Two-Way CableCARD Appears in Windows 7
I’ve long talked about the
addition of two-way CableCARD within Media Center, but so far no real
timeline has been drawn. Microsoft has kept
their lips locked as has CableLabs about actually finishing (or announcing) the
specs for the two-way tuners (called BOCRs).
All of this leaves us to fill in the blanks ourselves.
Frankly, I don’t see full two-way CableCARD tuner support
until Windows 7. There are several reasoning’s behind this,
but the first being CableLabs timeline for the actual specs. At this point CableLabs has been focusing on the
M-Card extension to OCURs. I never got
around to doing a good post on MOCURs, but the basic idea is that CableLabs
approved an extension to the OCUR specs which allows OEMs to make OCURS that
support M-Cards in M-Mode. This means
your single MOCUR is really two tuners when paired with an M-Card. Currently, OCURs with an M-Card revert to
S-Mode which means you only get a single stream (one channel per tuner). I’m not exactly sure why they have chosen to
do this and yet again have CableCARD fall behind what the market needs, but a
little late to change that.
Outside of the BOCR specs you have the next issue being
Media Center release schedules. As
Microsoft currently has one that should be
getting ready to start any day now, you can bet that BOCR support is not a
part of it. So that would set the stage
for support in the following Media Center release. As Windows 7 is predicted to be released in
2009/2010 I’m betting it will be the follow-up for Media Center as well.
So it looks like our two-way CableCARD dreams are going to
have to wait. Here’s to hoping your cable
company doesn’t deploy SDV, and if they do here’s to hoping the TiVo
Tuning Resolver will actually be made to work with OCURs (don’t hold your