Towards the end of last week, two very interesting pieces of news came out of the cable industry…
First, I noticed over on TiVo Lovers that CableLabs has approved a new content protection system using traditional IP networking (in addition to the existing Firewire standard). Megazone speculates that TiVo knew this standard was under consideration (heck, they probably helped push for it), thus setting the stage for them to deliver on their Series3/HD TiVoToGo and Multi-room Viewing promises later this year.
Next up… SDV is spreading rapidly, but as many who invested in a high definition TiVo can tell you, this isn’t necessarily a good thing: switched channels free up bandwidth for cable providers, but folks using commercially available CableCARD devices get nada. We’ve heard for months that industry is working on a solution and, via Slashdot, Multichannel News reports:
The NCTA said cable has worked with individual consumer-electronics makers – it cited TiVo – to develop a solution that can provide two-way switched digital video channels to unidirectional digital cable products. This tuning resolver option requires a firmware update and a Universal Serial Bus 2.0 device.
This is potentially very good news and I’m impressed that it’s been proposed without the FCC dropping the hammer. Of course, it remains to be seen how quick something like this can make it to market (both hardware and software) and at what price. From where I’m sitting, the cable companies should underwrite the hardware and provide boxes to any customer in need.