Microsoft Corp. and Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs®) today announced they have reached an agreement that will allow Microsoft and PC manufacturers to bring to market digital-cable-ready Windows® Media Center-based PCs in the holiday 2006 time frame.
These Media Center PCs, capable of supporting a CableCARD™ module, will allow consumers to enjoy one-way cable programming, including premium high-definition cable content, on their personal computer and throughout the home on compliant network-connected devices, such as Xbox 360™, while protecting cable operators’ investments in high-value content in a digital environment. Microsoft is working closely with CableLabs to document final approval of Windows Media® Digital Rights Management (DRM) as a content protection technology for OpenCable™ products that receive one-way cable content under the terms of this agreement.
“This agreement carefully balances the need to preserve the flexibility of the personal computer for consumers with the need for cable operators to be confident that the hardware and software shipped with compliant Media Center PCs will function like a CableCARD-enabled digital television,” said Glenn Britt, chairman of CableLabs and chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable.
The specified OpenCable architecture allows for multiple DRM systems to be used in the device and ensures content providers of protected delivery of content to the PC. Microsoft® Windows Media Digital Rights Management is the first major DRM system to complete the due diligence necessary for approval by CableLabs.
If you aren’t familiar with CableLabs, it is the technology arm of the cable TV industry.