New CableCard function in equipped PCs will allow you to dump your cable box next year.
Microsoft today revealed a deal with a cable television consortium that
will allow PC vendors to offer digital-cable-ready Windows Media Center
PCs by next December. This move edged Microsoft a step closer to its
vision of offering a complete home digital entertainment system through
PCs running Windows XP Media Center Edition OS.
Microsoft has been working with Cable Television Laboratories
(CableLabs), a nonprofit cable-research consortium, for two years. The
technology partners have developed technology specifications for adding
support for a CableCard module on Windows Media Center PCs, according
to Justin Hutchinson, group product manager of the Windows client
division at Microsoft.
In addition, Microsoft and CableLabs have documented final approval of
Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) as the PC CableCard
module's content-protection technology. This will allow Media Center
PCs to receive one-way digital cable content from digital cable
providers without having to use a set-top box, Hutchinson said.
"It's really a first step in a relationship we're going to build
between Microsoft and the U.S. cable industry to deliver premium
digital content and high-definition content via digital cable to Media
Center PCs," Hutchinson said.
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