First BOCR Details Emerge from Ceton Corp
OpenCable Receiver (BOCR) appears to really be picking up some speed. I posted a few days ago about Ceton
Corp new card that looked to me like a BOCR, and immediately sent off an
e-mail trying to get more details.
Unfortunately for me, I haven’t received a reply. Fortunately for everyone including me, reader
Mike did get a reply a few weeks ago and sent me an e-mail with the details! So, everyone can thank Mike for these
details, not me.
On known side of things, this tuner will indeed have M-Card
support. This means you will just need a
single tuner and CableCARD in order to tune two channels at once, finally a
break when it comes to the overall price of CableCARD PCs! Bidirectional support has also been confirmed
based on the e-mail, so access to On Demand content, PPV, and SDV content shouldn’t
be as much of an issue now although for On Demand/PPV we really need to wait
for the BOCR specs to see if it will actually be supported within Media Center.
Update: Ceton will have two tuners. The first to be released will be an MOCUR or M-Card OCUR. This adds "multi-tuner" abilities by using M-Card to tune two (or more) channels at once. Then, they will also have a BOCR as described in the rest of this post. MOCURs are not bidirectional.
On to the stuff that was not known, OCAP/OpenCable is going
to be there. In other words, the Ceton
card will be a true BOCR!
If you have been reading me other post you know that the
BOCR specs have not been finalized or really even announced publically by
CableLabs at this point. Because of
this, exact features and details of the card are likely to change based on
those specs that come out of CableLabs.
In regards to OCAP/OpenCable, one of the most interesting bits
of Ceton reply is that their “hardware does support downloadable EPGs; most of which will come
in the form of an OCAP application or a plug-in to Microsoft Vista.” This is where I have the least information,
as OCAP is really the pickle in all third party CableCARD devices like Media
Center and TiVo.
are likely to use a split version of OCAP with part of it running on the BCOR
and part running within Windows Media Center.
Because of this, it is going to be very interesting to see how this will
impact the platform. Microsoft submitted
.NET to CableLabs a few years ago with the idea that it could be used in-place
of Java/GEM for developing OCAP applications.
I don’t know any other details about that side of things or what
happened with the proposal, but I’m going to assume that is where OCAP support
is going to come from within Windows Media Center.
else with BOCR is likely to work the same way as current OCURs. You will still need HDMI-HDCP for digital
connections to your display; content will still be protected with either WMDRM
or Helix DRM which is part of the specs put out of CableLabs; tuners will still
be limited to OEM machines unless CableLabs does a complete 180 in the
finalized BOCR specs. For OCUR details, see my Vista CableCARD FAQ.
didn’t provide any details on the release date, but since we now know it is a
true BOCR that release will be dictated by CableLabs. And since CableLabs has not publically
announced BOCR or even released revision 0.1 of the specs, I wouldn’t expect to
see this tuner anytime soon. On the plus
side (maybe), CableLabs might have something else in store to help bridge the
gap. I’ll have more on this next week.
Very special thanks to