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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by KurtONeill, Jun 20, 2007.
Is there any talk of movies being directly downloaded to TIVO S3's directly? Like from Amazon unbox?
I'd bet that will happen at some point, but there's nothing beyond the gosh I wish it were so now kind of talk around here.
Probably, but the thing with HD movies is that they'll have to be huge in order to maintain any reasonable quality and I don't think that most people will want to download 15-20GB of data in order to watch a movie.
In the US, most residential homes (read: those without fiber) do not have the bandwidth to be able to stream HD movies, so that leaves you with the only other option - overnight downloads. An intriguing idea (one which I would gladly pay for, with say, a dedicated set-top box from Netflix), but I think your ISP may decide that too many people are downloading massive amounts of information and start to throttle accounts.
This is why net neutrality is/was being debated so furiously.
Anyway, I don't see HD downloads being mainstream for at least three to five years.
I agree with everyone, but I, for one, would LOVE the option of an MPeg4 version of movies (even in DVD quality) in OAR on Amazon Unbox.
I have saved a few DVDs that I recorded from my HD Tivo to my DVD recorder and then recoded them on my PC via Nero Recode. They look great on all of my Tivos. An average movie (OAR 480i, stereo) takes up only 1.8G.
This may be the transition product for some time to come.
I posted the same question directly to Amazon unbox support last week, as I was hoping to get HD quality, not to mention better than 2 channel sound.
Here is the response:
The 3 programs/movies I purchasd and downloaded were of very poor quality. I got the season fianale of Jeicho, an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, and some chick flick movie that was on sale for $.99
I love the speed, and the fact that with a single click I had a move waiting for me in my now playing list. I just wish the quality was up to that of my Series3.
Why not? If I record a HD movie from HBO it takes about 15GB of disk space. If I'm willing to do that, I'm willing to have a 15GB movie downloaded to my machine. Yes, it will take some time, but you can schedule it a little in advance.
And if they use mpeg4 compression, it will not take up that much space in the first place, but it would be limited to Series 3 models. I hope to see HD in the near future - if content providers allow it.
Its been a long time since I have thought about it as recording conceptually. I model the cable as this huge fire hose with content flooding through it that I can pick off and "download" as it comes around.
The big scary thing in their response is the agreements with content providers. So even if technically they were ready, they couldn't do it.
Even so, with a good TV, the SD Unbox downloads aren't bad. They should do anamorphic 16x9 though, as opposed to letterboxing.
I can't believe this is really an issue, nor is broadband speed an issue. XBox Live provides HD movie downloads to the Xbox 360, and they work just fine. I see no reason (technical, legal or otherwise) that TiVo/Amazon cannot do the same, other than that they are lazy and behind the curve w.r.t. Microsoft.
the XBox 360 does this right now, and has for a while - full downloadable HD movie rentals. I'd like to see it on my s3 though.
To me if they did this is would eliminate the "format wars" We wouldn't have to decide between Blu Ray and HD DVD. It may sell many more S3 units as well.
I'm not too sure about that. I don't have the best or biggest TV in the world, and I am by no means an audiophile or picture freak; however, there is a significant and easily noticeable difference in the same movie on an HD optical format and downloaded in HD via Xbox Live (at least there has been to me). The stats for the formats bear this out. An HD movie from the Xbox Live marketplace (encoded in VC-1) is encoded at 6.8 Mbps (720p even though you may be seeing it upscaled to 1080i or p depending on your connection) and averages 4-5 GB in size. A BluRay or HD-DVD movie encoded in VC-1 at 1080p averages between 20 - 30 Mbps and averages between 15 - 25 GB in size. The HD programming that I've downloaded on my Xbox 360 from the Live marketplace has been fine, but it is noticeably inferior (both the audio and the picture) to the HD optical formats.
Even those with fiber connections don't have the bandwidth -- 10-15Mb/s. Full rate HD will be in the range of 25Mb/s. The "32hr" figure for a S3 assumes a rate of ~17Mb/s. (which is a good estimate given the amount of simulcasting going on.) From the ISP perspective, there's no way they can handle more than a dozen people, network wide. They'll need some sort of authenticated multicast (transmit once to many receivers) with local caching (think akamai.)
... where "a little in advance" means WAY in advance -- like several hours to days. If unbox is handled like tivocast, you cannot watch it until it's completed downloading.
It'd be neat if Tivo/Amazon could swing a cable delivered HD Unboxed. But I bet Cable Labs would call it "Video on Demand" and veto it. (violation of the UDCP licensing.) It'd function a lot like the DTV "service data download."
But, as Amazon said, it's up to the content providers to give the OK. And face it, Amazon+Tivo doesn't have the negotiating power of Microsoft.
That is complete and utter FUD.
S3 supports MPEG-4. Half res HD in MPEG-4 looks much better than SD and is only a couple of gigabytes per film.
Granted, full resolution HD would be nice, but there's still no need for a 20Mbps stream if you do it in MPEG-4. 10GB would be far more than enough.
This is not true. Most cable companies offer at least some VOD titles in HD these days. Yes, it may not look nearly as good as BluRay due to the compression, but it's HD nonetheless.
I don't get why people are talking MPEG2. Everything Amazon has now in SD is MPEG-4 based, and specially transcoded to mpeg2 for TiVo S2 compatibility.
Nobody is downloading 25mb/sec MPEG2 videos to their S2 (can you guess why? ) S2 compatibility is not an issue, so its pretty nuts to think about anything other than mpeg4 HD downloads to the S3.
I'd lost interest in Tivo when my HDTV made my S1 look terrible, but now have a shiny new S3 and am surprised to find that while there apparently are options for music & photos over the home network, there is NO option for viewing videos at all from elsewhere on the network e.g. obviously a PC w/videos on it?
Am I right--no way to use the S3 to play other videos? Gotta download from Amazon directly to the Tivo?
I can't do this, at least not directly, because my Tivo doesn't seem to talk over my hughesnet satellite service.