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CES 2010: Ceton Debuts Four-Tuner Card For Windows 7

Ceton will show off a four-tuner digital cable card for Windows 7 computers that will let users record or watch up to four HD cable channels at once on their PCs at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show this week.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was expected to highlight Ceton's Digital Cable Quad-Tuner in his CES kickoff keynote here Wednesday evening. The demo was to show the Ceton card on a Gateway SX Series desktop.

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, launched last October, includes and a new tool to let users add a CableCard-enabled digital cable tuner to their PC, native support for QAM and ATSC video, and support for switched digital video. In addition, Microsoft and CableLabs previously announced that they worked together to let customers using CableCard-based tuners play back programs marked as "copy freely" (CF) -- such as those from local channels -- on other PCs and portable devices.

The Ceton Digital Cable Quad-Tuner card is scheduled to be available for retail purchase by the end of the first quarter of 2010 at a suggested retail price of $399. The first version will be available in a PCI Express Low Profile form factor for installation in desktop or tower PCs.

PCs running Windows Media Center, included with most versions of Windows 7, with a Ceton Digital Cable Quad-Tuner card installed will natively support HD and premium cable TV channels with an operator-supplied multistream CableCard, eliminating the need for a separate cable set-top box. The Ceton card also supports channels delivered using switched digital video via an operator-supplied tuning adapter.

Seattle-based Ceton had previously demonstrated its multituner CableCard solution at the CableLabs Summer Conference in August.

Ceton, in addition to showing off the four-tuner card, expects to preview an eight-tuner version at CES.