Custom Systems: Media Center's CableCard

decode cable

Most Media Center PCs now require a separate set-top box to receive cable signals. The new module will allow them to receive the signals directly.

Support for the CableCard is expected by the 2006 holiday season, but integrators say customers are already interested.

"It's amazing how many people we have walk in and think it already has that capacity and walk away because it doesn't," says Dan Allen, IT specialist at Custom Entertainment, an Apple Valley, Minn., integrator. "I think this is going to really boost sales and add another selling point."

Brian Paper, vice president of marketing at Niveus Media, a Santa Clara, Calif., system builder, says his company is still gathering facts but expects the improvement to spark customer interest. "I know that this will be something that our target customer will be extremely interested in, especially since we believe that each of these potential customers would be connecting to a [high-definition] display."

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