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Comcast and Boxee deal will let third-party devices access encrypted cable TV

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A new agreement between Comcast and Boxee will let users of third-party devices like the Boxee Box access encrypted basic TV channels.

Gallery Photo: Boxee Live TV hands-on pictures
Gallery Photo: Boxee Live TV hands-on pictures

Boxee and Comcast have announced a new agreement that will let Boxee users access encrypted basic cable channels. The deal, as revealed in a June 27th filing to the FCC, includes both a short- and long-term solution for the problem. In the short-term a "high-definition digital transport adapter with an ethernet connector" is being developed, which will grant people with an IP-capable Clear QAM box — otherwise known as a third-party device — access to the encrypted cable channels. But going forward the two are working on creating a licensing path so that the technology can be integrated into these devices, removing the need for an adapter all together.

Boxee previously claimed that the FCC's proposed cable encryption amounted to an "anti-consumer, anti-competitive policy change," but it appears as though the new agreement has satisfied any complaints. "The essence of the solution is that cable companies will be able to move forward with encryption and that consumers will be able continue and rely on devices such as the Boxee Box to access basic cable," Boxee CEO Avner Ronen told Multichannel News. That should be welcome news to the many users of Boxee's service.