1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

CableCARD: TiVo Fights The Good Fight

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

  1. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
    0
    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks for the clarification. I was simply going off the bitrate as displayed by GSpot on the MPEG2 header. After some simple division, yea, the files I was looking at are actually around 14. Anyway, the bit rate being what it is for H.264, still would seem too high for most mobile devices to handle.
     
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,532
    184
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Well there is a difference between broadcast and streaming services like Netflix or download services like iTunes. With broadcast they have to encode in real time, which means they use a much simpler set of features of the H.264 codec which means they have to use higher bitrates to maintain quality. Streaming and download services pre-encode the streams, which means they can use much more complex settings, multipass encoding, etc... which allows them to use lower bitrates. For example Netflix's "super HD" is only about 6Mbps. And VUDU's HDX is between 6-8Mbps. And those are both 1080p compared to either 1080i or 720p used for broadcast.
     
  3. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    U-Verse HD caps out around 6Mbps and they're using h.264. Most people think they have inferior PQ compared to the other h.264 implementations.
     
  4. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
    0
    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    How's netflix and others handling adaptive bitrates? Is it that much cheaper to down sample (Transrating?) from a high quality encode (at realtime) or do they have multiple pre-encoded copies they're toggling between?
     
  5. JosephB

    JosephB Member

    680
    0
    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    They have multiple encodes available and switch between them. They are not encoding on the fly.
     
  6. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    1,915
    0
    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,532
    184
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    6Mbps is low for a real time encode but it really depends on the encoder. There are some really nice hardware encoders out there that might be able to do a decent job even at that bitrate.
     
  8. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    1,915
    0
    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    A set-top waiver being sought by a relatively small cable operator is
    raising a sizable stink at the Federal Communications Commission. While
    TiVo claims to be “supportive” of a waiver request from Buckeye CableSystem
    so long as it’s paired with multiple conditions, the MSO’s pursuit is also
    facing some outright opposition. Still, Buckeye’s pursuit does have the
    backing of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

    See more at:
    http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/tivo-seeks-conditions-buckeye-s-waiver-request/373983

    All the comments on the proceeding can be found here -->
    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?name=14-42
     
  9. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

    5,427
    5
    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    The problem is, if you have one multicast stream, if the wireless gets too slow, the stream just bombs out. If you're doing unicast, you're now bandwidth adaptive, which is how pretty much every stream out there today works...

    TiVo Premiere and newer supports MPEG-4. Windows MCE supports MPEG-4. DCX-3400 and newer supports MPEG-4. The X1 supports MPEG-4. There are some old tanks left out there that don't support MPEG-4, but they are way beyond when they should have been EOL'ed anyways. The equipment switchover isn't that significant.

    How long? A long, long time. QAM will be here for decades to come.

    So you get almost identical savings to what you would moving to SDV over QAM with MPEG-4, which a large majority of cable boxes today already support in full. You'd save a little with IP, as DOCSIS can channel bond and allocate bandwidth dynamically over 24 QAMs, as opposed to getting fixed size streams, but that or the IP encapsulation are both pretty minuscule in the whole scheme of things.

    There's really no consolidation. The point about consistent bandwidth is that Joe Average's crappy wifi network may not be up to the task, and no matter how good the bandwidth that is delivered by Comcast, whether it's through the internet connection or through private IP, his wifi might screw it all up, so you are back to needing two separate systems.

    Also, look at the equipment cost. Everything except the newest DVR/ whole home platforms would have to be entirely replaced. Every DTA, every HD box, most DVRs. It's completely insane. If they go MPEG-4 AVC for HDs, maybe even SDV on 860mhz systems, they can continue to use most of their existing equipment, and the few ancient HD boxes that are left that can't do MPEG-4 can be downcycled to support SD equipment if they even want to keep supporting a bunch of oddball equipment. SD channels, at least for expanded basic, would still be in MPEG-2 to support DTAs and SD boxes. Then the few 4K channels that will come in will use HEVC, and likely require most of a QAM per channel.

    Not 40mbps. 11-19mbps for HD.

    Yes, they would use a gateway model. They already are for the WHDVR they already offer, plus the X1 system.

    Correct. And most ATSC channels are really delivering way less than that, as the subchannels are robbing the main feed of a ton of bandwidth. And for cable channels, Comcast tri-muxes most channels, getting about 12mbps per channel. A few like ESPN and HBO are not tri-muxed. FIOS does not tri-mux, so many of their channels are upwards of 19mbps.

    The all-digital switch and moving broadcast channels from ClearQAM to encrypted QAM are two different things. They happened at different times on my system. Boxee had a solution with Comcast, but I think they disappeared before that materialized. SiliconDust is a CableCard-based product, so no issues there, and Simple.TV is an OTA product, so again, no effect. The effects were with old analog TV sets in the kitchen, basement, etc, etc, that didn't have boxes and now have to have DTAs. It was a pretty painless transition.

    I used one with a little-used 19" HDTV for a while so I could have the news on while I was doing some hobby work. It worked fine. All TVs have NTSC tuners. The DTAs were made to replace analog channels with a TV's built-in analog tuner. 4:3 analog replacing 4:3 analog. The only big loss was HD locals on those TVs, but that was never really officially supported in the first place, and who cares if you're using it on a tertiary TV anyways?

    HUH? They had DTAs that replaced 4:3 analog with 4:3 analog.

    This argument makes no sense. The integration ban was based on CableCard. CableCard today is basically only supported by Windows MCE and TiVo, and both devices benefitted significantly by eliminating the analog channels, by getting double or triple the number of HD channels that they previously got.

    If they wanted HD on a secondary set, they could use OTA and get the same channels that they could through Clear QAM. Clear QAM was locals only. In order to get cable channels in HD, they needed a box from day 1 and still needed a box after the transition...

    It's gotten better, but it's still not great. Definitely not as good as DirecTV's H.264...

    It's interesting that they want SDV gone. If the cable provider wanted to, they could implement SDV for TiVo in software, like Comcast did for VOD.

    Also, they want to go 85% IPTV AND support CableCard? HUH?
     
  10. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    1,915
    0
    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    TiVo knows that SDV is another area of friction that hurts retail adoption and another reason that Comcast is one of the most "TiVo-Friendly" companies with no SDV, no lockdown of channels via copy flags, and support for premium and standard VOD.
     
  11. JosephB

    JosephB Member

    680
    0
    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Multiple cable companies as well as the NCTA have been quoted regarding their eventual switch to IP distribution of their video. QAM modulated packets of MPEG-2/4 will be around for a while longer, maybe up to 10 years, but not much longer than that. By that time, whatever is left of traditional linear video channels will be IP distributed.
     
  12. truman861

    truman861 New Member

    88
    0
    Jul 13, 2012
    Tampa FL
    I have also seen quite a few Brighthouse boxes with cable cards in them, even took the security metal piece off and removed the card, standard M card just like the tivo, nothing special. Makes me sick that their own equipment works just fine but you cripple us Tivo customers. Wish I had the ability to but directly from the networks for the individual channels I want verses buying a package full of crap I dont want.
     
  13. JosephB

    JosephB Member

    680
    0
    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Actually, cable boxes from the cable company have cablecards because they're required to by law. Part of the laws and regulations requiring cable companies to offer cablecards for TiVo is a requirement that cable companies must also use the same technology. The thought was that this would put cable company equipment on a level playing field with retail equipment like TiVos.

    Unfortunately, cable companies simply pre-activate and pre-pair the cards to the boxes before you get them, more or less defeating the entire purpose.
     
  14. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    1,915
    0
    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    While I agree that the common reliance principle may not be perfect, it could be and was much worse before the integration ban was mandated by the FCC.

    As TiVo puts it,

    And,

     
  15. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    3,554
    0
    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Wow!

    I don't know how anybody even follows this thread.

    I see so much "reading between the lines", "spirit of the law versus the letter of the law", and "This will be the future, because I say so", along with so much bickering, I'm to the point of just skimming past most of it...

    I think this speaks volumes for the FCC wording things in ways that even MSOs don't know what it means.

    For example: Right after the integration ban, Cox ONLY deploying non-integrated STBs, plus replacing integrated ones, now switching to only re-issuing refurbished integrated ones, and scrapping the non-integrated ones, cablecards and all.

    I think Cox thought they had to do the former, then their legal department realized they didn't have to. So, now they do the latter.

    In my post about this, I referenced how if I wanted HDMI, I could only get it on the STBs with cablecards. I wasn't saying that cablecard had any link to HDMI, only that Cox didn't have HDMI-out on their HD STBs until the cablecard models were rolling. Now, they seem to want to wash their hands of cablecard STBs, to the point of taking away HDMI-supporting STBs...

    There's another thread that is titled with a TiVo subject I'm interested in, and it has been hijacked by gun-control arguments. Maybe I should embrace guns for all, and lots of them, so some people can start slinging lead at each other... Problem solved (as long as some of us duck and cover in time)...

    IPTV is a possibility, in the future. So were a whole boatload of standards that have already died-out, some never even deployed.

    How far in the future will people argue over what is going to be what, while pushing-out the conversation that has to do with keeping our TiVos working for long enough to get our money's-worth out of?

    TiVo has only been around for just over 10 years, cablecard for less than that.

    If everybody in the firefight to be right about everything, used the same effort to do something to support TiVo in their fight to not become obsolete faster, I'd feel a lot more secure about things.

    It just seems like some have lost-sight of the things going on right now, that undermine the future, for TiVo. Some of us just recently bought one.

    I like the idea of some universal gateway, so long as we can hitch our TiVos to said gateway.

    Last I checked, the latest argument is about how multicast will degrade legacy wireless networks... No freaking comment...
     
  16. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
    0
    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    From http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521097250

    Buckeye distributes programming under limited licenses from programmers, many of which place heavy restrictions on the types of devices to which Buckeye can deliver programming. Buckeye’s support for third-party devices will be limited by these constraints.

    For me that says it all.

    TiVo seems to argue that the waiver should be denied unless the functionality is limited to that of an exempt DTA. Here, TiVo’s position would deprive customers of the benefits of an IP video output. ...... As third-party devices and services become available to offer Buckeye customers more options on how they view programming from the IP portion of the Hybrid Box, those customers should be able to access those options.

    B.s they're talking from both sides their mouths. The before mentioned programming agreements appear to be more damaging to Buckeye providing third-party access than TiVo's conditions. Its clear without the FCC rules content will only live within the operators ecosystem.
     
  17. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
    0
    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Amen, I (we) should be posting some FCC comments tonight instead of to this thread. Good point noone.
     
  18. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
    0
    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    And mine is submitted.
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

    5,427
    5
    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    It's wishful thinking at this point. Considering they can't even manage the basic upgrades like all-860mhz plants and MPEG-4 HD, I don't forsee IP for a long, long time. Linear TV also isn't going anywhere.

    Wow, you're pretty far down the conspiracy theory crazy slope. They deploy whatever they have laying around. They may have gotten a big shipment right after the ban, and have since gotten plenty of boxes back, so they just keep re-issuing whatever they have. They may also take newer boxes to certain markets or give them to triple play customers, etc. They're not on some vendetta against CableCard, they are just using whatever old crappy pieces of junk they have sitting around.

    It's whatever they have in your area.

    Probably the reason it went off-topic and hasn't returned is because the premise of the thread made no sense. TiVo and Chromecast have nothing to do with each other.

    IPTV is already in use. Just not for linear channels on an HFC system. A universal gateway is a good idea for all providers. But CableCard is going to be around for years and probably decades to come.

    What? Degrade? Huh?
     
  20. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    3,554
    0
    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    No freaking comment... ...again...
     

Share This Page