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Tv Card Question

Ok, so i'm sure this question has been asked many times before but i am going to conform it so it gives me the answers i need. I am thinking of building an HTPC with at least 5tb of storage space so i can store a lot of movies and music. I recently came up with the idea of dropping my STB since the htpc will be on the same shelf. My question is:

1. Ive been reading about a 'CableCARD' requirement? But i have also read about FIOS locking down on CableCARD customers?

2. What about all the encrypted channels about 50? Can any CableCARD certified tuner get those channels?

2. Do i need to rent a Tv Tuner from Verizon FIOS to get above channel 50?

3. If I dont need to rent a tv tuner from FIOS, anyone have a recommendation? Maybe a dual channel card that isnt too expensive but will get the job done with good quality?

Thank you for reading and helping me with my problem! 😄

Re: Tv Card Question
Enthusiast - Level 3

Your questions answered, in order:

1) The CableCARD is the only piece of hardware you would rent from Verizon, in place of set-top boxes. I pay $3.99/mo for mine. It may be different in your area. The "locking down" of the card, means that it is paired to the serial number of your specific tuner card. They did this for copy protection requirements. To be fair, all of the other cable providers have already been doing this--Verizon was the last one to do so.

2a) The CableCARD tuner will allow you to receive all of the channels you subscribe to, with the exception of on-demand and Pay-Per-View services. This is due to the fact that a CableCARD and your tuning device, are a one-way system.

2b) No. You only need to rent the card, and buy a compatible tuner. See the next part...

3) The Ceton InfiniTV products are the most popular of the limited options available. Silicon Dust also makes an HD Homerun product that will support CableCARD. I use the Ceton PCIe product, although they also make a USB model. All of them are in the $150 range. The Ceton products have four tuners, and I think the Silicon Dust product has three tuners. All of these devices only require the rental of a single CableCARD, regardless of the number of tuners, and all tuners work off a single coaxial input.

As for other rooms in your home, an Xbox360 can work as a Media Center Extender, making use of the tuners in your HTPC for live viewing (that's where having four tuners comes in very handy). It would also have access to all of your recorded programming. Ceton also recently released the Echo, if you would prefer to use something other than an Xbox. Unfortunately, you cannot use another PC as an extender. Thank Microsoft for that one.

I've been using my Ceton for about 2 1/2 years, and I have no set-top boxes in the house. I'm very pleased with the way it works. 5TB of storage will be a ton of room. I only have 2TB in my system, and I'm not running short of space.

Re: Tv Card Question

they are practically giving away the Ceton Cards these days, they came out at 499.99 and are down under 200 around 179 if you are a frugal shopper.  AND their support is AWESOME.

They also have silicon dust homerun primeHD which are pretty nice too.   

Re: Tv Card Question
Enthusiast - Level 3

Yeah, I was one of those early adopters of the Ceton mine in the first shipment. Even at the initial $399 price tag, I figure that I recovered my cost after about 18 months (compared to the cost of renting set-top boxes), and everything after that was a savings.

Oh, and for the original poster, make sure you have a good video card, too. It must be one with an HDMI connection (or at least DVI, with an HDMI adapter). To view encrypted programming, your PC has to establish a digital link (HDCP) with the display. That means, a VGA connection to your TV, is a definite no-go. Besides, you'd lose too much quality over VGA, anyway.