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A digital cable TV activation system from the OpenCable project of the CableLabs research consortium ( Introduced in 2003 and sometimes called "Plug and Play TV," the CableCARD contains the customer's account information as well as the channel assignments and decryption algorithms used by the cable provider. The CableCARD is housed in a Type II PC Card module, and as of mid-2007, all new set-top boxes in the U.S. support CableCARDs.

No Set-top Box and More Accuracy
When a set-top box is used, depending on the type of box, TV set, connection and digital format, unnecessary video processing may take place in the chain from set-top box to TV. However, a CableCARD can be plugged directly into "Digital Cable Ready" TVs, DVRs, media servers and PCs, thus eliminating the set-top box and ensuring the most accurate decoding and scaling (see upconvert).

S-CARDs, M-CARDs and tru2way
A Single-Stream CableCARD (S-CARD) provides one tuner for viewing one channel, while the latest Multi-Stream CableCARD (M-CARD) supports up to six tuners for simultaneous watching, recording and picture-in-picture (PIP). Two-way interaction was added with CableCARD 2.0 for video-on-demand, and a "tru2way" logo certifies that the TV is a two-way CableCARD device. See DVR and set-top box.

Plugging In a CableCARD
This Panasonic TV is CableCARD ready, and the card need only be inserted into the slot. (Image courtesy of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.)
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References in periodicals archive ?
In-home digital entertainment and communication solutions developer Ceton Corporation announced on Thursday InfiniTV 4 USB, a new, external CableCARD quad-tuner that turns any Windows 7-based PC into an entertainment platform for television.
The original vision for what all this effort was to accomplish was a world where any number of devices could have CableCARD slots and therefore be able to access digital cable channels directly.
The Digital Cable Ready feature (CableCard) allows connection to digital cable without the need for a set-top box.
This television boasts 1,920-by-1,080 progressive scanning resolution, built-in digital ATSC tuner and CableCARD compatibility, 176-degree viewing angle and the Anynet chip.
Integration also plays a role in the new Pioneer plasmas, as each features an integrated standard and high-definition tuner and CableCard compatibility.
LG looked to be ahead of the curve with its HDTVs with integrated ATSC tuners and CableCARD ready DLP set, well before the Federal Communication Commission initiated its mandate for large-screen TVs to feature integrated one-way digital tuners and cable-card compatibility.
CableLabs' ultimate goal: a Federal Communication Commission mandate for two-way integrated digital television tuners similar to the FCC's new requirement for large-screen TVs to feature built-in off-air one-way digital tuners and the CableCARD compatibility.
SHARP ELECTRONICS has launched its first line of widescreen AQUOS LCD televisions with built-in HDTV tuners and CableCard slots, based on a recent Federal Communication Commission mandate.The new HDTV AQUOS series enables consumers to receive cable television HDTV programming without the use of an additional set-top box.
Panasonic's new plasmas, three of its LCD televisions and three projection digital televisions feature an integrated Advanced Television Systems Committee digital tuner and cablecard slot, in line with the recent Federal Communications Commission mandate.