Advertisement
Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
eLearning
Learning anything is easy
Browse Online Courses
Mobile Apps
Learning on the go
Explore Mobile Apps
Dummies Store
Shop for books and more
Start Shopping

What Is a CableCARD?

A CableCARD is a smartcard with an embedded chip that can descramble premium channels. You rent a CableCARD — which plugs in to a CableCARD slot on your HDTV — from your cable service provider.

image0.jpg

With a CableCARD, you can skip the typical cable set-top box, but you lose some of its features, such as video-on-demand and an onscreen cable guide.

Most new HDTVs are digital cable-ready. When you buy one of these TVs, you can plug the coaxial cable right from your wall into the TV, skipping the set-top box, at least for nonscrambled channels. Some HDTVs let you dispense with the set-top box for even those premium scrambled channels. You can rent a CableCARD device to get these premium channels (such as HBO).

  • The 1.0 version of CableCARD is limited in its capabilities because it’s a one-way system. That means it can only descramble systems coming into your TV; it can’t communicate back with the cable company. So you lose the onscreen program guide, VoD, and other features that a true set-top box gives you.

  • A 2.0 version of CableCARD has long been promised by the cable industry. Version 2.0 is supposed to offer two-way communications, providing all the fun program guide and video-on-demand that 1.0 lacks. Unfortunately, CableCARD 2.0 is not currently available.

In early 2008, a number of cable companies and TV manufacturers announced support for a system called Tru2way. When cable companies implement Tru2way and when Tru2way is built in to TVs, the TVs will have the ability to finally dispense with the set-top box once and for all. Tru2way-enabled televisions (or other devices, such as PVRs) will be capable of downloading applications from the cable network and running them just like a set-top box can.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win an iPad Mini. Enter to win now!