MCE Tip of the day: Be careful what you CableCard wish for
Today's tip not many people know...is on the topic of CableCard systems for Media Center. You've seen them, you want them, you drool over the quality of them. So here's something you might not know. DVRMS-Toolbox's amazing, wonderful, jaw-dropping Commercial Skip functionality WILL NOT WORK with them. That's right, that wonderful thing called DRM that's put into the tuners prevents either ShowAnalyzer or CommercialSkip (the apps that monitor the file to detect commercials) from running. While it attempts to run, the commercial files come back blank, as they can't read the shows.
So hopefully you'll have a lot of time to go along with all those new digital channels you can now tune to, because you're going to spend a lot of time manually skipping through commercials.
So, keep that in mind while you drool over cablecard systems. It probably won't be the only current feature you'll lose out on, but only time will tell. Hopefully there will be a resolution in the near future. Clearly the way Vista detects commercials (how those thumbnails in RecordedTV are of your show, and not commercials before) still work...maybe someday they'll share how that works, and ShowAnalzyer can use that instead? Either way, if it ever is fixed, it's probably not in the near future until CableCards become more mainstream to make the demand.
This reminds me a lot of V1 Extenders. Nobody used them, and thus there were no resolutions to their problems (ahem...divx support) until the XBox360 introduced Extender to a mass market, and then we got the Transcode360 & TVersity applications. I can only hope that CableCards eventually have the same usage, and then users who forked over thousands won't be left missing features.