My Review of the Ceton Infinitv 4 and WMC 8

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My Review of the Ceton Infinitv 4 and WMC 8

Post by dgood » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:15 pm

The Low Down: This Card is Awesome, but Windows Media Center is Finicky as hell and the errors it has shouldn't influence your opinion of the card.

My HTPC Specs: (most came out of an older gaming computer)
INTEL Q6600 2.4Ghz
Asus P5N-32E SLI (680i Sli)
ATI HD Radeon 4650 512MB (64bit)
OCZ Vertex 3 60GB System Drive
OCZ ZT 550W Modular PSU
Logitech Harmony One
Windows 8 Professional with Media Center (had to download that separate on windows 8, Get Windows 7 (I'll explain later))
IR Receiver
1TB WD Blue 7200RPM Media Drive
LITE-ON IHOS104-08 Blu-Ray Drive 4x
Last but not least
Ceton Infinitv4
*it says it doesn't support nforce chipsets but I've yet to see a legitimate problem with any of them that wasn't actually a DRM issue in windows.

A fresh install of windows is recommended as DRM with windows media center is a pain in the ass. If you change really any hardware you have to reset DRM most the time.

The Setup:
First you will need to get a cable card from the cable company. For me that is Comcast Xfinity. M Card should be the standard and is what you need because it means multiple streams (so you can use your four tuners).

Put the Ceton Card in a PCI-E Slot (x1, x4, x8, x16 all will work)

Make sure your DVR hard drive is NTFS as windows wont' let you DVR to anything but NTFS. (Had my media drive as exFAT to cut overhead, but had to reformat).

At this point have your audio and video ports for your computer figured out. Ideally you are using HDMI for both audio and video. Disable all other devices in the sound manager and all other display adapters or virtual ones that you aren't using For me I disabled the sound card and am using just the graphics card. DRM hates multiple output locations. You will get an error in windows media center stating 'display adapter doesn't support playback of protected content that if you minimize/maximize again will go away this is caused by multiple audio or video outputs (or by logmein and some other programs virtual adapters). Also ensure you have the newest drivers for all your audio/video to minimize other errors with handshakes

Plug the Cable Card into the Ceton Card Attach the Coax adapter to your coax cable and plug it into the ceton card. Turn back on the computer and install the drivers.

Run the ceton diagnostic program and tell it to detect tuners. Should only have to do this once but i've found I often have to do it after a restart or shut down to speed up the card's detection in windows media center (I just don't turn off the computer).

Run the Digital Cable Advisor might have to download this (x86 or x64 depending on OS), Do the Live TV setup in Windows Media Center add the MAC information and Serial# Information, then write those numbers down on paper and call your cable company and activate your cable card. They make act dumb and say they want to send you to a separate line but just tell them to send an activation signal to that mac and serial number. All should work. Card works best with good signal strength so a shorter coax and prefers no splitters though mine has one.

With 4 tuners I can record up to 4 shows at once. I was able to return my DVR/Cable box that I paid 18/month to rent and the first cable card is free!

Picture quality is great. Tuners can be installed on multiple computers and shared over the network, but unfortunately recorded video can't be shared as DRM is computer specific. Windows media center supports extenders (XBOX 360 and certified extender boxes (example) which an share your recorded content to different TV's across the home network.)

A couple problems I will note about the card:
1.) It runs really damned hot! (If it doesn't have a fan blowing over it directly it can easily reach 60C and it will stop working when it overheats) The tuner diagnostic told me all was good except temperature. My solution: Ramsinks and a PCI Slot Cooler which I turned the fans around to blow onto the ram sinks. Now runs at 42C.

2.) Often after a restart or shut down WMC will say 'tuners not available 'listening conflict' or something like that. I've read that if you just wait 5 to 10 min it will start working on it's own. I am impatient and justs run the ceton diagnostic detect tuners again and relaunch WMC when that happens. It works every time, but I wish it would just always be detected faster...

3.) The card is expensive I bought mine used.

Overall: Great Card works well, got rid of recurring bills and can now DVR twice as many shows and stream them to other computers via XBOX.

This program has so much potential but nobody really uses it so Microsoft doesn't devote much time to it.

There are a few third party apps I recommend: Channel Logos XL, Netflix (it is native you just have to download it), and YAMMM.
Channel Logos customizes your guide and can make it feel more like normal tv. Yammm organizes your metadata and movies/tv shows so that in media center pictures show up and imdb data shows up. Only problem is they have to be local to the computer (or so far as I have found) or it won't register the metadata into windows media center. (I have a second 1.5TB drive on a networked computer that is full of movies and the pictures show but not the IMDB information due to yammm not controlling that folder from the HTPC but from the other computer. (might try some network write access and management and it might fix it.

I wish people would right new addons for HBO GO and Amazon Prime Video (this exists but broke with an update and now no longer works) and ESPN 3/Watch ESPN APP (for those games that are streamable but aren't on your TV) (This app exists as well but needs a major update like the Amazon one). I would gladly pay $50 dollars for a suite of plugins for Media Center that made native support of all those websites and their content. Hulu does exist and I think still works. Nasa has a TV app but that appears broken now as well.

I'll get some pictures of the care/case setup and the cooling solution as well as some diagnostics pictures and some media center pictures as well this weekend and try to clean up this rambling post. Mods please feel free to send me edits as well or Recommendations as to break this up better. Oh and can you get the Youtube link to work? Cheers


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Re: My Review of the Ceton Infinitv 4 and WMC 8

Post by Velo:Sity » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:42 am

Link to YouTube fixed, put just the video ID between the tags, nothing more

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Re: My Review of the Ceton Infinitv 4 and WMC 8

Post by InspectahACE » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:23 am

My father has had this model for a few years now and its been awesome, no issues. Poor guy paid $400 for it when it was released. I'm looking to get one myself since it's more affordable...although they did release the InfiniTV 6 recently so I may go that route.
i9-9900k | ASUS Maximus XI Hero | ASUS Strix RTX 2070 Super | 32GB G.Skill Trident RGB DDR4-3600 | Cooler Master ML360L AIO | Seagate Firecuda 510 1TB NVME SSD x2 | Tt ToughPower RGB 850W PSU | Sound Blaster Z | Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic | Logitech G502 | Logitech G810| BenQ Zowie XL2730 27" monitor | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

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