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Rumor: Comcast may go all-IP for new subs by year-end

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by NashGuy, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Yeah, I agree. I think that's why the FCC won't try to apply any equivalent to CableCard to Comcast's IPTV. My point is that as long as one channel is left on QAM, Comcast will have to issue CableCards to access whatever is available on QAM.

    Yeah, I would agree. I've heard claims that Comcast is going to support TiVo somehow, but I'm personally skeptical. It wouldn't be rocket science to give TiVo an API/method to access IPTV, but I'm still skeptical, especially given TiVo's rather slow response to updating anything anywhere in the software.

    I have a whole bunch of weird/wild/fantastic scenarios of how TiVo survives on Comcast, but I don't see any of them as likely/plausible.
     
  2. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    Some have repeatedly stated that the CableCARD regulations only apply to QAM. Is there anything in the actual law or the implementing regulations that say this? If there is, I sure can't find it.
     
  3. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I have had some pretty extensive experience in interpretation and implementation of federal regulations, all I can say is, people rarely agree on what they mean and all that matters in the end is what the regulating agency or a court say they mean. The fact we can not find something word for word doesn't mean much, what matters is what the interpretation has been. So far the FCC has decided any delivery tech other than QAM is exempt-able from the Cable Card regulations.

    In this case Comcast will ask the FCC to agree to what Comcast wants, either by saying the regulations allows it directly or buy granting Comcast some kind of waver. In any event my guess is Comcast ends up doing whatever they want to do.

    So what really matters is what does Comcast really want to do?
     
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    If all they wanted to do was to provide TiVo with access to IP linear channels so that they could be viewed and recorded on the TiVo's own hard drive, probably not that big of a deal. If they wanted to go the full monty and have a TiVo that could fully match X1 feature-wise, with cloud DVR and VOD all integrated in with linear, that would probably be more challenging, especially considering that TiVo would presumably want to display Rovi guide data and program IDs while Comcast's system uses Gracenote. So you'd be attempting two-way interaction between the TiVo and Comcast's IPTV servers with mismatched metadata/program IDs.
     
  5. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    On what do you base this? U-verse? The law and implementing regulations only apply to MVPDs. AT&T isn't classified as such.

    Do you have an actual cite for this FCC ruling?
     
  6. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    A couple things we do know...

    1) CableCARDs wont work with IPTV.
    2) There is currently no open standard for IPTV

    So unless TiVo strikes a deal with Comcast or the government gets involved to force them to use some sort of open standard TiVo will no longer work once the transition to IPTV happens.
     
  7. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I based it on what we have seen. Satellite exempted, AT&T Uverse exempted, Google exempted, Frontier IPTV exempted. Who has not been exempted, Version FIOS & Frontier FIOS which both use QAM.

    What is the difference between AT&T and Version? Nothing or better yet what is the difference between Frontier IPTV and Frontier FIOS TV? Nothing except FIOS uses QAM and of course IPTV doesn't.

    However you are correct we have not seen what happens when a traditional cable company switch from QAM to IPTV. I see nothing that indicates the FCC will not give Comcast a waiver, if they need one.
     
  8. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    Is there any technical reason why CableCARDS couldn't work with IPTV? The only relationship they have to QAM is the channel map. They decrypt the output of the TiVo tuners, not the QAM stream.

    I am not saying that Comcast et al will not get away with it, I just object to the statements that the law and regulations are limited to delivery via QAM.
     
  9. pdhenry

    pdhenry Now 10% off

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    IMO its not about whether they'd work, but is it the best method of providing conditional access for an IPTV stream? Given that every other streaming provider uses other (simpler?) methods of access control than a bit of provider-owned hardware installed in the customer's hardware, it seems like pushing the technology unnecessarily.
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The CableCARD spec uses a QAM OOB signal for conditional access. Basically the cable company sends a special signal to the card over an unused frequency that tells it which channels you're allowed to tune. That wouldn't be compatible with IPTV.

    Also the tuners in TiVo are only QAM. I don't know the exact technology that Comcast uses for their IPTV system, but if it's not QAM then TiVo wont be able to use it. I guess they could stream over your local network using your internet connection, but that's not very efficient. A real IPTV system uses multi-cast IP so that it doesn't waste bandwidth sending the same channel to multiple users.
     
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I don't actually think the regulations were limited to delivery via QAM, however starting with Satellite, the FCC has, for reasons I don't actually agree with, exempted any provider that isn't using QAM. If we were in some liberal super pro consumer administration, I might buy that the FCC could change course, but lets be really we are in a very pro-large corporation administration. Expecting the FCC to move away from a pro-large corporations (Comcast) position seems very unlikely.
     
    tim1724 likes this.
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    It's not technologically that big of a deal. Whether Comcast allows it is a whole different story, and one that I am very skeptical will end well for TiVo and TiVo users on Comcast. VOD is actually the easy part, Cox already does IP-VOD for TiVo, while Comcast still uses QAM, but switching that to IP is trivial, since it's entirely On Demand. Using the TiVo frontend to control Comcast's cloud DVR would be a total nightmare, and I don't think that's what anyone really wants anyway. We want local disk-based recording.

    Not any worse than Rokus streaming live TV, although presumably there are a lot more TiVos on Comcast than there ever will be Rokus. I wouldn't think it would be too hard to make some sort of gateway to do IP multicast and then hand it off as unicast over the home network to a TiVo? Or better yet, you have to rent an X1 box anyway, and that acts as a gateway for TiVo. Comcast would get the last laugh on that one. Hello HD fee!
     
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Roku = 1 "tuner". TiVo users expect 4-6, per box.

    I seriously doubt they would do a gateway, that's what TiVo was pushing for with "AllVid" and the MSOs were fighting back against that tooth and nail.
     
  14. pdhenry

    pdhenry Now 10% off

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    If you're recording, yes, but I expect the only DVR will be a cloud DVR.
     
  15. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion the best case scenario for TiVo owners is that Comcast provides an app that provide the same functionality that Comcast's Roku app does. If Comcast does a gradual switch to IPTV (meaning they switch some channels but not all) providing TiVo users with such an app solves lots of potential FCC issues with not providing cable card users with a full line up. It also allows Comcast to start charging for each TV again and cloud DVR usage. Not a very good solution for TiVo owners but if someone has lifetimed equipment it would be better than nothing.
     
  16. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    Comcast already does more than "charge for each TV".
     
  17. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Comcast (edit: not TiVo) stands to make a lot of money off of IPTV. Currently if someone wants to watch on 4 different TVs, they can get a Bolt or Roamio Plus 3 Minis and pay Comcast for one outlet.

    After the switch, users will need multiple cable boxes or Rokus and pay Comcast per TV.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 12:24 PM
  18. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I assume you meant to say Comcast stands to make a lot of money, and not TiVo? TiVo will be lucky if they can stay in business after the switch to IPTV.
     
  19. schatham

    schatham Active Member

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    The result will be more users ditching Comcast. Comcast won't care because they will keep raising internet costs.
     
  20. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Agreed, if Comcast shuts out Tivo there's not going to be much of Tivo left given the Comcast footprint.

    I'm still curious as to what happened after that article about Tivo working with Comcast for IPTV delivery.

    Future of CableCARD - TiVo Blog

    Pertinent para:
    Longer term, we want to transition with the cable industry to a more modern, IP-based cardless security solution. As part of our agreement, Comcast has agreed to work with TiVo on a two-way non-CableCARD security solution that will enable retail devices to access the full Comcast lineup of linear and VOD programming, whether QAM- or IP-delivered. Furthermore, the legislation that repealed the integration ban requires the FCC to form a technical advisory committee by mid-January 2015 to identify and recommend a software-based downloadable security system to promote the competitive availability of retail devices to receive cable programming. On December 4, 2014, the FCC released a public notice seeking nominations for the Downloadable Security Technical Advisory Committee (DSTAC). See details HERE.

    Of course the FCC is out of the loop for this now, but what happened with Tivo and Comcast?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 12:14 PM
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