TunerSalad is a utility for use with Windows Media Center 7. In one click, the program updates the number of tuners you are allowed to use in Media Center. Under default settings, Windows Media Center allows for a maximum of four tuners of each type (whether they be ATSC, NTSC, CableCard, clearQAM, DVB-S, or any other specific tuner types). A six-tuner limit was available in an OEM version of Windows 7 called the "Advanced Entertainment Pack" specifically for system builders, but was not available to the public. Four tuners was more than enough given the tuner market a few years ago, where having more than four tuners of one type was cost-prohibitive for most. But with the advent of three and four-tuner CableCard devices, suddenly a large number of tuners was available to the masses.
TunerSalad was announced on MissingRemote.com on August 12th, 2010. It was preceeded by a mysterious tuna fish swimming around many forums at the original Green Button forums. TunerSalad automatically increased the limit on tuners to 8, to coincide with the release of the Ceton InfiniTV 4. In anticipation of the six-tuner model from SiliconDust- the HDHomerun Prime- "TunerSalad Footlong" was released in May of 2011, which allowed up to 12 tuners of each type. While the original TunerSalad was free, donations were few and far between, so TunerSalad Footlong switched to a shareware model, costing $5 for the program. The current version of TunerSalad can now increase the number to 32 tuners of each type.
Confusion over Tuners
TunerSalad claims to "remove the four tuner limit" in WMC and "enable" more tuners. Some WMC Enthusiasts incorrectly interpret this function of TunerSalad. Some believe that the program will magically give you more tuners on your computer. However, TunerSalad does not add new tuners to your system- it just allows you to use all of the tuners that you have. If you have one hardware tuner, then TunerSalad will not give you 8 or 12 tuners. If you have one "Ceton InfiniTV4" four-tuner card before installing TunerSalad, you will still have just one four-tuner card after installation. But if you have 8 hardware tuners, (for example, two Ceton InfiniTV4 cards) TunerSalad will allow you to use all 8, whereas by default, Media Center would only allow you to use four.
Shortly after the release of TunerSalad, MC users requested an "ExtenderSalad"- a way to increase the limit put in Media Center for extenders. Normal Media Center allows for 5 extenders; The Advanced Entertainment Pack doubled that limit. Unfortunately, the creator of TunerSalad never was able to figure out how to enable more than 5 extender sessions. He did, however, come up with a clever name for the never-to-be-released software.