Skip to content

Media Center CableCard Restrictions

February 17, 2007

Those people using Vista Media center to record HD cable TV shows using cable card will face DRM restrictions on such content that prevent it from being used on any other devices (although it can be streamed to Xbox 360’s running as Media Center Extenders). A side effect of implementing these restrictions makes it impossible for people to use CableCard tuners in a PC they build themselves. For restrictions that we have known about for many months, there is a surprising amount of hand wringing at the Green Button.

Although I would prefer not to see these restrictions, there are a number of reasons they don’t bother me that much:

  • These restrictions don’t apply to all content and there is a good chance they will only apply to premium content, maybe even only to HD Premium content.
  • I will be able to watch these DRM restricted files through Xbox 360 extenders on all of the other TVs in my house. I seldom really do anything else with such content, although the capability would be nice.
  • Given then speed with which DRM on HDDVD and BluRay have been compromised, it is hard to believe that this DRM will last very long either. That the content will be easily accessible on a PC, can only help this process.
  • I don’t believe any platform other than a set top box PVR (e.g. Tivo series 3) allows recording digital cable shows, and those boxes all are more restrictive with the recorded content than Media Center.
  • There is a good second best solution to building one’s own PC: buy a stripped down OEM PC and then enhance it yourself.

From → Uncategorized

  1. Keith permalink

    All content recorded with cable tuners, HDTV or SD, premium channel or basic cable, will have the same restrictions of not being able to be viewed on other PCs or copied to portable devices, according to the Microsoft people I spoke with at CES. Once again, blame CableLabs, not Microsoft for this restriction. 

  2. Doug permalink

    That is pretty annoying. It may mean that for that content that you want to do something with that you’ll need to use an old analog tuner– assuming that is possible on the same PC.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: