Build Your Own Windows Vista MCE CableCARD Certified PC… Kind of
eHomeUpgrade | Build Your Own Windows Vista MCE CableCARD Certified PC Alexander Grundner has a post out at eHomeUpgrade about customizing your own new Vista Media Center PCs. As previously announced, only CableLabs certified (an expensive process) PCS will be able to ship with HDTV CableCARD support when Vista is released later this year.
Many of the most extreme Media Center enthusiasts/hobbyists are looking for something more than what Dell or Gateway or others might ship standard. If you are looking to really build the ultimate Vista CableLabs certified PC and customize beyond what will probably be possible with the Dells of the world, Grundner is suggesting that a user could buy a low end CableLabs certified PC and then hack the case and move the components on an after market basis into a new case and upgrade to your hearts desire.
This *could* theoretically be possible. While it wouldn’t be the route for me (I more than likely will simply just buy a high end Dell) for those that really love to tinker and mod out their unit this could be an avenue. On the other hand, before attempting this I’d get more clarification on how it might or might not work.
Central to the idea of a CableLabs certified PC was the notion that Microsoft exec Jim Allchin suggested of a “protective path.” My guess is that it theoretically could be possible that in order for the PC to work the original components only would have to be used. I’m not sure if there is a way to (for instance) specify on a hardware basis which hard drives could be used, etc. But it may be that unless all of the original components are intact as is, hard drive, memory, motherboard, graphics card, sound card, etc. that the unit will not work. Changing a case of course could probably be done, but maybe not much more beyond this.
I of course have no idea on whether or not this will be possible but it is an interesting idea.
I do think though too that we will still see some higher end OEMs going through the expensive CableLabs certification process. High end OEM Niveus, for instance, has already announced that they are coming out with a CableLabs approved PC. More than likely a Niveus box would have more than enough horsepower and glamour than anything an individual could build on their own… of course at a very steep price, I’m sure.