CableLabs allows digital cable content out of its box

CableLabs has approved the DTCP-IP content protection system for digital cable content, which allows the content to be moved between devices over IP networks.

Using DTCP (Digital Transmission Copy Protection)-protected secure links among consumer electronics devices, cable subscribers will be able to enjoy digital cable programming, including high-definition and VOD cable content, on consumer electronics devices and personal computers on digital home networks. The approval permits CableLabs licensees under DFAST, CHILA, and DCAS to protect pay-per-view and video-on-demand transmissions against unauthorized copying and unauthorized internet retransmission, while assuring consumers’ ability to record broadcast and subscription programming, in digital formats, for personal use.

So, you’d theoretically be able to move content from your digital cable DVR to a PC and thence to a hand held device. Or between DVRs in the home, etc. Well, that sounds a lot like TiVoToGo and TiVo’s Multi-Room Viewing, doesn’t it? TiVo has said they expect to bring TTG & MRV to the Series3 and TiVo HD later this year, and they’re digital cable devices. TiVo almost certainly was aware of this standard being worked on. I wonder if they’re implementing DTCP-IP on the Series3 platform, which is why they’ll be able to bring TTG & MRV to market. Interesting question, no?

DTCP-IP is an extension of the previous DTCP standard for protecting content on FireWire links, also known as ’5C’ encryption. This is used on cable boxes for protecting content on the FireWire port, which is what prevents PCs from capturing some of that content. As a minor point, Digeo has been planning to use FireWire over Coax to connect Moxi units within the home, and they told me they had no plans to support Ethernet or WiFi. The reason they gave me back at CES was that FireWire was the only protocol CableLabs permitted the protected content to be transferred over. Well, that seems to have changed – I wonder if they’ll stick with the oddball FireWire over Coax solution or if they’ll embraced standard networking protocols.

Spotted via GigaOM.

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