[mythtv-users] Odds of Linux CableCARD support?

Joe Votour joevph at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 11 21:05:14 UTC 2006

--- H P Ladds <householdwords at gmail.com> wrote:
> " The cable companies will wind up killing shooting
>  themselves in the foot if they're not careful. 
>  over DSL using MPEG-4 is steadily catching up."
> Will IPTV help us? The consortium of content
> producers (CableLabs)
> will still demand that the content be encrypted. 
> Linux and Open Source need not apply for approval?
> Still, I'm with you, someone shot has themselves in
> the foot. The
> content producers just handed control of a large
> portion of their
> distribution channel to Microsoft -- I wish them the
> best of luck in
> trying to get it back.


You've got the purpose of CableLabs confused.  When
they're not accepting kickbacks, charging a fortune
for product certification, and constantly changing
their specifications without incrementing version
numbers, they are supposed to be the unified voice of
the cable operators.  They have nothing to do with the
content producers.

IPTV is not subject to CableLabs approval, at least
not in it's current incarnation.  In fact, nothing is
really subject to CableLabs approval (see the number
of uncertified DOCSIS 1.0 cable modems about five
years ago), but if you don't get your products
CableLabs certified, then you likely won't be allowed
to bid on contracts put forth by the cable operators.

(Yes, I dislike CableLabs, and I don't hide it.  In my
view, they really are an incompetent and corrupt

That said, open source hardware or software will never
get CableLabs approval.  CableLabs reserves the right
to revoke encryption keys on devices if they are
compromised (and I'm surprised they didn't revoke
Motorola's keys when a bunch of their modems were
cracked - but, Motorola is one of the key players in

CableLabs is now much more open than it used to be -
previously the submission documents required
membership to view, but they are now freely available
on the CableLabs website.  These documents show some
of the requirements for security that CableCARD will
have to meet:

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