updated 02:05 pm EDT, Fri August 24, 2007
Cable standard-bearer CableLabs has just approved a new format it says will let users finally translate cable TV to IP-based networks without using special converting hardware. Dubbed DTCP-IP, the protocol will allow a cable receiver box or other equipment to stream video across a home Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection to computers and portable devices. The system will use digital rights management to copy-protect clips but will use the more dynamic AACS system used by Blu-Ray and HD DVD; while this will allow content producers to revoke access, it will also allow selective copying if a show provider agrees, CableLabs notes.
The service would additionally support any type of video, including formats that are normally off-limits for CableCARD tuners in PCs: HD video and movies on demand will receive equal treatment under DTCP-IP, the standards group adds. CableLabs would not say when it expected the first supporting devices to reach stores, but noted that it had already given its approval to DTCP over FireWire. Devices are not expected until next year at the earliest.