Boxee and Comcast Strike Deal for Encrypted Basic Cable Channels on Third Party Boxes

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Boxee and Comcast have hammered out an agreement that allows third party services like Boxee to access encrypted cable channels via streaming media devices with a new HD transport adapter.

You might recall back in February shortly after Boxee unveiled its $50 live TV tuner, the cable industry, led by Comcast, petitioned the FCC to give the industry the right to encrypt local channels, which would effectively cut off access to broadcast channels via tuners like the Boxee Live TV stick.

Now it seems that Boxee and Comcast have found middle ground by creating a new class of TV gateway server and set-top box, the Ethernet-Digital Transport Adapter (or E-DTA). If approved by the FCC, E-DTA will deliver cable signals over a local network using the DLNA protocol, which allows Boxee services to continue to work even if cable companies move forward with encryption.

The long term goal is to create a licensing path for integrating the DTA technology into third-party devices, a move that would completely eliminate the need for cable operator-supplied set-top boxes.

So Boxee’s products will live to see another day and cable companies like Comcast can move forward with encrypted all-digital solutions that have the potential to open up bandwidth for things like higher speed Internet and decreased hardware and labor costs. All is right with the world.