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Engadget Review

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by rmpearl, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    The rumors are that TiVo is likely developing several updated DVRs one is likely a 6 tuner cable DVR and another that is a combined OTA/cable DVR with an unknown number of tuners. Do you have some inside information that the rest of us don't? Beyond the rumors I have no idea what TiVo is actually developing, but we do know they have applied to the FCC for some waivers one of which is to remove analog from a OTA device which seems to conflict with your opinion that Tivo isn't developing something for OTA.

    Also where did you get the data from that shows OTA users don't generate enough revenue/profit for TiVo to justify continued product support?
     
  2. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    I don't have any data, just the observation that the last TiVo model that they released eliminated OTA.

    If OTA was a critical business component for TiVo then it is somewhat hard to fathom why they would have released a product that eliminated OTA capability entirely, especially when it could have very easily been accomplished via something like an outboard USB tuner box.
     
  3. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    You have mention 2 things that I think could be interesting. First if as the roomers indicate TiVo is developing a new combine OTA/cable DVR that is digital only there would be no reason it could not use all the tuners at one time -the reason the current dual tuner DVRs are limited to only using 2 at a time is because of the hardware restriction of only being able to record 2 analog channels at one time.

    The other thing of interest is the possibility of moving the tuners out of the DVR. They could certainly do that now In fact I have HDHomerun tuners on my network now that there is no reason a TiVo DVR couldn't record from. Also if they actually replace cable cards with a software only solution and make all pay tv providers use it TiVo would again have access to Satellite which require 2 more types of tuners. I would think it would be easier at that point to make the DVR tunerless and let users buy what ever tuners they wanted.
     
  4. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    It is not hard to understand at all and several people have explained it in detail. The current Premiere Q, 4, XL, & Elite DVRs where primarily developed for Cable Companies and had several hardware limitations to keep the costs down while moving to 4 tuners.

    The first was no analog for cost reasons and the second was to leverage the current Premiere platform as much as possible again for cost reasons, which meant no more than 4 tuners total. So the end result is the Premiere Q, 4, XL, & Elite which are 4 tuner digital only cable DVRs. Technically TiVo could have made a 4 tuner digital OTA only DVR on the same platform but they didn't and I think they were correct in not doing it.

    The rumors indicate the updated platform will also be digital only, but the other hardware is going to be updated enough to handle more than 4 tuners. What we will actually end up with is unknown but the rumors are that 6 or even 8 tuners will be workable.
     
  5. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    You know that the current hardware family was developed primarily for cable companies how exactly?

    I agree, rumors point to a possible return to a digital only OTA tuner being included in a future model.

    However, until TiVo releases it, this is all speculation.

    What is FACT and not speculation is that the last several products that TiVo have released have not had OTA tuners, and the assertion that this is primarily because they are for the MSO market is simply your opinion, unless you have proof otherwise. I would imagine that TiVo have sold far more 4 tuner boxes at retail then they have sold to MSOs.

    You seem to view this as some kind of epic "cable" vs. "OTA" argument, when I don't care either way what TiVo does. I simply see that TiVo seems to have gone in a direction OTHER than OTA with their last few products and reasons why they might have decided to drop OTA altogether.
     
  6. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Moving RVU to tuners is something that's not going to happen for a while, but it will be great when it does, as it would let you use a third-party DVR with any content source. What I'm thinking is a TiVo-sold USB adapter that has 2 OTA tuners in it so that they would sell a CableCard box, and OTA users could add one or two USB dongles to get 2 or 4 OTA tuners, or cable users could have both (although that would be tricky software wise in terms of priority scheduling on one source or another...).

    Of course having a totally detached system gets more interesting, as you could have a tuner box with 6, 8, 12 or more tuners, a storage/server box, and then thin client boxes, each of which is upgradable on it's own, and the tuner box would determine the programming source... This would basically be the equivalent of using HDHR's, a headless MCE PC and Ceton Echos for the actual interaction with the system.
     
  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That's not really what happened. TiVo Developed the Premiere platform as a 2 tuner unit. It had support for 4 physical tuners, 2 cable and 2 OTA, and the ability to encode 2 analog streams. Then one of their cable partners asked them if they could make a 4 tuner unit so they adapted the platform they already had by replacing the two OTA tuners with cable tuners and disabling the analog capabilities because it could only encode 2 streams at a time. They call it the Premiere Q and it was originally released only to their MSO partners. Then they realized there was a potential market it for it at retail so they released it as the Premiere Elite. (later renamed to XL4)

    If the next generation unit supports 6 tuners then they could do the opposite and swap 3 of them for OTA and create a 3 tuner unit that supports both OTA and cable. That would also give it 1 extra tuner that could be dedicate to network streaming allowing it to be compatible with the Mini without ruining the user experience.

    I think this scenario is very likely to happen. In fact they may even use a platform that supports more then 6 tuners and release a full blown 4 tuner box with cable and OTA support. Not sure if a Broadcom SOC exists that can do that though.
     
  8. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The current platform was NOT developed for cable companies. The Premiere Q/Elite/XL4 was TiVo's best attempt at adapting the platform to meet the cable company's needs.
     
  9. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    As Dan203 explained it the Premiere platform was not developed for cable operators but the Premiere Q which lead to the Premiere 4/XL/Elite was.

    Agreed

    No idea about the numbers, but a person who follows TiVo stock closely (sbiller) said how many Premiere 4 & XLs had been sold I think it was 50,000 (corrected based on other posts sorry for the first error), I do not remember seeing how many the cable partners had deployed.

    Well I am not anti cable/pay tv per say, it just isn't for me right now. Some of my responses have been to disagree with some of your statements not because I am arguing people should be for OTA or against cable. I have no opinion on where people should get their video content that is a personal choice based in individual preferences and situations.
     
  10. DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

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    Hmm. I can't find the official figures, but I think the number of four-tuner Tivos in service is much lower--perhaps 50,000?
     
  11. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Why does CableCard kill the ability for the same tuners to handle OTA or cable? I know a lot of tuners out there can do ClearQAM or ATSC-8VSB...

    EDIT: Typo
     
  12. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The other 350K must come from the TiVo Elite boxes. :) ;)
     
  14. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    From jafa, the inventor of the HDHomerun...
    While there are devices that can do either or they're not really using the same tuner internally. They're splitting the signal and sending the ATSC down a different path.
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    You're saying every TV out there has two tuners, one for regular OTA, and one for cable-specific QAM?
     
  16. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Just retail.

    It would be a different and almost impossible analysis to estimate the number of Premiere boxes and their composition with TiVo's Tier 2/3 partners. Fortunately, TiVo reports the number of gross adds and churn rate each quarter which makes this analysis possible.
     
  17. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yes. Internally they use two separate chips to decode QAM and ATSC.
     
  18. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily, not all TVs had QAM when we started going digital. But I am guessing at this point most new TVs have both.
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Every TV I've ever seen in the past 5 years or so has had OTA PLUS support for ATSC-QAM. They must be using two chips. That's pretty nuts. Why don't they make a single chip to do both?
     

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