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Pros: Works well before it fries. Excellent driver support in even basic Linux installations
Cons: No ESD (electro-static discharge) protection means fried adapter if indoor humidity is too low. I touched the enclosure of my PC and the external ESD ended up frying this adapter and the same happened to 2 other Edimax adapters in separate hardware configurations.
Other Thoughts: It's cheap and works well in perfect environments, but you've been warnedREAD FULL REVIEW
Pros: I started using this tuner back in March '14. Since then I've had to restart it 2 or 3 times, but with recent (past 6mo) firmware updates it has been even more stable. I run Openelec Kodi on Raspberry Pi 2 using Yatse app on tablets and phones as remotes. Very easy and well liked by my wife and guests. The picture is Mpeg2 1080p (progressive scan) and is sharp and clear. This tuner saved me $100s if not $1000s from sneaky rental fees and other bundle garbage. I use Comcast in central CT with the Bast! Plus package (basic cable w/HBO, & 100mb/s internet) and my monthly bill is around $75. Fortunately for us, HBO is not DRM flagged and we can use clients other than WMC, but that may not be the case with your provider. Check online sites and forums to be sure. The Kodi app that Silicon Dust put out this year is really a great interface for watching live TV. They're a small development team working hard to support their product and they're the only game in town.
I don't like getting ripped off, but I also don't want to get involved in illicit content.
Cons: This device would be even more awesome if it had built-in DVR functionality. Setting DVR up requires a server installation, but then you get a whole house DVR with all kinds of goodies.
Output is MPEG2. That's OK because that's exactly what the signal is, but the problem is pushing all those bits to your clients. My suggestion is to hard-wire everything that you intend to talk to this tuner. If the tuner had a built-in mpeg2 to mpeg4 transcoder, 2.4GHz wifi would be more than enough (it could sacrifice image quality though). 5ghz could do it, but it has a hard time penetrating walls. If you have a media server with enough horsepower, you could have it transcode on the fly, but this is a tricky build.
In order to activate your CableCARD, you need to contact your provider. With Comcast, this puts you in tier one overseas support. This at best ends up with a truck roll request and at worse could torch your internet connection requiring a truck roll request anyways. In the end, the on-site service tech just calls tier 2 domestic support to get the card activated. Most providers don't have new cards to hand out so you may have to go through one or two activations before you have a solid setup (you can ask that the tech bring more than one card to make sure). CableCard is considered "old tech" to your typical cable guy and they sneer when they first come to service it, but they usually change their mind when they see what is done with it now. You will have to be the expert on this stuff as the service guys have no idea what to do with this tuner. You'll have to be ready to diagnose that the card is working as they will not be able to tell. A simple hardwired windows client setup right next to the tuner is best using Silicon Dust's setup and viewing software.
Your family and friends will want you to set this up for them as well.
Other Thoughts: I've gone through lots of different media center software and hardware combinations. Windows media center was great with an awesome UI but it is a resource pig and MS no longer supports is. Openelec with Kodi on Raspberry PI has been the absolute best bang for buck. You can have the whole setup running for less than $200.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I bought this to test on a Raspberry Pi B+ running Kodi (formerly XBMC) on Openelec (dedicated XBMC/Kodi OS). Support for this adapter worked right out of the box.
5GHz signal is much stronger than typical thumb-size adapters. I have an old house with heavy plaster walls (some brick) and this little gem can stream mpeg2 HD from the basement to my 2nd floor across the house.
I have been running all-day streaming stress tests and find that the adapter performs very well.
This adapter also runs straight off the Raspberry Pi and doesn't seem to require a powered USB adapter. I run the whole setup off my TV's USB.
The separate stand is a nice touch. How they can sell all of this at this price point is beyond me.
Cons: A little large, but you know what you're getting into buying this adapter.
Other Thoughts: Many are buying this because they are pushing the limits of 2.4 GHz and probably have not used 5GHz before. Here are some helpful tips.
Name the SSID of the 5GHz network separate from the 2.4GHz. This is common mistake I have seen others complain about. They think they are seeing poor 5GHz performance when in reality their OS chose 2.4GHz. I like to add a "5" at the end of the SSID I use for 2.4GHz. example: mynetwork & mynetwork5
Don't let your OS auto-connect to 2.4GHz. Usually a "forget" setting, many OS's will assume 2.4GHz signal is a stronger, better connection and auto-connect to the 2.4GHz. They don't take into account other factors that limit 2.4GHz bandwidth like channel crowding from neighboring networks.