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Can someone help me understand how I can use cable cards with external digital tuners?

Can someone help me understand how I can use cable cards with external digital tuners?

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎12-07-2011

Can someone help me understand how I can use cable cards with external digital tuners?

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Here's my situation.  I currently have a PC with an internal TV tuner card.  I connect the internal TV tuner card to a standard QIP2500-2 Set Top Box.  I've never been very happy with this setup, although it mostly works.  But,  I can only record or watch one channel at a time.  In addition, changing channels requires a silly IR blaster so changing channels from Windows Media Center uses the IR remote signals to change channels on the set top box.

 

I was thinking I could use a product like this together with a cable card from Verizon, eliminating the set top box.  I read the FAQ here but I am still unclear about how cablecards work and what capabilities they enable.  My questions are:

 

1) The FAQ says using a cablecard eliminates the use of the online TV guide.  How then does one schedule recordings in windows media center?  It would seem silly to have to still have a STB just to get the program guide.  What do others do about this?

 

2) Are the cable cards provided by Verizon compatible with the above product shown in the link?  The Verizon FAQ says the device must be marked "DCR" to be compatible, but looking at all the digital tuner products at NewEgg, none of them seem to be marked with "DCR".  They say, "m-CARD".

 

3) What are others out there doing to utilize FIOS TV with a computer and not have a set top box?

 

Thanks for any insight!

 

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,796
Registered: ‎08-06-2008

Re: Can someone help me understand how I can use cable cards with external digital tuners?

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I have never seen this product but it uses an m-card which Verizon does offer. I am assuming that it gets the guides using the wifi like TIVO does but I would first check with the manufacturer before you purchase this.

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎11-27-2010

Re: Can someone help me understand how I can use cable cards with external digital tuners?

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(669 Views)

I haven't used the SiliconDust product, but I have been using a similar product by Ceton, for nearly five years.

 

By inserting a CableCARD into the tuner, you would have access to the same channels as a set-top box. You rent a cableCARD from Verizon, just like you'd rent a set-top box from them. I have an m-card, which just allows multiple channels to be tuned at once, unlike the older s-card.

 

You do, however, lose Pay Per View and on-demand programming. For me, it's not a great loss.

 

The program guide is handled through Windows Media Center, which holds programming data for the next 14 days. You schedule your recordings there. It's also smart enough to reschedule shows, if there's a recording conflict (too many scheduled shows, not enough tuners)

 

Although you can contunue to use an IR blaster (I use one), you can also get a Media Center companion app from Ceton. It doesn't require a Ceton tuner...it will still control Media Center. The app costs a few bucks, but it's worth it. They make it for Android and Apple, and maybe Windows Phone. It will let you manage your schedules, and use your phone/tablet as a remote control over WiFi.

 

Buy a big hard drive to hold your scheduled recordings. Expect to use an average of 10-15 gigabytes per hour of HD recording. The beauty of this system, is that you can just add another hard drive whenever you need more space, sonething the STB's won't let you do.

 

For service in other rooms, use an Xbox360 if you have one. Or, buy a Ceton Echo extender (again, doesn't require a Ceton tuner). Don't use Wi-Fi for your extenders. Wired Ethernet is a must...most wireless won't be able to keep up.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-06-2012

Re: Can someone help me understand how I can use cable cards with external digital tuners?

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I have been using the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun PRIME for almost a year with Verizon FIOS.  I purchased it from newegg and I rent a cable card from Verizon for $5 per month.  It works very nicely with Windows Media Center. Follow the setup directions from Silicon Dust exactly and it works.  Scheduling through WMC works and uses all three tuners.  I also have a USB TV tuner connected to an antenna and that works with WMC at the same time.  WMC requires Win 7 or higher and will not work with Vista or WinXP.

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