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Multiple MCE Digital Cable Card Tuners

One of the goals in this project is to build a robust DVR. Robust to me and my family means a DVR that has more than 2 TV Tuners. Why do I care about that? Not because we are TV junkies but because some of the best shows sometimes compete head to head on the same night. I want a solution that does not force me to make choices. So in order to record 2 TV shows while we watch a third, we need at least 3 tuners.

This also becomes very important as I add Media Center Extenders into the network. As each extender watches TV they will be using one of the tuners. Because of that 4 tuners should be the sweet spot.

I will start out with 2, possibly 3 tuners. I would like to have 4 but the cost starts to become a little prohibitive to jump out of the gate with 4.

Unfortunately this is where the Media Center solution shows itself to not be for the faint of heart. In order to get more than two tuners working you need to update the registry of the Media Center PC. Instructions on how to do that can be found here: Multiple Analog/Digital Tuners.

If you are going the Cable Card route like I am planning on doing, you also need to buy tuners beyond what comes with the Dell package. Right now Dell only gives you the option of 1 or 2 digital cable card tuners. The only store selling the tuner separate that I know of right now is surprisingly Sony (HERE).

Getting the multiple tuners up and running with no hiccups will be a huge factor in the WAF for this project. We will definitely hold onto the DVR from Time Warner for at least a month until we feel comfortable with the MCE. We will probably hold onto it for a month on the main TV and then another month on an upstairs bedroom TV.


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