CableCARD Opens Up, but Does the Marketplace?

The news at CEDIA that CableCARD will now be open to all has got everyone worked up about Microsoft getting things right and that the platform is back where it needs to be.  However, while the news of CableCARD getting unlocked from OEM only machines is fantastic I’m not sure it chances much in the marketplace. First of all, AMD appears to be out of the marketplace which is actually a much bigger deal than people might think.  While this hasn’t been confirmed, reports out of CEDIA showed that AMD didn’t have a lot to say about CableCARD in general.  … Continue reading CableCARD Opens Up, but Does the Marketplace?

Microsoft Enhances the Digital Cable Experience and Names 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Winner

Customers get new capabilities, more options, and a better digital cable experience in Windows Media Center. ATLANTA, Sept. 9 — Today at CEDIA EXPO 2009, Microsoft Corp. discussed key Windows Media Center features for Windows 7 and announced a series of initiatives that enhance the digital cable experience in Windows Media Center. With the addition of native support for additional international broadcast TV standards, including QAM and ATSC, there will now be support for switched digital video (SDV), a new tool that will make it possible for end customers to add a digital cable tuner with CableCARD to their PC, … Continue reading Microsoft Enhances the Digital Cable Experience and Names 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Winner

OCURs Finally Approved for Tuning Adaptor Support

While I still haven’t seen specs updated to confirm how I believe CableLabs would handle Tuning Adaptor’s with OCURs , I can confirm that the next firmware release (in theory 1.19) will support Tuning Adaptors as CableLabs has officially approved all ATI OCURs as Tuning Adaptor ready (hooray for me being wrong!).  In addition the firmware should allow for less DRM on non-flagged CableCARD recordings.  Expect more next week at CEDIA. This is one of the very few predictions that Ben at Engadget HD made that I believe will come true.

Going Beyond The Enthusiast Market

Charlie Owen, a former Media Center team member wrote a post this week about Media Center expanding its marketplace, specifically going from the current enthusiast market to a more mainstream market.  Charlie analysis comes to the pretty simple answer of “It’s possible, but highly unlikely at this point.” I had previously come to this conclusion, but to me the real question is “will Microsoft attempt to develop for the enthusiast market?”  Lucky for me, Charlie replied to my comment with exactly what I was expecting Charlie: “No. That’s because they have never done so. The enthusiast market is always a … Continue reading Going Beyond The Enthusiast Market

CableCARD Takes First (Unofficial) Step to DIY PCs

A fair amount of headroom has recently been made for CableCARD support on non-OEM machines.  CableLabs regulations have limited only Microsoft approved OEMs to build and sell CableCARD machines using well outlined stipulations including a special BIOS and additional product key. Smart thinking guy’s at The Green Button cracked open the public CableLabs specs to find out more.  As I’ve talked about before, the BIOS is actually a OSFR table which in theory can be put in any motherboard BIOS.  Turns out Asus might have shipped a revision of their P5K with the table present and populated.  Two fun threads … Continue reading CableCARD Takes First (Unofficial) Step to DIY PCs

Ceton Gets Official with Industry First MOCUR

Microsoft might not have hit on it in their Media Center-less keynote, but there is one big change getting ready to happen.  Well over a year after it was first spotted, Ceton is out with the news that they will be shipping an MOCUR in 2009 (Via Media Center Blog). There are a few things that are unique to the Ceton MOCUR over the current ATI OCUR.  The first and most noticeable is the ability to use a single M-Card and tune at up 6 channels.  While most people know that M-Cards can offer multiple streams, not many know they … Continue reading Ceton Gets Official with Industry First MOCUR

Ceton Announces Development of Next-Generation Cable TV Card for PCs Running Windows Media Center

(Via Media Center Blog)  LAS VEGAS, NV — 01/08/09 — Ceton Corp., a Seattle-area technology company, today announced the development of the next-generation Ceton cable TV card for Windows Media Center-enabled PCs. PCs incorporating the Ceton Multi-Channel Cable TV Card will be able to natively support high-definition pay TV including premium cable TV channels, without the need for a separate cable set-top box, including playing or recording up to six simultaneous high-definition TV channels using a single multi-stream CableCARD(TM) and single RF connection. The Ceton solution also enables standard- and high-definition cable programming to be securely distributed from a Media … Continue reading Ceton Announces Development of Next-Generation Cable TV Card for PCs Running Windows Media Center

Short Bits: SideShow Remote, Big Screen Savings, Video Testimonial Program, More

Ricavision is officially dead now, but Phillips is sort-of taking their place with the SRM7500 SideShow Remote.  Hardly the eye candy that the Ricavision was, but at least it is shipping with a much lower price tag.  Clear downside here is the screen which will limit functionality. The Holidays are here and that means deals for you on Media Center plug-ins.  Up until January 15 you can save up to 40% off on Big Screen applications.  Speaking of deals, how about getting a free DV cam?  Microsoft has launched their Media Center Consumer Video Testimonial Program at The Green Button … Continue reading Short Bits: SideShow Remote, Big Screen Savings, Video Testimonial Program, More

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.  CableLabs 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 … Continue reading CableLabs Confirms Tuning Adaptor Support in Media Center (Kind of)

Microsoft Releases October Media Center Updates

October 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista (KB955519) Fixes an issue in which you cannot seek through recorded TV shows on Windows Media Center systems that have digital cable tuners. Additionally, the recorded TV shows display the incorrect length. Fixes an issue in which Windows Media Center Extenders cannot re-connect to a host computer after the host computer resumes from the suspend mode or the sleep mode. Fixes an issue which is introduced by KB950126. In this issue, a video that is paused may resume if you minimize or maximize the Windows Media Center window or if … Continue reading Microsoft Releases October Media Center Updates