So.... I got the RMA shipment from Ceton today. A day later than expected, but, such is life.
Honestly, I was dreading going into this... For one I was doubtful that the new card was going to solve the network tuners problem, but moreso I was dreading the nightmare of going back to Comcast to re-pair the card...
So step one, I pulled out the old card, swapped the M-Card into the new infiniTV and popped it into the PC, into the x1 slot that I wanted to use, and booted up. My mindset was uninstall and reinstall drivers, but when I booted up it recognized and installed the device as "Ceton InfiniTV Network Device #3" and also installed a "PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge" so I decided to just run with it.
I then opened up the InfiniTV diagnostic tool, which found the card pretty quickly, and showed that the Firmware version was up to date (Same as the other, 188.8.131.52). It showed the hardware version as 4884, which I'm pretty sure was different than the other, although I can't really recall what the other one was.
Stepping back a moment, I also noted when I pulled out the old card and compared it with the new one, they looked very similar on the front, but when flipped over, the arrangement on the back side was VERY different. Not knowing a whole lot about that level of microelectronics, I can't say much about it, but it appeared that the same items existed on both boards, just in very different locations, and the clusters of tiny "things" (transistors or resistors maybe, no idea) were shaped much differently. Simply stated, the cards were not identical.
Moving on, in the InfiniTV diagnostic tool, I took a look at the Devices tab, and there were all green checks (except for "Configured for use with Media Center" which was to be expected) so all systems were a-go. I pulled up the Device webpage and printed the new pairing info, and then popped into Media Center.
Not looking forward to the call to Comcast and knowing that the network tuners setup was not at all reliant on the CableCARD activation, I procrastinated the call and went straight to the network tuners setup. Same concept, stepped through, chose the first two tuners to use with this PC, let it do its thing, and a few minutes later it said complete, and asked if I wanted to proceed to TV signal setup (What, no freeze? Awesome!). So I went through that as well and decided it was time to call Comcast.
This was strange, since I called the same CableCARD activation line as before, and usually I got a short message then hold music then rep. This time it sounded like someone answered right away but didn't say anything, and then plopped me on hold. A minute or 2 later I got someone I couldn't really understand (great!) who had no clue what I was talking about, but then transferred me to an "account rep." The "account rep" had no clue what I was talking about either, then suddenly was struck with some kind of something that provoked her to ask me for the regular info (CC ID, Host ID, etc) I could tell this was going nowhere but I humored her and she couldn't get it going. She told me she just changed the data and she's sending a signal but it's giving her an error, so she would have to send out a tech. I said no, I don't need a tech to come out, my equipment is fine, something is not being done right on your side, can I please speak to a technician there. So she "transferred" me (I'm pretty sure she just plopped me back in the call queue) and the next rep, I asked if she was a CableCARD activation rep and she transferred me to someone who answered the phone "...CableCard activation line..." (Woohoo!)
Finally the right place. Although still not completely knowledgable (InfiniTV, is that a TIVO? Ha..) he took the information, did his thing, and when I told him my device said he needed to send a "CCV" signal he said ok, hold on, and bang, there it was, all green checks! WOW! Popped into Media Center>Guide and started flipping channels, can you believe it was that painless? I was awestruck!
Last step, hop on my laptop, install the Ceton software, run through Media Center>Ceton>Network Tuners, found tuner, set it up and bang, TV on my laptop!
After a week and a half of craziness, I received the RMA device and had 100% functionality in less than 45 minutes. I am elated!
So....Sorry for the long story, guess I just wanted to share. But the synopsis is this:
Tech: Get the RMA. Whatever was the problem with our other device, they obviously sent a better, "fixed" device, which works flawlessly. So far so good anyway, I'll post here is I run into any issues. But I'm pretty sure based on my experience that the RMA will solve your problem too. I'm not sure exactly what the problem was and still have no clue what the common denominator was (Maybe it was just that version of the Ceton card) but I know the one they sent me now has fixed the problem, and without contention.
Rubberneck: I'm glad to hear you have a working solution but still a little bummed that you don't have it working as desired in the x1 slot. I'm not sure if your issue is at all related to mine/ours, maybe it's also possible that you got a bad card but a different bad card with different problems (referring to your replacement card). I would probably continue with Ceton, possibly pushing for another RMA unless you're content with the situation. Big downfall is you're stuck with it in the x16 slot, so if you ever really do want to move it you can't. And I would fear its compatibility with other machines and their assortment of slots in the case that you ever decide to use it in another.
My final system configuration as it stands is:
i7-2600k overclocked to 4.6Ghz
8 GB Patriot DDR3-1600
120GB OCZ SSD OS drive
1TB WD HDD Data Drive
Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 PCIx16 (1GB GDDR5)
- Outputting via HDMI to a 46" LCD HDTV
Realtek Onboard NiC
Onboard Intel HD audio
- Outputting via Optical Digital audio cable to HT receiver
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
7.7 on the Windows Experience Index Scale (Determined by graphics and gaming graphics -- 7.9 Primary Hard Disk, 7.8 Processor, 7.9 RAM)
I originally had an ethernet cable running from my router in my office to my Blu Ray player here in the living room, to which I added a 10/100 switch (I'll get a gigabit switch later, I just had this one laying around) to feed both the Blu Ray player and the PC. (At which point I eliminated the PCI wireless card from the PC) This configuration seems to be working fine, streaming TV to two laptops simultaneously, both of which are connected wirelessly.