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CableCARD: TiVo Fights The Good Fight

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by sbiller, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. Apr 8, 2014 #61 of 280
    Neil 420

    Neil 420 New Member

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    Comcast might deploy something roughly as good as Tivo. They are working with Apple Inc on it. The main problem will be that the remote control will only have one button. :/
     
  2. Apr 8, 2014 #62 of 280
    Neil 420

    Neil 420 New Member

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    sbiller, why are the cable MSOs so hostile to Tivo? How is that in their business interest? Do they make so much from leasing us equipment?
     
  3. Apr 8, 2014 #63 of 280
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Good question. I think there are multiple facets to the answer.

    Many cable MSOs might feel that TiVo is costing them money quarter over quarter because of their previous litigation history and the fact that TiVo is the main reason that they are forced to use separable security in the form of CableCARD. At least the position of the cable industry's trade association, the NCTA, is that TiVo is forcing a technology that costs their members more than a billion dollars.

    As far as how much they make leasing equipment, you can do the math. For example, my cable operator charges me $4.00 per month to lease a $60 Modem. It probably costs them closer to $50. So after one year its pure profit for the cable operator other than the occasional replacement after the useful life of the equipment. So yes, they make A LOT of money on equipment rentals. The profit on set-top boxes and DVRs probably contributes even more to the bottom line at $15 to $20 per month for the leased box.
     
  4. Apr 8, 2014 #64 of 280
    truman861

    truman861 New Member

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    As far as how much they make leasing equipment, you can do the math. For example, my cable operator charges me $4.00 per month to lease a $60 Modem. It probably costs them closer to $50. So after one year its pure profit for the cable operator other than the occasional replacement after the useful life of the equipment. So yes, they make A LOT of money on equipment rentals. The profit on set-top boxes and DVRs probably contributes even more to the bottom line at $15 to $20 per month for the leased box.[/QUOTE]

    I ended up buying my own modem and gave BH back theirs, only to make the decision to switch to Verizon. Its okay though as I bought my new Verizon modem outright so I don't loose money there.
    Then we come to the STB's. I never realized until about 6 mo ago that I was paying 20.00 for each HD DVR from BH Tampabay. From there I bought three premieres on craigs list cheap and was paying the 12.99 to TiVo and the 4.00 to BH. Since then have sold 2 of the premieres (keeping one just in case) and have moved to the Roamio Plus with 3 Minis. Major significant savings. 9.99 per month on my Roamio, 5.99 on the minis and 1 cable card at 4.00. Total 32.00 per month for all equipment verses 80.00. That's why the cable company doesn't want us using our own equipment. It may not hit BH hard with just me doing it this way but the more and more people that switch, the worse it affects their bottom line
     
  5. Apr 8, 2014 #65 of 280
    Johncv

    Johncv Active Member

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    Sam, why didn't the cable/sat MSOs just licences the right to use the TiVo interface and let TiVo provide updates/improvements to the UI and avoid the CableCARD/TA crap. Just add a TiVo "service charge" to the bill.
     
  6. Apr 8, 2014 #66 of 280
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    My experience was the opposite. I had two Verizon FIOS cards that took no effort at all. I just plugged it in.

    Now I live in Comcast HELL and I spent about 14 hours on the phone installing two different cards at two different times. In the end, both required a truck roll. Neither tech had ever installed a CC before and had to call support to walk them through it.
     
  7. Apr 8, 2014 #67 of 280
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    Yeah but some of the content providers have gone way overboard "protecting" content. I haven't seen anyone complain about this in a while but some prohibit copying on EVERY channel (except broadcast). Nobody is asking them to do this. They are just doing it because it makes them feel good.

    South Park was right on with the whole nipple rubbing thing. It's exactly what these companies do.
     
  8. Apr 8, 2014 #68 of 280
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The CableCARD mandate came along way before TiVo even existed. It was included in a law passed in 1996. The cable companies drug their feet and resisted it until 2006. I think they think that at this point the whole "experiment" has failed and the only reason they're forced to keep supporting CableCARDs is because of TiVo.
     
  9. Apr 8, 2014 #69 of 280
    JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Why the MSOs, especially the large ones, don't like TiVo is simply a matter of cost. It's obvious that TiVo's services for MSOs are more expensive. Plus, you outsource your customer experience--a key way that the companies plan to differentiate, plus TiVo owns a lot of the data, not the MSO.
     
  10. Apr 9, 2014 #70 of 280
    Neil 420

    Neil 420 New Member

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    It seems to me that if I invest $1,000+ in Tivo hardware and subscriptions that I would be even more committed to staying with my cable co rather than switching to DirecTV or Dish. If everybody leases equipment, then it's easier to keep switching out every year when the introductory price expires.

    BTW, I wish Fios were an option here, then I would have a real alternative to cable.
     
  11. Apr 9, 2014 #71 of 280
    Neil 420

    Neil 420 New Member

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    I remember the debate at the time was all about being able to buy a tv with a slot and not need to add an ugly box on top of it. It had nothing to do with Tivo, but I'm not sure that it was "way before Tivo even existed."
     
  12. Apr 9, 2014 #72 of 280
    gweempose

    gweempose Active Member

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    This is what it used to be like for me with my S3's back in the early days of CableCARDs. It was a total nightmare getting the cards paired, and nobody knew what they were doing. In fact, there was only one guy at the head end who had any clue, and I had his name memorized. When the guys came for the truck roll, I would just tell them to call Phil. :)

    This hasn't been the case for me at all the last couple years, though. All of my Minis and Roamios were paired easily with a single five minute phone call to the CableCARD hotline. I wonder why your experience is so different than mine. Perhaps the infrastructure in your area is different. I believe the CableCARD hotline is national, so we should be talking to the same department when we call.
     
  13. Apr 10, 2014 #73 of 280
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    It's not just the money that they make leasing equipment. They want to keep their position as the gatekeeper for all of your video services. They want to control your experience so they can feed you their ads, their premium content, etc, etc.

    On the topic of DLNA I think people are getting their hopes up a little too much that it might be a viable alternative to the Allvid proposal. I don't see anyone in the cable industry thinking of this as a "gateway". This is a recordable output from their cable box. So first you have to have their cable box. Then, unless the FCC requires strict compliance with specific DLNA specifications and actually enforces it, this interface will be half working on some boxes and half broken on the rest. TiVo may as well contemplate going back to IR blasters.

    On the industry filings, they love to natter on about their Roku partnerships, iPad apps, and their proprietary downloadable security innovations when they know full well that none of those things are even close to addressing the intent of the Communications Act. The intent is really clear: any CE company should be able to build a TV or box that can be hooked up to any cable or satellite system and receive every channel without that CE company having to negotiate an agreement with each provider.

    It's amazing that this FCC, which seemed prepared to aggressively push first for CableCard reform and then for a legitimate CableCard successor technology, has shifted so quickly to being under the Cable industry's thumb. It seems likely that after that initial shot across the bow from the FCC a full force effort with lobbiests and campaign contributions was applied to get the agency into a more friendly mood.
     
  14. Apr 10, 2014 #74 of 280
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    As chief U.S. communications regulator in 2003, Michael Powell called TiVo Inc. (TIVO)’s pioneering video recorder “God’s machine.”

    Now Powell, leading a lobbying campaign for cable providers led by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), is pushing for legislation that TiVo says could threaten its reign as the cult favorite for fast forwarding past commercials.

    TiVo, outspent more than 60-to-1 by the cable industry on lobbying for all issues, says the change would make it impossible for its users to view some programs. Anxiety levels rose as cable won a preliminary vote in the House last month....

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-10/tivo-tries-to-keep-remote-interest-over-cable-lobbying.html
     
  15. Apr 10, 2014 #75 of 280
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Interesting :eek: Thanks and .... arrrghh!

    The cable industry may succeed in stomping Tivo in the short term but in the long run they're just hastening the end of cable TV as we know it. Unfortunately the same operators also have local monopolies on HSI in most localities.
     
  16. Apr 10, 2014 #76 of 280
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Based on what I've read about DLNA CVP-2 it isn't an alternative to AllVid, it IS AllVid. At least technologically it has all the big features that were part of the original AllVid purposal.

    The only difference is the mandate. Right now the whole IP mandate is very vague and allows MSOs to use any "open standard". Also DSS providers continue to be exempt from the mandate which kills some of the interoperability of the AllVid purposal. The only reason I have my hopes up is because as of right now DLNA is the only "open standard" currently approved by the FCC so there is still a chance the MSOs will migrate to it out of convenience. Although you're probably right that it will be half baked on a lot of devices which will still make it difficult for TiVo to function properly. But really that's true even of CableCARDs after nearly a decade in the field, so I wouldn't expect any better even if AllVid was a forced mandate.
     
  17. Apr 10, 2014 #77 of 280
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    This is why I think that considering this interface as a means of creating a "gateway" is mostly wishful thinking. Without a very specific mandate for exactly what standards are required and some credible threat of enforcement, this interface will be broken for anything but the most trivial uses. You may as well contemplate going back to IR blasters.

    I think Tivo's interest in this is to drive home the point that no progress is being made. Progress has stalled and the gains of the last few years are starting to erode.
     
  18. Apr 10, 2014 #78 of 280
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    I though that under all cases the IR blaster was good for only SD TV at best, no way for anybody to take in a HDMI input and record that signal with any DVR and output that DVR program with a HDMI output.
     
  19. Apr 11, 2014 #79 of 280
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    That was intended to be tongue-in-cheek since I think using this broadly defined interface would have set-up and reliability problems similar to the old IR blasters.
     
  20. Apr 11, 2014 #80 of 280
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I get your point, but for TiVo to use this only the most basic part, the tuner part, would need to function. All the other stuff is great, and maybe we'll see it someday, but if the tuner part works then TiVo will have the ability to record which is all we really need. And that's the part that is being mandated by the FCC. So there is still hope that something will arise from this. And if it does maybe it'll evolve until they are actually using the full standard and we can get all the benefits of the full spec.
     

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