A multi-stream CableCARD from Scientific Atlanta has become the first such device to win qualification from CableLabs.
The multi-stream CableCARD, also known as the "M-Card," is designed to operate in a single-stream manner with single stream devices (such as unidirectional Plug & Play television sets) or in multi-stream mode when combined with two-way devices. The latter combination will enable future two-way Plug & Play, set-top-free TVs to support video-on-demand and other interactive cable services and applications.
Although cable operators continue to deploy and support the CableCARD—a removable conditional access device that authorizes customers to receive video programming and premium cable video services—the industry is also pushing ahead with the Downloadable Conditional Access (DCAS) project.
The U.S. cable industry hopes DCAS, which will enlist a secure micro to transfer the conditional access system and encryption keys, will gain favor with the FCC as a long-term replacement for the more expensive and less elegant CableCARD approach.