Engadget: Hand-ons with Vista CableCard Media Center

Tue, May 22, 2007

CableCard, Vista Media Center

It seems there are a lot of benefits in being the big boys on the block. The writers at Engadget had two Dell XPS 410s (estimated cost of $3,400) with CableCard support delivered to them yesterday. One installation went smoothly while the other was a comedy of errors, similar to the PCMag.com article. Here are the links to the articles.
Installing a CableCard media center: Fiasco

Installing a CableCard media center: Success

The articles are worth the read though I wish they had some video footage of the system. CableCard installation seems a hit or miss prospect, with the misses being very painful. It should make anyone nervous about shelling out over $3,000 for such a system.

If you have any questions about CableCards and media centers, head on over to Engadget.com and post your questions in the comment section.

(Via Chris Lanier’s blog)

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    2 Trackbacks For This Post

    1. Consumers are confused about media centers and CableCards » Floppyhead - Digital Media and Home Theater Computers Says:

      [...] Engadget recently had two articles about its writer’s experience with a Vista media center with CableCard support. One writer had a promising installation experience while the other was mired in CableCard hell. While the articles are interesting and worth the read, the comments on the articles left by readers prove to be even more interesting. Apparently, Microsoft has not marketed the idea of CableCard computers very well. With prices for most CableCard system over $3,000, this does not bode well for the future of the media center platform as a rival to Tivo. Media center computers are going to be a niche product for years to come I think. Engadget has a follow-on article answering questions posed by readers. The article answers many of the common questions about CableCards and is worthwhile reading if you are thinking of spending $3,000 on a new system. The article did confirm one thing for me: recorded TV can be saved to an external hard drive or network attached storage. This is good news because your storage space can grow with your tv show collection. Overall, Microsoft has a long way to go for media center computers to be a viable alternative to Tivo or a Cable/Satellite provided DVR. Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

    2. Dell to Make Digital Cable Tuners Standard on New PCs » Floppyhead - Digital Media and Home Theater Computers Says:

      [...] This simple approach makes sense. Dell is trying to create an aftermarket for DCTs, kind of like a Trojan horse strategy. DCTs are certainly a work in progress and Dell is betting that the situation is improved (i.e. less tech support calls). From the article: “We’re now after that round of testing and ready for more widespread deployment,” Clardy said. CableCards have been leased primarily by enthusiasts and early adopters: “the most critical audience out there, knowledgeable and enthusiastic,” he added. “You don’t want to upset that mass of customers.” [...]

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