We're Comcast Xfinity Triple Play customers - yes we drank the cool-aid. We have three HD setups in the house (a Series 3 TiVo w/cablecard & Vizio 37", a TiVo Premiere HD w/cablecard and a Philips 50" Plasma, and an ancient Toshiba HD LCD w/Comcast HD STB (no DVR - I hate their UI)
To this questionable mix of tech we'd like to add a fourth HDTV out in our screened-in porch, but really don't want to put a table outside to hold an STB (or TiVo) - we don't need a guide nor DVR and we don't use PPV. But, we do want to access the HD programming on the upper channels. I figured it would be simple enough to run the coax, pick out and mount a decent HDTV on the wall and pick up a cablecard from Comcast - done!
But when I set about searching for an HDTV with a cablecard slot I was absolutely stunned to find that no HDTV manufacturers are producing what was once called Digital Cable Ready HDTVs - They might have ATSC/NTSC tuners, but no cablecard slots.
This is particularly stunning in light of last year's new requirements by the FCC that all cable companies allow end-user installation of cablecards and that they price them accordingly - e.g. inexpensively when compared to the cost of a STB/DVR rental.
I've done a lot of research on the subject, but I'm finding nothing that is as simple and elegant as a cablecard enabled HDTV. Remote IR blasters, HDMI over WiFi, etc. all add significant costs and with questionable results.
Am I missing something? Is there some simple new technology on the horizon I'm just not aware of? Is there a resource out there on the web for refurbished digital cable ready HDTVs?
Thanks in advance for helping find a simple solution.