CableCARDPlanning to upgrade your current Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition PC and take advantage of the new CableCARD 2.0 standard later this year? You probably want to change those plans thanks to CableLabs, as CableCARD 2.0 will only be supported on Vista platforms based on hardware systems that are certified by CableLabs. While CableCARD 2.0 support is a general step forward, we're also taking a step back since this could effectively shut out any home-built WMCE machines like ours. We're now reliant upon the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM's), which costs time and money, something that not every OEM has the luxury of.

Our take is that we'll initially see CableCARD 2.0 Vista systems from a small handful of OEM's out of the gate (HP, Dell, and Sony come to mind), which will limit choices and configurations. While we understand the need for certifications and standards, perhaps a better approach would be a list of approved system requirements from CableLabs so the do-it-yourselfers have an option.