CableCARD goes two-way with new specs


While CableCARD technology is still alien to most people, the development goes on. The latest advancements include two-way card communications, meaning that your CableCARD-powered devices can now communicate back to the content originators instead of just dumbly unlocking content.

For those not in the know, CableCARD is a standard way to allow subscribers to make certain set-top and portable gadgets “cable ready”. It’s a PCMCIA-type card that has your subscription information on it, so if your DVR is CableCARD ready, then by inserting your card you can use it as a digital cable tuner.

The two-way technology would allow your device to communicate with the content servers, opening up a theoretical universe of applications for your device, such as Web browsing and games. Sony is said to be including the technology CableCARD-free in TVs later this year.

But since most people still have digital set-top boxes, we don’t see a significant impact on the industry, at least until more CableCARD-ready devices hit the shelves.