My Ceton runs around 45-50 degrees C as well. I had room in the tower and did add a fan directed onto the Ceton just to avoid any hot spots.
My ShowAnalyzer is still completely rock solid, never hangs anymore.
I thought that MediaCenter could only handle 4-Analog, 4-SD, and 4-HD tuners for some reason. Are you sure that it will support 8 HD tuners at once??
Regarding live TV and Tuner sharing. With X-Box Clients in other rooms it is possible to watch live TV (or recorded content) via the Ceton card in the Media Center. So you could watch LiveTV in two different rooms (any channel on each) and still be recording 2 additional channels. The Ceton does have a web interface but I used it only for trouble shooting. X-Box clients look and work EXACTLY like you were at the Media Center, they are fantastic! Media Center will support 4 X-Box Clients.
Speaking of trouble shooting;
Last week, all my HD channels (Ceton Card) were either heavily pixelated or completely dead (blue screen "can't tune to this station, no signal" errors). My analog channels (via Haupauge Cards) were just fine. I wasn't sure where to begin trouble shooting. I checked the Ceton knowledge base, used their web tool to check tuner status.
Ceton mentions that signal strength should be between -12 and +12 dbmV and SNR between 32-37. Ideal being 0db and 37 SNR. My channels were measuring between -5.1 and +11.9db and SNR of 32.6 to 34.5 but the channels were basically unwatchable.
My recordings for the previous day or two were trash so something in the system changed. I figured I'd order a new Ceton (New USB Quad tuner this time) and also call in the cable guy to validate signals. I needed to be back up quick before the family torched me...
The cable guy comes and I show him the install. Cable comes into house one split to Cable Modem, other to an Amp then to the Ceton. This guy tells me that they never use amps any more and wants it out. The previous guy installed it, about 6 years ago. We pull the amp and I check the Ceton diagnostics (not the TV, just signal levels). I'm now seeing -18db across the board. The cable guy doesn't know what to say, he never uses a meter but swears the signal to the houses is like +10db. He leaves and tells me to call in a level II supervisor.
I'm now thinking perhaps the card is bad and will wait to call service when the new Ceton arrives. Well guess what? I fire up Media Center and tune to a HD channel and it is PRISTINE, all HD channels are Perfect! I go back to the Ceton diagnostics in both Media Center and thru the Web Tool, all readings are in the -18db and 32 SNR range, go figure. Everything has been solid for a week now, all new recordings are good. I don't have anyone to compare notes with on the signal readings, but it's moot if the video is perfect.
Now the new Ceton is here and since it's USB I could hook it up but I'm back to the belief that 7MC won't support 8 HD tuners. I most likely will return it.
Regarding converting shows, I use "ImToo Video Converter Ultimate", works great for making iPhone/iPad content. I made up a few for a flight with my daughter, no issues at all converting them. I also used VideoRedo to quickly strip out commercials manually.
So far all the content on my system has been DRM free, so I haven't needed to cross that bridge.
"Beneath the surface of the mud...... there's more mud still.......Surprise" -- CSN