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firstname.lastname@example.org (3/23/2013 11:46:34 AM)
The Ceton USB tuner is the last of 3 different CableCard tnreus I have set up. I own a PCIe Ceton card, the HD Homerun Prime 6 tuner unit and the Ceton USB. (Yes, that is 14 HD cable streams!!) In short the PCIe is the hands down king of CableCard tnreus, the HD Homerun Prime has tuner pooling, and the Ceton USB is pulling up the rear.The Ceton PCIe unit has been by far the easiest set up, most stable and the best card of the three. It has never had a glitch, it was set up and running in no time, the cable company techs had very little difficulty getting it going and it has never ever shown so much as a single pixel of picture faults. No tiling and no slow downs. No over demands on the computer. The only cons with the Ceton PCIe card are the heat inside the box and the lack of tuner pooling. Until I could get the other tnreus up and running I was sharing the PCIe tuner with two other PCs running Media Center which worked flawlessly on a wired network. However, without tuner pooling I had tuner conflicts like no tomorrow!! 4 tnreus are not enough for cable recording. Not even close without pooling. You should think very seriously about heat dissipation if you are considering putting two of these inside your computer.The HD Homerun Prime was more (a whole lot more) difficult to set up, but that really is more a function of Charter Cable's difficulty in keeping two CableCard installs straight at the same time. I can't fault the picture quality, though it seems to be ever so slightly more grainy than the Ceton PCIe. On the Panasonic VT-25 the picture was very, very good though just a bit more grainy than with the Ceton PCIe. However, on the Sony touchscreen computer (VPCL234FX/B) in the kitchen there is a significant diffidence in picture quality which, I think, is more due to the Sony's NIC than anything else. (Though the Ceton PCIe streaming to it never had any issues and a clearer picture.) Whatever problems that people had on the roll out of the HD Homerun Prime are no longer an issue with the latest firmware installed as of 12.28.2011. Once the Charter people got all their ducks in a row the 6 tnreus have been running like a charm. Did I mention that the tnreus pool!!The Ceton USB tuner has proven to be a bit more difficult to set up. It shares the same cable feed as the PCIe card, but I regularly experience SDV error 1 codes. The Charter tech measured the signal and said it was a very strong signal. When looking at the card on the Ceton diagnostic tool it claims that the signal is too weak. The result is that the card is unable to resolve tuning. Moreover, when I can get card working it has significant tiling. Also to note is that the USB version is very hot like a small space heater hot. While it is good to get that kind of heat outside of the CPU box, know that it is not at all cooler running than the PCIe. Though I continue to have problems with the card, so much so and so regular that I decided to turn it off after Charter got it properly paired up, I should say that it is very well made with an impressive metal casing. It is worth noting that I have been using the USB off the same cable feed and through the same computer as the PCIe card. Additionally, I'm using all the latest Nvidia drivers and up to date USB 2.0 and 3.0 drivers. The CPU is a quad core 3.0+ Ghz Phenom. Nothing about this computer is even mildly taxed with all 14 streams, but the USB still struggles.I think that it is worth noting the complications and tribulations of getting a CableCard properly installed. I have used the Charter techs and also picked up and installed my own CableCards. Sometimes it works like a charm and other times it is a two day task of seeming total impossibility. First, the billing side of the house must be in order properly. This is to say the card must be correctly coded into your account. Then the various numbers must be all correct when you call to activate or the card will not pair correctly. In my case I have experienced various different errors which are almost always due to a clerical error on the part of my cable company. Just keep making the techs come back until you get the right one who is smart enough to ask the right questions. Better an actual Charter tech than a subcontractor as they seem to have more access to the advanced video help back at the mothership. I can't fault any of these manufacturers for set up woes All the tuner cards are actually incredibly simple to set up and use. The only issue between you and HD cable recording bliss is the total lack of knowledge on the part of the cable company. Know what you are getting yourself into before you buy one of these cards as making it through the gauntlet of the cable company could be very difficult. Reserve three days and hope for ten minutes of set up time.
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