Sharing your InfiniTV 4 over the network is now a wizard away

The only thing better than an HTPC with a CableCARD tuner is multiple HTPCs with multiple CableCARD tuners. Neither is exactly inexpensive, so it makes sense that you'd want to somehow share the love between PCs. Now while all CableCARD tuners for Media Center are technically network tuners, actually connecting to another PC via the network wasn't possible in the old CableLabs spec. Of course specs don't deliver by themselves, and now Ceton's stab at tuner sharing is officially available in the way of a Network Tuner setup Media Center plug-in. Once you upgrade the firmware of your InfiniTV 4 and install the app, you can launch it from within Media Center and easily configure which tuners will be used locally and which will be used remotely. Then you re-run the wizard on the remote PC and record away. Of course it is a bit more involved than that and still isn't the dynamic tuner pool that many long for, but click on through to learn why.

Overall it is pretty simple process, you install the Media Center add-in like any other, run through it with your Media Center remote selecting which NIC and InfiniTV tuners you want to use locally and it even configures your firewall for you -- it creates a new network device which defaults to DHCP, which could be a problem if you use a static IP. After a few minutes of applying settings, you are prompted to run the Media Center TV Setup as the wizard clears out the old configuration. At this point configuring Media Center's TV setup is exactly the same as before, except with less tuners. Then on a second or third box you install the same add-in and run the quick wizard where this time it finds the shared tuner you configured on the main PC -- you can share between multiple PCs in multiple directions as well.

It is a quick and simple way to easily share one InfiniTV 4 tuner to a second PC (for example), and its much simpler than trying to configure network bridging manually. We assume this is simply the first of many builds and that future versions will fill in even more missing pieces required for all the Media Center PCs in our house to play together, but for now we're enjoying some ESPN HD via WiFi while we wait.