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Old 09-02-2018, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
326 posts, read 198,007 times
Reputation: 301

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Hi, asking for suggestions for a new cable TV tuner card that is Win10 compatible and ideally has 4 tuners. Ease of getting through activation with Spectrum and reliability of the card / associated DVR application is a bonus. Our apartments unfortunately force us to pay for cable year round, the only time I actually use it is during college football season.

I had been using a Ceton InfiTV 4, Windows Media Center, and an old desktop running Windows 7 since 2013 as my DVR. It had been a good setup and easily streamed to the old xBox 360 I kept hooked up to the living room TV via WMC.

Sadly WMC is failing to run TV setup this season. I've been poking around on Google and haven't been able to fix it yet. I knew the day would come eventually when I would have to seek a Windows 10 compatible solution and this might be that day. I already have a newer Win10 desktop and a long HDMI cable I can always run out to the living room TV. Not as slick a setup as the networking cable I had tucked away behind furniture running to the xBox, but functional.

So far I'm looking at the HAUPPAUGE WinTV-quadHD PCI Express TV Tuner Card 1609 (https://www.amazon.com/HAUPPAUGE-Win.../dp/B01DZSVLTW). Well, not that one specifically since it does not appear to support encrypted cable TV channels via the cable card that has to be activated with the cable company, but something like it.

Any suggestions as far as cable TV tuner cards, easiest DVR software if 3rd party, etc are welcome! I already have the Spectrum cable card in the Ceton InfiTV 4, that part should a simple call to them to activate whatever new tv tuner card I end up with.

Last edited by happygeek; 09-02-2018 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:21 PM
 
4,257 posts, read 8,014,889 times
Reputation: 6040
I haven't used WMC on my W7 laptop for a few weeks now. You had me worried that WMC had stopped working. As a test I just recorded some programs. It's still working. You probably meant it wouldn't work with W10?

There are fixes to install WMC on W10. Don't know anything about cable cards though.

https://www.howtogeek.com/258695/how...on-windows-10/

Last edited by davidt1; 09-02-2018 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,204 times
Reputation: 2654
I stopped running a DVR several years ago, so I don't have any current info, but if I was going to put one together today I'd check into an HDHomeRun network tuner and either the HDHomeRun DVR service, or Plex Media Server as the DVR (Plex might not work with Encrypted Cable though).

I used their broadcast tuners with Windows Media Center in the past, and they worked great, but it does look like the HDHomeRun Prime (the only one that is cable compatible) only has three tuners.

The nice thing about their tuners is that they are a network device, so you can grab one of the tuners from any device on the network (from an app or another Windows box). It looks like DRM live TV is only on Windows / Apple / Android devices, but you might be able to pick up an inexpensive Android TV box for living room TV.

https://www.silicondust.com/product/hdhomerun-prime/
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
326 posts, read 198,007 times
Reputation: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
I haven't used WMC on my W7 laptop for a few weeks now. You had me worried that WMC had stopped working. As a test I just recorded some programs. It's still working. You probably meant it wouldn't work with W10?

There are fixes to install WMC on W10. Don't know anything about cable cards though.

https://www.howtogeek.com/258695/how...on-windows-10/
I managed to get it working again, so at least I'm able to DVR this season, for now *fingers crossed*

That Ceton InfiTV 4, WMC, the CableCARD from the cable company, and the used xBox 360 in the living room have made for a nice 'whole home' DVR ... when everything plays together nicely. The problem has always been that including Win7 itself there's an awful lot of variables in there. It turns out that this time I just had to run the installer for the Ceton software/drivers and hit the Repair option, restart, and re-run TV setup in WMC . It took me awhile to exhaust all the other things I thought were wrong first though

I'll definitely look into the Silicondust though!
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
25,168 posts, read 18,669,259 times
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My guess is if the cable companies have to "activate" an encrypted card, they may balk.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
My guess is if the cable companies have to "activate" an encrypted card, they may balk.
Most cable companies will do it, but it's not always easy. I'd guess that the OP has a cable card, and is familiar with the procedure to get one activated.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:59 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 10,489,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
I used their broadcast tuners with Windows Media Center in the past, and they worked great, but it does look like the HDHomeRun Prime (the only one that is cable compatible) only has three tuners.

SiliconDust announced at CES 2018 that they would be releasing a 6 tuner Prime later in 2018, if you want to wait. I assume most people are aware that 6 channels is the maximum supported by CableCARD.
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:19 AM
 
40,212 posts, read 41,808,108 times
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I was never aware they would activate a tuner card like that. I'd presume any recording capabilities are going to be severely limited because that would allow you to copy it pretty easily.



This won't help with the DVR but you can watch most if not all of the channels over the internet. If you go to website like ESPN for example you can login with your Spectrum account.



Comcast has their own site for this, pretty much anything over the box can be watched through the Internet interface. They have some things where you need to be connected to your wifi but most of it can be watched anywhere. I'll login in directly to a channel sometimes because they usually have better selection and nothing is ever limited to wifi connection.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
326 posts, read 198,007 times
Reputation: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
Most cable companies will do it, but it's not always easy. I'd guess that the OP has a cable card, and is familiar with the procedure to get one activated.
I've used that Ceton with three different cable companies now as I've moved around; Comcast, Cable One, and Spectrum. Honestly getting the CableCARD from them and activating it is the easy part. Cable One didn't even charge monthly for the CableCARD, the other two charged $5 a month.

The hard part is there's so many other things between Ceton drivers, WMC, Win7 itself, etc etc that can go wrong. Figuring out exactly what the issue is can be annoying, particularly when the NCCAF season is already upon us. I barely got the DVR up in time last night to watch Miami @ LSU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
SiliconDust announced at CES 2018 that they would be releasing a 6 tuner Prime later in 2018, if you want to wait. I assume most people are aware that 6 channels is the maximum supported by CableCARD.
Oh I'm happy to wait The only reason for me to have cable at all, other than these apartments making us pay for it in the rent, is college football. There's times near the end of the season when I'm recording 3 or 4 games simultaneously.

That Silicon Dust box looks like it might be a lot more trouble free that a PCI expansion card that relies on drivers, Win7, WMC, etc to function. I've already got Ethernet cable and cheap SWs from Walmart in place as WMC pushes 4 GB per 1 hour when watching HDTV. I could never get it to stream well over WiFi in an apartment, even with 5 GHz.

I also downloaded the WMC installer that was suggested for Win10 and saved it where I keep the Ceton installer, manual, etc. I can always try that route too if needed, thanks!
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,204 times
Reputation: 2654
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
SiliconDust announced at CES 2018 that they would be releasing a 6 tuner Prime later in 2018, if you want to wait. I assume most people are aware that 6 channels is the maximum supported by CableCARD.
That's pretty cool.

The nice thing about the SD devices is that if you need more tuners than a single device can provide, you can always add a second device to the network. Of course you'd need a second cable card, and two boxes would probably be more expensive than a single 6 tuner one would.
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