CableCARD to Get Relaxed DRM

It has always been hard to stomach the DRM variations that
CableLabs has set up between OCURs and UDCP devices like TiVo’s.  TiVo
gets the ability to have non-DRM recordings if the content provider hasn’t
flagged the broadcast at all whereas Media Center with CableCARD has to protect
everything no matter what.  This discrepancy might is ready to change.

recently unwrapped an update to the OCUR specs in which they appeared to have removed
the “Requirement to Protect Output of Content with No Protection Flags.”

Hard to say whether you will need the Windows
Media Center TV Pack
to take full advantage, but based
on what S1Digital is planning to ship
it would appear that at least
at first the TV Pack will be required.  There will also have to be a
Digital Cable Tuner update that would most likely allow shows not marked as
copy protected to skip the WMDRM process within the tuner.


14 thoughts on “CableCARD to Get Relaxed DRM

  1. Hmm… I guess at this point I’ll stick with my speculation that TV Pack is actually just an update to the Digital Cable (CableCard) version of Vista.

    If (BIG “if”) this is he case, I wonder if those of us who have already shelled out the extra cash for CableCard VMC over the last year will get in on the TV Pack goodness..

  2. There is no such thing as the “Digital Cable version of Vista.” That’s just a retail copy of Vista with a second product key that is input into Media Center (and the BIOS).

  3. Hmm… and now I know… and knowing is half the battle… Thanks.

    I’ll quit spouting off about it then, and wait like everyone else. 🙂

  4. great job with this site, Chris.

    I’d like to see an article devoted to Cablecard and laptops – which ones are available that support cableCard. Right now I’m using a standard Vista laptop with HDHomeRun and Comcast, but would like to figure out how to get all the HD didgital channels through VMC that Comcast Offers.

    BTW – using firewire and fireSTB driver fouled up regular recording in VMC really badly, such that Service Pack 1 had to be installed which thankfully straightened it out. firewire recording and the Comcast STB seems not ready for prime time. But maybe CableCard will get me where I want to go?

    thanks again.

  5. hd: I might be able to do a CableCARD with laptop article at some point, but really only Sony has one that I know they are shipping. Toshiba has one certified (I think), but I don’t know if it is still shipping. Having to connect a huge external tuner to a laptop isn’t a big market opportunity.

    DWAnderson: Thanks, fixed.

    Jeffrey: This might be a first. 🙂

  6. Is now a good time or a bad time to buy a Cable Card-equipped XPS 420? I’d like to pull the trigger but with the Media Center TV update and now with the tuner firmware update on the way…?…should I wait?

  7. Thanks for the info Chris. It seems to me that with lots of companies promoting the “desktop replacement,” and also selling laptops with tuners (my Toshiba included one, and HP promotes a laptop with Expresscard), that including CableCard with verification would be the next logical step. I guess not.



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