Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 AM
"On a final note, the loss of ClearQAM access is likely going to be followed by the loss of some fraction of the HTPC market, where users will not find as much value in a device that can no longer watch or record live TV from their cable company. Because of this potential nosedive in the HTPC market, I would be very surprised if Microsoft stayed entirely mum on the issue. They've put a lot of effort into Windows Media Center as a TV viewing platform and HTPC suite over the years, and this drives a stake right through that given the low adoption of CableCARD systems. Microsoft has been diversifying their TV operations over the years by getting satellite companies on-board and making some investments in IPTV/Internet TV, but cable TV is too big to ignore if Microsoft wants to keep pushing WMC. What this may lead to is anyone's guess, but unless they're going to drop the emphasis on TV viewing with WMC something will need to happen to keep WMC relevant in the cable TV space."
In theory CableCARD is great. The problem is, few sets support it. I hate cable boxes, but have one on our main set simply because it is required to get anything other than basic cable. This unfortunately leaves the rest of our TV's out in the cold and from the looks of the above article, it is only going to get colder. Hopefully this will go away over the coming decade. I don't think it is a huge stretch of the imagination to assume basic PC functionality will be included in TV's in the future. This combined with the future version of some service like Hulu could pave the way for a la carte service directly from the the studio and leave Comcast and friends out in the cold instead.