Dell is shipping CableCARD tuners again!

Just like I’ve come to expect from Dell, it has shipped my order much faster than promised. It’s a good thing too, as 2 months was way too much to ask for. In the end it only took two weeks, which isn’t that bad. A few others at The Green Button had to wait a month, but it appears everyone there who’s been waiting, has had their order shipped. Also, I’m glad I ordered when I did, as the price is about $50 more now than it was when I ordered.

4 Responses to “Dell is shipping CableCARD tuners again!”

  1. […] Dell is shipping CableCARD tuners again! – Ben Drawbaugh (tags: Dell CableCARD Windows Vista MediaCenter) […]

  2. Mitchell says:

    Reading this blog has me really puzzled with the Cable Card (CC). I know that you have to buy a complete system to get a CC so that CableLabs can “Certify” the box. I figured they did some testing on it and would modify the OS to pair the CC with that box. BUT, Ben you are saying you received the PC with no CC and they are shipping the CC later. Also, you re-installed VMC. So, Dell must not do any pairing with the CC and that PC. If they did you just wiped all that “Certification” off. So, my question: If you can reformat the PC, install the CC yourself why the heck cant they sell CC tuners alone? Does the Dell have some special hardware inside? Some secure encrypting hardware? Really confused…

    I have contemplated moving to VMC from MythTV for CC and BluRay. But being I would have to buy a complete new system just to get the 1 tuner seems like a waste of $$. Also, doesn’t VMC have tuner limits? I have 1 PVR150, HDHomeRun, & Firewire. Can I add the CC and still be running in with 5 tuners inVMC?

    Also moving the VMC without the CC and getting the BD drive isn’t such a great deal. I would have to upgrade my video card ($100?) I use a $30 Nvidia 6200 now, get the drive ($130), VMC ($60) and my sound card/video card when they get a HDMI 1.3 available ($150?) So just to add BD to my setup I can nearly get a full feature standalone BD player (when they come out!)

    All and all VMC has a lot of limitations, its great you bought all the stuff and dove in head first to test it out. For now I sticking with MythTV box recording the locals in HD, Firewire HD(ESPN, History, TNT, Locals, Discovery) in HD, and the rest analog. I’m also waiting to see what pans out with the Hauppauge HD-PVR.

    Good luck and thanks for the Blog…


  3. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    The CC restriction — as you pointed out — is completely political. CableLabs is the one with the crazy restrictions. As for why you can’t roll your own. On each PC from Dell or whoever that will work with CableCARD, there is an additional Product Key on the case, and when you install the CC, the product key has to be entered and it only works with that one motherboard — there may be other restrictions as well.

    As for Blu-ray playback. The real benfit is a simpler setup, with one remote etc. As for the price of admission, assuming you have a computer. You’ll need a video card ~$50 for a Radeon 3650, a Lite-On Blu-ray drive $130 and playback softare $90. The Lite-on drive comes with a free version of PDVD, but it’s limited to stereo sound. So yeah you may eventually be able to buy a full feature Blu-ray player for $300, but by then I’m sure the PC solution will be cheaper as well.

    You’re very luck you can record so many channels via 1394, if mine weren’t all locked down, I’d probably be able to skip the CableCARD.

  4. […] don’t have a better idea, so we’ll see how that goes, I just hope it doesn’t take another three weeks to receive […]