We told you that CableLabs
had received a few requests to amend the OCUR spec that dictates what a CableCARD tuner for a PC can and can't do, and as expected the organization that many love to hate has come through -- we, expected it anyways. The first change is the most significant which is that each tuner in an OCUR can be paired with different PCs at the same time. This lets you buy one quad tuner and use it on four HTPCs simultaneously; one tuner per PC (a single tuner can't be shared simultaneous though). When we originally asked CableLabs about changing this they said, maybe, but it'd take three to six months to run through the process. The other change we're glad didn't take forever to become a reality is the one that stated that even Copy Freely content had to be transmitted securely
, which meant that Windows 7 Media Center was the only way to watch any CableCARD tuner stuff, and while there isn't much encrypted QAM content out there marked Copy Freely, MythTV and SageTV fans will have access to at least some premium HD content. This isn't as big a deal as changing the meaning of Copy Once to something less draconian, it is welcomed news for those who just received their InfiniTV 4
(pictured above) and felt constrained by the old rules. We're sure there could be considerable time between when the change is made official and when the firmware is released to the public, but hopefully Ceton and SiliconDust don't waste any time making it happen.