CableLabs, tech partners seek to streamline M-Card device verification

Sun, 12/31/2006 - 7:00pm

CableLabs and a handful of CE and technology partners have launched what they call a "streamlined process" for retail "Plug and Play" devices that can support the two-way Multi-stream CableCARD, also known as the "M-Card."

Among those efforts, CableLabs has published new testing procedures to "verify" M-Card compatibility, and plans to begin verification testing of the Multi-stream interfaces beginning with CableLabs cert wave 49 in January.

Also under the new process, manufacturers, after initial verification from CableLabs, may self-verify their M-Card-enabled devices. CableLabs said the effort is supported by TiVo Inc., Motorola, Digeo, Solekai, Digital Keystone, and ViXS.

The M-Card interface allows for multiple digital video streams to be decrypted simultaneously, even on unidirectional devices.

CableLabs said it is expected that "DVR type devices" will likely be the first to make use of the new Multi-stream interface, since an M-Card-enabled Plug and Play device can view one cable channel while recording another.

TiVo's new HD-capable Series 3 DVR uses a one-way CableCARD interface, but is presently getting around the "watch and record" issue by enlisting dual unidirectional CableCARD slots.

"Working cooperatively, our industries can deliver a better product for our mutual customers," said CableLabs President & CEO Dr. Richard Green, in a statement.


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