Cable cards coming soon to Media Center

For those of you who, like me, use Windows XP Media Center Edition to watch and record television and who, like me, also rely on a set-top box, relief is coming. With the current version of MCE, you’re forced to use an IR blaster to allow MCE to control your STB via infrared commands. This works most of the time, but is a bit Rube Goldberg-ish for many of us and, quite frankly, shouldn’t be necessary given today’s technology. 

Microsoft has recently announced a deal with CableLabs to enable high-def programming via a cable card in future versions of MCE. You won’t need the STB, and you therefore won’t need an IR blaster to control it. Hooray! Three cheers for progress!

Comments (7)

  1. Damien Guard says:

    I already have a DVB-S (Satellite) card in my XP system using the open-source MediaPortal to drive it.

    The card I have, a Hauppauge Nova S Plus, also works with MCE by pretending to be a DVB-T card – the only system MCE currently supports.

    Meedio TV’s product also works with various DVB-C cards.

    Might be something to play with until MS get DVB-C/DVB-S support done.


  2. Jeff Parker says:

    Oh man finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why this took long I have no idea but finally.

  3. MSDN Archive says:

    Hey Damien,

    What satellite service does your card work with? I know DVB-S is used for satellite pay services such as DirecTV (at least in North America), but I thought they used proprietary encryption, basically making something like this card unusable with them.


  4. madis says:

    Can i pretend that my dvb-c card is dvb-t too in MCE?

  5. tobbeswim says:

    Hi Ken,

    I live in Denmark, i use a DVB-C from Digitaleverywhere called floppy DTV with a CI-module "via acces". I have a licens for mediacenter but it was a waste of money for me. I have not been able to use the TV section at all. I love the way media center feels and looks but without support for DVB-C is not useful for many europeans. I use mediaportal even if it has a lot of bugs but it working good with my DVB-C card. I really hope there will be a update soon that supports DVB-C. Do you have any idea when I can use my card wit MCE?