Thomas Hawk, digital media enthusiast, has a long write up of his recent blogger’s dinner with Microsoft exec, Jim Allchin. In a turn of events, it looks like DirecTV will have less draconian rules than cable as to how their services will work with PCs.
All CableCard enabled Windows Vista boxes will have to be certified by CableLabs, the organization that created the standard. So, not only will manufacturers have to get certified by CableLabs, but each shipping PC must be certified as well. Basically, it means that you can forget about building a CableCard enabled HTPC yourself. This will make it tougher for smaller manufacturers to build these machines, as well.
On the other hand, DirecTV will allow after market cards to be installed by individuals, rather than buying brand new boxes. This will certainly make DirecTV more attractive to tweakers than cable.
No word on pricing or timing, but there are many details of the hows and whys of satellite and cable and how they integrate with Vista.