Multi-stream CableCARDs, or M-Cards, make progress

CableLabs has issued a new press release:

Louisville, Colorado, November 13, 2006—Working in conjunction with various technology providers, CableLabs® has opened a streamlined process under which retail “Plug and Play” devices can receive multiple streams of programming from new multi-stream CableCARD™s (or M-Card™s). The CableLabs effort was supported by TiVo, Motorola, Digeo, Solekai, Digital Keystone, and ViXS.

So, what does this mean? Well, the TiVo Series3 was designed to use two single-stream cards, or it can use one M-Card. However, there hasn’t been a way to certify devices for M-Card, so the S3 has been effectively limited to using two cards. Now that TiVo can certify it for M-Card, and as M-Cards hit the market, users will be able to use one card:

The M-Card interface will allow multiple digital video streams to be decrypted simultaneously, even on unidirectional devices. Thus, a cable subscriber using an M-Card-enabled “Plug and Play” device can view one cable channel, while recording another. It is expected that DVR type devices will be the first to make use of the new multi-stream interface.

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  • anonymous

    Cool, I cant wait for them to come out. I miss my On-Demand and Howard Stern on Demand. =)

  • megazone

    Well, I’m sorry to say you’ll have to keep waiting. M-Card has nothing to do with OnDemand or PPV access. That will have to wait for CableCARD 2.0 – which is NOT the same as M-Card, though people regularly confuse the two. CC2.0 is still a year or more off at the current pace.