If you want to record digital cable, including high-def content, you don’t have many options. You can use a cable company DVR, a TiVo Series3 or TiVo HD, or a Vista Media Center PC – and that’s about it. And not just any Vista Media Center PC, but one that is CableLabs certified and have the correct firmware to enable digital cable tuning. While Vista Media Center supports up to for CableCARD tuners, most of the PCs have just one or two – and the tuners haven’t been sold separately, so users have been out of luck trying to add more.
That looks like it has finally changed, as SonyStyle.com is selling the ATI Wonder CableCARD tuner as the ‘VAIO Digital TV Tuner’ for $299.99.
Yes, that’s right – one tuner, just the tuner, costs more than an entire dual-tuner TiVo HD. And you need an expensive, approved Vista Media Center PC to connect this tuner to. Yeah… I just don’t see the value here.