CableCARD On Approved PCs Only, Thomas Hawk and Jim Allchin

(Thomas Hawk) Dinner With Microsoft Exec Jim Allchin
| Thomas Hawk got the
chance to have dinner with Jim Allchin
again a few days ago.  I would encourage
everyone to read Thomas’ write-up since I’m only going to cover part of it.

Thomas: “Although
as a platform Vista has been approved by CableLabs at this point, an important
step that will still be necessary for the PC/CableCARD reality is CableLab’s
approval for finshed individual OEM PCs as well. Although Vista
has been approved, OEMs will in fact still need to get their individual
machines certified by CableLabs as well. Central to this certification
according to Jim is the idea of a “protective path.” “

So, Allchin has confirmed that OEM PCs as a whole will have
to be certified.  This likely means that
you will not be able to build a PC yourself that will work with
CableCARDs.  Apparently Jim said “protective
path” is a big part of this, and if you have ever read my blog you should know
a thing or two about that.

Thomas: “Getting
something approved through CableLabs is no easy task and this will very much
favor the larger OEMs who have the funds, resources and clout to get this done.
Jim said to expect to see the CableLabs approved PCs out from the big guys
first but reiterated his commitment to smaller OEMs in fighting for them to
also get their machines CableLabs approved as well. Jim said that Microsoft
would fight clawing and scratching for these smaller OEMs. It will be
interesting to see between now and Fall what that will mean.”

Funds?  Interesting
part there.  Are we to think that for a
PC to be certified it will have to be submitted to CableLabs on approved
testing dates and pay to have it tested? 
I don’t remember the amount, but having a product tested by CableLabs
comes with a rather large price tag.

Update: Is
Allchin Mistaken on CableCARD Facts?

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3 thoughts on “CableCARD On Approved PCs Only, Thomas Hawk and Jim Allchin

  1. That’s a pretty big and bad news for htpc fans cause many of them are building their media centers.
    It’s gonna sucks big time if for having cablecard you have to buy a Sony etc.. media center.
    Hope this changes.

  2. If DirectTV comes out with a card as eluded to by Sean Alexander, I’ll move off of cable without any regrets. I just want my HTPC and HDTV.

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