Sunday, August 15, 2010

CableCard Likely Coming to Non-MediaCenter HTPCs

Ceton CableCard

HTPC Enthusiasts, listen up.  TheDigitalMediaZone broke some pretty exciting news Sunday afternoon for all Home Theater PC users!

CableCard for all HTPC

The first of this is important to SageTV, MythTV and many other HTPC software users because it opens up CableCard to non-Microsoft MediaCenter users to an extent.  I’ve been hearing talk of this for a while from different people so it’s not a total surprise except I didn’t expect it so soon.

As described by Adam at DigitalMediaZone:

“What this means is that other HTPC software will be able to utilize CableCard tuners for Copy Freely content.  While this won’t get you HBO or Showtime in SageTV or Myth, it will get you any content that your cable company has not flagged with copy restrictions.”

Actually the channels flagged as do-not-copy will likely vary from one Cable company to another, but I would expect to see the pay channels like HBO blocked eventually if they aren’t already.  But getting channels like ESPNHD, USAHD and many others would satisfy many.  SiliconDust had been asking for this and reportedly had meetings with CableLabs just last week since this ability was key for their networked CableCard tuners to work. 

Watch for more information about CableCard developments related to SageTV and MythTV.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see some sort of CableCard support to MythTV & SageTV before 2010 is over!

UPDATE:  Mike from MissingRemote notes that this is important to many MediaCenter users as well because as more Media Center users get rid fo their old extenders and replace them with multiple HTPCs, they can easily share Recorded TV with the copy freely channels.

CableCard Tuner Sharing

The other CableCard news from DigitalMediaZone is big as well.  MediaCenter users will rejoice to hear that CableLabs has approved Tuner Sharing in OCUR devices.  So you’ll be able to install multiple tuners in a single, MediaCenter PC and use those tuners on other MediaCenter PCs in the home.  This one will be available to Ceton CableCard users via firmware update according to Jeremy Hammer, VP of Systems Integration for Ceton. 

Really exciting news all around for HTPC enthusiasts.

Full story at theDigitalMediaZone