Why Just One CableCard in the XA3 Home Theater PC?

At a breakout session during the Sony line show, questions from members of the press kept turning back to Sony's flagship home theater PC, the XL3, which will sell for $3300 and ship in April.

We were wondering why there is only one CableCard inside the box instead of the two that are in the TiVo Series 3, enabling viewers to record two programs at the same time while watching a third, or watch one live program while another is being recorded. Their response?

Why Just One CableCard in the XA3 Home Theater PC?



Sony officials said that they realized the importance of having two CableCards, but blamed the way the tuners interact with Windows Vista, and concluded that a single stream "served our needs best" at this point.

Sony admitted that cost issues were a small part of the equation, since the XL3 PC already costs $3300, and adding another CableCard would just make that price even higher. But Sony says the main stumbling block is Windows Vista, but they vowed to work out these problems in upcoming editions of their home theater PCs. That's curious, because Windows Vista is already equipped to deal with multiple tuners. Perhaps it can't work with multiple CableCards in Sony's machine for one reason or another.