Using PC TV card and Windows media center with Comcast digital tv converter box

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Can I use a computer tv card with the comcast digital converter box? I seem to no longer be able to change channels on the computer, only with the converter remote control.
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Posted 6 years ago

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mrnaturl

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Would that be before or after they unblock me?
The only help they've provided so far is censoring critical posts in the community then banning me .... even though they NEVER actually addressed the technical issues.
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David Ybarra

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Mark Q. has nailed this. I totally agree with his assessment of Comcast. They want to control what you see and make you pay for it. That scares me! What are we not seeing? Are websites being filter? One would think Microsoft would be upset about this because the Comcast DVR situation makes their MediaCenter Software obsolete. If anyone knows of a content provider that lets you use your own DVR like MSMC please let us know.
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Steven Heinrichs

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I have Comcast, and I bought myself a CableCARD tuner.
So now I have a CableCARD from Comcast, which are either free (for a single stream card) or $1.50 per month (for a multi-stream card). I have that tuner hooked up into my pc, and my pc plays on my big screen tv. So now I made my second receiver box free, because the DVR is gone and is no longer considered the 1st box. So I am saving about $18 a month, and can now watch all my movies, and tv channels through Windows Media Center.
It's really nice!
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mrnaturl

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I too purchased a CC tuner. One of those $400 Ceton InfiniTV 4's in fact. Had to put it in a PC I don't normally use for TV because it won't fit in my older HP z556 DEC. So now I have to build another HTPC for my living room (then probably be forced to pay for a tech visit to reinitialize the card ... boy I hope not!!) It's just a pain in the ass & frustrating that we have to keep spending money to get what we previously had relatively inexpensively.
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cmonster67

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I've read good things about that card by Centon but it's a bit pricey. Does Comcast even allow use of the full feature-set of that card? Plus, how often do you need to record 4 channels at once?

I've also read that they are developing a dual tuner, USB based card for $250.
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mrnaturl

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Pricey, yes. But quite convenient. Recording 4 channels can occur quite frequently depending on how many people in the household and what they like to watch. With the full feature of cable, there's a ton more programming available (Comcast gives me the full feature set I am subscribed to). What I don't like about it now, the shows on premium channels (Showtime/HBO) are copy protected and you can't view them on any other device. It seems to be arbitrary on other channels. I recorded something off Fuel TV, which I'd have never guess would be protected. Moved it to a new device and deleted it off the primary. Lost it.

The USB, could never find a timeline for that, so decided not to wait and purchased the 4 tuner card.
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Sugarman

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Mr Naturl, Does this card still work with WMC?
and when you say full feature. I don't believe you can access on demand, is that right?
I like the idea of having 4 streams, does this mean you have 4 extenders? xbox or cisco for each tv etc?
thanks
Sugarman
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Sugarman

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Mr Naturl, Does this card still work with WMC?
and when you say full feature. I don't believe you can access on demand, is that right?
I like the idea of having 4 streams, does this mean you have 4 extenders? xbox or cisco for each tv etc?
thanks
Sugarman
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cmonster67

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So Comcast, through its cable card, allows the Centon to record four channels at once? Mind sharing how much extra Comcast is charging you for its card?
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mrnaturl

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cmonster:
1) Yes
2) $1.50 per month. They originally quoted me $8.50 a month. I believe it was an unknowledgable person I spoke with, although I fought with them over an hour before I got the $1.50 price & they said it only applies for 12 months. I was also told (true or not?) the monthly fee depends on where you live.
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mrnaturl

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@Sugarman, You're right. No access to On Demand or Pay Per View. Forgot about those features as I never use them, sorry. So, for the sake of argument, mostly full featured. But then even a DTA won't allow a person to access those features either. Those are only accessible using their set top digital box.

4 streams equals a single cable connection coming into the card adapter using one multi-stream CableCard from Comcast (or pertinent cable provider.) The adapter itself splits the signal amongst it's built-in 4 tuners.
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Steven Heinrichs

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You shouldn't need to reinitialize the card. I messed with my tuner quite a bit, and never needed to, because they told me they just set it up once, over the phone.
So even if you need to do it again...DON'T PAY FOR A TECH. They can help you over the phone. It's really easy!
Also...I hear that Silicondust is coming out with a new tuner, later this year. It should be $259, and will be AMAZING! It will be a triple tuner, which is great, but not the reason why it is amazing.
The tuner does not hook up to your pc, but to your router! Which means you can use the tuner to watch tv on any Windows Media Center running PC that is on the network. So you can watch tv on, up to, 3 computers at the same time with ONE tuner!! It will be great!
So keep an eye out...and remember...DO NOT PAY FOR A TECH...GET HELP OVER THE PHONE!
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Steven Heinrichs

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You shouldn't need to reinitialize the card. I messed with my tuner quite a bit, and never needed to, because they told me they just set it up once, over the phone.
So even if you need to do it again...DON'T PAY FOR A TECH. They can help you over the phone. It's really easy!
Also...I hear that Silicondust is coming out with a new tuner, later this year. It should be $259, and will be AMAZING! It will be a triple tuner, which is great, but not the reason why it is amazing.
The tuner does not hook up to your pc, but to your router! Which means you can use the tuner to watch tv on any Windows Media Center running PC that is on the network. So you can watch tv on, up to, 3 computers at the same time with ONE tuner!! It will be great!
So keep an eye out...and remember...DO NOT PAY FOR A TECH...GET HELP OVER THE PHONE!
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cmonster67

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@mrnaturl -- An unknowledgeable customer support representative at Comcast? You're kidding!!!

A word of warning, I'd find out from them before the 12 months is up as to the cost after the "probationary period." People in my neck of the woods had signed up for new service packages and after the trial period their bill jumped by up to 40% depending on their package!
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cmonster67

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Hey! Silicondust's external 3-tuner is available for preorder at Newegg! For $250 and $500 you can buy either a 3 or 6 tuner model, the 6-tuner model will be available for preorder next week. They're due to ship at the end of June.

No more hodgepodging (not to be confused with Hauppauge) of workarounds we've been jerking around with since Comcast's wonderful digital conversion.

No more DTA's, record and watch on any media server or extender on your network, plus regain the ability to watch or record multiple channels simultaniously!!! Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leaR8J...
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Corey Gouker

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When using the DTA it is best to use the IR blaster that was provided with the Media Center remote and IR unit, not the blaster cable that came with the DTA.

http://digitalmediaphile.com/index.ph...

Following the guidelines provided by Barb Bowman (MVP) should allow either of the main Comcast DTA's to work correctly with Media Center. When placing the blaster on the DTA it is important to ensure that it is as close to the IR location on the DTA. You may need to use a bright light to be able to see it clearly.
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mrnaturl

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The information in that link doesn't apply any longer. At least not with DTA units Comcast is supplying now (in South Florida). Spent too much time trying that and various other scenarios. Finally called it quits and purchased the InfiniTV4 card.
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adam

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Looks like Hauppauge and ATI dropped their tuner cards that support cable cards, and the only one available now is the Ceton for $400. On the plus side, the reviews for the Ceton are all really stellar, and I went through their support site and found that it was well laid out.

I guess I'll get one. I'd rather shell out the $400 than give comcast a monthly fee for a DVR when I had a working PVR before they scrambled all of my basic cable channels (even though they had promised up until; the very end that you could get through the digital conversion as long as you had a digital device.) I know the comcast DVR is cheaper, but I am a little pissed at them right now. I don;t need any of that on demand BS since I have netflix and a few thousand dvds.
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mrnaturl

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Just beware. The card is really long and won't fit some motherboards. Only slot I could put it in blocks the fan on my video card. SATA connectors block me from using the other PCIe 1x slot.

Originally bought it for an HP z556 Entertainment Center but there's no expansion room for any PCI cards in that machine.
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gerrysheetoo

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I'm reasonably happy with my Hauppauge 1600 model 1183 card (it's a substitute for the original analog ATI TV card that came with my 2005 HP media center PC). Two issues annoy me though.The first is it's not user friendly to install and operate (program). The second is that being "dual tuner", the digital HD tuner has spoiled me so that making a simultaneous recording on the " SD standard def" tuner is no longer acceptable. I'm not into pay per view or anything like that so don't miss premium content (I'll rent or buy DVDs for critical viewing). The Centon 4 channel card looks appetizing IF it can record two or more HD channels at the same time.
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gerrysheetoo

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I'm reasonably happy with my Hauppauge 1600 model 1183 card (it's a substitute for the original analog ATI TV card that came with my 2005 HP media center PC). Two issues annoy me though.The first is it's not user friendly to install and operate (program). The second is that being "dual tuner", the digital HD tuner has spoiled me so that making a simultaneous recording on the " SD standard def" tuner is no longer acceptable. I'm not into pay per view or anything like that so don't miss premium content (I'll rent or buy DVDs for critical viewing). The Centon 4 channel card looks appetizing IF it can record two or more HD channels at the same time.
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adam

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If you have comcast or one of the networks that scrambles the upper channels, and you want to connect your PC or PVR to watch TV. Your best bet is to get a CETON video card. It will accept a de-scrambler card, and record 4 channels at the same time (in hi-def.) The car is $400, and requires its own PCI express slot, but well worth it. Works really well with Media Center.
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adam

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The only problem I had with mine was getting Comcast to set it up properly at their end. You have to have them on the phone, before you install it, then they send a push (once you give them the numbers) and they authorize it. They have several documents on the topic, but for some reason comcast does not share its KB across regions ??? But the Ceton card really works great. make sure you have a huge hard drive or it will fill up fast!
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mrnaturl

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They're such idiots. I had to replace my Ceton card 2 weeks ago. I spent over an hour arguing with different people that they did not have to send a tech to my house just to pair the card to my account. I spoke with EIGHT different people before I finally got one who understood the process. They were transferring me going all over the country (no exaggeration) Chicago, Philly, Atlanta.... major frustrating.
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mrnaturl

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The price on the Ceton card was dropped last month to under $300.

For those who do not have a Ceton card:
Regarding PCIe slots, this card is huge (length wise) SATA ports or other pieces on the mobo can prevent it from seating properly. I have to buy a different mobo because of this as I had a near equally large video card taking up the only PCIe slot the Ceton would have fit in.

Also it's finicky with BIOS', mobo's, etc. After applying firmware updates to everything imaginable and having Ceton replace the card, I STILL have to leave the PC it's installed in running 24/7. Otherwise when the PC wakes to record, it can find the card, but the card itself loses the tuners.
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mrnaturl

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The price on the Ceton card was dropped last month to under $300.

For those who do not have a Ceton card:
Regarding PCIe slots, this card is huge (length wise) SATA ports or other pieces on the mobo can prevent it from seating properly. I have to buy a different mobo because of this as I had a near equally large video card taking up the only PCIe slot the Ceton would have fit in.

Also it's finicky with BIOS', mobo's, etc. After applying firmware updates to everything imaginable and having Ceton replace the card, I STILL have to leave the PC it's installed in running 24/7. Otherwise when the PC wakes to record, it can find the card, but the card itself loses the tuners.
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adam

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Whenever I installed the Ceton card I would notget most of the channels over 200 (all the HD stations) and I tried several different M-cards. I finally got so pissed that I sent a nasty email to the comcast CEO (and also bitched about comcast throttling Netflix feed-as well as streaming from the networks--is true--google it) and the very next day they called, sent out their best techs, and got it set up so it worked. Apparently it has to be set up in a specific sequence or you don;t get all the channels.

Now the card works great. My PVR had a mobo with 3 PCIe slots so it was no problem to install. Theonly problem is that sometimes when we switch back and forth between cable and the PVR, the TV won't find the signal from the PVR. Something with Media Center, never happened with XP.

The Ceton is a really great card, wish they had dropped the price when I bought mine
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Catalin N Filip

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I am a comcast Houston user, and I am also a Windows media Center user since 2005. I start with WMC 2005 XP and now I am using MCE from win7... great product from Microsoft been able to use it with dual TV tuner analog/digital. What that mean for people who doesn't know how to use correct a media center.
Well I am watching on Comcast cable channel 10 when in the mean time on channel 23 is recording something from CNN ... Both program been part of the basic cable what I am paying in my contract. Today I just saw on cable starting with middle FEB I am gone have to use Comcast stupid DTA box to be able to watch my analog channels. I called customer service and ask them if this is gone affect my signal to media center ... I tech what claim was level II support she didn't even know what is a windows media center ( I was expecting more at there knowledge from a level II Help Desk Support , this product been part of Windows XP ) so I had to hang up a few times until finally I got a guy on the phone who look more smart then the rest of them. He confirm the TV tuners non Comcast are not compatible with the new type of signal and also not compatible with media center without the DTA Box and if i want to record multiple shows in the same time I have to order paying per month a Xfinity Comcast box. That's mean Comcast is restricting the choice as the customer to use my own DVR system recording 2 shows at the same time. With the DTA box you can't receive 2 channels in same time like the dual tv tuner in media center. They always want more money for basic service.
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Not only that but with the basic box you can't receive HD channels. Another reason why I'm thinking of cutting cable completely.