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Ceton Steps Forward

10:40 AM -- A CableCARD-powered PC-TV tuner from Ceton Corp. has taken another step toward commercial availability.

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

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jobenso 12/5/2012 | 4:30:20 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

I have on on order, my main question is what happens when you add an extender (like a xbox 360). Will you be able to watch encrypted video? I know there are issues with extenders that are none m$ (linksys for example).

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:30:19 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

I think the answer is yes, it's supposed to work, but it's hard to know if those claims will live up until you actually get a chance to install it and see for yourself. But can understand your concern since you're making the investment.  But going in are there any concerns that you'll need a tuning adapter to access SDV channels (if your cable operator happens to do SDV) and that the card can't do cable VoD? Most folks I've talked to about it don't see the lack of cable VoD support as much of a deal-breaker, so was curious.  . JB

jobenso 12/5/2012 | 4:30:19 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

I did watch the installation video on youtube, it downloads new m$ DRM software. The question becomes will it work, I hope so. With the xbox 360 arcade coming down in price (new sleeker model w/ wifi built in) to $120. This maybe the ticket to the no cable box rental dreams I been having. The $399.99 price tag for the card was a tough one to choke down though.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:30:19 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

You should be able to, according to how Ceton's described that to me earlier.  They told me their tuning card can "transcribe" the cable conditional access system into the Windows Media DRM so it can stay protected on the home network and displayed on the extenders you're referencing. JB


 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:30:18 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

 


Netflix online > Cable VoD.


seven


 

jobenso 12/5/2012 | 4:30:16 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

Agreed, VOD w/ cable = dead. There are too many OTT options, my MSO doesn't do SDV and if they did I wouldn't care. MLB/NHL are both OTT anyway. My .02

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:30:15 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

More reasons why cable needs to do a better job embracing OTT... i've been watching more from Netflix these days not just because of the sheer size of the library, but how easy it is to search for and find content and have it pushed to the TV, ipad, etc.  Cable needs to get going on this... well, they have that ongoing, but i mean actually getting it deployed. These days it's a chore using the set-top interface unless you know beforehand what you're looking for. There's nothing stopping cable from extending access to the VoD library to the Web world and allowing subs to find stuff there and create a playlist that populates on the set-top guide.  JB

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:30:14 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

 


I think you are right on there Jeff.  I actually bought a PS/3 as my Bluray player because it really wasn't more $$ than a high end player, came with a built in game console and was integrated with Netflix.  I really appreciate when people integrate device interfaces with web or app based ones (see iTunes for a great example).  Do I wish it had a built in Slingbox?  Boy now your talking.....being able to hook up a device on my network that could restream out to the web. 


It just doesn't seem that hard if you figure out that people want multiple ways of viewing the content, and multiple ways to accessing their accounts. 


 


seven


 

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:30:07 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

Interesting that you bring up Sling. I took my old box out of cold storage and fired it up again... I've got a super kluge set-up going on, but it's working when there's decent upstream available... and it looks very good feeding locally using HomePlug. But having it integrated into a box would be nice. JB

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:30:06 PM
re: Ceton Steps Forward

Its funny.  I had a friend that used Sling as a video conferencing tool.  Basically streamed video from a camera on each end and sent it to the web via Sling. 


I guess what I am driving at with the Sling thing is the ability to send video over the web to various sinks is a solved problem.


Also a solved problem an interface that allows you (better or worse depending on the system) multiple access points to control your content.


What I think is NOT solved is the idea of where to store video and where to stream from.  I think the Service Providers will have to show what advantages that they will bring to this party.  If not, people will toss together their own OTT environment and go from there. 


Imagine a NAS at your house that could store video (under DRM control of course) from the web.  Now, allow that to be played back on screens in the home or optionally stream back out to the web to be viewed via a mobile device.  There will have to be control screens for each of the different media viewing engines. 


Now, why would I want any of that to be in the service provider?  All the reasons people tout cloud services.  Is there really any value brought to me by the Service Provider beyond that?  No - and I think that is the sticking point for an SP.  The issue that I think they will have to deal with is how do I keep folks from jury rigging stuff together at the home to do the same thing.


seven


 

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