Master List of Cable Card PC's and Cable Card tuner Suppliers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 98 Old 11-05-2007, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to the mod for making this a sticky as this kind of info is hard to find

When one looks at what is available to use as a DVR for Cable, there are 3 choices:
1) The Cable Company's HD DVR offerings e.g. Verizon offers the Motorola QIP 6416
2) The Tivo Series 3 or the Tivo HD light version
3) Cable Card PC's which are pre-configured by the OEM e.g. The HP M8100Y with the ATI Cable Card Tuner

So as to keep this thread uncluttered, I am assuming that folks understand what a Cable Card PC is and if not, I would point you to this FAQ by our resident expert:
http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archi...10/954764.aspx

Also, see this thread for additional information about cable Card:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=771387


This thread is about item #3 (Cable Card PC's) because I see a LOT of people asking questions about where to get one of these . It is NOT a Best Buy/CC type deal.
Plus I sure could have used this information this past summer when I started down this path.
Finally, I started this thread to try and keep it up to date because the the suppliers and products keep changing.


A Cable Card PC is NOT a DIY item so hopefully this thread will help folks to keep up with who makes these as well as trying to find sources for the actual ATI tuner beyond just the OEM’s.
That ATI tuner is so darn expensive that it is the biggest showstopper for Cable Card PC acceptance as a viable DVR.


Here is an example:
In August,2007 I configured an HP M8100Y to use as a Cable Card PC and HP charged $510 for ONE ATI tuner. The single tuner was because the configuration wizard on HP’s website did not allow me to choose 2 tuners.

Since a DVR needs at least 2 tuners to be a viable contender for either the TIVO or the Mototola HD DVR, I called HP and they assured me that I could buy a second tuner one from their on-line store.

To my great luck, I did not have to see if the Tuner purchase info I got from HP was valid since I was able to buy a second tuner from someone on avsforum for $450.

That was in August and now if you go on HP's website to configure the M8199Y, you will find that it is no longer offered for this type of application. The same thing happened with the Dell XPS410 that I looked at in August.
So, where do you look? That is the main point of this thread

Also, within the past few weeks, I have found that other sources for cheaper ATI Digial Cable Card Tuners have been popping up.


I mentioned that these are not DIY systems but that is because the PC needs a special BIOS and a few other things that only the OEM can do to get the blessing of Cable Labs Inc.

That does NOT mean that you can not use this as a PC and if you are careful with modifications(like ONLY using Signed drivers) you can make this your HTPC.
For instance, I added a 1.5 TB ESATA Raid to hold the recordings and replaced the cruddy (but HDCP compliant) graphics card with an Nvidia card that is optimized for High Def playback(again HDCP compliant)



Here is the list of Cable Card PC’s that either I know about or have been told about by other members.

I personally verified the HP,Dell and Sony Desktop (not their Laptops) Systems. The Verification of these models consisted of going through the configuration procedure,placing it in the shopping cart and going 99.9% through the final checkout.



Cable Card compliant PC’s as of December 10,2007:
1) Velocity Micro
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/printthread.php?t=817478
November 25 - Might be worth watching this thread as it looks like the premium you are paying for customer service may (notice that I said MAY) not be worth the extra money: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post12304512
2) S1 Digital
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/printthread.php?t=924080
3) HP Model d4996t
http://www.shopping.hp.com/series/ca...rowse1/SDP_SDP
[4) HP Model m9000t
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...=m9000t_series
(5) Sony Has several Models: VGC-LT19U Desktop and their VGN series Notebooks
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665224923) - This Sony selection needs to be redone since Sony has made quite a number of changes)

6) Niveus Digital Cable Receiver
http://www.niveusmedia.com/products/dcr.htm
7) VidaBox™ Media Center Systems
http://www.vidabox.com/products.php
8) Inteset
http://www.inteset.com/products/DTCD30-Si/
9) Okoro Media Systems
Entry Level system: http://www.okoromedia.com/newsdet.asp?articleno=23
10) Dell Model 420
This updated offering from Dell (as of December 10) lets you configure it with dual ATI tuners and it sets Dell as the new price king for the tuner because they are only charging $180 per tuner.
http://www.dell.com/content/products...tab=bundlestab








Sources for the ATI Digital Cable Card Tuner
1) Each Vendor in the above list sells this tuner as part of the configuration.
---->November 18,2007. Note that HP has dropped their price from $510 to $299
---->December 10,2007. Note that HP has dropped their price from $299 to $260
---->December 10,2007. Note that Dell has dropped their price to $180
2) Sony is now selling it by itself for $299 ie. you do not need to buy a PC from them.
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665246461

Potential Sources for other brands of Cable Card Tuners
1) Ceton Corporation - MCARD tuner sometime in 2008
http://www.cetoncorp.com/

Additions/Deletions
Nov 29 - Removed all Dell systems
Dec 1 - Removed HP d4995t and replaced with HP d4996t
Dec 10 - Added Dell 420. Thanks Chris





Please feel free to chime in as I am sure I missed something





Note:
One can often find unadvertized coupons for savings on HP and Dell machines at http://www.xpbargains.com/
I saved $400 on my M8100Y Cable Card PC by using a coupon code that I found there
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post #2 of 98 Old 11-07-2007, 10:48 AM
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Joe,

Good job, this would have saved me many hours on the forums before I purchased my HP.

Thanks for the effort
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post #3 of 98 Old 11-07-2007, 07:41 PM
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Can anyone chime in on the difference between the HP Model d4995t and the HP Model m9000t. Thinking of taking the plunge on one of these for Christmas and would like to know which is the better option.
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post #4 of 98 Old 11-08-2007, 06:45 AM
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Okoro Media would be another offering CableCARD PCs

On the high end, Niveus Media, Vidabox, and Inteset also ship CableCARD on their Media Center PCs.

Chris
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post #5 of 98 Old 11-08-2007, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 208000693 View Post

Can anyone chime in on the difference between the HP Model d4995t and the HP Model m9000t. Thinking of taking the plunge on one of these for Christmas and would like to know which is the better option.

I would go through their configurater and see what you come up with.

I did notice that the M9000T offers a writeable Blu Ray drive but the d4995t only offers a read only drive.

Also did not spot 6 SATA connections which my M8100Y has. That allowed me to make a 2 drive SATA RAID with expansion for a 3rd drive in the array
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post #6 of 98 Old 11-17-2007, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I stumbled upon a company named Ceton who is building Cable Card Tuners and I figured, "what the heck,let's email him and see if he answers"

To my surprise, he did and Here is what I got back as a response:

Hi Joe,

We are planning on certifying with CableLabs early 2008 with production shortly thereafter.

What I can tell you is our product will support MCard meaning you will get the capabilities of multiple tuners in one which makes things easier and less expensive overall vs the current ATI solution. We also have very high standards and want our product to be suitable for the average computer user. We like true "plug and play" meaning you plug it in and it works.

Sony selling the ATI tuner standalone is certainly promising as far as requiring a full system or not to purchase our product. We want to offer it as a standalone product as well as with pre-configured PCs, but unfortunately in the end it is not our decision.

Our first tuner card will be a Multi-OCUR (MOCUR) device supporting MCard. It is a modular design with the main board having capabilities of two HD1080i channels with less expensive "daughter cards" which plugin to the main board adding two channels each up to six total. This means you can record/stream six 1080i channels at a time with one CableCARD.

For BOCR we have done development work and are awaiting CableLabs to finish the spec. When they have finalized the spec we will be ready with a BOCR solution. Unfortunately we have minimal impact on the timing of this, although we are doing what we can.

Sounds like you have a nice setup, which hopefully we can improve by our MCard solution very soon You said there are many of you, I am curious to know who. We are a relatively small company and we like to know what people are looking for. We really do care that we have a good product people like and want. Your suggestions are always welcome, but please keep in mind not everything is up to us and we have to stay within the requirements of CableLabs.

Thanks for your interest!
-Jeremy

--
Jeremy Hammer
Ceton Corporation


The group I was referring to was avsforum as wll as my own circle of HTPC enthusiasts at my company so I told him that.
Also, The reference to Sony was my telling him about Sony selling the ATI tuners directly.

He has since replied to me and another avsforum member (who obviously contacted him as well) and gave us an email address where we could ask him questions.

I can tell that he is afraid of getting baragged with questions so he asked me and the other fellow (I am sure he will chime in when he feels it is appropriate) to not post the email address.

His request was to organize any questions and have one of the 2 of us email him.

Of course, there is nothing stopping anyone from doing the same thing as I did by emailing him yourself BUT I suspect he will quickly stop responding if he gets a lot of emails. Please realize that I am saying this so I do not come off as someone who thinks he is 'special'. I am just an interested person who took the initiative to email Ceton Corp.

I think it is great to have a direct line to an insider on this cable card business who we can ask questions of.

If you are interested, post your questions in here and I will pass them on.
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post #7 of 98 Old 11-17-2007, 09:15 PM
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FYI, from what I understand, Vidabox and Okoro are not MS OEMs. They are reselling someone else's media centers (Velocity's?). I believe this is the full list of OEMs authorized for cablecards: http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonder.../partners.html
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post #8 of 98 Old 11-18-2007, 08:16 AM
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^ That is correct.

Chris
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post #9 of 98 Old 11-18-2007, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrloopy View Post

FYI, from what I understand, Vidabox and Okoro are not MS OEMs. They are reselling someone else's media centers (Velocity's?). I believe this is the full list of OEMs authorized for cablecards: http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonder.../partners.html


I got those 2 names from Chris which is why I have the caveat about my verification procedure so that folks know which ones I personally verified by going through the company's configurator and buy procedure.

Anyone is MORE than welcome to post names of suplliers and when I see that they do supply such a device, their name and contact info goes in the list.

I fail to understand the point of the distinction that you are making.
I am fully aware of that list on ATI's website but I wanted to open this up to ANY source.
This thread is not an ATI thread. It is intended to be a list of places to get cable card PC's and the required tuner. Today the only supplier of that tuner is ATI but that is going to change

If I can buy a Cable Card PC from Okoro and the 'box' happens to be made by someone else then who cares?


Once these systems start to reach critical mass then other companies will start making the tuner and ATI will merely become yet another supplier for tuners.


You can see the start of this with Ceton Corporation.



I do not want to leave you with the wrong impression. Thank you for taking the time to read through my data and making comments/observations
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post #10 of 98 Old 11-18-2007, 04:11 PM
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Oh, no problem, I mis-read the post thinking that they were the cable card OEMs. I'm sure there will be more soon in that case.
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post #11 of 98 Old 12-02-2007, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Made some updates,which are noted.

Dell seems to have gone 'underground' leaving the mainstream PC Makers to HP and Sony.

Note that HP's newest entry does allow you to knock of $40 for that internal non cable card tuner which,in my opinion, is worthless because of the way that Vista supports tuners when a cable card tuner is present.

My internal non cable card tuner is stored in a box.

I am getting ready to add a Homerun to let it handle the digital Local stations off of Verizon since those are in the clear where I live.
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post #12 of 98 Old 12-07-2007, 10:27 AM
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Dell relaunched CableCARD on the XPS 420 today. You can get Vista Home Premium or Ultimate and a single or dual CableCARD tuner setup on every XPS 420 model.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archi...7/1384849.aspx

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post #13 of 98 Old 12-13-2007, 08:47 AM
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A further note about the ATI Digital Cable Tuner. It only works with Vista's Media Center and does NOT allow recording of content that has the broadcast flag set. Almost all cable content I tried was 'protected'. It only takes a single stream cable card (no two-way) and you must have a cablecard to get digital cable, even unencrypted local digital channels.

I returned both of mine to Dell.

Hopefully in the next year as Phillips is supposed to becomming out with a DVR they'll be more competition and the market will open a bit.
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post #14 of 98 Old 12-13-2007, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iTyler9 View Post

A further note about the ATI Digital Cable Tuner. It only works with Vista's Media Center and does NOT allow recording of content that has the broadcast flag set. Almost all cable content I tried was 'protected'. It only takes a single stream cable card (no two-way) and you must have a cablecard to get digital cable, even unencrypted local digital channels.

I returned both of mine to Dell.

Hopefully in the next year as Phillips is supposed to becomming out with a DVR they'll be more competition and the market will open a bit.



"It only takes a single stream cable card (no two-way) and you must have a cablecard to get digital cable, even unencrypted local digital channels."

I must correct you on the second part of your sentence so as to not confuse people.
The ATI tuner,if used WITHOUT a cablecard, WILL tune any unencrypted channels on your cable.

Besides the fact that this is just how it works, I know personally that this is true.
I had a one week wait for Verizon to show up and install the required 2 cable cards to enable access to everything.

During that time, I was curious about what it would do without a cable card so I plugged both tuners in,setup them up in Media Center and it found my Verizon FIOS analog stations as well as the digital local channels.

I guess I should not have found this surprising since my TV does the same thing since it has a QAM tuner and that is basically all that the ATI tuner is.



"It only works with Vista's Media Center and does NOT allow recording of content that has the broadcast flag set."
Again so that there is NO confusion, the ATI tuner MUST have a cable card to allow recording of encrypted content.


It is a shame that you had to return your DELL because if you were to get a properly configured 420 (I have the link in the first post), all you would need is to rent 2 cable cards from your Cable companyfor $2.50 each and have a fully featured DVR.

Since this thread is about Cable Card 'stuff' I will leave out my opinions regarding whether the PC or the TIVO is a better fully featured DVR.

You are more than welcome to PM me if you want and I can send you the exact configuration you would need from DELL for a Cable card PC.
It looks like you were really close anyway.
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post #15 of 98 Old 12-16-2007, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Q View Post


"What I can tell you is our product will support MCard meaning you will get the capabilities of multiple tuners in one...Our first tuner card will be a Multi-OCUR (MOCUR) device supporting MCard. It is a modular design with the main board having capabilities of two HD1080i channels with less expensive "daughter cards" which plugin to the main board adding two channels each up to six total. This means you can record/stream six 1080i channels at a time with one CableCARD." --Jeremy of Ceton

I think it is great to have a direct line to an insider on this cable card business who we can ask questions of.

If you are interested, post your questions in here and I will pass them on.

What I find irritating is that while the MCard is capable of decrypting 6 digital streams simultaneously, the best way it's been used so far (no doubt because of the enemy CableLabs) is the dual tuners in the Tivo S3. The Tivo can decrypt 2 streams simultaneously, but it can't record one stream while streaming the other, say, to another room.

If I understand the above correctly, Jeremy says you can "record/stream" all six streams simultaneously! So, we should be able to record one stream to one device while streaming a different stream to another? Will devices that we can stream to go beyond the narrow constraint of the Xbox 360 extender? Will the Ceton actually contain 6 tuners/decoders to utilize all 6 streams simultaneously or is there a more elegant architecture than this that they're using?

Thanks, Joe, for bringing this to our attention. Depending on overall PC price, this could just be the total home solution many of us are looking for.
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post #16 of 98 Old 12-16-2007, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iTyler9 View Post

A further note about the ATI Digital Cable Tuner. It only works with Vista's Media Center and does NOT allow recording of content that has the broadcast flag set. Almost all cable content I tried was 'protected'. It only takes a single stream cable card (no two-way) and you must have a cablecard to get digital cable, even unencrypted local digital channels.

I think you are mistaken here. It does let you record protected content but it won't play on any other hardware except media extenders and you can not copy it to dvd or other media.
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post #17 of 98 Old 12-16-2007, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundazing View Post

What I find irritating is that while the MCard is capable of decrypting 6 digital streams simultaneously, the best way it's been used so far (no doubt because of the enemy CableLabs) is the dual tuners in the Tivo S3. The Tivo can decrypt 2 streams simultaneously, but it can't record one stream while streaming the other, say, to another room.

If I understand the above correctly, Jeremy says you can "record/stream" all six streams simultaneously! So, we should be able to record one stream to one device while streaming a different stream to another? Will devices that we can stream to go beyond the narrow constraint of the Xbox 360 extender? Will the Ceton actually contain 6 tuners/decoders to utilize all 6 streams simultaneously or is there a more elegant architecture than this that they're using?

Thanks, Joe, for bringing this to our attention. Depending on overall PC price, this could just be the total home solution many of us are looking for.

Hi everyone. I am Jeremy Hammer from Ceton. Joe brought this question to my attention this morning and I replied to him, but then thought I would just come here and reply myself.

First of all, I'd be happy to answer any questions that come up. Obviously there is a lot of controversy over some of the restrictions placed on CableCARD systems. I want to make sure everyone knows how these systems work, what restrictions are in place, why and who has control over the restrictions.

The limitation mentioned with the Tivo S3 is not a limitation of the MCard itself, it is a limitation of the way Tivo used it.

Keep in mind that the actual decryption of the streams is completely independent of what the end application (in that case the Tivo software, in our case Media Center) does with it. The number of simultaneous streams supported is limited by three things (that I can think of). One, the number of physical tuners/demodulators the device has. Two, the number of simultaneous streams the host can decrypt (there is re-encryption done between the CableCARD and the Host). And last is the number of streams the host software can deal with.

Ok, so here is what determines these things (these apply to any CableCARD system, not just Tivo).

First, tuners/demodulators. Since these are physical things in the device, they cost money. The more you have, the more the device costs. So there is a balance between cost and features that manufacturers have to consider. There is also space, you can only fit so much inside a set-top-box, or in our case in the form of PCI sized cards which are even smaller.

Second, decryption. Decryption of 6 HD streams takes a lot of processing power, it's a lot of data. As far as I know, we are the only ones to do this in a cost effective manner.

Third, software. There are a few things to consider with software. One is software design. If the software is only designed to handle 2 streams, thats all it can do. But software is typically designed in generalities, meaning it doesn't care how many streams there are. I can only assume Tivo did this so that is probably not the problem. Second is processing power. Tivo doesn't have a 3Ghz Core2 Duo or similar to run on. It is limited by price and therefore has slower processors. The simple truth is, its hard to make real-time multi-stream HD video devices cheaply. If the processor isn't fast enough to handle more than two streams, then there are two options. Get a faster processor and in turn increase the price, or only do two streams. So again it comes back to the price/features balance.

These issues are directly related to how many streams can be supported. Not what you do with those streams. I have no idea why you can't record one and stream another with Tivo. Does Tivo even have streaming capabilities? With our product, you will be able to get 6 streams into Media Center simultaneously. What happens from there is limited by the features of Media Center (and I suppose the processing power of your PC). You should be able to record all 6 streams to the hard-drive AND watch all 6 streams live on extenders throughout the home, or stream previously recorded media. Actually, I think you could even hook up say 8 extenders (most likely need gigabit ethernet for it though), record 6 streams while watching 6 live, and two recorded. Again, I am not sure on this, so don't quote me, but I think Media Center can handle it. I'll have to look into it.

For streaming you will be limited to Media Center Extenders yes, but this does not mean you need xbox 360s. There are a number of companies with extenders, some embedded in HD TVs. Here is some more information on non-xbox extenders. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pro...r/default.mspx

With our system, you get to choose how many tuners you want: 2, 4 or 6. The initial two comes with all the stuff needed for M-CableCARD support. The additional tuners plug into the initial device. Since the add-on tuners do not have (or need) the stuff needed for CableCARD, they will be less expensive. The price has not been announced, but it will be significantly less than the cost of 6 tuners today.

I hope this answers the question. If you have any more please don't hesitate to ask. I will answer anything I can. Also, I'll keep an eye on this thread so Joe doesn't have to be the middle man. Thanks Joe!

--
Jeremy Hammer
VP Systems Integration
Ceton Corporation
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post #18 of 98 Old 12-16-2007, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyhammer View Post

Hi everyone. I am Jeremy Hammer from Ceton. Joe brought this question to my attention this morning and I replied to him, but then thought I would just come here and reply myself.

First of all, I'd be happy to answer any questions that come up. Obviously there is a lot of controversy over some of the restrictions placed on CableCARD systems. I want to make sure everyone knows how these systems work, what restrictions are in place, why and who has control over the restrictions.

The limitation mentioned with the Tivo S3 is not a limitation of the MCard itself, it is a limitation of the way Tivo used it.

Keep in mind that the actual decryption of the streams is completely independent of what the end application (in that case the Tivo software, in our case Media Center) does with it. The number of simultaneous streams supported is limited by three things (that I can think of). One, the number of physical tuners/demodulators the device has. Two, the number of simultaneous streams the host can decrypt (there is re-encryption done between the CableCARD and the Host). And last is the number of streams the host software can deal with.

Ok, so here is what determines these things (these apply to any CableCARD system, not just Tivo).

First, tuners/demodulators. Since these are physical things in the device, they cost money. The more you have, the more the device costs. So there is a balance between cost and features that manufacturers have to consider. There is also space, you can only fit so much inside a set-top-box, or in our case in the form of PCI sized cards which are even smaller.

Second, decryption. Decryption of 6 HD streams takes a lot of processing power, it's a lot of data. As far as I know, we are the only ones to do this in a cost effective manner.

Third, software. There are a few things to consider with software. One is software design. If the software is only designed to handle 2 streams, thats all it can do. But software is typically designed in generalities, meaning it doesn't care how many streams there are. I can only assume Tivo did this so that is probably not the problem. Second is processing power. Tivo doesn't have a 3Ghz Core2 Duo or similar to run on. It is limited by price and therefore has slower processors. The simple truth is, its hard to make real-time multi-stream HD video devices cheaply. If the processor isn't fast enough to handle more than two streams, then there are two options. Get a faster processor and in turn increase the price, or only do two streams. So again it comes back to the price/features balance.

These issues are directly related to how many streams can be supported. Not what you do with those streams. I have no idea why you can't record one and stream another with Tivo. Does Tivo even have streaming capabilities? With our product, you will be able to get 6 streams into Media Center simultaneously. What happens from there is limited by the features of Media Center (and I suppose the processing power of your PC). You should be able to record all 6 streams to the hard-drive AND watch all 6 streams live on extenders throughout the home, or stream previously recorded media. Actually, I think you could even hook up say 8 extenders (most likely need gigabit ethernet for it though), record 6 streams while watching 6 live, and two recorded. Again, I am not sure on this, so don't quote me, but I think Media Center can handle it. I'll have to look into it.

For streaming you will be limited to Media Center Extenders yes, but this does not mean you need xbox 360s. There are a number of companies with extenders, some embedded in HD TVs. Here is some more information on non-xbox extenders. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pro...r/default.mspx

With our system, you get to choose how many tuners you want: 2, 4 or 6. The initial two comes with all the stuff needed for M-CableCARD support. The additional tuners plug into the initial device. Since the add-on tuners do not have (or need) the stuff needed for CableCARD, they will be less expensive. The price has not been announced, but it will be significantly less than the cost of 6 tuners today.

I hope this answers the question. If you have any more please don't hesitate to ask. I will answer anything I can. Also, I'll keep an eye on this thread so Joe doesn't have to be the middle man. Thanks Joe!

--
Jeremy Hammer
VP Systems Integration
Ceton Corporation

Jeremy,

Thank you for all the information. IT's always nice to have direct feedback from a manufacturer.
How will the Ceton product work with SDV ? It seems 2008 will be the year of SDV introduction on bigger scales.
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post #19 of 98 Old 12-17-2007, 02:25 AM
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Hi everyone. I am Jeremy Hammer from Ceton. Joe brought this question to my attention this morning and I replied to him, but then thought I would just come here and reply myself.

Thanks a lot, Jeremy, for coming in and answering my questions yourself. Especially so quickly and on a Sunday as well. Much appreciated. You must be very enthusiastic about your products. Your cost-benefit analysis for MCard devices was extremely informative. Thank you, Joe, as well for relaying my questions so quickly to Jeremy.

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Obviously there is a lot of controversy over some of the restrictions placed on CableCARD systems. I want to make sure everyone knows how these systems work, what restrictions are in place, why and who has control over the restrictions.

The limitation mentioned with the Tivo S3 is not a limitation of the MCard itself, it is a limitation of the way Tivo used it...If the processor isn't fast enough to handle more than two streams, then there are two options. Get a faster processor and in turn increase the price, or only do two streams...I have no idea why you can't record one and stream another with Tivo. Does Tivo even have streaming capabilities?

Tivo has MultiRoomViewing (MRV) which can be used as a sort of delayed streaming. Tivos can transfer content between themselves and you can start to watch a transfer before it has completed transferring.

However, ironically enough, when the S3 (with its ability to decrypt 2 MCard streams) was first released, it was without MRV. Rumor has it that there was a fight between CableLabs and Tivo over MRV that bordered on a lawsuit. Would you know anything more about this and why CableLabs would object to MRV?

Regarding cost-benefits, do you think it would it be comparable in cost for Tivo to have allowed one stream to record while the other streamed? If so, could the lack of realtime streaming in the Tivo be related to any CableLab constraints? Suppose Tivo gave a choice with each stream whether to stream it or record it? How would that compare in cost to dedicated streams doing one or the other?


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With our product, you will be able to get 6 streams into Media Center simultaneously. What happens from there is limited by the features of Media Center (and I suppose the processing power of your PC). You should be able to record all 6 streams to the hard-drive AND watch all 6 streams live on extenders throughout the home, or stream previously recorded media.

This is amazing, considering the current state of the art. Six recorders recording and six tvs receiving realtime streams at the same time. Absolutley fantastic. Can you give us any idea how much the 6er will cost...and how about the 2er and 4er? Just a ballpark estimate which we will not hold you to? Do you foresee Vista as the only media platform you'll be working with? Are there any others on the horizon?

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For streaming you will be limited to Media Center Extenders yes, but this does not mean you need xbox 360s. There are a number of companies with extenders, some embedded in HD TVs. Here is some more information on non-xbox extenders. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pro...r/default.mspx

The Microsoft site only mentions the Xbox as its only extender at the very last page. I know this isn't your business, but would you know the names of other extenders? Also, if you know, must all extenders be CableLab certified since it seems content is constantly decrypted-encrypted-decrypted as it moves from device to device? If so, do you think this is this really necessary for digital rights management?

Suppose you had a device that, say, decrypted 2-4 streams solely to stream to the rest of the house without using any media center PC at all. It would come with its own extenders and wireless capabilities. Do you think something like that could be economically feasible and something that could get CableCard approval?

Thanks again for being so responsive to forum members, Jeremy and Joe.
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Well I took a beating on a few things and I have to say I stand by what I said. In my configuration (Dell XPS 410) with the ATI Digital TV Tuners w/o cablecards it would not give me the local digital channels that are not encrypted.

And to make sure there is no confusion about what I said about recording with Vista Media Center.
Since yu can't tune encrypted channels .... so recording isn't the problem
THe problem is the BROADCAST FLAG protecting content from being recorded. No cable dvr or Tivo has to respect the flag but for some reason Microsoft does. This has nothing to do with wether the channel is encrypted, it is a flag that the content owners put on to a signal not the cable provider. Some shows on a channel may have it while others not.

Once I learned of these issues I spent many hours looking for a solution, speaking with the FCC, CableLabs, local cable provider, Microsoft & Dell. For me at least because of the restrictions it is not a viable solution. Once the 2.0 CableCards are actually up and running I'm hoping there will be more competition in the marketplace and more pressure to free a HTPC from the restrictions. Until then I will deal without.
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The Microsoft site only mentions the Xbox as its only extender at the very last page. I know this isn't your business, but would you know the names of other extenders? Also, if you know, must all extenders be CableLab certified since it seems content is constantly decrypted-encrypted-decrypted as it moves from device to device? If so, do you think this is this really necessary for digital rights management?

D-Link DSM-750 and Linksys DMA2100/2200 will hopefully be out this month. They are standalone Extenders that will work just like the Xbox 360 Extender. No Extender has to be certified by CableLabs, they just do the decryption of the CableLabs approved DRM (WMDRM).

Chris
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D-Link DSM-750 and Linksys DMA2100/2200 will hopefully be out this month. They are standalone Extenders that will work just like the Xbox 360 Extender. No Extender has to be certified by CableLabs, they just do the decryption of the CableLabs approved DRM (WMDRM).

Chris

Why not buy an xbox360 arcade and use that as extender ? I was able to buy one for about 240 dollars. I don't think any of the other brands will beat that. Plus you get the added value of games and lots of other internet stuff.
Works well.
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Well I took a beating on a few things and I have to say I stand by what I said. In my configuration (Dell XPS 410) with the ATI Digital TV Tuners w/o cablecards it would not give me the local digital channels that are not encrypted.

I think you are still confused. A Digital Cable Tuner without a CableCARD can not access encrypted QAM (this is by design). Using Media Center you can tune unencrypted QAM without a CableCARD in the slot. What you get unencrypted depends on your cable company, for the most part it should be just your local channels.

If you can't tune them without a CableCARD, you have a problem with your setup.

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Originally Posted by iTyler9 View Post

And to make sure there is no confusion about what I said about recording with Vista Media Center.
Since yu can't tune encrypted channels .... so recording isn't the problem
THe problem is the BROADCAST FLAG protecting content from being recorded. No cable dvr or Tivo has to respect the flag but for some reason Microsoft does. This has nothing to do with wether the channel is encrypted, it is a flag that the content owners put on to a signal not the cable provider. Some shows on a channel may have it while others not.

There is no such thing as a "Boardcast Flag". Such a thing has been proposed, but no hardware respects such a flag. The issue is encrypted vs. unencrypted. Again, to view/recording/tune encrypted QAM you have to have a CableCARD in the slot of the Digital Cable Tuner.

Microsoft isn't respecting anything that TiVo doesn't. A TiVo works under the exact same concept. Without a CableCARD, you can't view encrypted content. Same thing with a standard cable PVR, however those that function without a CableCARD do all the decryption within the box.

A Digital Cable Tuner with a CableCARD can record everything that your cable company has (unless tow-way communication is needed, eg SDV, PPV, etc).

If your setup doesn't work this way, you have setup issues.

You might be thinking about CGMS-A on analog broadcasts, but this is a different non-CableCARD/encryption issue. You might also be thinking about content recorded using a CableCARD will be protected using WMDRM. This again, is a whole different subject from what you appear to be thinking.

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Once I learned of these issues I spent many hours looking for a solution, speaking with the FCC, CableLabs, local cable provider, Microsoft & Dell. For me at least because of the restrictions it is not a viable solution. Once the 2.0 CableCards are actually up and running I'm hoping there will be more competition in the marketplace and more pressure to free a HTPC from the restrictions. Until then I will deal without.

"CableCARD 2.0" changes nothing in terms of what you can with a CableCARD and without one. For the sake on this thread, "CableCARD 2.0" adds bidirectional communication (SDV, PPV, etc), OCAP, etc.

It changes nothing in terms of restrictions, but I think you are confused about what restrictions are really there.

Chris
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post #24 of 98 Old 12-17-2007, 08:46 AM
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Why not buy an xbox360 arcade and use that as extender ? I was able to buy one for about 240 dollars. I don't think any of the other brands will beat that. Plus you get the added value of games and lots of other internet stuff.
Works well.

Thats true. However, the Xbox 360 is loud (has fans) whereas the standalone Extenders are 100% slient (no fans). The standalone Extenders also support other video codecs like H.264, MPEG-4 ASP (DivX/Xivd), etc.

Chris
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post #25 of 98 Old 12-17-2007, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by iTyler9 View Post

Well I took a beating on a few things and I have to say I stand by what I said. In my configuration (Dell XPS 410) with the ATI Digital TV Tuners w/o cablecards it would not give me the local digital channels that are not encrypted.

And to make sure there is no confusion about what I said about recording with Vista Media Center.
Since yu can't tune encrypted channels .... so recording isn't the problem
THe problem is the BROADCAST FLAG protecting content from being recorded. No cable dvr or Tivo has to respect the flag but for some reason Microsoft does. This has nothing to do with wether the channel is encrypted, it is a flag that the content owners put on to a signal not the cable provider. Some shows on a channel may have it while others not.

Once I learned of these issues I spent many hours looking for a solution, speaking with the FCC, CableLabs, local cable provider, Microsoft & Dell. For me at least because of the restrictions it is not a viable solution. Once the 2.0 CableCards are actually up and running I'm hoping there will be more competition in the marketplace and more pressure to free a HTPC from the restrictions. Until then I will deal without.

I think you need to reconfigure your system. What you are experiencing (or think) is NOT normal. Clear QAM channels can be recorded without a problem, all the time.
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post #26 of 98 Old 12-17-2007, 04:56 PM
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There is no such thing as a "Boardcast (sic) Flag".

Sorry, guy, but you're the one confused on this point. There most certainly is a Broadcast Flag defined in the ATSC standard and, therefore, there is a spot for it in the transport stream. Some broadcasters are setting the flag in their TS routinely today. The FCC ruled that hw vendors didn't have to honor it, not that the broadcasters couldn't set it.

AFAIK, possibly aside from the present case, the only hw that honors the BF...so far...is a Moto STB that is sometimes used hereabouts by Comcast. That Moto box turns the BF into a 5C flag plus encryption of the firewire recordings that it makes.
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Thats true. However, the Xbox 360 is loud (has fans) whereas the standalone Extenders are 100% slient (no fans). The standalone Extenders also support other video codecs like H.264, MPEG-4 ASP (DivX/Xivd), etc.

Chris


The newer xboxes are very quiet (less heat due to new chipset), and recent update allows divx if I am not mistaken.
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Sorry, guy, but you're the one confused on this point. There most certainly is a Broadcast Flag defined in the ATSC standard and, therefore, there is a spot for it in the transport stream. Some broadcasters are setting the flag in their TS routinely today. The FCC ruled that hw vendors didn't have to honor it, not that the broadcasters couldn't set it.

AFAIK, possibly aside from the present case, the only hw that honors the BF...so far...is a Moto STB that is sometimes used hereabouts by Comcast. That Moto box turns the BF into a 5C flag plus encryption of the firewire recordings that it makes.

I thought you were using an ATI cable card tuner ?
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Sorry, guy, but you're the one confused on this point. There most certainly is a Broadcast Flag defined in the ATSC standard and, therefore, there is a spot for it in the transport stream. Some broadcasters are setting the flag in their TS routinely today. The FCC ruled that hw vendors didn't have to honor it, not that the broadcasters couldn't set it.

AFAIK, possibly aside from the present case, the only hw that honors the BF...so far...is a Moto STB that is sometimes used hereabouts by Comcast. That Moto box turns the BF into a 5C flag plus encryption of the firewire recordings that it makes.

My point (not illustrated well) is that there is no "BF" is a digital cable broadcast. As you said, ATSC. We are talking digital cable which is not ATSC. Not sure about your Moto STB, but again unless you are talking about an OTA broadcast it is something different that is causing the issue.

OCURs don't respect any "BF" on ATSC broadcasts and there is no such thing on digital/analog cable. Again, CGMS-A might be an issue but that was not relating to the OPs issue.

Chris
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post #30 of 98 Old 12-17-2007, 06:10 PM
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The newer xboxes are very quiet (less heat due to new chipset), and recent update allows divx if I am not mistaken.

Very quiet is subjective, but the mass consensus is that the Xbox 360 is still not anywhere near slient. I could personally care less as all my stuff is in a closed AV cabinet.

The Xbox 360 Dashboard can play DivX and H.264, the Media Center Extender part of the Xbox 360 can not play either.

Chris
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