Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

CableCard Expected to Boost Vista Media Centers

CRN has an article about the new Digital Cable-ready Vista Media Centers that are beginning to "trickle into the market". Part of the article talks about some of the issues with CableCard support in Windows, most of them around the issues with OEMs and certification.

It's important to note that most of the problems with CableCard are the fault of CableLabs, not Microsoft. The Media Center team had to jump through a million hoops just to get the support in Vista, and they're controlling the certification process. At this point, Microsoft is hoping that the Digital Cable Tuners really take off in the market, so that they have leverage against the cable conglomerates to deliver the features that customers (but not necessarily cable companies) want, which would include more OEMs.

I've been a DCT (formerly OCUR) beta tester for over a year now, and I can say that the benefits outweigh the current limitations. I'm hoping that in the future (hopefully in "Fiji"), our options for "fair use" of the recorded content will be expanded.



  • ac said:

    As long as its restricted to OEMs its useless IMHO. HDCP is broken so its not like you can't copy the stuff

    June 11, 2007 4:16 PM
  • Mike said:

    I am happy it’s a start... Yes, it is already long overdue, but it will be interesting to see if the price of cablecards jumps as this takes off.

    June 12, 2007 7:58 AM
  • AC: Have you actually used it yet? If you had, you'd know it's far from useless... unless your use is putting digital hi-def TV shows on YouTube.

    June 12, 2007 12:34 PM
  • mirobin said:

    The design (Dell, I'm especially looking at you), bright blue leds, and noise levels make current OEM media center products wholly unsuitable for use in a home theater environment.

    The only OEM media center I've ever seen that WAS designed as a piece of AV equipment had a price tag of $4000.

    I like hi-def content, but it isn't worth 4 mortgage payments ...

    June 18, 2007 11:43 AM