- 6 HD cable TV channels
- Tuner sharing between PCs
- Network Attached
- Works with all U.S. cable TV system
Susceptible to network issues 03/28/2014
Six tuners requiring only one cablecard
Depending on the quality of your existing networking hardware, you may have to factor in the price of a new gigabit switch.
I upgraded from an InfiniTV 4 PCIe card with which I was very happy, but I wanted a couple of extra tuners without having to use another cablecard. I thought the ETH version would be a good move since it would reduce heat in my HTPC and maybe make tuner sharing easier.
Once installed, right from the off there was a drop in picture quality, with frequent sound dropouts and pixilation. Nothing disastrously bad, but enough to be annoying. On a couple of occasions the tuners actually disappeared from Media Center, and only reappeared after rebooting everything. Other people have reported the same thing. HOWEVER, what is obvious now and wasn’t obvious initially is that the quality of your networking hardware / firmware / software is critical to getting good results from this device. That $20 8-port gigabit router might be OK for file transfers, but when it comes to streaming HD video its x% packet loss will start to show. Maybe it’s fine when it’s first turned on, but after a week of operation it might start to flip bits. Also, maybe that network driver that Windows tells you is up to date, is actually 4 years old and has had many bug fixes along the way.
Bottom line: stick with the PCIe version unless you are sure that your network is top-notch. Good routers, switches, and adapters aren’t necessarily expensive – you just need to be a savvy shopper. I'm actually getting very good results now, but only after some headache.
One extra tip: keep the ETH on its side to reduce heat.
The type and quality of your network devices will play a significant role in your viewing experience with any network-based device. One of the things that sets an InfiniTV 6 ETH apart is that it supports up to 6 HDTV channels at once, double its closest competitor. That can mean up to almost 120 Mbps of data moving across your network at once. That’s not bursts of data but rather continuous streaming of high-volume data for as long as you’re watching those channels or recordings. Lower end gigabit routers and switches are often not designed for that kind of traffic and can result in viewing and playback issues.
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