Ceton Steps Forward
Following a string of recent delays, Ceton says its InfiniTV 4 tuner for Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Media Center PCs has reached production. However, the company is not revealing a commercial release date.
"Delivery of units will begin as soon as final testing and shipment from overseas have been completed. We'll update you shortly as soon as we can confirm an actual delivery date," the company said in an emailed statement issued on Friday evening (July 9).
Ceton's quad-tuner is designed to turn PCs into digital cable boxes that are also capable of sharing content with other Media Center-enabled devices hanging off the user's home network. The integrated CableCARD authorizes the PC to feed through channels that are part of a customer's cable TV subscription, including premium channels like HBO. However, users will need a special tuning adapter to view any programming delivered via an MSO's "switched" video tier. (See Ceton Pitches Cable Set-Top Alternative and CableLabs Stamps SDV Tuning Adapters .)
Ceton's entry could reenergize the retail CableCARD market, but the product has been hit by a string of delays, the latest one caused by shortages for key components, including flash memory and a piece required for the PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) assembly. (See Ceton Plays the Waiting Game and Ceton Delays CableCARD PC-TV Tuner.)
As the InfiniTV 4 approaches commercial release, Ceton is working on some steps that should make installation a bit more automated. Instead of requiring users to obtain the necessary drivers from a CD, the company will initially provide it as a download from its Website. It's also working with Microsoft to integrate the new driver into Windows Update so it can be installed automatically when Windows detects the Ceton CableCARD tuner.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable