CableLabs Confirms Tuning Adaptor Support in Media Center (Kind of)

Good news, OCURs (can) support Tuning Adapters.  Bad news, OCUR is an open spec and the fact
that they “can” doesn’t mean a whole lot. 
recently addressed the issue (PDF)
with the two fantastic (ok, maybe not) bits of information below.  Pair
that with Microsoft’s own fantastic response
from a few months ago and the
bottom line is not to expect a Tuning Adapter mixed with an OCUR any time soon.

If things work the
way I think they will
then we are waiting for one of two things to happen.

Possibility A:
CableLabs updates the specs for the TA/TR to clearly state that it can work
with OCURs using the PC as a hub.  ATI
provides a firmware update for the OCURs to work and Microsoft updates Windows
and Media Center to allow it to work.

Possibility B: ATI
or some other company releases new OCURs (eg. New hardware) with the correct
firmware upgrades and USB port configuration to work with the current TR specs.  Microsoft provides an update for Media Center
because CableLabs is suggesting it will be needed.

Judging by CableLabs verbiage in the below statements, I
think a bit more than a Tuning Adapter connecting to the PC is involved.  It isn’t a good sign when the main entity
behind these things is saying that a timeline for development hasn’t been
identified.  Stay tuned for some other
changes CableLabs is making.

Can existing DTVs, STBs or OCURs by upgraded
to support the Tuning Adapter?

“Existing one-way products that already include an USB port may be able to be upgraded by the
manufacturer to support the Tuning Adapter. 
Some manufacturers have announced plans for much upgrades.  For more information, check with the
manufacturer of your unidirectional Digital Cable Product.”

Will the Tuning
Adapter work with a Vista PC that is equipped with a Digital Cable Tuner?

“The TRIF specification is designed so that it can also with
a Vista PC that is equipped with a Digital Cable Tuner.  However
the timing for the development, availability and support of compatible products
depends upon the PC and OCUR manufacturers’ schedule, as well as necessary
upgrades provided by Microsoft.”

4 thoughts on “CableLabs Confirms Tuning Adaptor Support in Media Center (Kind of)

  1. Well I would be more upset if I was Time Warner or Comcase considering what the FCC has done to them regarding cablecard support. If there is a push to get tuning adapters, it’ll come from the cable companies who at the present are required to supply (without charge so far) to their customers.

    Without an adapter, it’ll hold up SDV in that market. Perhaps TW or Comcast will get Moto or SA to make a BOCR!

  2. It will be a depressing day if possibility B comes true. Better than nothing, but i will NOT be buying two new OCURs.
    But the fact that you have found a distant light at the end of the tunnel is great! Thanks Chris

  3. All the more reason why I still use a TiVo HD.

    Microsoft really has failed to give early adopters in CableCARD a fair shake.

    We still don’t know when CableCARD DRM will be removed, conforming to the policy set almost a half a year ago.
    We still don’t know if CableCARD owners will get official TV Pack 2008 updates from their OEMs.
    We still don’t know if a CableCARD system sold 24 hours from now will support SDV, which will be coming to most people in the next year.

    Why anyone would buy a CableCARD system right now, is really beyond me. TiVo has answered all of these questions from day one (literally). Why Microsoft won’t answer any of these questions for over six months is beyond me.

    It does make my purchasing recommendations easy however.

  4. I agree, I just got pc with CableCard, Vista, but MCE still very lacking. I have been part of comunity since 2004 and still seems like a waste of time and money. Now we are waiting for W7 to fix it?? I am ready to give up again.

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