Today, Ceton is making a few announcements worth taking note of. First off – Ceton has fulfilled the backorder of InfiniTV 4 TV tuner cards and is now making InfiniTV 4 TV tuner cards available from Amazon, in addition to its existing retailers. The next thing is Ceton is announcing and making available today a free new application with updated firmware that enables Network Tuners with their InfiniTV TV tuner products.
Download: Ceton InfiniTV Network Tuners Wizard
The concept of a networked TV tuner in a PC works like this: you have the host PC that includes the TV tuner physically connected to that PC and then you have “satellite” PCs on your home network that would then connect to the TV tuner over the network to watch and record TV shows through Windows Media Center in Windows 7. Ceton’s InfiniTV Network Tuner software is specifically designed for the InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner card. As a multi-tuner card, the InfiniTV 4 actually has 4 TV tuners built in. With the InfiniTV Network Tuner software, you can “assign” any of the 4 TV tuners built in to the InfiniTV 4 to a PC on your home network. Once a tuner is assigned to a PC, Windows Media Center will see the network tuner as if it was connected physically to the PC and allow you to watch live TV (and in HD) and schedule recordings. This works with virtually any Windows 7 PC in a variety of form factors such as desktops, laptops, all-in-ones, and some tablets.
Setting this up is pretty easy. First off – you’re going to need an InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner card. I’m going to assume you have one but if you don’t, you can purchase one here. You’ll need to download the InfiniTV Network Tuner software. Before you install the InfiniTV Network Tuner software, you need to make sure you have latest firmware installed on the InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner card. You can do this by running the Ceton InfiniTV Diagnostic Tool. The installer for the InfiniTV Network Tuner software also checks to see if you have the correct (latest) firmware and we advise you to update if you don’t. Once you’ve confirmed you have the latest firmware, you’ll then need to download the InfiniTV Network Tuner installer. You’re going to need to install this on the host PC (PC with the InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner card) as well as any “satellite” PCs on your home network that you want to be able to access a tuner. I recommend installing on the host PC first.
After you’ve installed the InfiniTV Network Tuner software, open Windows Media Center. You’ll find a new menu item: Ceton InfiniTV.
Under Ceton InfiniTV there is an option for “network tuners”. There is where you will set up and configure the InfiniTV Network Tuner capabilities. Click on this option to begin the configuration wizard.
You’ll choose “Setup InfiniTVs” and click next. You can come back to this screen after setting everything up and choose “Reset InfiniTVs to factory settings” to reset everything if you ever need to.
The configuration wizard should detect the InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner over the network. You shouldn’t have to do anything on this screen other than clicking next.
NOTE: If you are running this configuration wizard on a PC using a wireless network connect, you will be advised that for the best possible experience, a wireless network adaptor is not recommended. I’ve gotten it to work over wireless just fine but your experience may vary.
You’ll need to make sure that your PC’s firewall settings a properly configured to allow the network tuner capabilities to work correctly. Choose which ever firewall you use and click next.
After your firewall settings are properly configured, you will need to assign a tuner to the PC you’re running the configuration wizard on. Because I ran this on the host PC first – all 4 of the tuners were available. I chose tuners 1-3 to be assigned to the host PC. That left tuner 4 available for my other PC on my home network. If a tuner is assigned to a PC, it cannot be assigned or used by any other PC. Click next after you’ve assigned the tuners.
Your configuration will be applied and Windows Media Center will then ask you to set up your TV tuner.
After Windows Media Center restarts, your configuration is complete. You will then be asked to set-up your TV signal in Windows Media Center again to ensure it picks up the new configuration. Once that is complete, you’ll be able to watch and record TV shows in Windows Media Center using a TV tuner on a different PC! The InfiniTV Network Tuner software and configuration wizard in Windows Media Center needs to be run on any PC you want to be able to watch TV on over your network (host and satellite).
What if you have 2 PCs on your home network with InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner cards installed?
Using the InfiniTV Network Tuner software and the process I highlight above – when you get to the point in which you assign tuners to a PC you will see 8 tuners instead of 4. This allows you to assign 1, 2 or 3 tuners (you can assign 4 but that might prove problematic) to a single PC depending on how many PCs you are configuring, etc. For example – you could have a PC in the living room with 3 tuners assigned, a PC in the bedroom or office with 3 tuners assigned, and a laptop with 2 tuners assigned. The result is a whole-lot-of-TV-watching-and-recording!
Essentially, with Ceton’s InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner card and the InfiniTV Network Tuner software, any Windows 7 PC on your home network can be turned into a DVR. Again, if you already have an InfiniTV 4 multi-tuner card you can grab the InfiniTV Network Tuner software today and enable this functionality.