the design.
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post #34 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaBill View Post

I believe adding integrated OTA would be more complicated than you imagine. The Q is nothing more than a dedicated HTCP using a Ceton 6 tuner card. The software is written around using a single card to tune up to 6 streams. If you add OTA, you will need an OTA card for every OTA stream or design a new OTA card that will tune multiple channels. Then, you will need to change the software to determine if you are trying to tune a Cable channel or an OTA channel. You would also need to keep track of which shows are to be recorded from OTA and Cable and manage the limited resources of each separately. Lastly, adding additional tuner streams may or may-not exceed the hardware limits if your are using more than the 6 tuners of the single Ceton card.

Adding OTA or DTV tuners may be simple in concept, but the hardware and software integration would most likely be complex. As a software designer I know all too well the difficulties of trying to manage user expectations for conceptually simple ideas that add a magnitude of complexity to the design.

We know that the Q will be running Windows 7 Embedded for the OS and the software used will be Windows Media Center (with some custom features added). Windows Media Center already handles all the juggling that needs to happen to handle the various possible tuner types and figure out which tuner to use to tune a given channel. Ceton wouldn't have to worry about any of that.

Hardware limitations for handling more than 6 streams is a possible issue, depending on what they're using for hardware. But otherwise, the only thing they would need to worry about is selecting an OTA (or any other tuner type that WMC already supports) tuner card (either build a new one in-house, or pick something that's already available - there are lots of possible options from a bunch of manufacturers) and making sure the drivers are available to support the card. If the Q doesn't have enough space inside for additional internal tuners, there are USB and ethernet options available, at least for OTA.

I certainly don't know everything there is to know about Windows 7 Embedded and how it differs with standard Windows 7, but I don't believe adding support for other tuners is anywhere close to the nightmare you're envisioning (as long as they stick to a limited list of approved options).
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post #35 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 08:55 AM
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If they are limiting tuner options with software, it would be pretty easy to allow the use of external tuners as mentioned above. I understand Ceton's choice if they do not want to be liable for support of third party devices being integrated into their product. I am mainly pointing out that by not offering a product to a wider customer base, they are only losing potential customers.

I, for one, would gladly buy one of these units and a few extenders if they supported OTA. I cannot be the only OTA guy that feels the same. Ceton, you want my $$?
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post #36 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophiliac View Post

You cannot tell me that having OTA as an option would make the product any less reliable or less simple. Other than building my own HTPC or buying Tivo (I am currently a happy Tivo customer), there really are no comparable options out there. Ceton could only sell more boxes by offering OTA.

If the device is intended for use with Cable Systems, why would you want to include OTA? There are a number of devices on the market already that do OTA DVR.

If you want both, why not just build an HTPC, use Ceton tuner for Cable, and cheap ATSC tuners for OTA, if it is so important.

I can't see Ceton selling this for less than $600, $600 buys you a LOT of HTPC! With more flexibility and ability.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #37 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 10:03 AM
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I don't have too much experience with Windows 7 Embedded, but I recently downloaded and installed it on a system using Microsoft's Set Top Box template. And if Ceton's Q is anything like the embedded that I just played with, there are ways to install software if you search the net. You don't get a desktop, but there are ways to get a command prompt and then open up anything that you normally would in windows (unless these functions are removed).
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post #38 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

If the device is intended for use with Cable Systems, why would you want to include OTA? There are a number of devices on the market already that do OTA DVR.

Because they pretty much all suck, especially if you're looking for a multiroom system.

Quote:
If you want both, why not just build an HTPC, use Ceton tuner for Cable, and cheap ATSC tuners for OTA, if it is so important.

Well one reason would be if you wanted media support and the Echo requires the Q to support mkv/Blu-ray/DVDs.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #39 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

If the device is intended for use with Cable Systems, why would you want to include OTA? There are a number of devices on the market already that do OTA DVR.

If you want both, why not just build an HTPC, use Ceton tuner for Cable, and cheap ATSC tuners for OTA, if it is so important.

I can't see Ceton selling this for less than $600, $600 buys you a LOT of HTPC! With more flexibility and ability.

I'm actually rather curious, as I've been kicking around the idea of replacing my personal HTPC, and am finding that $600 is pretty much the minimum price point (for something decent that's not Atom-based) so I'm really curious what kind of HTPC you can build for $600, as in my searching, you're looking at closer to $800 including an InfiniTV4 and an OS. In fact, I pretty much looked what it would cost to put together the parts for a Q, and that alone costs more than $600
(Don't read too far into this guys)

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #40 of 324 Old 02-08-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickotz View Post

I'm actually rather curious, as I've been kicking around the idea of replacing my personal HTPC, and am finding that $600 is pretty much the minimum price point (for something decent that's not Atom-based) so I'm really curious what kind of HTPC you can build for $600, as in my searching, you're looking at closer to $800 including an InfiniTV4 and an OS. In fact, I pretty much looked what it would cost to put together the parts for a Q, and that alone costs more than $600
(Don't read too far into this guys)


+1 for sure .

Actually , by the time you buy the ceton and a copy of windows you would have spent about $370.00 . Subtract that from $800.00 = $430.00 . That still would make it very hard to have a " HTPC! With more flexibility and ability".
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post #41 of 324 Old 02-09-2012, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

If the device is intended for use with Cable Systems, why would you want to include OTA? There are a number of devices on the market already that do OTA DVR.

If you want both, why not just build an HTPC, use Ceton tuner for Cable, and cheap ATSC tuners for OTA, if it is so important.

Because you expand your market to include those seeking a simple, ready-built solution for OTA recordings, including multiroom. HTPCs do NOT count for this, and the other alternatives mostly suck (Channel Master) or are too expensive (Tivo). But the Ceton Q will also probably be too expensive, come to think of it.
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post #42 of 324 Old 02-09-2012, 09:48 AM
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Hello all, I am new here. I have a comment and a question.

I also would like to see support for as many different types of tuners as possible so the Q is not locked down to just cable T.V. There is a growing trend of people dropping cable and going with over the air HDTV and Internet sources for T.V.

Microsoft recommends 1 processor core for each extender. I would like to know how many Echo extenders can the Q support and still be responsive and operate smoothly?
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post #43 of 324 Old 02-09-2012, 10:21 AM
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I could see spending $800-$1000 for a DVR/Full blown Media Center Hardware device. this could bring a lot of stability to a lot of peoples setup. Nice and simple. I like it.
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post #44 of 324 Old 02-10-2012, 07:13 AM
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Any thoughts on what applications/modules may be shipped or available.

Obviously mainstream online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon VOD, Vudu would be nice...

How about things that can satisfy us missing out on OnDemand channels. Apps like HBOGO or MaxGO?
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post #45 of 324 Old 02-19-2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverge View Post

I don't have too much experience with Windows 7 Embedded, but I recently downloaded and installed it on a system using Microsoft's Set Top Box template. And if Ceton's Q is anything like the embedded that I just played with, there are ways to install software if you search the net. You don't get a desktop, but there are ways to get a command prompt and then open up anything that you normally would in windows (unless these functions are removed).

Could you elaborate on this? I would love to try W7 Embedded as a STB with a Ceton tuner. In other words, I would love to build my own Q *now* and use that until the Q is out.
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post #46 of 324 Old 02-19-2012, 08:53 PM
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Couple Questions

1) Being that this is based off of Windows 7 will the "Q" still be vulnerable to the 29/59 frame rate issue that plagues many HTPCs running WMC. This is an issue that Microsoft has made very clear they will not address. Is this simply not going to be an issue b/c of the way the "Q" will handle the pipeline or is Ceton taking it's own steps to ensure this problem is rectified.

2) Will the "Q" have enough processing power to legitimately handle all 6 tuners at once? I can say my family of 5 will certainly put that to the test
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post #47 of 324 Old 02-19-2012, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanew76 View Post

Couple Questions

1) Being that this is based off of Windows 7 will the "Q" still be vulnerable to the 29/59 frame rate issue that plagues many HTPCs running WMC. This is an issue that Microsoft has made very clear they will not address. Is this simply not going to be an issue b/c of the way the "Q" will handle the pipeline or is Ceton taking it's own steps to ensure this problem is rectified.

2) Will the "Q" have enough processing power to legitimately handle all 6 tuners at once? I can say my family of 5 will certainly put that to the test

1. We are aware that the 29/59 issue affects some people. I cannot say anything more on it at this point in time.

2. Yes. The CPU in our prototype units, while not guaranteed to be the same CPU as in what is in production units, should be representative of what is in production units. We used a low-power Core i3 in it.

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #48 of 324 Old 02-19-2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drawz View Post

Could you elaborate on this? I would love to try W7 Embedded as a STB with a Ceton tuner. In other words, I would love to build my own Q *now* and use that until the Q is out.

Here's a basic install http://thedigitallifestyle.com/w/ind...dows-embedded/

If you google a bit, you can find some in depth videos by MS employees. I bookmarked one, but can't find it atm.

Similar config to a Q?

Intel DH61AG motherboard ~ $100
Intel 310 series 40GB SSD ~ $100
8GB of ram ~ $30-50
Intel i3 2120T ~ $125-130
Power brick ~ $25-50
Slot Blu-ray ~ $100-130
OS - ?
case - ?
seconday storage - ?
CEC dongle - ?
CIR dongle - ?
remote - ?

This is pretty much what I just built. If you add up the items with prices your already close to $600, so my guess is it will be a lot more then $600
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post #49 of 324 Old 02-19-2012, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverge View Post

Here's a basic install http://thedigitallifestyle.com/w/ind...dows-embedded/

If you google a bit, you can find some in depth videos by MS employees. I bookmarked one, but can't find it atm.

Similar config to a Q?

Intel DH61AG motherboard ~ $100
Intel 310 series 40GB SSD ~ $100
8GB of ram ~ $30-50
Intel i3 2120T ~ $125-130
Power brick ~ $25-50
Slot Blu-ray ~ $100-130
OS - ?
case - ?
seconday storage - ?
CEC dongle - ?
CIR dongle - ?
remote - ?

This is pretty much what I just built. If you add up the items with prices your already close to $600, so my guess is it will be a lot more then $600

Wow that looks really easy! Any issues getting the Ceton to work with it? Might have to give it a try with existing hardware. I have everything except the tuner. I'm not necessarily trying to replicate a Q - just looking for a temporary alternative while I wait for the real thing. If the Q is looking like it will be out later this year and in the $600 range, I might just wait.
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post #50 of 324 Old 02-26-2012, 06:34 AM
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Noticed that it was up on their site now.

http://cetoncorp.com/products/ceton_q/

http://cetoncorp.com/products/echo/

Getting pretty excited about this. Would love to dump my Tivo when I get home from Afghanistan.

-Sean
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post #51 of 324 Old 02-26-2012, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelo2 View Post

Any thoughts on what applications/modules may be shipped or available.

Obviously mainstream online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon VOD, Vudu would be nice...

How about things that can satisfy us missing out on OnDemand channels. Apps like HBOGO or MaxGO?

Same questions as Evangelo2. I ended up having to buy a Roku just because of the poor support for plugins for WMC. Would love a box that did it all.

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post #52 of 324 Old 03-24-2012, 03:44 PM
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As someone who has installed cablecard devices that were supposed to do it all(Niveus, S1 Digital)This is what I've been looking forward to as an integrator. An appliance that can be easily installed, easily explained, without having to do alot of configuration. I love the tech stuff but my wife(along with many other women) don't. This is something that is long overdue in my opinion. I love Tivo. I've sold and installed them but it's even hard for me to justify that lifetime license. My only question is will this thing do bit-streaming audio and playback 3d video. Does anyone know?
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post #53 of 324 Old 03-24-2012, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickotz View Post

I'm actually rather curious, as I've been kicking around the idea of replacing my personal HTPC, and am finding that $600 is pretty much the minimum price point (for something decent that's not Atom-based) so I'm really curious what kind of HTPC you can build for $600, as in my searching, you're looking at closer to $800 including an InfiniTV4 and an OS. In fact, I pretty much looked what it would cost to put together the parts for a Q, and that alone costs more than $600
(Don't read too far into this guys)

I recently put one together with a G530 and an Asrock Z68 MB, 8GB memory, 2TB hard drive, antec earthwatts 380, silverstone case for about $400. I also picked up 2 Ceton InfiniTV 4s for $300 total. I was planning on replacing the G530 with an Ivy Bridge when it came out... but to be honest, this handles recording 8 things at once, comskip, extenders etc. without any problem.
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post #54 of 324 Old 03-28-2012, 08:06 PM
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I have a couple of questions I haven't seen asked/answered yet:

The one limitation of MCE on a PC that drives me nuts is the tuner management refusing to use different tuners to record back-to-back shows on the same channel (without the 10-minute-mandatory padding). Will the Q avoid this problem?

Second, will the Q look like a PC to my networked desktop such that I could transfer shows between the Q and that machine to edit copy-freely content?
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post #55 of 324 Old 03-29-2012, 09:17 AM
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I doubt it. That's in the Media Center code which needs to be changed. Ceton doesn't have access to the source to modify.
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post #56 of 324 Old 03-30-2012, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packetlosss View Post

I recently put one together with a G530 and an Asrock Z68 MB, 8GB memory, 2TB hard drive, antec earthwatts 380, silverstone case for about $400. I also picked up 2 Ceton InfiniTV 4s for $300 total. I was planning on replacing the G530 with an Ivy Bridge when it came out... but to be honest, this handles recording 8 things at once, comskip, extenders etc. without any problem.

where did you pick up the 2 Cetons for 300?
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post #57 of 324 Old 03-30-2012, 07:07 AM
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Craigslist.
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post #58 of 324 Old 03-30-2012, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickotz View Post

I'm actually rather curious, as I've been kicking around the idea of replacing my personal HTPC, and am finding that $600 is pretty much the minimum price point (for something decent that's not Atom-based) so I'm really curious what kind of HTPC you can build for $600, as in my searching, you're looking at closer to $800 including an InfiniTV4 and an OS. In fact, I pretty much looked what it would cost to put together the parts for a Q, and that alone costs more than $600
(Don't read too far into this guys)

While top of line HTPC can cost 800, here is what I would do
1) It is normal to see sales from Staples, Lenovo, Dell, Tigerdirect or newegg to have a quad-core desktop for about 300-400 with Win7 Home Premium. In fact I have seen some sales in 200-300 range as well. Typically these include a AMD/Intel Quad core, 4gb ddr3 memory and around 500gb/1 TB drive with gigabit adapter
Cost: 350

2) 4 GB DDR3 => $40
3) 500 GB hard drive => $50
4) Ceton => 170

Cost: $610. If you wait for right deal the config can be better or cheaper.

This would work very well. I have a 4 year old core2duo with 6 gb memory and it works great.

I was very disappointed to see blu-ray included in Ceton. I believe it increases the price by at least $100 and makes it impossible for folks like me who have PS3 to justify the purchase. It should have been optional
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post #59 of 324 Old 03-30-2012, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cnewsgrp View Post

I was very disappointed to see blu-ray included in Ceton. I believe it increases the price by at least $100 and makes it impossible for folks like me who have PS3 to justify the purchase. It should have been optional

They haven't even announced the price of the Q yet, so it seems a bit premature to be disappointed.
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post #60 of 324 Old 03-30-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsr View Post

They haven't even announced the price of the Q yet, so it seems a bit premature to be disappointed.

Agreed, but its easy to predict it will be in 600-800 range without subscription.
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