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CableCARD uncertainty setting in?

November 28, 2005

Apparently a few other people are now wondering whether CableCARD support is going to really be available outside of designated pre-built MCE systems

Ed Bott writes in CableCARD and Media Center PCs: More questions than answers:

Does this mean that CableCARD-ready Media Center PCs will only be available from name-brand PC makers? If so, this is an unwelcome step backwards. The best news of last year was Microsoft’s move to make OEM copies of its Media Center software available to enthusiasts rather than forcing them to buy pricey name-brand systems.

The ideal solution will allow users on any Windows PC (assuming it meets the Media Center specs) to upgrade to Windows Vista, add a compatible TV tuner and CableCARD decoder. Expect screams of anguish if people buying high-powered PCs in the next year discover that there’s no CableCARD ugprade path.

No kidding.

There’s a bit of vague handwaving in the comments by some of the usual suspects, but the real question is becoming the same question we’re used to seeing where DRM is concerned, namely “How bad did the users get sold out to the content holders in order to make this happen?”

There’s plenty of evidence of other manufacturers drasticly affecting the user experience in order to make the CableCARD powers that be happy.

What makes us think Microsoft will be any different?

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