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CableCARD: TiVo Fights The Good Fight

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

  1. truman861

    truman861 New Member

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    So basically kind of like TWC and FIOS do with some of their on demand shows from fox or cbs where they remove fast forwarding capabilities so you have no choice but to watch the commercials ?
     
  2. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    The biggest benefit for me of a DVR is the ability to skip commercials. Unless VoD is commercial free, I'm not interested.
     
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yes. That's what I'm worried will happen in an all VOD world. You can either watch with commercials for free or pay $2-3/episode for commercial free. In the eyes of the content creators DVR users are moochers. They put no weight in the fact that we typically pay $100+ a month for cable just to get access to their content.

    Maybe someday we'll have a pure internet based model where you subscribe to individual channels for an all you can eat model, ala HBO, but the cable companies are going to fight tooth and nail to prevent that. They like being the middle man between us and content.
     
  4. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    Hey I want things to remain the same too because I like paying ad-subsidized prices for my ad-free content.
     
  5. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    And because 80%+ of TV viewing is still live (!!!). Even though DVR adoption is above half (only just above half?!?!?), apparently people either are still stuck in 1998 before TiVo and the watch whatever you want whenever you want model, or they have, in many cases, totally leapfrogged the local DVR model, going to On Demand streaming, either through their MSO, or through Netflix/OTT services. It's weird because I embraced the DVR model, now I feel like I'm old school for not streaming stuff, and using the DVR as much as possible, since I have total control over it once it's on my TiVo's hard drive...
     
  6. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    Thank you for your effort, well done. I'm flattered to be quoted.

    Perhaps we could put together a simple filing expressing our support and agreement with sbiller, Tivo, et al, and urging the Commission take action on a legitimate successor to CableCard and then gather "signatures" of those who agree.
     
  7. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Thank you for contributing to the thread and raising your concern!

    Regarding a filing or filings, I think it is a great idea. Here is a link to a Google Drive version of my filing which could be used as a template for format, etc.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oPFS6PR1VUZ9FIeOAZ14AzFYkrUic0adSj5InE3SO_4/edit?usp=sharing

    Thanks to everyone,
    S
     
  8. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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  9. truman861

    truman861 New Member

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    Hey Sam, Sorry - cant get the page to load with the docs, :-( can we double check the link is up please. many thanks
     
  10. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Link seems to work for me using an incognito browser... anyone else having issues accessing?
     
  11. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    Link works for me. Thanks for sharing. That may be helpful.
     
  12. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

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    I'm unconvinced of either of these arguments will slow or protect us from IP delivery of content. Sam, as we recently experienced on BHN, many of the deployed cable boxes had their DSG (DOCSIS Set-top Gateway) modems enabled with the last ODN deployment. The enablement of DSG has allowed BHN to deploy advanced guide content (such as art work and search capabilities) via IP delivery today.

    I see this as a significant advancement toward obtaining content without the use of the STB internal QAM tuner. While ODN may or may not have the ability to stream video content via IP at this time, it clearly allows for the migration without the whole-sale replacement of leased customer equipment. Unlike U-Verse, the most important aspect of DSG is the coax stays hooked up to the STB; which means no rewiring or Ethernet is required. If anything the cost of back-office enhancements and newer STB middleware being the main capital investment by the cable operator.

    I do believe the migration would occur slowly, much like the move to MPEG4 (e.g. BHN Starz HD), as new channels are added they'll be via IP delivery. In the cases where older equipment miss the necessary equipment to access them, the MSO will replace the box on an as needed basis. If you have customer provided equipment, e.g. TiVo, you may have access to existing Cablecard channels, but miss out on newer IP based additions.

    We may hope that existing MSO deployments of Cablecard enabled boxes will keep the status quo / de facto support; unfortunately, that is not accurate portrayal by Mr. Powell on lifting the integration ban. We could easily find our purchased-at-retail Roamios losing access to content and eventually becoming obsolete without the FCC enforcing current rules and mandating a national Cablecard successor.
     
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I didn't hear that. He said it allows them to use RUI to maintain branding, but he didn't say the receiver is required to use it.

    I think in most cases the receiving device will use RUI because why develop your own UI when the host is providing one for free? But in special cases like TiVo there seems to be other protocols they can use to manually tune the gateway device without using the RUI.

    Now they may be required to display the full RUI to allow access to things like VOD, but for basic tuning and streaming they should be able to bypass the RUI using the other protcols. Although I don't have access to the full spec, so it's possible there is a way for the gateway device to disable basic tuning/streaming unless initiated by the RUI. In which case this would be useless to TiVo.
     
  14. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    I just don't see this whole IP thing being the case within the next couple of decades. QAM is so entrenched, that the only thing I forsee happening in the near future is switching to MPEG-4. Maybe some new adds or really specialized stuff will be IP-only, but at that point, they may as well just use SDV, and MPEG-4 on a 860mhz or 1ghz system has a ton of capacity in the first place.

    The CPE costs to going IP would be astronomical for anyone other than Verizon, who already has IP boxes out there. MPEG-4 wouldn't be too bad, as there aren't that many MPEG-2 only HD boxes left.

    IP can be used to deliver a lot of cool guide content, but the bandwidth requirements for that are several orders of magnitude smaller than for actually delivering video content over IP.
     
  15. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

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    I don't argue its a ways off. I just don't see as much equipment needing replaced since even early set-top boxes like the SA 8300HDC have DSG (internal modem) on board. That's not to say there wouldn't be impact; for example, BHN in Orlando is going digital-only. They began issuing a number of digital adapters that are cheap UDCP boxes that only support digital-only QAM tuning. Those would become obsolete with an IP transition for the basic digital tier.

    As for bandwidth, it would only make sense for IP delivery to be multicast; otherwise they're worse off than today. However, even with today's technology, MPEG4 would provide much greater bang for the buck.
     
  16. truman861

    truman861 New Member

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    So help me out here, Im trying to follow along but i'm no techie (not insulting anyone).
    So if Verizon is an ip based service through fiber optics as opposed to co-axial, is it because the capabilities of the cable card itself that they cant offer customers VOD ?
    I think i understand, just clarifying. Also if this is the case, how is comcast doing it upcoming in June and already been doing it with their xfinity - ?
     
  17. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I don't think they're going to switch to a pure IP system. But I do think that they will eventually transition to a pure SDV solution which sorta encompasses the best of both worlds. SDV offers the same dynamic bandwidth allocation of IP while also allowing multiple users on a node to share a stream that they are both watching simultaneously.
     
  18. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    The video side of FiOS is not IP based. It's QAM-encoded video just like Comcast or Time Warner Cable or Charter. All of those cable companies distribute via fiber optics as well. The only difference is the conversion to coax happens at your house on Verizon, and with any other cable company the conversion from fiber optics to coax happens further away from your house--up to a few miles away.

    Now, there are some other implementation differences such as the fact that the data side does not use QAM, whereas on cable internet service it does but that doesn't really matter. Verizon could offer VoD on TiVo if they wanted to make a deal happen. No technical reason it couldn't work today.

    I think they'll go all IP eventually, but it will be a private IP network and use multicast like U-Verse does. I don't see linear video channels going away completely, pure VoD is simply too inefficient. But, eventually MUXes of MPEG packets on QAM carriers will turn into IP frames on QAM carriers. It just makes too much sense. It'll be how they applied VoIP to MSO voice service. Instead of it going over the public internet and using your "internet" connection like Vonage, they'll apply the PacketCable architecture to it and keep it off the public internet and provision video IP bandwidth separately from your internet bandwidth.
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Yeah, it would have to be multicast. And unless you move to DOCSIS 3.1, there is no bandwidth advantage to that over just doing SDV.

    FIOS is QAM256, but they have IP capabilities because of their IP-VOD system. They could theoretically put linear IP-only channels out tomorrow if they wanted to.

    Comcast does VOD on TiVo through CableCard and has for a while. XFinity IS Comcast. Verizon's VOD system is IP not QAM, so if they supported TiVo, they would have to do it in software, working with TiVo.

    Maybe. What I could see is all the locals being linear in HD and SD, expanded basic in SD being linear (for the DTAs), and then everything else being SDV. However, SDV really screws a company like Comcast over, who likes to goof around with compression, as you can no longer compress as much, since you never know what channel is going to be paired up with what other channel in a given QAM, so you may not really gain that much, unless you have really small nodes and ton of rarely-watched channels. OTOH, it does allow a ton of those channels.

    However, I don't think there is even a need for SDV. Let's say Comcast went all MPEG-4 on their HD. They are currently running 860mhz systems with about 100mhz empty. Their current offering of 110 HD's takes up about 230-240mhz, or about 38 QAM's. Say they go to MPEG-4 and move from 2 or 3 HD's per QAM to 5. Now 40 QAM's can get them over the 200 HD mark. So now there's still close to 100mhz left. They could move some lesser watched SD stuff to MPEG-4 or just compress the living crap of any SD channel that has an HD version, since the users who are still on SD don't care anyways. So say you end up with 90mhz left over. That's an addition 15 DOCSIS 3 QAMs, which is only one QAM short of going to 24 downstream DOCSIS 3 channels. Now you're looking at offering 300+mbps internet and 200 HD's in better quality than today with exactly zero SDV channels.

    They would have to write some interesting software to get VOD onto TiVo, but yes, it should work in theory. I doubt QAM is going anywhere for them. Why would they just give up their 870mhz QAM system? They have an advantage with it already over the cable providers, as they have no VOD, no internet, no phone, and no home security/automation sharing bandwidth with their linear TV channels, and they are ahead of the curve on the MPEG-4 transition.
     
  20. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    But SDV is already out there and works with all the STBs out there. I don't have a problem with SDV if it's implemented competently. So far, so good on my Charter system. If they can use SDV, make it work, and it allows us to have additional internet bandwidth? I'm OK with that tradeoff.
     

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