Ceton InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard: Access InfiniTV Tuners From Multiple PCs

May 08 2011

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One of our most popular guides in the past several months has been Michael Welter’s guide and tool for configuring the InfiniTV for use by multiple PCs. Now, Ceton has released the InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard to provide an easy way to configure and officially support the InfiniTV when used by multiple PCs. We’ve had the opportunity to use the wizard and produce a guide to help you learn what it does and how to use it.

Before we get started, it is important to understand that the InfiniTV is treated as a network device under Windows. Of course, the InfiniTV has no Ethernet port to make it physically accessible on the network so it relies on the built-in bridging functionality within Windows. A bridge is created that links a network interface card (NIC) and the InfiniTV. The InfiniTV is then assigned an IP address just like any other device on your network.

By default, Windows Media Center (WMC) does not look for or discover OCUR tuners via NICs so the InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard must be installed on any system that will be accessing the networked InfiniTV tuners. The wizard user interface revolves around a WMC plug-in that looks and feels a lot like the WMC TV Setup.

The wizard allows individual InfiniTV tuners to be reserved for each system which is necessary to ensure reliable operation of the tuners. Tuners can be allocated to any PC, however, once the tuner is allocated, it can’t be used by any other PC.

Note 1: This guide will refer to a “host” PC which is the PC with the InfiniTV physically installed and a “client” PC which is a PC that is accessing one or more of the host PC’s InfiniTV tuners.

Note 2: Some screen captures are from beta versions or previous releases and may be slightly different from the final release.

Since there are a few different scenarios that are possible, this guide will be broken up into the following sections:

  1. Minimum Requirements
  2. Host Installation and Configuration
    1. InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Installation
    2. InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Configuration
    3. [Optional] WMC TV Tuner Setup
  3. Client Installation and Configuration
  4. Uninstalling/Resetting Network Tuner Settings
  5. Installation on Host without WMC (WHS 2011, Server 2008 R2, etc.)
  6. Resetting InfiniTV on Host without WMC (WHS 2011, Server 2008 R2, etc.)

Minimum Requirements

  1. Ceton InfiniTV Driver:  1.1.0.8 or higher installed on host and client PCs
  2. Ceton InfiniTV Firmware: 1.0.3.4 or higher installed on host PC InfiniTV 4
  3. Ceton InfiniTV Hardware: 4790 or higher installed on host PC InfiniTV 4
  4. The WMC Digital Cable Advisor (DCA) has been performed on each host and client system.
  5. Each host and client system should meet the minimum requirements set forth by Ceton.

Host Installation and Configuration

InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Installation

  1. Download the appropriate installer from Ceton
  2. Close WMC on the host PC and then install the latest released InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard as shown. 

InfiniTV Network Wizard Installation

InfiniTV Network Wizard Installation

InfiniTV Network Wizard Installation

InfiniTV Network Wizard Installation

InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Configuration

  1. Open WMC and follow through the setup screen captures as shown:

InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Configuration

InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Configuration

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InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Configuration

Obviously, select the firewall choice that applies to your system. If the firewall you use in not listed, select other. In this case, you will need to manually open up the ports displayed by the wizard.

InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Configuration

On the InfiniTV Tuner Selection page, you are selecting which tuners to bind to the host PC. Once selected, these tuners will not be available for use on client PCs. If all of the tuners are to be used on client PCs, do not select any for the host PC.

InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard Configuration

This concludes the host PC InfiniTV configuration, however, the WMC TV Setup must be performed if any of the tuners were bound to the host PC. If no tuners were bound, it is not necessary to complete the WMC TV Setup.

 

[Optional] WMC TV Tuner Setup

This step is not required if you did not reserve any InfiniTV tuners on the host. 

Note: If performing the TV setup on a system for the first time with a CableCARD device, you may be presented with a few additional screens not shown and be asked to install PlayReady (which is a requirement). 

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

WMC TV Tuner Setup

This concludes the WMC TV setup.

 

Client Installation and Configuration

  1. The client installation and configuration procedure is virtually identical to the host installation. Follow the steps in the host section. Tuner selection will reserve the tuner for the client PC and it will not be available on any other client PCs. WMC TV Tuner setup is not optional for Client PC setup.
  2. When using the InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard from the client, you will see a tuner selection screen similar to the following:

InfiniTV Tuner Selection

Note how the first three tuners are reserved for the host PC as selected in the host PC configuration.

 

Uninstalling/Resetting Network Tuner Settings

Open the InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard and follow the steps as shown. The InfiniTV Tuner Reset will return the InfiniTV and any altered Windows network settings back to their default state. The procedure must be performed on each host and/or client PC where you wish to remove tuner assignment allocations.

InfiniTV Start

InfiniTV Reset

InfiniTV Reset

InfiniTV Reset

Now that the InfiniTV has been restored to its default state, WMC TV Setup will need to be performed again.

Installation on Host without WMC (WHS2011, Windows Server 2008 R2, etc.)

Important

Do not attempt this configuration if you are not experienced with networking. While we can try to help you out in the comments below with the configuration, Windows Server-based operating systems ARE NOT officially supported by Ceton.

For Windows Server 2008 R2-based machines (including Windows Home Server 2011), the InfiniTV can be successfully installed for use as a host PC. This scenario is not officially supported by Ceton and the process to expose the InfiniTV is a bit different because the InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard can’t be initiated (since there is no WMC on these operating systems).

The premise is fairly simple. The InfiniTV is installed to the Server OS-based machine and Windows Bridging is utilized to expose the InfiniTV via the PC’s Ethernet port.

  1. Make sure Minimum Requirements 1, 2 and 3 are met.
  2. Open Device Manager and go to the Network Adapters section. You will see your Ceton InfiniTV there. Right click it and select properties.
  3. Go to the "Advanced" tab and select "Support Bridging." On the right side select "Yes" in the drop-down menu and hit OK.
  4. Open the Ceton InfiniTV4 device webpage.  The default IP address is http://192.168.200.1/ but you can also access it under Network in Windows Explorer.

5. Under the System tab there is a next section under the MAC Address, is a hyperlink called "Network Settings." Clicking the hyperlink will take you to http://192.168.200.1/Services/NetworkSetup.html

 

6. By default the InfiniTV will be setup as a DHCP Host Server.  You will need to uncheck "Default IP Settings (DHCP Server)" for network bridging to work.

7. You now have to choose between static IP address or enabling the DHCP Client.  Either will work. This example will show the use of a static IP address.

Note

DO NOT use the IP address shown in the screen capture below. Use an IP address that is appropriate for your network. If you don't know what that is, please ask for help in the comments below. Again, this configuration is only for advanced users who understand networking.

8. Click the "Set Network" button.  Note: You will lose connectivity to the InfiniTV device webpage and tuners until the rest of the bridging steps are completed.

9. Go to Start and type in "View Network Connections" to show your network adapters. You should see a "Ceton InfiniTV Network Device" along with your main network device.

10. Highlight the Ceton InfiniTV Network Device and your primary network card interface, Right Click and select "Bridge Connections."


Note: During the bridging process you will lose network connectivity.  If you are connected over Remote Desktop you may no longer be able to connect as the resulting network bridge will have a new IP address.

11. The result will be a new device called a "Network Bridge."  That is your PC's primary connection to your network now. Due to the Windows Network Bridge implementation, Windows will generate a dynamic MAC Address for it. This prevents us from using Static DHCP to assign a reserved IP address from the DHCP Server.

12. To confirm your Ceton InfiniTV is working properly as a bridged device try accessing the InfiniTV device webpage as shown above in step #4.  The device webpage should be available from any computer on your network.

This completes the Host PC portion of the network bridging setup. You can now configure clients as needed.

Resetting InfiniTV on Host without WMC (WHS2011, Windows Server 2008 R2, etc.)

  1. Open the InfiniTV web interface “Network Settings" and check the DHCP Server box and then click “Set Network”. This step returns the InfiniTV back to its default 192.168.200.1 address.
  2. Go to Start and type in "View Network Connections" to show your network adapters. You should see a "Ceton InfiniTV Network Device" along with your main network device.
  3. Right-click “Network Bridge” and select the “Delete” option.
  4. The InfiniTV should now be accessible via the 192.168.200.1 default IP address via browser.

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Comments

Very nice! The MC interface is a great idea.

Finally!!! My hair is getting white-r.

This is great news! My only question...is tuner pooling in the works as well so we don't have to bind tuners to clients making them unavailable to other clients?

Ceton has not made any announcements regarding tuner pooling.

Got this working very easily on my laptop under the same subnet.  Question is can I set the host's network bridge to be static open up some ports and do some routing on my external firewall and install the client on my machine at work?  Or even being able to take the laptop places in different networks would be awesome too. 

Sure, it is possible to traverse networks. The bigger question is whether you have the type of bandwidth that would allow it.

Specfically...where does the client define the host PC's ip?  What ports does the InfiniTV Network or WMC use for communication?  Pretty sure I won't have the bandwidth to do it but will be fun to try out.

aamartin4 wrote:

Specfically...where does the client define the host PC's ip?  What ports does the InfiniTV Network or WMC use for communication?  Pretty sure I won't have the bandwidth to do it but will be fun to try out.

Per specification only a small number of network hops is allowed between the OCUR device and the client PC so this may not work at all.

In terms of the ports, if you run InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard and select "Other" for firewall product it will list the ports needed.

A VPN could be used.

HD content requires upwards of 20Mbit/sec upload bandwidth since I doubt you'll be able to transcode on-the-fly because of the DRM involved.

Will TunerSalad work with this?

I do not want to give up any of my 4 Ceton tuners.

The InfiniTV Network Wizard is not capped to any number of tuners. Its job is to bind/unbind tuners to hosts and clients. WMC controls how many tuners it can access. Obviously, if you are using TunerSalad, you are changing how many tuners WMC can access. It doesn't affect the wizard though.

While tuner sharing does work for me, my HTPC won't wake up from sleep after a request from a client PC, and the HTPC also goes to sleep while still sending data over the network!

 

I think I will have to stick the tuner into my server, and just tell Windows to assign itself a static IP. That is still possible, right?

If you host on a Windows Server 2008 R2-based OS, please follow the procedure in the guide above.

Use wolcmd.exe to send a wake-on-lan magic packet wake your computer. Running the command can be scheduled on your client PC with Task Manager on a system resume event or log on to Windows event. You can then use Waka Server and Waka Client to keep your PC awake while it is connected to the client. Waka is available on google code. This is the setup I use, and it works well.

Yeah, I was just testing network sharing in my current HTPC before moving the tuner to an always-on server. Maybe I'll do it after May sweeps when seasons end.

Quick question, if I want to uninstall the tuner from one client pc and move the association to another, does it affect the host?  Is it as simple as uninstalling from one and installing on another client pc?

Yes. To change the client, follow the reset procedure to remove the client binding and then proceed with the configuration on the new client.

gklimov wrote:

Quick question, if I want to uninstall the tuner from one client pc and move the association to another, does it affect the host?  Is it as simple as uninstalling from one and installing on another client pc?

If you may setup the tuner on that client again then another option instead of using the Reset functionality is to run through the Setup Wizard again and on the tuner select screen simply uncheck it the tuner.

mikinho wrote:

gklimov wrote:

Quick question, if I want to uninstall the tuner from one client pc and move the association to another, does it affect the host?  Is it as simple as uninstalling from one and installing on another client pc?

If you may setup the tuner on that client again then another option instead of using the Reset functionality is to run through the Setup Wizard again and on the tuner select screen simply uncheck it the tuner.

Does this allow the tuner to be freed up for another pc or does it just remove it from the client and leave it in limbo somewhere to be added back later.

I have my main HTPC set to 3 and I want to add the 4th. Somewhere I read thaT I had to remove it from the client 1st before adding it to the main HTPC.

 

The best thing to do is probably to remove it from the client and then add it back to your host.

I was stuck for a while after running the wizard it could not find the tuners (on host or anywhere else). I would reset and be able to set up TV again but every time I ran the Network tuner it would lose the tuners.

Turns out the driver for my Network Card was a generic windows version. After I updated from realtek site, it worked without fail.

Sweet!

Good to hear. Thanks for sharing.

Does anyone know if the InfiniTV can be installed on Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V?  My understanding is that the server OS gets virtualized if the Hyper-V role is enabled, so I'm not sure if Ceton's drivers will work in that environment.

I am contemplating a virtual server setup and it would be nice to be able to have the Ceton on the server, maybe with MCE in a VM that can handle most of the recording to allow me to have a smaller/lower power HTPC (maybe even an XBox 360) in the family room.

jrandeck wrote:

Does anyone know if the InfiniTV can be installed on Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V?  My understanding is that the server OS gets virtualized if the Hyper-V role is enabled, but I was contemplating a virtual server setup.

Yes it can.  Follow Aaron's instructions listed in the guide above for bridging on a server.  You can then decide whether to bridge with an external, private or internal network card.  Each works with its own set of pros and cons.

Thanks for the info.  I guess I'll need to research those pros and cons Smile

I am attempting to install the InfiniTV 4 in my WHS 2011 box and have run into a problem when I try to change network settings on the InfiniTV 4's web page.  I can clear the checkbox for the DHCP server but the other settings stay greyed out.  Also when I refresh the page or press the set network button the DHCP server setting reverts.  Obviously I am not actually changing anything.  I have the latest firmware and driver confirmed by the diagnostics tool.  What should I be checking? 

Sounds like you are using Internet Explorer in Enhanced Security mode which is the default for "server" operating systems.  Adding 192.168.200.1 to the Trusted Internet Zone or Intranet Zone to allow scripts to work.

Try a different browser.  I ran into the same issue.  I seem to recall having to install Chrome to change the settings, but there may have been another browser that worked.

RehabMan wrote:

Try a different browser.  I ran into the same issue.  I seem to recall having to install Chrome to change the settings, but there may have been another browser that worked.

You beat me to it twice today Smile

Except you knew the "real" reason it won't work (IE security settings on Windows Server).  I think I tried to change the settings for IE and gave up.  I must have used Firefox (not Chrome) because that's what I've got on the server now.

Also beware that it seems to me that setting a static IP for the Ceton card doesn't work.  I tried, and it would stick for a while, then revert back to DHCP.  This, of course, screws up any clients that had previously been setup since they don't know the new IP address.   I ended up setting a DHCP reservation (maps MAC to IP) in my router.

Maybe you'll have better luck.

This is a great guide.  I ended up having to set the card up on my WHS2011.  I built a new i3 based 64 bit Win 7 Hm Pre sytem with 4gb ram.  It was buggy with the card in there.  BSOD over night every night over night.  i had the latest drivers etc.  Once I got it set up on the home server things worked without issue on the two windows media boxes.  The home server only has a Pent. D process with 6gb of ram and the 64 bit version of hm srv 2011.  Everything is stable and happy.  Keep up the good work here.

I have a quick question.  I also have a WHS2011 set up w/ the Ceton installed and working perfectly (I have another on its way).  I have 4G of ram intalled in the machine (3.5G after the IGP uses some), I was looking at the WHS resource monitor last night and noticed nearly all of the ram is in use.  Should I install another 4G of ram (2 slots are spare)?  If I don't will this sevearly affect the WHS performance?  With the exception of not having DE, WHS 2011 is working great for me.

I think the OS makes all the RAM look like it is being used when it is not. I found this after a quick search.

http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsvailbeta/thread/a91fd355-d899-48a7-8b55-1bcd84d4db47/

It looks like 8Gb is the max but anything over 4Gb is overkill. But with RAM getting so cheap these days and if it helps even a little it might be worth it. And who knows what the next service pack will add.

PAPutzback wrote:

I think the OS makes all the RAM look like it is being used when it is not. I found this after a quick search.

http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whsvailbeta/thread/a91fd355-d899-48a7-8b55-1bcd84d4db47/

It looks like 8Gb is the max but anything over 4Gb is overkill. But with RAM getting so cheap these days and if it helps even a little it might be worth it. And who knows what the next service pack will add.

 

Thanks.  Since it's working fine I will hold off on more RAM and just get the 2nd Ceton up and running unless I start seeing issues. 

Great guide thank you Aaron.

Just wanted to thank you guys for posting this.  Helped me install my Ceton into my WHS and share with my laptop and HTPC with ease!

Hardest part was getting Cox Cable to correctly enter the host/data id's.

Cool

Just to confirm, does this require a separate NIC available, or is onboard ethernet via the mobo effective?

Thanks.

If your onboard NIC is sufficient, then you may use it. It's at least worth a try to see if your results are satisfactory.

Has anybody had a HTPC with a Centon PCIe card with all 4 tuners assigned to that pc, and then add 4 additional networked turners that are in a whs 2011 pc?  I'm trying to do this right now but I'm running into an issue(Drunk.  I've paired the 4 whs network turners, but they are not able to tune a channel, ceton diagnostics stalls at step 10- "CableCARD Entitlement."  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

WMC will only let you have a max of 4 tuners unless you use some thing like TunerSalad, then you can go over the 4 tuner limit.

Thank you so much for the response!

The latest Ceton driver (from October 2011) sets the WMC tuner limit to 30.  TunerSalad is not required.

 

This guide was perfect.  I now have my Ceton in my WHS 2011 and being split between 2 htpc's.  THey both work fine but have to issues.

1. I set tuner 1 and 2 for HTPC A and 3 and 4 for HTPC B.  But when I run Ceton Diagnostic on each HTPC. They show  Tuner 1 for HTPC A and Tuner 2 and 3 for HTPC B and tuner 4 not assigned.  I confirmed that all tuners work and record with no problem. Should I be concerned?

 

2.  How do you fix Web access for the WHS 2011 with the bridge in place? can it be fixed? I've looked around the net for an answer and really cant find anything. Any one out there that could give me pointers?

 

Thanks

1.  You might want to run through assigning the tuners again.

2.  What is wrong w/ your WHS2011 web access??  Are you refering to using the Dashboard or accessing it as a web page to browse your files and stream media?

I have two cards bridged in my WHS2011 machine and my Dashboard, remote web access and streaming work perfectly.  I use DynDNS for my URL (my_homeserver_name.dyndns.org) to access from outside my home network.  You might try accessing it while on your home network by using the IP you assigned to your network bridge by entering this address into your browser [ xyz.xyz.xyz.xyz/remote ] and see if the remote web access is working.  If not, check that it is still enabled in the server settings.  If it is set in the server settings, turn it off and then back on again.

Let us know how it goes.

@phoneguy...

Thanks for the quick reply!

1. I unassigned and then reassigned still the same problem.  I noticed that in Ceton web access under system tab that the Default IP Settings DHCP server somehow got checked.  (step 7 for thw whs 2011 install) I unchecked this and rechecked the DHCP client.  I then unassigened all tuners - rebooted - then reassigned and still have the problem.  Funny thing is that all 4 tuners work as they should.

 

2.  Yup. Talking about remote web access.   I set up my domain through MS. It worked perfectly until I installed the tuners and set up the bridge.   I will try your suggestion and report back. 

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

I tried accessing the server while on home network and it worked. But away from my network and using Windows homeserver address I'm not having luck.  When I log into the dashboard I still get an error message saying that the server isn't connected to the internet.  

Not sure what to do next.

One thing to check is whether you have the proper gateway or DNS settings. If you RDP to your server and open up a cmd window and type "route print" look for the 0.0.0.0 entry in your table. Is it there, is it assigned to the proper interface and is the gateway address proper?

Once the gateway is verified, take a look at DNS. From the cmd prompt, type "ipconfig /all" and check the appropriate interface for DNS server entry.

 

Aaron nailed it.  I'm not sure how the MS domain servers work, but with DynDNS there is an updater program that is installed on my WHS.  When ever it detects that my external IP has changed it updates DynDNS's servers, so when I enter my URL, DynDNS knows what IP to route it to.  I was also able to get my Homeserver.com URL to work as well.  Do what Aaron said and see what come up.

I also get a message that my WHS is not connected to the internet (I inhibited that alarm).  I believe that it is caused by the fact that the NIC is no longer the device that is doing the communicating but rather the MAC bridge port that got created and that you assigned your network IP to.

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