Sony Releases Standalone Digital Cable Tuners

Fri, Oct 26, 2007

Digital Cable Tuners

Someone has finally started selling standalone Digital Cable Tuners: Sony. This does make the LT series somewhat more interesting.

All I have to say is that it is about time. Just don’t get too excited because you still need to buy a digital cable ready computer with a special version of Windows Vista and and have the proper BIOS. Chris has a brief overview of the lmitations of this product:

I wanted to make it super clear for those who have not followed by CableCARD ramblings for the last two years, this will not work in your PC unless you specifically purchased a CableCARD-ready PC (you know if you did). It will not work in a non-CableCARD-ready PC. It requires a special BIOS and second COA (Product Key) to work, it doesnít include these and you canít get them without the purchase of a new CableCARD-ready PC. For more, see my Vista CableCARD FAQ.

So why exactly is this good news? To make a viable media center computer to put into your living room, you need to have a least two tuners, one to record and one to watch. The problem is that a lot of vendors were selling media centers with only one DCT. Both Sony and HP were guilty of this. Take Sony’s VGX-XL3. It was a great looking machine but was DOA because it only had one tuner. Vista should be able to support 4 tuners as well, which might come in handy with the new extenders to be released soon.

I still find it odd though that one DCT costs the same as one Tivo HD, which has two tuners. I guess the subscription costs for the Tivo brings the initial price down.

If you are intersted in buying a media center with DCTs, I suggest waiting for the usual coupon from HP and buying a second tuner from Sony. Just last week HP had a $40 off coupon.

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    1. Sony | Refurbished Digital Cable Tuners Now Available » Floppyhead - Digital Media and Home Theater Computers Says:

      [...] Sony made a splash in the media center world a couple of months ago being the first OEM to sell individual digital cable tuners, which are used to watch HD programming on premium cable channels. While you still need to have a computer with the special version of Vista that supported digital cable tuners, Sony offers their customers the ability to increase the number of digital cable tuners in their media center. While nice to see, the price was high for an individual tuner: $300. [...]

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