It’s here. The quad-CableCard tuner from Ceton began shipping out to those who pre-ordered and the first few hands-on reports are trickling out.
For those who aren’t familar with this Ceton tuner here’s a quick review. Ceton has been talking about producing & selling a CableCard tuner for a very long time – so long some called it vaporware. After a long process they were set to have their CableCard device ready, they ran into manufacturing issues which continue to slow shipment for some of the pre-orders.
This particular Ceton tuner is unique for the following reasons:
- There aren’t a lot of choices at the moment for CableCard tuners. So anytime we see a company willing to devote nearly all of their resources to it we have to give them credit.
- This first version of the Ceton CableCard is a 4-CableCard tuner. Yes you can record up to 4 shows all from this once device – including encrypted, digital HD shows on your Cable TV.
- CableCard has drawn a renewed interest from HTPC owners – particularly Microsoft MediaCenter users since Microsoft ended the OEM PC CableCard requirement.
This tuner will cost you $400 so it isn’t cheap by any means, but it does seem to be a good piece of hardware. Here’s the first few reports:
theDigitalMediaZone had a review mid-July and their praise was strong:
“When it comes to whether or not I would recommend the card, the answer is absolutely: yes! If you can afford the $399 price tag then you absolutely owe it to yourself, and the other people living in your house, to put this card into your home theater PC.”
MissingRemote has the first of a planned 3-part review of the Ceton 4-CableCard tuner. This review was strikingly detailed especially considering it is only the first of 3 parts. Be sure and check out the forum thread that goes along with the article as there is a lot of good information there as well. From the review:
“Fast channel changing. Typically in the 2-3 second range but when all four tuners were in use channel changing would take a little longer, up to 5 seconds. Still much better than any other tuner in the system, including the Comcast set top box.”
Windows Team Blog from the official Microsoft angle. The summation of this review can be determined from the not-so-subtle article title: “New Ceton Digital Cable Tuners Make TV in Windows 7 Awesome”
EngadgetHD had a review at the end of March with a pre-production version of the Ceton Card. Definitely detailed and thorough review as always by Ben Drawbaugh
GreenButton has some useful information along with the normal forum thread noise. Not really a review, but some firsthand reports in there along with some good info.
If you happen to be the lucky owner of a new Ceton CableCard let us know in the comments how its going.
Other Ceton Coverage: