If you listen to this weeks Media
Center Show you heard Kevin Shields explain how
the “certification” process will kind-of work.
Here’s a quick summary of both what Kevin said on the show and what I
have learned over the past few weeks from my sources.
As Kevin said for OEM’s to ship a PC with CableCARD support
they will need to be actual OEM Partners with Microsoft. You can tell if a PC manufacturer is an OEM
Partner most of the time if the see the OEM Logo on their website. For example, Niveus Media has the “Microsoft
Platinum OEM” logo their website so they can offer PC’s with CableCARD which
they have already announced. System
Builders need not apply, so if you are like me and have a dummy System Builder
account from www.microsoft.com/oem
(which are free) you can’t get the needed license to have a PC with working
Now, about the certification crap. Let’s take a quick trip to what got us here,
including some quotes from Microsoft Exectuives.
Thomas Hawk had dinner with Jim Allchin, Thomas walked away with this “Although Vista
has been approved, OEMs will in fact still need to get their individual
machines certified by CableLabs as well.”
Now, those are Thomas words, not Jim’s but it was Allchin who
explained the process to Thomas.
have what Anand from Anandtech e-mailed me with saying “The OCUR device
itself is the only thing that is actually certified by CableLabs.”
Thanks to Anand for this.
we have the Stephen Speicher chat with Joe Belfiore where Joe said “The other part is that the entire system as
shipped by the OEM has to be, for the purposes of this discussion, “certified.”
The PC vendor has to notify CableLabs of the model of the PC that will be
“Digital Cable Ready” and indicate that its entire system from the graphics
card to the OCUR will support what is needed for things like the Emergency
Could just be me, but the two quotes from the Microsoft
Executives sure sounded like the “whole PC” would need to be sent to CableLabs
and “certified” before it could be sold.
over the cost to have a device “cerifited” by CableLabs early this
year and of course this added fuel to the fire.
Cut to today, and there doesn’t seem to be a certification process
for the whole PC though CableLabs! Only
ATI has to get the OCUR itself certified through CableLabs, but don’t get
excited about building your own machine yet, it’s still not going to happen.
As per above, you still need to be a Microsoft OEM Partner
to get “everything” you would need to activate the OCUR for use in Windows
Vista. Buying an OCUR off of eBay isn’t
going to cut it people.
So, after our year of waiting and some less then great
quotes from the people leading the teams there isn’t a PC certification process afterall
(Yay!). However, you still can’t build
your own PC with CableCARD support and it’s not likely you will ever be able
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