All my CableCARD problems are gone!

After all that grief it was a bad tuner and a bad configuration change I’d made. A few days ago I figured out that it was a bad idea to set windows display settings to “never off” and then yesterday I received a replacement ATI Digital Cable Tuner and not only did I have it setup in 15 minutes, but it works without ANY issues what so ever.

The occasional bad piece of hardware is a fact of life these days, especially when it’s a problem like I was having where the hardware would work fine for a few hours before it stopped. I mean seriously, how could ATI even test for something like this at the factory? It’s not like they could test the tuner for 24 hours on every tuner that leaves the factory.

I can’t say enough about how great everyone at Microsoft and ATI has been at reaching out to me to make sure my problem was resolved, I really, really, appreciate it. Ironically though, in the end it was a Dell XPS support person who didn’t hesitate to send me a replacement that fixed the problem — which I received in 3 days!

Now that everything is working properly, I have to say I’m really enjoying this setup. VMC has so many more capabilities than my TiVo and although it required more setup, it is well worth it. Of course only time will tell how much maintenance it requires, but for now I’m loving it!

Thanks to everyone who helped me out!

16 Responses to “All my CableCARD problems are gone!”

  1. Jeff says:

    Diggit! Hey Congrats!

    I’m still HD-less, but once I can pull the trigger, I may definitely try that. I use WMC now anyway with my 360 for “extra” content and my music & photos.

    It’s just going to be so hard to give up 2 networked & hacked, 2-tuner DirecTivos.

  2. Bill Vinson says:


    Congratulations! Any chance you might be doing a full write-up on how you did your setup for Engadget HD? I’m really interested to hear more about the design and setup…

  3. Dennis says:

    I wonder when I will be able to do that with DirecTV. Ever since they locked out third party recivers I have beeen less and less satisfied with DirecTVs equipment despite all there HD awesomness.

  4. […] All my CableCARD problems are gone! – Ben Drawbaugh After all that grief it was a bad tuner and a bad configuration change I’d made. (tags: Windows Vista MediaCenter CableCARD HTPC) […]

  5. BobsledX says:

    Hey congrats!

  6. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    I thought about it, but what would I realy write? If VMC just came out, then yeah, but I’m afraid most would think the story is too stale. Plus I wrote just about everything here.

  7. Aaron says:

    one thing id like to see written up (that i have never really seen). is an article about WHY media center is better than other stuff (one you get past all the initial configuration).

    I am a media center user (just hdhomerun… not interested in dealing with all the cablecard restrictions… waiting for the directv tuners).

    But the one area (and you have mentioned it a bunch of times yourself that media center is better than tivo) but have never really gone into the specifics about why its better.

    Things like the sports section, movies guide, interface in general, the addons (webguide, lifextender, mcontrol, mytv, mymovies, etc). that is where the real power is with all the addons.

  8. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    I’m actually writing up a post on exactly that that includes many little things about the UI like the clock on the scrub bar, the mini guide, and the multiple ways you can view your recorded shows.

  9. Mark says:

    Glad to here it. I pulled the trigger on my XPS 420 purchase right after you first post saying life was good with cablecard. Then I was really worried when you started having problems. My tuner arrived on the 24th and I was HD after activating the cablecard on the 25th. I don’t have 802.11N so I pulled a cable behind the extender over the weekend and everything works great.

  10. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    Glad it’s working out for you, but I’m a little jealous that my first tuner was defective and your’s wasn’t.

  11. Mark says:

    If it makes you feel better, I purchased mine after the price increase. Two days after the system shipped they dropped it back to $199.00. I used a coupon so they wouldn’t price match it or sell me a second tuner at that price. Now I’m stuck buying it ebay or paying $299 at Sony.

    I saw that you had other tuners in your system. Do you pin channels to certain tuners? If so, how is it done? I’m on Comcast so I still get some channels only in SD and I would like to use my old analog tuners to record them.

  12. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    I’m not sure how that will work.

    I have 3 ATSC tuners that I use to record most of my programming. I just setup my series recordings to only use the ATSC channels. Then I use the CC tuner for the ocasional show and for some misc viewing.

    The only problem I’m having is with search series recordings which often record on the CC when I don’t want them to. My understanding is I can set a recording preference, but I’ve yet to do this.

  13. Bill Vinson says:

    After your last post, Ben, (discussing pros/cons of Media Center) I think you’re definitely right. You’ve covered pretty much everything you can, but I have to say I wish there was more as I’m enjoying the coverage 🙂

  14. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    Although I have it all setup, it isn’t over. I’m still planning on writing more about extenders and about Blu-ray playback. Not to mention plugins and integrating it more with my HA system.

  15. […] All my CableCARD problems are gone! – Ben Drawbaugh After all that grief it was a bad tuner and a bad configuration change I’d made. (tags: Windows Vista MediaCenter CableCARD HTPC) […]

  16. […] and CableCards are for the most part positive. These include: 1. Ben Drawbaugh at his personal website 2. Andres at My Network Project. 3. CableCard thread at Avsforum. Reading all 57 (and growing) […]