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VidaBox rolls CableCARD into Blu-ray and HD DVD all-in-one media centers


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Like your home rolled media center do ya? Well tell us this, can yours throw down against dual integrated CableCARDs, Blu-ray, HD DVD and more than 3TB of RAID-5 protected storage? Definitely not since you haven't managed to skirt the CableLabs certification process... have you? Well, VidaBox's latest all-in-ones can, at least they will once they begin shipping in March 2007. Each new media center system will be engineered to record two HD shows while playing back your choice of a pre-recorded show from disk, Blu-ray or HD DVD media, high fidelity music, upscaled DVD, or digital picture slideshow. Not sure if those optical drives will be writers or read-only devices but we'll guess the latter -- just like their MAX and LUX dual-drive systems. While pricing or specific models were announced, you can expect 'em to drop for more than $5k as their new, top-o-the-line systems.

Update: Looks like Vidabox spoke too soon. Their press release neglected to mention that they have yet to receive a Microsoft license to enable CableCARD support in their box (which also leaves us wondering whether they received CableLABS certification, or if they're building that aspect of the process into their launch date). Either way, We're a little sketched that they'd announce before approval; we'll let you know what turns up.

Update 2: We heard back from Vidabox, they claim that they "are indeed receiving Microsoft licenses to enable CableCARD support in our VidaBox media centers" and that "the bottom line is that our VidaBox systems that will be released in March are fully licensed with Vista Ultimate & certified for CableCARD." Sounds like some licensor / licensee he said she said, but until Vidabox can confirm their license to vend CableCARD Vista boxes we may be inclined to take the word of the project manager in Microsoft's Windows group that contacted us. Either way, we'll let ya know.

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