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TiVo HD or Tivo Premiere vs Ceton HTPC

post #1 of 131
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I searched and found that this thread was the most recent tivo HD vs HTPC. Of course, that doesn't even include the "new" premiere. It's just given me so much to think about now. /sarcasm

yeah, anyway, this isn't a thread about how good or bad the premiere is.

Personally, I'd just like to be finished w/ the monthly fees. And that brings me to the HTPC forum.

With the coming release of the Ceton Quad Tuner CableCARD PCIe adapter and the release of Windows 7 and it's integrated media center it seems as if the stars have aligned and I should be free from the monthly Tivo fees. However, before I completely jump ship, I like to have some idea of where I'm swimming. As of now, just reading the few reviews out there, znf, cnet, engadget, gizmodo, etc. It seems that the Ceton works flawlessly.

I'm hoping to implement a Windows 7 box using the HTPC build guide and sticking a Ceton in it. I'd like the Ceton to tune 3 channels via cableCARD & do one OTA for the major networks which all come in fine here in the Louisville Metro. Then I'd like to use the XBox360's Media Center Extender feature to fiddle w/ all this jazz from all the remote locations in the house.

So, since no one knows how this is all going to go down yet w/ this "network availability" feature of the Ceton cards. I guess I'm just looking for some input / speculation.

Will the 360's or other Media Center be able to channel live TV from the Ceton Windows 7 box through my personal interwebs to my TVs?

Anyone else out there dumping the old TiVo HD boxes for the new Windows 7 + Ceton setups with Media Center Extenders?
post #2 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

Will the 360's or other Media Center be able to channel live TV from the Ceton Windows 7 box through my personal interwebs to my TVs?

Anyone else out there dumping the old TiVo HD boxes for the new Windows 7 + Ceton setups with Media Center Extenders?

Tanner,

From my reading and research I have gathered that you will only allowed to play recorded material via Media Center Extenders. I've done a lot of reading at the Green Button Ceton Q & A.

I don't have and never have had TiVo, but I'm building an entire new HTPC for the Ceton MOCUR because I'm that excited about its prospective success and 4 stream HD recording capabilities.

Hope I've given you some insight,
akira
post #3 of 131
Apparently HP offers a new capabiltiy for the Windows Home Servers with Tivos. It sounds interesting. I don't believe it will require Windows Media Extender.. I think you will be able save to WHS server than can stream to most devices like PS3 etc. I did not read to much about it, because I have other priorities right now. I am investing a video processing for my main display. I want to get it dead on as far as calibration and you can't quite get there with the native CMS and grayscale controls. Once I get passed all that I will tackle getting home wide video in a friendly way.
post #4 of 131
It all depends on your priorities. What do you want to do with the thing?

I ask because - HTPCs that run windows come with all of the flexibility (games, ripping, multiple media formats, applications, etc..) and problems (patch city, antivirus, driver/software compatibility issues, etc..) that Windows has.

Tivo is a purpose built box and does DVR very very well but can't run games, rip your dvds to h264, play blu-rays, etc.. You can stream/upload videos to it, but it has to be from another PC. So its not as easy as just loading a bunch of DVDrips onto a hard disk and playing them in WMC.

You could save some cash when building a HTPC if you have a relatively recent PC you can scrap for parts and put in a HTPC case. Then you really just need to get an ATI 5000 series video card and a decent amount of storage and you are pretty good.

If you are talking about building a HD HTPC out of new parts, the cost arguement is kind of a wash. You can probably buy a "loss leader" dell model for cheaper than you can build (and cheaper than a Tivo Premiere), but if you want to be able to add TBs of internal storage, have slots for upgrade, and have it in a nice looking case, it could well cost you much more than a Tivo - even with lifetime subscription.

And then there is the Ceton Card. Its $400 for just the card. Sure you get 4 tuners... so if you need 4 tuners it may be an attactive option. But $400 gets you lifetime tivo also.

Personally, I'd rather have a $150 2 tuner card.
post #5 of 131
I don't know about extenders, but I do know that you should be able to share the tuners across the network for watching live tv or doing local recordings. I've seen it set-up with usb over lan with the ATi tuners, but obviously have not seen it implemented with the Ceton MOCUR yet, though I do remember seeing it listed on their website at one point. Also, there are third party softwares, like BeyondTV(only one I've used to date) that allow streaming of lvie TV to other HTPCs on your network. I personally hope there is a way to get extenders to work as well, but I don't know that anyone is going to know for sure until closer to release when we get some more reviews that push the limits a bit more.
post #6 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by arosenbl View Post

Personally, I'd rather have a $150 2 tuner card.

That's fine if your priorities are limited to unencrypted programming, but utterly useless for digital cable and FIOS unless you want to invest in several HD-PVRs and rent some cable boxes. Personally, I can't wait for the introduction of the Ceton quad-tuner card so I can stop paying Tivo monthly fees.
post #7 of 131
The simplest and lowest cost way to record encrypted content is to use the Cable companies DVR. They actually rent them out at a loss. If you are wanting to bust loose of monthly fees consider dropping cable altogether and get the shows that aren't OTA over the internet.
post #8 of 131
Tivo is a dead company, they have no balls to take it to the cable and satellite community and pretty much sat idle while they undercut tivo.

follow the the fear, cable is scared to death of the htpc, not tivo. So i'd go the route that breeds the most competition, that where the most focus and innovation will come.
post #9 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

The simplest and lowest cost way to record encrypted content is to use the Cable companies DVR. They actually rent them out at a loss. If you are wanting to bust loose of monthly fees consider dropping cable altogether and get the shows that aren't OTA over the internet.

I think the "loss" is more creative accounting than fact, though. Remember, the boxes are required for viewing, and without them, there would be no cable service as the content providers wan't everything encrypted.

The base "box" in my area has a $7 fee baked in to the rates, then the DVR option is $10/mo. A second DVR is $17/mo...$408 after 2 years. Since the DVR boxes they use here are up to 5 years old, I'm sure they are making plenty. The "loss" thing might be an accounting reality, but not an economic one.
post #10 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

Tivo is a dead company, they have no balls to take it to the cable and satellite community and pretty much sat idle while they undercut tivo.

follow the the fear, cable is scared to death of the htpc, not tivo. So i'd go the route that breeds the most competition, that where the most focus and innovation will come.

I completely agree.

Why pay tivo monthly fee when you can build, design and manage your whole viewing experience with a HTPC. The only thing HTPC's are lacking is good extender support and multiroom capibilities.


If you have a HTPC with a tuner and have the 360 as an extender it shouldn't have a problem viewing live TV. Am I correct? I dont have a tuner on the pc I use for my 360 so I don't watch live tv on it but theres button for it.
post #11 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

That's fine if your priorities are limited to unencrypted programming, but utterly useless for digital cable and FIOS unless you want to invest in several HD-PVRs and rent some cable boxes. Personally, I can't wait for the introduction of the Ceton quad-tuner card so I can stop paying Tivo monthly fees.

I don't see how one is related to the other. I'd just rather have a less expensive *cablecard* tuner. If they want to throw 4 tuners in there fine. I just could settle for less tuners for less money. It still needs to work with encrypted HD cable content. :-) When we are talking about getting a lower cost solution without monthly fees, $400 adds a lot to the HTPC column - even if its up-front cost. The higher the up front cost, the longer it takes to make it "cheaper" than paying monthly fees to Tivo.
post #12 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

I'm hoping to implement a Windows 7 box using the HTPC build guide and sticking a Ceton in it. I'd like the Ceton to tune 3 channels via cableCARD & do one OTA for the major networks which all come in fine here in the Louisville Metro.

The Ceton card only has a single coax input, so even if it is capable of tuning OTA HD (I'm not sure that it is), you definitely can't mix and match what the tuners are doing as there's no way to feed a cable TV signal to 3 tuners and an OTA antenna to the 4th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

Then I'd like to use the XBox360's Media Center Extender feature to fiddle w/ all this jazz from all the remote locations in the house.

This part shouldn't have any issues. The Xbox 360 will be able to watch live TV or recordings from the Media Center PC.
post #13 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsr View Post

This part shouldn't have any issues. The Xbox 360 will be able to watch live TV or recordings from the Media Center PC.

d00d, if this is true, I'm unquestionably building one of these machines!
post #14 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

d00d, if this is true, I'm unquestionably building one of these machines!

it should work the same with the cable cards but this is the way it works now.
post #15 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

it should work the same with the cable cards but this is the way it works now.

And based on feedback on The Green Button, I'm banking on it. The PC the Ceton card will eventually live in is in my basement (it's one of the big Norco 20 hot swap bay chassis) and my plan is to use an XBox to extend it, at least for any recordings that aren't marked copy freely.
post #16 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

follow the the fear, cable is scared to death of the htpc...

How do you figure?
post #17 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

it should work the same with the cable cards but this is the way it works now.


Is anyone presently running an XBOX 360 as a live TV? I mean to say that it's pulling the channel guide up and showing the video from the Windows 7 box? I just didn't know there were cards out there that did this sort of thing right now w/ OTA or other signals I guess.
post #18 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

Is anyone presently running an XBOX 360 as a live TV? I mean to say that it's pulling the channel guide up and showing the video from the Windows 7 box? I just didn't know there were cards out there that did this sort of thing right now w/ OTA or other signals I guess.

That's the whole point of a "Media Center Extender".
post #19 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

That's the whole point of a "Media Center Extender".

I've heard of and even seen recorded material being streamed all over networks to and from various boxes. Pretty common I'd say. But you're saying I can just change channels on my XBOX360 just like it's a TIVO only it's actually pulling all the guide data, live (or close) video and sound over the network?

That's the part that amazes me!
post #20 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven975 View Post

I think the "loss" is more creative accounting than fact, though. Remember, the boxes are required for viewing, and without them, there would be no cable service as the content providers wan't everything encrypted.

The base "box" in my area has a $7 fee baked in to the rates, then the DVR option is $10/mo. A second DVR is $17/mo...$408 after 2 years. Since the DVR boxes they use here are up to 5 years old, I'm sure they are making plenty. The "loss" thing might be an accounting reality, but not an economic one.

That's my point. If you are going to have pay TV you're stuck renting a box, might as well get the DVR for an extra $10/mo.
post #21 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

I've heard of and even seen recorded material being streamed all over networks to and from various boxes. Pretty common I'd say. But you're saying I can just change channels on my XBOX360 just like it's a TIVO only it's actually pulling all the guide data, live (or close) video and sound over the network?

That's the part that amazes me!

yes, it works great.
post #22 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

I've heard of and even seen recorded material being streamed all over networks to and from various boxes. Pretty common I'd say. But you're saying I can just change channels on my XBOX360 just like it's a TIVO only it's actually pulling all the guide data, live (or close) video and sound over the network?

That's the part that amazes me!

yep i have my upstairs tv doing that very thing. my wife likes it becuase she can watch her recorded shows right through the xbox, while im hogging the big screen.
post #23 of 131
Thread Starter 
never thought I'd say it, but look like MS actually made my life EASIER!
thx for the input guys! anyone find a place to pre-order this Ceton card?
post #24 of 131
You can preorder it for a May 31 release (it's been delayed), but the site is charging $80 extra for some reason. Probably better to wait and find a better site.
But here it is: Zones.com
post #25 of 131
The cable guy was actually replacing my cable box once, and I wanted to watch TV.

So, I turned on the Xbox360 and tuned to HBO using the tuner on my PC in another room. The look on his face was absolutely priceless!! He held up the box and said "how is this working?" I just said that I have a multi-room solution, and he said he didn't know they offered it...to which I just said "Oh, I know"
post #26 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamwriter View Post

You can preorder it for a May 31 release (it's been delayed), but the site is charging $80 extra for some reason. Probably better to wait and find a better site.
But here it is: Zones.com

The Ceton preorder price was incorrect. It has since been corrected to $399.
post #27 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by arosenbl View Post

I don't see how one is related to the other. I'd just rather have a less expensive *cablecard* tuner. If they want to throw 4 tuners in there fine. I just could settle for less tuners for less money. It still needs to work with encrypted HD cable content. :-) When we are talking about getting a lower cost solution without monthly fees, $400 adds a lot to the HTPC column - even if its up-front cost. The higher the up front cost, the longer it takes to make it "cheaper" than paying monthly fees to Tivo.

My bad. I thought you were referring to a dual tuner ATSC/QAM card since that is all that is currently available. Ceton will be introducing a less expensive dual tuner card sometime after they release the quad tuner model, as will SiliconDust with a cableCARD HDHomeRun.
post #28 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

My bad. I thought you were referring to a dual tuner ATSC/QAM card since that is all that is currently available. Ceton will be introducing a less expensive dual tuner card sometime after they release the quad tuner model, as will SiliconDust with a cableCARD HDHomeRun.

As with everything electronic if you NEED to have it when if 1st comes out expect to overpay. Wait a year and prices will drop in 1/2 just like all new tech does.
post #29 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

As with everything electronic if you NEED to have it when if 1st comes out expect to overpay. Wait a year and prices will drop in 1/2 just like all new tech does.

Yep, because that's exactly what happened with the ATI DCTs!


Dropped what, $40.00 in two years? Hopefully once the Ceton and SiliconDust solutions are out...$100-$125 per tuner becomes the standard price. I doubt that there will be enough competition between the two probably to really drive down the price.
post #30 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

Yep, because that's exactly what happened with the ATI DCTs!

In ATI's defense, until recently they were restricted to only run on certain machines from certain manufacturers that charge a premium (over just what the DTC cost) just for that right to have a HTPC. Because of all that demand was kept minimal so production volume never really had to increase, reducing production costs. Add in no real competition for the same type of card and you have reasons from so many different angles why the price never fell.
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