Looks like my war with CableCARD might be over. CableLabs has gone official in saying that CableCARD no longer has to DRM all recordings made on a PC… even those that have not been copy-protected by the provider.
As I’ve covered in-depth on my blog, again and again, it made absolutely zero sense that TiVo HD is allowed to placeshift content all around the world via TiVoToGo, whereas the same CableCARD couldn’t do that when inserted directly into a PC. Worse, the gum-and-paperclip fix of physically pulling out the CableCARD to record local channels and analog cable just made CableCARD look pathetic.
Now the timer starts on when Microsoft will actually fix this. Rumor has it, they may have slipped it into the elusive TV Pack 2008 update for Windows Media Center. Microsoft is still checking on if it will be offered to end-users, I have been personally promised an update on that.
However, others report that the OCUR Tuners themselves will need a firmware update as well to unlock the DRM restriction.
All of this would be great… except I’m now locked in a contract with TiVo until April of next year. Who knows though? Maybe they’ll be doing away the the you-must-buy-a-new-PC requirement as well by then. Either way, I can definitely see myself replacing my Core 2 Duo HTPC with a Nehalem-based PC come April.
With DirecTV coming to Media Center as well… and QAM in the TV Pack 2008 update… Microsoft may finally be fixing the main objections to Windows Media Center.