Should I Give Up on Ceton? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 34 Old 03-09-2013, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

If you're having issues with signal quality then that's a problem your provider needs to fix. It's not the fault of the InfiniTV4 if the signal isn't up to snuff. The InfiniTV4 has a wide tolerance for signal level variations.

I also used to have Tivos for recording and kept mine as a backup after getting my first InfiniTV4 just in case of a problem. I had the Tivo on my FIOS account for at least six months after getting the InfiniTV4 and never had to rely on it once for a recording.

The InfiniTV4 is just a tuner so I'm not sure how you can say it doesn't perform as well as a Tivo. The tuner just receives the signal from your provider and directs it to your hard drive for recording. The InfiniTV4 works every bit as good as a Tivo in that regard, if not better. The rest of the process is handled by your PC hardware and software. If you think your HTPC isn't performing as well as a Tivo then you need to look at something other than the tuners. I was an early adopter of Tivos and ReplayTVs from the beginning. I am now Tivo-less for the first time in about thirteen years and couldn't be happier.

The Echo is another matter entirely. You either love it or you hate it. I was involved in the beta program and got one of the first units. I returned mine a couple of weeks ago just before the window closed on the extended return policy. This device was definitely released far too soon and probably should have undergone another six months of development to fix the bugs that still haunt it. There are still too many features lacking, IMHO, that are crucial to its success. It's definitely got great potential, but it's nowhere near mature enough to be considered a final product.

This all comes down to the InfiniTV getting picture breakup or going to a blue subscription required screen given the same feeed as the Tivon simple as that.

If you read my message I said you can get it to work if you can get enough signal. My brother had to fight with Comcast for a whole year until they replaced the complete line on his stree. This in a 6 year old subdivision, that and a Motorola Drop Amp plus doing everything possible to eliminate any unecessary splitters other than the one requirefor the cable modem . That whole ordeal was necessary to get his Ceton to work robustly.

My experience was similar I had to get a Motorola drop am, I ran the shortest cable drop possible and Comcast replaced everything coming on my property (twice).. all that and several firmware upgrades and it is now pretty stable, still have more pixelation and screen breakup, more than I should but I seldom get any blue screens.anymore.

The Tivo worked fine on the old wiring and with no drop amp. I just a couple of days ago installed a MOCA filter and will see if that will help even more. Some people have had little or no problem from day one... the reality is that InfiniTV4 needs a heck of a lot better signal than either the Cable Company Boxes and at least my Tivo HD.

I don't know what the obsession is with protecting potential end users from the truth... Mine is working quite well now and the Tivo has become redundant, but if you do not have a signal that is near the very top of the reccommended range and real recent software you are likely to have a heck of a time.


YMMV, everybody is in a different market with a different provider and the cabling on your street and gear in you substation provide different quality of signal at different times of day. A classic for me was CNN on Friday afternoons, even the Ti vo would struggle in that scenario without the Motorola BDA. Just because it works in your house, on your street with your provider during your viewing hours doesn't mean anything regarding what someone else will have to do to get it to work for them. The InifiniTV is a relative robust product today....... but if it doesn't work well in your particular home as a replacement for the cable companies box, you might have to struggle long and mightily to get it to do so.

My whole point is really if you give the beast a very high quality feed it works well and thousands of units are working in the field today at a level that people find acceptable but it is not an appliance and the whole experience can be way more than just bothersome to get it working like it should and in some cases just forget abou it.

Crummy signals are really the cable companies fault but if it runs their hardware and Tivo hardware you just don't have much leverage with them. They change the whole distribution system on my brother's street after a year of complaining... but it was not his complaining that go them moving, finally the cableco gear in the neighbor's homes was acting up.

I was at his house five separate times when Comcast Service came there and it would not be working. They would go out swap his splitter replace his ground and comeback in and the Ceton would be locked to a station. They might as well have been waving a rubber chicken as it was just the intermittent nature of the problem and the fact the Ceton needs a better signal then the cableco gear the neighbors were using. Like many things you don't get them fixed until it is broken completely. He had a cable co converter box that never burped through all these adventures. He has a two story house and he changed every inch of coax in it.. Everything he did incrementally brought the Signal and SNR up, but it did not matter. So who do you blame, clearly Comcast had a problem, but for most of that year only the Ceton was troublesome. Today he is running two Ceton tuners and they are working very well with almost no breakup.. His cableco converter never, ever gave him problems even at the end when his neighbors starting having problems and Comcast was forced to replace everything on the street.

I worked for Compaq and HP for years. There would be issues that generated thousands of support calls, from a call center perspective it felt like every unit of that type had failed. You knew the diagnostic drill and fix so well you could do it in your sleep. Two years later someone with one of those units would call and say to your surprise they had someother issue and then you would find out they had a hundred of these units and never experienced the problem you thought was universal.

I have seen situations where we had to go in and replace a building full of hardware because it was failing all over the place. We would get it back to the lab and it would work perfectly.The replacements we sent out would fail too. Our engineers would be onsite verifying it and sometime we had to just give their money back and sometime a different model just worked fine.

Just because the unit or units you got work in your enviornment doesn't mean they guy next door isn't tearing his hair out.

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post #32 of 34 Old 03-09-2013, 12:55 PM
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Sounds like a clearcut case of garbage in, garbage out.wink.gif The InfiniTV4 should work fine for the vast majority of users. Your problem clearly stemmed from an inferior signal feed from Comcast. Sorry to hear you had to endure such an ordeal, but you were at the mercy of your provider. The InfiniTV4 may have a narrower range of signal sensitivity than the Comcast hardware or your Tivo tuners, but that doesn't make it a bad product.

I used to be on Comcast and then switched over to DirecTV for TV viewing, but I kept Comcast for wideband internet (for which they overcharged me considerably). When Verizon offered FIOS I headed straight to the nearest Verizon kiosk at the local mall to sign up for it the minute I saw the flier on my front door. I've been with FIOS going on five years now and absolutely love it. I couldn't wait to completely sever ties with Comcrap. FWIW, I had the exact opposite problem with FIOS when I first got my InfiniTV4. The signal was so strong it would overdrive the tuners until I added a bit of attenuation to tame it.
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post #33 of 34 Old 03-09-2013, 01:51 PM
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In my experience, Ceton has an excellent track record of handling returns expeditiously. I was an early-adopter of the InfiniTV (I bought it when they still had a 4-month waiting period). I returned my InfiniTV after receiving a DOA (and they graciously cross-shipped a replacement overnight at no cost to me even though I had purchased my InfiniTV second-hand on e-bay because I didn't want to wait for the backorder), and then I sold the replacement nearly a year later after finding that I like the HD HomeRun Prime better. I also returned my Echo four months after purchasing it... after finding that it still didn't work as well as my HP and Linksys extenders. I agree that most problems with the InfiniTV4 tuner are related to signal problems (and the firmware/software/drivers that have been released since I returned mine have apparently fixed some of the problems I was experiencing that were NOT signal related). However, the comment about being "flamed" if you defend the Echo is really out of line.

The Echo has problems. It has been improving, gradually, since it was released, but it was released in a state that was pitiful. The Echo "beta", in which I participated, was pathetic. The thing didn't even perform the most basic functions of an extender for Windows Media Center. Most companies perform an "alpha" with a small group of people, and they work out the biggest bugs and get the basic functionality working long before going into "beta" with a larger audience. The state of the Echo during the "beta" was NOT beta quality. It is obvious that they didn't even test the thing with their employees and the employees' families before they shipped it to the "beta" participants. I realize that they completely changed the Echo hardware between the Echo's appearance at CES and when it was available in the "beta", but they should have done some alpha testing before sending it out to anyone outside Ceton. The beta units should have been able to perform at least as well as the HP, Linksys, and D-Link extenders that already exist.

To add insult to injury, Ceton employees wrote multiple posts on various forums saying things like Echo will be "the best extender ever made". There were various hints that it would do more than the XBox360. That's very far from the truth.

At best, the initial "release" of the Echo was ALMOST beta quality. If I ran Ceton, I would have been embarrassed by both the "beta" and the "release" of the product.

I returned my Echo at the end of the extended warrantee period because I was unwilling to finance their blunder. Some people have posted (on other sites) that I should have kept my Echo so that I wouldn't financially harm Ceton... because if they go out of business, then what option will we have with Media Center?

Well... I really want Ceton to succeed, but it's not my responsibility to finance them when they aren't delivering on their promise.

There are a bunch of Ceton fanbois who will defend Ceton no matter what kind of crap they produce... and it's their business if they want to flush money down the toilet. I guess I can't name them or point fingers at them personally, because they get upset and complain about my posts... and try to get me banned. I guess the truth hurts.

EDIT: I should note that the biggest Ceton fanboi has never used any other extender for Windows Media Center. He's ONLY used the Echo (by his own admission on another site), so he has no comparison to an extender that actually works. I can't name him here, because I guess that would be naughty. I have used four different models of extender for Media Center, including the Echo. ALL of the other three perform better than the Echo.

Again, I'll say that I hope Ceton makes the Echo work. Their current stance seems to be that they are going to make it a hybrid between Android (read: "My Media Center") and an extender for Windows Media Center. We'll see how that plays out. The current form of the "My Media Center" app leaves a lot to be desired. In the current form, it cannot replace the Media Center GUI in its entirety. The idea has promise, but we'll have to wait to see what it becomes.
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post #34 of 34 Old 03-09-2013, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by barnabas1969 View Post

EDIT: I should note that the biggest Ceton fanboi has never used any other extender for Windows Media Center. He's ONLY used the Echo (by his own admission on another site), so he has no comparison to an extender that actually works. I can't name him here, because I guess that would be naughty. I have used four different models of extender for Media Center, including the Echo. ALL of the other three perform better than the Echo..
While I haven't read the specific post with said admission, I have a feeling I know of whom you speak.wink.gif My experience with the Echo is that it works (almost) like any other extender ever marketed. I say almost because both my Echoes had issues that rendered them unwatchable. Sadly, the Echo fell far short of expectations, but I'm still hopeful Ceton can pull it off. I was in the Echo beta program and the first unit was a complete disaster. I received an RMA replacement that was a vast improvement over the first unit, but it was still far from perfect. I decided to return it before the extended refund window expired. I've owned extenders by HP, Linksys, and the latest X-Box and was never really all that satisfied with the extender experience. The WMC interface was always laggy and never smooth. Watching live and recorded TV was fine until you had to use the remote to fast forward or rewind. It worked for the most part but somehow left you wanting more for the experience. Commercial skipping was a crap shoot at best.
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