MCE CableCARD Limitation: No Streaming to Other PCs, Just Media Center Extenders

microsoft mce green button cablecard graphicThe title pretty much says it all. According to CE Pro, who spoke with Microsoft representatives at EHX’s Boot Camp session, discovered that CableCARD equipped Vista MCE PCs will be able to stream live TV content to only Media Center Extenders like the Xbox 360, not PCs. To most, this is probably not a big surprise. Streaming content from an MCE 2005 PC to networked Windows XP PCs hasn’t been the platform’s strong suit, so the news of this not being a feature included in Vista is really not that much of a let down. Interestingly, though, CE Pro found that the limitation is not set by Microsoft, but by the “meanie cable operators [who] want to ensure that their precious digital content doesn’t leave a closed network.”

Also, Chris Lanier claims that “Another bit that you can not do with CableCARD recordings is convert them to go on portable devices (Zune, Portable Media Center’s, iPod’s, etc).” This is HUGE. Wasn’t CableCARD on Vista supposed to bring new features and advantages, not less?

* FYI, TiVoToGo has also been disabled in CableCARD compatible TiVo Series3 DVR boxes

Filed in: Streaming Media Devices

  • ChrisL01

    Vista Media Center will still be the only PVR (standalone or PC based) to support mulit-room viewing of premium HD content as you brought up with TiVoToGo.


  • brianworkman

    Speaking of extenders, with the release of Vista might we start to see more function-filled media extenders? The main upgrade I would love to see is video in (from your cable or satillite box). I think this would allow people to use the Media Center interface on all televisions they have an extender on.