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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 13, 2014 #81 of 280
    Johncv

    Johncv Active Member

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    “You cannot sell a consumer a retail device that doesn't get all the cable channels, no matter how good the device is,” Matthew Zinn, general counsel of San Jose, California-based TiVo, said in an interview. “We would have to adjust. We might go into other businesses.”

    So, what "other businesses"could TiVo go into?
     
  2. Apr 13, 2014 #82 of 280
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    The MSO support business.
     
  3. Apr 13, 2014 #83 of 280
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    My thoughts as well. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

    Actually, it kind of seems like it's already going that direction anyway...

    The Roamio could be the last retail DVR TiVo ever releases, if this cablecard mess, and all the waivers to not comply, doesn't change for the better.
     
  4. Apr 14, 2014 #84 of 280
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Yesterday, I filed a letter on the FCC's Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Delivery of Video Programming. I urged the Commission to reinstate the CableCARD rules and move forward with a successor to CableCARD.

    My letter can be read here --> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521098093

    Reading through many of the posts, the comments of the AllVid Tech Company Alliance, CCIA, Consumer Action, National Consumers League and Public Knowledge are excellent and should be reviewed by anyone interested in continued access to cable video programming via 3rd party devices.

    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521094796

    TiVo's comments can be viewed here --> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521094783
     
  5. Apr 14, 2014 #85 of 280
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    Very nice work. If you had asked for co-signers, I would have put my name on that letter.
     
  6. Apr 14, 2014 #86 of 280
    zalusky

    zalusky Active Member TCF Club

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    +1 on that.
     
  7. Apr 14, 2014 #87 of 280
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    That's very well written. You have an interesting point about SDV. It's interesting to note that if Comcast chose to roll out SDV, only MCE machines would need TAs, as TiVos could be handled through software/IP.

    However, I'm not convinced that IP is going anywhere outside of systems like U-Verse or FTTH systems. FIOS may start putting some channels on IP, but my bet is that a decade or two down the road, Comcast is still running linear QAMs, just with MPEG-4 and HEVC encoding.
     
  8. Apr 14, 2014 #88 of 280
    truman861

    truman861 New Member

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  9. Apr 15, 2014 #89 of 280
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Thanks... I'm guessing that we are a long way from any sort of beta test on a replacement for CableCARD. If the industry wanted to support a new nationally portable standard, we could have had a software-based system years ago.
     
  10. Apr 15, 2014 #90 of 280
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    Nice letter, Sam.

    The cable industry folks keep pointing to their apps as proof of competition, and I keep wanting to shake someone silly for that misrepresentation and point out that their blessed, controlled expansion (and retraction) of their walled garden is not a substitute for real competition.

    I'm glad you referred to it in your letter.

    Edit: I recall Verizon also yanked their Fios app from certain LG products (blu-ray players).
     
  11. Apr 15, 2014 #91 of 280
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Agreed, great letter Sam. I think your example of how the Xbox disappeared as a supported U-Verse 'app' is a perfect example of what can and will happen if the MSOs get to go their own way with IP-based apps.

    I'm concerned at this point that as with AllVid, the FCC foot-dragging on compelling them to come up with a standards-based IP access method will lead to nothing more than MSO-specific fragmentation of the market, which is exactly what they want. Third-party DVRs will eventually go away for lack of common access and everything will go back into the control of whatever MSO you subscribe to, which means cloud-based content subject to come and go at their whims. And oh by the way, no more commskip etc.

    One other thing that you may not know or might want to mention in a future FCC followup - usage of the Xfinity Xbox app is not subject to Comcast's HSI data caps, which IMO is a direct violation of the Comcast/NBCU merger agreement (which prohibits them from favoring their own content over the net). Comcast claims that the Xbox is just another STB in this context and that since the data doesn't leave their servers it's not 'Internet' data, but the app doesn't have all the linear programming that an STB would get. It's essentially VOD that Comcast is pushing via their own content provider agreements and it has a direct impact on Netflix et al which are subject to the caps.
     
  12. Apr 15, 2014 #92 of 280
    trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    Where do these apps from the channels stand in all this? I mentioned it earlier but no one really addressed it. It seems to me, that apps like HBO Go or ESPN3 are a step towards turning the cable co into a dump pipe. And that makes some of the concerns here seem like a moot point. Hell even some specific shows have their own app. I can go watch 48 hrs and much if not all its archive for a fairly cheap sum of $5/yr.


    My feeling is the cable cos can't keep the inevitable from happening. They are already allowing (if that's the right word even) content available via your subscription to be viewable in apps/UIs that they have nothing to do with. Sure much of this is seen as a value add for now. But ....what happens when your value add has a better UI and features than your main product and starts being used more and more. Something has to give.

    Content creators have power here and if more and more of their customers like the apps better.....then...

    Plus we have all the content available on devices like ATVs without a cable subscription that you purchase per show or season.

    IN the long run I don't see how cable cos can keep the floodgates closed.
     
  13. Apr 15, 2014 #93 of 280
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Then they just make the caps and fees for overages make up for the lost cable TV subs (this is already happening on Comcast). It's pretty simple to do when your government is looking the other way about the sad state of wired HSI access in this country.

    There's no way that Comcast et al are going to accept being dumb pipes, either by consumer choice or the government making them common carriers. They will get their money no matter what and fight like hell to avoid losing control because they know HSI is where it will all end up.
     
  14. Apr 15, 2014 #94 of 280
    trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    OH and the thing is I don't think Tivo wants an app based or an IP based video services world either...do they?

    IF things move to IP based video in the long run that leaves Tivo stuck making a box to compete against a Roku or ATV or Amazon Firebox or whatever its called or even competing against TVs in the long run.

    CAblecard is good for Tivo in some f'd up way.
     
  15. Apr 15, 2014 #95 of 280
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    You're kind of confusing two different types of IP. OTT apps, Like Netflix, are IP but they also employ a pure VOD model. The MSOs can still be IP based while retaining their "live TV" model. Services like UVerse are already IP based and yet still use the "live TV" model. As long as there are services that use the "live TV" model there will be a place for TiVo and DVRs. If we switch to a pure VOD system then TiVo is toast.
     
  16. Apr 15, 2014 #96 of 280
    trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    Yeah I'm talking about delivering video over the internets like Netflix or HBOGo or ESPN3.

    Not U-Verse.

    U-Verse isn't where things are headed from what I can see at least from a consumer point of view because it would mean less to consumers than the switch from analog to digital. Now maybe cable cos switch to IP cable model for technical/financial reasons. Maybe as more content will be distributed via IP to mobile and other devices a move to IP based traditional cable delivery would bring synergies between the two.

    But I think things are going to the "VoD" model. TV guides as they are now will be passe. Why wouldn't this be where things are headed? Even if the cable co ultimately was in control of it. The cable co could maintain control here if they got out in front of it, but they seem to be behind it. And they just don't have the talent/culture to pull it off.

    Cable companies have had VoD testbeds in their labs for 15 years if not more. Yet somehow a Netflix can rise up from nothing and put them to shame.
     
  17. Apr 15, 2014 #97 of 280
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Most of the cable operators are moving to IP and are considering network DVRs. For example, here is a tweet from RCN's Jason Nealis today,

    The transition to IP a la AT&T U-Verse is happening although it will require a hybrid (i.e., QAM/IP) network to be in place for a very long time since a complete transition to IP is extremely capital intensive on the CPE (consumer premises equipment) side. While I think VOD will continue to grow, I don't see it completely eliminating linear/scheduled television over QAM or IP.
     
  18. Apr 15, 2014 #98 of 280
    trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    Yeah I clarified what I meant when I said it isn't where things are headed.

    I'm talking from a consumer point of view. From a user experience point of view.

    An IP-based traditional cable model is really just a technicality. LIke the switch from analog to digital. Same difference to consumers. And I don't think it changes that we're headed to a "VoD" model as Dan called it.

    IF anything ......doesn't a move to traditional video services IP-based bring synergy for the cable co with delivering content to mobile and other devices?

    I don't see why scheduled tv wouldn't be completely eliminated as we know it. Live events are one thing. But tv guides as they are now? Passe. No point in them.

    And what are live events? Sports. Awards shows. Saturday Night Live. News events like live reporting, presidential speeches etc. ....What am I missing? That's your linear tv guide of tomorrow. It will be called the Live Events guide. With those categories. ;)


    Cable company is just in the way of this happening. Like the BCS was in the way of college football playoffs.
     
  19. Apr 15, 2014 #99 of 280
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Because this is not where the content owners want it to go. Content owners don't like the "all you can eat" VOD model like Netflix. They're OK selling you episodes for $3/ea on iTunes but there is a reason shows on Netflix/Amazon are typically a season, or more, behind. They still make a LOT of money from advertising. If we do end up with an all VOD model then there are going to be forced commercials, in which case people will still seek out DVRs to try and skip them.
     
  20. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    I think content owners like this direction actually. They don't like DVRs afaik. And I don't see why they wouldn't mind if the cable company was a dumb pipe. Just think of all the disagreements between content creators and cable/satellite cos.

    Content creators are already creating their own apps that offer up their content too.

    They just don't want to give it away for nothing that's why you don't see new tv shows on Netflix and why much of this so far is restricted to mobile where it is viewed as a value add just like Netflix was not too long ago when it was on the pc only. Content owners want to get paid. VoD doesn't preclude getting paid.


    Yes a new breed of DVR might emerge from all of this. Although one major reason for the DVR - time shifting - would no longer be a reason to get one. VoD already provides that. Also I am thinking the new breed of DVR might not exist except on the black market.
     

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