Once thought of as arch enemies, Boxee & Comcast agreed to a deal in mid-2012 in which Comcast will make an adapter that will allow Boxee Box device owners to access their encrypted cable lineups. Boxee makes one of the few IP based QAM tuners available on the market. The adapter will provide HD content and come with a RJ-45 connection for Ethernet based communication. This is referred to as an “E-DTA”. Look for additional 3rd party device makers to try to access Limited Basic packages from Cable TV providers through similar Ethernet based set top boxes. Integration of these devices with DLNA based systems will provide for new capabilities like remote channel surfing.
Comcast has a similar arrangement with TiVo. Customers who want to use a DVR with their content have the option of renting a Comcast DVR set top box for $16/Mo or by using a TiVo device with CableCard which to no surprise costs the consumer and identical amount ($14/Mo for TiVo subscription & $2/Mo to Comcast for CableCard rental).