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Pros: ...when it works. That's the key: "When it works."
Using a Windows 7 HTPC with a CableCard tuner, this product could be the end to paying your cable company your first borns college tuition to have a whole house DVR solution.
When it works, it works great to access PlayReady protected live or recorded TV from a W7 based HTPC in any room of the house. It will essentially do exactly the same things as a stock version of Media Center, and, if you have content management plugins like My Movies, will even utilize those plugins.
Cons: The trouble is, the device is extremely temperamental. It won't even reliably turn on and off, requiring an endless number of times plugging in and unplugging the power cable.
Even when you can get it to successfully turn on and display the "Centon" splash screen, there's a 1 in 2 chance it won't successfully finish booting the the Media Center interface.
Originally, I thought these issues might be due to a bad HDCP handshake or something (due to the device being used with an older Vizio flat screen), but even hooking it up to my newest TVs it does the same.
Other Thoughts: Great idea. Bad implementation. Might be buggy hardware. Might be buggy software. Who knows. I do know Ceton is no longer actively developing the software, so bug fixes will not be forthcoming.
With other users also having problems, but other users still having it work flawlessly, I wonder if mine is just buggy, or if some users just got lucky.. As I'm getting close to the end of my warranty, may have to RMA to Ceton to see if another one would work better and more consistently.
I guess buying these can be a crapshoot. Some win, some lose. I really, really want to like this product, but it simply hasn't performed as well as I had hoped.
With no other extenders from other providers on the horizon, this is essentially your only option if you want to try a roll-your-own solution..
Pros: It's RAM. It's inexpensive. Shipping was free.
Cons: It could be more inexpensive? It could be free? They could pay me for an endorsement?
Other Thoughts: In my experience, you can't go wrong with G-Skill RAM. Buy it.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Mated with a 35W TDP Core i3, an SSD for the system drive and a low RPM HDD for bulk storage, my HTPC is quite literally silent.
And sips power. 35W - 40W max at full load.
Cons: Expensive for a 400W power supply.. But that is to be expected of a platinum power supply, much less a FANLESS platinum power supply.
Other Thoughts: Might be expensive, but if you want a completely silent build, it's more than worth the money.
OTOH, If you're OK with a teeny, tiny bit of fan noise, you can spend a little less and opt for a different P./S with a mostly quiet 120MM fan and more wattage. For example, I have an Antec EarthWATTS 750 in another rig, and I can barely hear that P/S from across the room. It was about the same price I paid for this.
Basically, the question comes down to how much is total silence worth to you? For me, it was completely worth this price for an HTPC build.
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