Everyone is shocked to see this morning that Sony
is selling Digital Cable Tuners by themselves (Via Engadget) for
the low price of $300. Now, OEMs are only
supposed to sell you a DCT (OCUR) if you have purchased a PC from them, and as
Sony notes you will still need a “Unit already shipping with ATI TV Wonder
Digital Cable Tuner.”
It will be interesting to see how long this lasts. If you are interesting in picking one up,
remember you still have to have a CableCARD-ready PC for it to work. Just because you can buy the tuner doesn’t
mean it will work on your home built PC.
This does look like a nice option for those with HP/Sony
machines, as both OEMs decided only to ship single tuners machines.
Update: I wanted to
make it super clear for those who have not followed by CableCARD ramblings for
the last two years, this will not work in your PC unless you specifically purchased
a CableCARD-ready PC (you know if you did).
It will not work in a non-CableCARD-ready PC. It requires a special BIOS and second COA
(Product Key) to work, it doesn’t include these and you can’t get them without
the purchase of a new CableCARD-ready PC.
For more, see my Vista
Also, if someone was to hack the BIOS and COA, CableLabs and
Microsoft have external methods to disable it from working. Remember, half of the concept of a CableCARD
is to authenticate you to your cable companies network. Compromised methods can just be “turned off.” So, purchase at your own risk if you are
trying to hack it.
If you have a CableCARD PC currently, this tuner should work
fine as a second tuner