Sharing Ceton InfiniTV Tuners with Client HTPC Systems

Nov 05 2010

Update

Please see our new guide for the official Ceton Network Tuner Wizard which makes the procedure outlined in this guide much simpler and virtually fool-proof.

ceton-network-static.jpg

We have good news, and we have some bad news. The good news is that Ceton has graciously allowed MissingRemote.com to publish a guide to Tuner Sharing with the Ceton InfiniTV beta firmware.  The bad news is that it is still in beta. 

What does that mean to you? Unless you are already part of the beta program you will not be able to utilize the HTPC bliss that is shared Digital Cable tuners. Before anyone starts scouring the Internet for the beta firmware, your InfiniTV serial numbers needs to be registered as part of the beta program for the firmware to install, don’t waste your time.

Assuming the bad news has not completely discouraged you, read on to see what we have in store.

Before I go any further it is important to note that this is a beta firmware.  Not everything will work perfectly and some features may be added or removed before it is released to the public.  Also note that there is no way to revert back to an older firmware so proceed at your own risk.  The beta firmware has worked very well for me but if you are not willing to accept some potential missed recordings or an occasional reboot, do yourself a favor and wait for the production firmware. MissingRemote.com is not responsible for any damage done by this guide to your beloved HTPC...sorry!

For the entirety of the guide I am going under the assumption that you already have the beta firmware installed and have rebooted.  I will make every effort to note areas that I believe will differ from the final firmware and feature set.

Let's get started. The first portion of the guide will focus on the PC with the InfiniTV physically installed in it--I will refer to it as the Host PC.  The second portion will walk you through any steps needed on Client HTPCs for Media Center to discover and use the InfiniTV. 

Network bridging steps on the Host PC

  1. Open Device Manager and go to the Network Adapters section. You will see your Ceton InfiniTV there. Right click it and select properties.

  2. Update: This step is may not be needed depending on the firmware.

    Go to the "Advanced" tab and select "Support Bridging." On the right side select "Yes" in the drop-down menu and hit OK.

    hostpc-enabled-bridging.jpg

  3. 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.

    hostpc-device-webpage.jpg

  4. Under the System tab there is a next section under the MAC Address, is a hyperlink called "Network Settings." 

    ceton-network-setup.jpg

    Clicking the hyperlink will take you to http://192.168.200.1/Services/NetworkSetup.html

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

  6. You now have to choose between static IP address or enabling the DHCP Client.  Either will work however, I highly suggest static IP address.  Windows 7 does a great job of handling network discovery but why risk network discovery issues or delayed DHCP responses preventing a recording?

    ceton-network-static.jpg

    Note: Unlike Windows the Netmask (aka Subnet Mask) will not automatically update to the appropiate value.  Most users will need to use 255.255.255.0.  I am a 10-net fan myself.

    Please ensure you assign an unused IP address in your network subnet.  I'll add instructions soon but the easiest thing to do is: 1- Enable DHCP Client; 2- See what IP address was provided; 3- Setup a static IP address using the address used.  Most home users will have an IP address in the 192.168.1.x-192.168.1.255 range.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    network-connections.jpg

    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.

  10. The result will be a new device called a "Network Bridge."  That is your PC's primary connection to your network now.  As above, I highly recommend setting up a static IP address on your Network Bridge.  What I don't lke about the Windows Network Bridge implementation is that 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.  If you need help configuring a static IP address please let us know in the comments and I'll help out.

  11. To confirm your Ceton InfiniTV is working properly as a bridged device try accessing the InfiniTV device webpage as shown above in step #3.  The device webpage should be available from any compter on your network.

  12. That completes the Host PC portion of the network bridging setup.

    Note: You will need to run the Client HTPC portion of the setup found below on the Host PC if it will be used as an HTPC. It is not required if you do not plan to use the Host PC as a HTPC.

Steps on the Media Center Client HTPC to find and configure the networked tuners

  1. Download and install "Mikinho's InfiniTV Network Tuner Config."  You will be able to download the setup from the comments below.

    Note: You you will need to be logged in as a registered user to download the attachment.  Please do not redistribute the tool without my consent.  It should also be considered a beta product.

  2. Once installed run the "InfiniTV Network Tuner Config" via your start menu.  The tool requires administrative rights so if you have UAC enabled (everyone should) you will be prompted to allow the tool to run.  If it is your first time running you will also need to the tool access through the firewall.

    network-disabled.jpg

  3. The first thing you will need to do is enable your primary network adapter under the Network Cards tab so Media Center will know to use it for OCUR network tuner discovery.

    network-enabled.jpg

     

  4. Select "Apply" and proceed to the Tuners tab.

    If this is your first time running the tool or you have added or removed an InfiniTV continue on, otherwise skip to step #7.   

  5. Select "OCUR Unregister."  This will take approximately 30 seconds.

    tuners-not-discovered.jpg

  6. Select "OCUR Discovery."  Again the process should take approximately 30 seconds.

    tuners-discovered.jpg

    After that complets you should see the discovered status from each tuner now set to "Yes"

  7. Enable each tuner you want made available to Media Center.  I highly suggest assigning specific tuners per Client HTPC and excluding those from the Host PC.

    tuners-enabled.jpg

  8. Select "OK" and launch Windows Media Center.

  9. You will need to setup the InfiniTV4 the same as your would on the Host PC. This means running (and passing) the Digital Cable Advisor, installing PlayReady, and running through the CableCARD activation screens. If you have previously activated your CableCARD on the Host PC you will NOT need to do it again.

  10. When you run through the Media Center setup you should only see the tuners you enabled in step #7.

    media-center-06.jpg

     

And that is it! Enjoy your network shared InfiniTV tuner. The tool takes care of the firewall exclusions, network interface setting and OCUR discovery tasks.

Also note that the current implementation is not a shared tuner pool. If a Client HTPC attempts to use a tuner from the Host PC pool you will disconnect the tuner from the Host PC and possibly mark it as inactive in the Host PC tuner pool. A future firmware may change this behavior. For now, I highly recommend assigning tuners to a single Client HTPC.

Please leave any comments, questions or feedback on this guide below.

Special thanks to Ceton for involving us in the beta program, and Ylian Saint-Hilaire and Intel for the Developer Tools for UPnP™ Technologies. Makes UPnP development from C# painless.

Comments

Mike I have a question. My ceton Tuner has been ocassionaly disapearing until I restart my PC (This is before I did any of the steps above) which makes Media Center show "Tuner is not available".

I was researching network discovery issues when I ran accross this article.

If the reason my Ceton tuner is disappearing is due to network discovery issues will setting a static IP address possible address this problem?

Are you using the beta firmware?

Yes I am. I am currently on the latest Beta Release.

HW Revision 4447

Beta FW: 1.0.1.48

If this topic is not appropriate for comment on this page please let me know and I will send you a pm on here or TGB instead. I am not exactly sure since its related to the article and at the same time its also related to something else.

The static IP address does help, especially if you use sleep or hibernate as you will get a new IP address.

But there is also an issue with the beta itself that is being worked on.

My HTPC is on 24/7 unless something goes wrong (Like the tuner disappears in network). I am not even sure its a network discovery problem or a combination with that and something else.

All I know is that I will come home from work and cant tune any channels or I miss a recording. Then I will check Network in windows and the Tuner will not be there. The only way it seems to come back is restarting windows.

That's what made me think that maybe it was disappearing due to some Network discovery/Ceton DHCP server issue.

I had that on an earlier beta firmware. How are you case temps?

What I did before was a script that if the Ceton disappeared it would auto-reboot. I'm sure the final product won't have the issue.

What type of script was it? I would be very interested in writing something like that for the interim until this issue gets resolved.

How did you query the status of the Ceton Device for your script (ping or something else) ?

Oh and last time I checked my case temps were in the 57 Celsius range.

I query for the network interface.

I'll send it tonight if interested, just send me a reminder if you don't get it =)

If yo install my shutdown plug-in for Media Center it will also give you the option to cancel the reboot from within Media Center if someone happens to be using it.

Sweet that will help a ton. Do you want me to just send you a pm on this site or TGB?

Where do I find your shutdown plug-in for media center?

Thanks in advance by the way. Smile

Here, I'm not on TGB that much anymore.

You can download the plugin from http://mikinho.com/wmc/abort-system-shutdown/

Where is the "Mikinho's InfiniTV Network Tuner Config" I am logged in but I dont see the tool?

DBayPlaya2k3 wrote:
Where is the "Mikinho's InfiniTV Network Tuner Config" I am logged in but I dont see the tool?

Guess we missed that one! It's been resolved now, and the attachment is at the bottom of the post.

Thanks for the heads up!

Let me know if you have any issues with the tool.  Or feedback.

Mike have you had a chance to find tha script to moniter the Ceton?

DBayPlaya2k3 wrote:

Mike have you had a chance to find tha script to moniter the Ceton?

 

I sent it via e-mai last Thursday.  I'll attach it to this thread.

You can send it to me via pm if you would like. I dont know if the pm system allows you to attach scripts however.

Well if it doesn't I'll make it so it does Smile

You'll need to give me a few hours, I rebuilt my home server over the week getting ready for #HoustonWinMeet and haven't finished so I'm offline.

Yeah I understand that. I plan on eventually trying out Vail on mine its currently running the standard WHS PP3. I love that Vail seems to have better support for Raid (at least in my inital testing).

Well as always thanks for your help.

Will this method negate the need for a media center extender? If I assign a tuner to a PC in the bedroom can I use that tuner to watch tv while using the other tuners on the host pc? Thanks for your time.

dpohlma wrote:

Will this method negate the need for a media center extender? If I assign a tuner to a PC in the bedroom can I use that tuner to watch tv while using the other tuners on the host pc? Thanks for your time.

Bingo! Smile Just remember, if you set a Tuner to your Bedroom, then your Host PC can't use it...for now

That is AWESOME!!!!! Goodbye extra cable boxes! Now I just need to get my tuner card delivered. I ordered it on 10-8-10. Then the HTPC build can begin.

dpohlma wrote:

That is AWESOME!!!!! Goodbye extra cable boxes! Now I just need to get my tuner card delivered. I ordered it on 10-8-10. Then the HTPC build can begin.

*cough* BUILD LOG in the forums! *cough* Cool

I get an error when trying to extract the files that is invalid.

Yeah, the client configuration utility attachment is corrupted.

I just tested and it works. If you are using IE9 beta try a different browser, there is a bug w/ IE9 + attachments.

mikinho wrote:

I just tested and it works. If you are using IE9 beta try a different browser, there is a bug w/ IE9 + attachments.

I just tested with Firefox and it worked. IE8 on 2 different machines failed though.

i try to setup the host pc to use only 3 tuners (#1,#2,#3) and reserve #4 for my laptop.  On the host pc, when i re setup the tv signal, it (host pc) still find 4 tuners.  Isn't suppose to find only 3 instead?

ptranluu wrote:

i try to setup the host pc to use only 3 tuners (#1,#2,#3) and reserve #4 for my laptop.  On the host pc, when i re setup the tv signal, it (host pc) still find 4 tuners.  Isn't suppose to find only 3 instead?

It is.  Depending on the timing and whether Media Center setup has been previously configured the disable does not.

There is an update that fixes it but I have two changes left to make on it before distributing.

Ok, good to know. Will wait for your update.  Thanks!

You could try resetting media center that worked for me but you have to redo your scheduling and stuff. 

Love what you've done here.  Thanks for making the configuration tool!  I updated to latest drivers (1.0.1.18) and latest beta FW (1.0.1.49) and things don't seem to be working so well (incidentally on HW Rev 4374).  I removed my network bridge before updating the FW so I started from scratch.  Renabled the bridge, and all of the tuner sharing settings.  Used your tool to configure tuner sharing (3 on my physical PC with the Ceton card, and 1 for a remote PC) and all went well.  When trying to watch TV however, I keep getting "Weak Signal" errors on the other PC, meaning I think there is tuner contention going on even though I had reallocated the tuners post-SW upgrade (and yes, reran Media Center TV setup).  Also having major problems with Windows Firewall, finally had to turn it off entirely on the physical PC with Ceton card.  In any case doesn't look like sharing is working, there is tuner contention, even when allocating them via your tool.  Understand that this is all beta, but wanted to provide some feedback :-)  Feel free to ping me if you want further detail.  Thanks again!

smathur wrote:

Love what you've done here.  Thanks for making the configuration tool!  I updated to latest drivers (1.0.1.18) and latest beta FW (1.0.1.49) and things don't seem to be working so well (incidentally on HW Rev 4374).  I removed my network bridge before updating the FW so I started from scratch.  Renabled the bridge, and all of the tuner sharing settings.  Used your tool to configure tuner sharing (3 on my physical PC with the Ceton card, and 1 for a remote PC) and all went well.  When trying to watch TV however, I keep getting "Weak Signal" errors on the other PC, meaning I think there is tuner contention going on even though I had reallocated the tuners post-SW upgrade (and yes, reran Media Center TV setup).  Also having major problems with Windows Firewall, finally had to turn it off entirely on the physical PC with Ceton card.  In any case doesn't look like sharing is working, there is tuner contention, even when allocating them via your tool.  Understand that this is all beta, but wanted to provide some feedback :-)  Feel free to ping me if you want further detail.  Thanks again!

 

This is why I turned mine off, it seems that it was giving me the weak siganl error on all the machines. I do have a gigabit network switch and can use 2 extenders at the same time with no problem but the Ceton streaming will not work without it being flaky.

A new version of the config tool is being tested.  It fixes both issues.

For now to fix the firewall run the below from an administrative command prompt.

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TV Tuner Device (UPnP-In)" dir=In Profile=Private LocalIP=Any RemoteIP=Any Protocol=TCP LocalPort=2869 RemotePort=Any Edge=No action=Allow
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TV Tuner Device (SSDP-In)" dir=In Profile=Private LocalIP=Any RemoteIP=Any Protocol=UDP LocalPort=1900 RemotePort=Any Edge=No action=Allow
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TV Tuner Device (RTP-In)"dir=In Profile=Private LocalIP=Any RemoteIP=Any Protocol=UDP LocalPort=5001-5016 RemotePort=Any Edge=No action=Allow
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TV Tuner Device (WMDRM-Out)" Direction=Out Profile=Private LocalIP=Any RemoteIP=Any Protocol=UDP LocalPort=Any RemotePort=5757-5772 Edge=No Action=Allow
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TV Tuner Device (RTSP-Out)" Direction=Out Profile=Private LocalIP=Any RemoteIP=Any Protocol=TCP LocalPort=Any RemotePort=554 Edge=No Action=Allow
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TV Tuner Device (UPnP-Out)" Direction=Out Profile=Private LocalIP=Any RemoteIP=Any Protocol=TCP LocalPort=Any RemotePort=2869 Edge=No Action=Allow
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TV Tuner Device (SSDP-Out)" Direction=Out Profile=Private LocalIP=Any RemoteIP=Any Protocol=UDP LocalPort=Any RemotePort=1900 Edge=No Action=Allow

Hope that helps and subscribe to this thread for updates.

mikinho wrote:

A new version of the config tool is being tested.  It fixes both issues.

I am not sure which two issues you are referring to.  I assume one is the firewall because you quoted that.  Is the other issue the "weak signal" issue?

@ Mikinho

 

Any idea of when the tuner sharing firmware will be going public??  My card is arriving shortly and I've been drooling over making this happen with my FIOS.

Anxiously waiting.........  card up and running for awhile now, but I need to dedicate a tuner to the bedroom...

 

and THANK YOU!!! 

My best guess is to keep an eye out on Ceton at CES for an announcement...what better time?

Hello, I'm experiencing some problems setting this up.  I do have the Ceton card running on the beta firmware. when I go to the Device Manager and look at the Ceton properties, there is no "advanced" tab showing.  Guessing I have a newer beta firmware version that by default allows bridging? 

In your instruction for setting up the "bridged network", can you help me set up a static IP address?

Thank you,

Bill

PS I hope I don't make you regret your quote, " If you need help configuring a static IP address please let us know in the comments and I'll help out."Smile

 

I also have the latest beta firmware and it doesn't have an advanced tab.  I was able to follow your directions and get a tuner shared, however.  I do see a couple problems.

  • I cannot seem to get a static IP setup on the bridge.  It will work when I configure it.  I can ping that address from another box.  However, I seem to lose internet access unless I go back to DHCP.
  • I set this up and tested on my MC that has the infinitv in it and it was working.  Although, I set it up for on 3 tuners available, it still said 4 when I went through tuner setup.  I setup the remote MC PC for 1 tuner and that did say 1 tuner during the tuner setup.  I went back into the network tuner config on the main MC and it said three were enabled, but the one that was disabled was just blank.  I tried to set it to disabled again, but when I go back in it is blank.
  • I tested my main MC before connected the remote and the tuner was working well.  I setup the other MC and it was working.  However, when I come back to the main now it said weak signal.  I tried other channels but later got viewing or listening conflict error.  (this may be related to a different problem I am working on)

Thanks for the great instructions.  Even though I am have a few issues, I am really excisted to have this functionality because my other MC only has OTA and my cable company copy protects everything except local channels so I cannot even watch one of my recorded shows on that MC.  Plus I don't think I would be able to go through the expense and hassle of getting another cable card setup going there because I have to buy the card and have three cable runs for it and another two tuning adapters.

I may have got past being able to setup the static IP on the bridge.  I removed the bridge and then removed the static IP that was configured on my NIC.  Then, I recreated the bridge and configured the static IP.  It now seems that it is working correctly.  

Do either of you still need help?  I was at CES for the last few days and it was extremely hectic so I apologize for the delayed response.  I'm actually on a flight en route back home right now.  Love in-flight WiFi

Michael,  What is the firmware version that eneables tuner sharing??

It is still only in the beta.  The most current beta is slightly different than the guide above though, the option to do network bridging is not no longer visible since it is always enabled now.

Hello,

Trying to share one tuner with a client PC. W7 on both machines.

The MC on the client doesn't see the tuner. I looked at the device manager and he tuner doesn't show either but I'm not sure if it supposed to.

 

I ran the cablecard advisor as well as installed the Play Ready.

 

Any ideas?

 

 

I was getting the weak signal issue.  It seems to have gone away.  I though it was because the remote MC was not tuning -- My wife said it wasn't working.  However, I just went to check on it and it is currently tuned and recording a show.  I guess I'll wait and see if the crops up again.

The other issue I had was that even through I disabled the 4th tuner on my main MC, it said 4 tuners when I went through setup.  I check the network config again and it was still set to 3.  (although the 4th tuner just showed blank instead of disabled)  Do you think I should go through the tuner setup again?  BTW, the remote MC did correct detect only the 1 tuner.

I am not sure I understand the ramifications of not having that tuner disabled.  It is just leave open the possibility of tuning to another channel from two different MC?

BTW, thanks for the guide and the config app.  This is really awesome.

I was going to try to reconfigure my main MC again now, but it still say 4 tuners even though I only enabled 3.  Is it just telling me that there are 4 tuners on the card or that it will see all 4.  I assume this is a problem

Yep, its a timing issue.  It is fixed in the next version.  I made quite a bit of changes, releasing soon.

Thanks for the write-up.  I wasn't able to make it work.  I was able to bridge the connections but I wasn't able to access the infinitv diagnostic page after bridging, and the network config utility didn't work, wasn't able to unzip it.

There's a problem with the download via IE 8 or 9.  You need to download with Firefox or Chrome...  I don't know why-- it is what it is.

I followed all the steps and once I try to tune into a channel from the client pc playback stops on the host pc and I get "Weak TV Signal" on the host pc after it stops.  On the client pc i get "service is unavailable".

I applied the netsh commands from the 12/25 comment with no luck.  I ran the client setup tool on the client tool and only enabled tuner #4 (disabled others) but when I ran the WMC TV Signal setup it still says it found 4 tuners.  The Searching for channels returned 0 results although the guide populates just fine (I think that is normal).  I started to re-run tv signal setup on the host machine after running the client tool there and disabling tuner #4 and enabling the other 3 and it too said it found 4 tuners.

If i restart WMC on the host then it seems to grab the tuner again at least so as long as I dont try to tune from the client I'm good.

Cloising WMC onthe host and then trying to tune from the client results inthe same "service unavailable" message on the client.

The firewall was turned off on the host throughout all tests and I turned it off on the client for the last test (WMC not launched onhost) and got the same "service unavailable" message.

I'm on the 1.0.1.50 firmware and 4790 HW.

Not sure where to go from here?

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