Hauppauge announced way back in 2009 that they intended to release their own CableCARD tuner, then later said that they were working with SiliconDust to produce a CableCARD tuner of their own. While most of the CableCARD tuner news this year has been dominated by the partner company, Hauppauge has now revealed their device, and they’ve even given us a price and dates!
The Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 is a dual tuner CableCARD device that will connect to your Windows 7 Media Center PC via USB. Being USB could be a huge incentive to those who are craving CableCARD for their home theater PC (HTPC) but perhaps don’t have the room for an internal card (such as Ceton’s InfiniTV 4) in a small form factor PC.
Price has always been a big concern around CableCARD tuners in the past, so pricing it competitively was immensely important. Hauppauge has priced the dual tuner device at a paltry $129! That is $120 less than the three-tuner SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime, and $170 less than the four-tuner Ceton InfiniTV 4.
Obviously all of these devices cater to different needs. Ceton’s device offers the most tuners, and has been out the longest, with tested reliability. SiliconDust’s offering provides native network tuner functionality, and Hauppauge’s WinTV-DCR-2650 wins on cost and has the benefit of being external.
Hauppauge’s announcement on their Facebook page says that they will begin taking orders on Monday July 18th and they will be shipping units at “the end of July.”
All of the cards have been laid on the table. Which way are you going for your CableCARD-based home theater PC?
Source: Facebook via Missing Remote
I’m fairly certain I’ll be selling my InfiniTV 4 now in favor of this. I really only need 2-3 tuners, and $129 is very tempting.
And we have two more offerings coming from Ceton later in the year. They have a four tuner USB device in the works as well as the InfiniTV6. The six tuner version makes full use of the cableCARD and now the Tuner Adapter to feed six full channels to the home user (although at this time they will have to use a helper such as TunerSalad).
The unfortunate things with both the SD Network device the the Hauppauge Tuner is that I don’t think either went through a public beta. Based on past experience with the ATI DCT and the first Ceton InfiniTV4 there are lots of surprises in store for these third party navagation device makers when they reach the real world. The problem with updates is, as always, Cable Labs and their intervention into certification of updates and revisions of FW.
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