Coming Soon: Premium Channels on Media Center PCs

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Recently, Microsoft announced a new platform that will permit the manufacturers of media center PCs the ability to support “premium” channels on their devices. These channels have been difficult to get access to in the past due the the TV industry’s requirements that they are covered by copy protection technology. The Microsoft platform called Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA) extends the previous Architecture known as Broadcast Driver Architecture (BDA), which has been in use since Windows 98. PBDA, in development since 2005, was recently delivered as a part of the new Windows Media Center TV Pack, which made the software available to Media Center PCs. Now, all that’s needed is for manufacturers to build and ship PBDA-compatible cards. Two manufacturers overseas have already stepped up to the plate (Happague and AverMedia) and Microsoft believes that pay TV reception over-the-air will be possible by 2009. (Image credit: Windows Vista Blog)

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