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SDV FAQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bdraw, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    ... the same linear channels as the rented STBs... There are no regulations requiring consumer-owned host device access to non-linear services, such as PPV, VOD and SDV.

    The law determines the relevant distinction, not any one subscriber's personal preference.

    References to "the spirit of the law" is the most common refrain of people who are unhappy with the law as it was passed and adopted. The law is very explicit... if something was intended, then it must be written into the law. If it isn't written into the law, then there wasn't enough foresight or consensus to put it into the law and there is no way to tell which except by fiat. Fiat is the prerogative of the courts, making the decision based on what's best for all of society, consumers and business, not individual people, based on what's best for themselves as consumers.

    Nothing. There is actually nothing requiring any of them to offer any services except local over-the-air broadcast channels. That's why expanded basic is an advanced service and unregulated.

    Then don't make legal arguments (which is essentially the entirety of your message up to this point). If you are sad about the way things are, then just say that.

    "Shouldn't be allowed" is exclusively and unequivocally a legal contention.

    I am. The reversal of the Enforcement Bureau's over-zealousness make that very clear.

    Correct.
     
  2. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    This really hits on a major consideration: The satellite services are exempt from the rules that we're talking about, that require cable companies to provide the ability for consumer-owned host devices to interact with their networks. Exempt. Folks upset about SDV should switch to DirecTV or Dish Network and see how much worse those companies satisfy their needs.

    Indeed.
     
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Actually, so are FIOS and Uverse, at least for the moment. FIOS is voluntarily going along. Uverse could easily come up with a separable security option, but CableCards are out for them.

    Some people greatly prefer Dish or DirecTV. For my sister and others like her, Satellite service (or nothing) is the only option.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Is FIOS exempt just because the laws did not anticipate fiber going into the house? I believe TWC is fiber optic to our curb.
     
  5. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    FIOS got an exemption from having to use CableCARDs in their own leased devices, but they still support CableCARDs in customer equipment, like TiVo. Is that the exemption that you're talking about?

    Since Verizon puts their television content on your house coax, their bandwidth available for television has its limits, but all of it is available for digital television, unlike the cablecos, many of whom spend half their copper bandwidth on analog basic and expanded basic channels, and some of the rest on telephone and network service. It should be a long time, if ever, before they need to resort to SDV and Tuning Adapters.
     
  6. Shmooh

    Shmooh New Member

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    Re: bicker's response to my last post... Geez, dude - no need to jump on my case. I understand how actual law works in that it must be explicit. No worries, though - I'll just assume you were trying to enlighten me. ;)

    (By the way - I still maintain that SDV is in a different category than VoD or PPV. If it's not, then it ought to be. It's not a preference thing, just an implication thing - it behaves very differently than on-demand type services and is much more analogous to traditional cable broadcasting.)

    So what's the point of the original CableCard legislation, then? If cable companies can simply bypass them by changing their television delivery system, then won't they just become a moot point? (Sure - tech changes all the time. It's a natural evolution.)

    To put it another way - if there are no restrictions on the use of SDV and the cable companies can force consumers to rent their boxes to access everything but local channels, would new laws need to be drafted to accomplish the same -intent- as the original CableCard legislation? (The legal answer is apparently yes - I'm asking about thoughts/opinions.)

    To be clear - I have zero problem with cable companies using SDV. I think it's a great idea, actually. The issue I have is with the required rental of their box (which is what CableCards were supposed to prevent, right?).
     
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    It is really important to not lose sight of that. I cannot tell you how often I see folks post complaints about things not working the way they expected them to, where it is very clear that their disappointment stems from them holding unfounded expectations, along these lines, i.e., that the law is about what's best for them. And I have to believe that they get that impression from casual conversations they have with folks who seem to know, but really are just being, as you were, casual about the reality of the situation. Best to be explicit, just in case.

    Sorry for upsetting you. ;)

    I can understand you wanting it to be.

    That's still a "preference thing". Your preference. Stand proud: You're allowed to have personal preferences. Trying to make them sound like laws is what prompted my reply to your earlier message. ;)

    This is a fantastic question. At its core, the CableCARD mandates benefit consumer electronics manufacturers who wish to compete in this market. Consumers also benefit, from such competition as their willingness to pay might bring about in the market.

    And if that results in a situation where new laws are needed, then new laws will be passed. That's simply not the case yet. Rather, technology is going to catch up. tru2way paves the way. Us early adopters pay a penalty from being early adopters -- that's always the way of things. So our early CableCARD devices will eventually no longer be very useful. That shouldn't be very surprising to anyone.
     
  8. Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    I was following cable card in the news up until just before the date of the integration ban was to take effect. At the time Cable card had been broken before it was even released due to cable companies moving to SDV.

    At the time I remember speculation that suggested cable companies were moving to SDV to defeat the cable card mandate and keep their own devices in customer homes. Shortly afterward my life got complicated and I stopped following it.

    Recently, with the help of Bicker and others I've discovered that the "Level playing field" cable cards were supposed to give didn't actually happen. Cable companies are apparently using devices that have integrated cable cards and support SDV, VOD, and PPV. I haven't discovered why the Cable Boxes would support all of this with a cable card and Tivo doesn't, however I suspect someone will chime in with the answer.

    The net result as far as I can see is that all of those cable card ready TV's sold years ago (With the integration ban in mind) will not work with SDV cable systems. Essentially maintaining the status quo before the integration ban. Certainly cable companies knew about this before cable labs finalized the cable card spec? And if so, did they try to get SDV in the spec and if not, why not?
     
  9. Shmooh

    Shmooh New Member

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    (To set my tone - I intend no heat in these words, just food for thoughtful discussion.)

    Yes, that's what I mean. It ought to be - I'm stating my view of an ideal world. :) I'm not trying to say it's currently what the law says.

    My apologies for not being clear. I was never trying to say that things are laws when they aren't (I even said I wasn't arguing legality, after all.). I'm saying the way I think things should be - not the way they are.

    The implications of lumping SDV with VoD and PPV (while that may be true legally) are much more far reaching. Not to split hairs, but I don't consider a logical view of the technologies to be my preference as to how they should be categorized. The categorization just makes the most logical sense. Hence - not a preference. :) (But maybe that interpretation of the words is just my preference! Ha!)

    Interesting point. Really interesting, actually. What does it mean for companies like TiVo if SDV forces them out of the market? Okay, well - we know what it means. :(

    My thought/point is this (hypothetical but very plausible future scenario): The DVRs we bought become obsolete because cable companies (monopolies) create new technologies that make TiVos useless. Laws adjust to benefit equipment manufacturers again (like the original CableCard legislation). Who will buy that equipment, knowing it can and will just happen again, and could happen at any time? (Fool me once, yadda yadda...) Doesn't that effectively prevent competition in that market space by an implied threat of changing technology by a monopoly? How can any company compete in that kind of market?

    Whether you look at it from a consumer perspective or device vendor perspective, hasn't cable company monopoly harmed you?

    (Getting a bit off topic, but in case you hadn't guessed, my opinion is that the cable company monopolies were a bad idea and should be done away with as soon as possible. I've always liked the idea of a municipality owning/running coax and/or fiber lines to homes and leasing bandwidth to companies who want to provide services on them as an alternative.)

    Well, I'd hardly call somebody buying a CableCard device an 'early adopter'. They've been around for ages. :)

    Interesting discussion, none the less.
     
  10. Shmooh

    Shmooh New Member

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    Bicker and others undoubtedly know more about this than I do, but isn't tru2way just the new "cable card" spec that's supposed to provide 2-way communication, and thus provide SDV support (among other things)? Assuming yes, why wasn't tru2way finalized before SDV was rolled out? (Short answer - because they weren't legally obligated to do so?)

    Of course, all existing TiVo and cable-card TV owners are still screwed. It would be interesting to know if that screwing was a result of natural technological evolution or because of specific and planned intent on the part of cable companies.

    We'll probably never find out for sure, but if we think about how data networking and television delivery have evolved in the past 10 years, it's not that surprising that CableCards are one-way. Of course, it's equally plausible that somebody had the foresight, and simply chose not to include it in the spec.

    How much of a cynic are you? :)
     
  11. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    As I understand it tru2way is already designed into current CableCARDs. Full 2-way mplementation (VOD, SDV handling) requires the host device to be designed accordingly (which current TiVo's aren't) and the cable system to support it too, which largely they don't -- yet.

    This post by bkdtv is informative, I think.
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Answer: Us! We can't resist. We are .... early adopters! :)
    Similar to what's happening with natural gas and electricity, eh? I like the idea but the technical, economic and political complications of getting from here to there seem ... to say the least ... daunting!

    Don't expect laws and regulations to effectively anticpate future technical developments. Glitches that screw early adopters are iintrinsic overhead to trying to regulate hi-tech things.
     
  13. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Yes with time new laws will need to be written, but I don't think SDV or Tru2way does anything to make cable cards obsolete. Cable cards fulfills the requirement for separable security devices. I suspect that the cable companies will still have to have some form of separable security no matter what other changes they make to their networks. Our early cable card devices will be obsoleted by SDV and Tru2way not because of cable cards.
     
  14. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    There is nothing inherently "logical" about your preferred differentiation. The logical differentiation is the one that is imposed by the law: linear versus non-linear. It is a reflection of the objective, non-controversial, not prejudicial physics of the situation. Any other criteria that one could come up with would not be able to rise to the same level. Generally, such other criteria would involve more tenuous qualities, such as could be affected by marketing, packaging, or personal selection.

    To you.
    Hence, a preference. :)

    It's immaterial. SDV didn't force them out of the market.

    Didn't happen, so it is pointless to speculate about it. Truly.

    The problem though was prompted by the government rushing regulation when the marketplace was not sufficiently stable enough to determine what the requirements should have been. Heck, the way things are now, is the path forward even clear enough yet? The alternative would be to have government, or a single Ma Bell, impose reality. Neither is acceptable to enough people in the country. So everyone is forced to live with the ramifications of living in a free society, where things sometimes aren't very smooth because of how a free society works.

    The cable companies don't have a monopoly. If you don't like cable, switch to satellite. Or just use your own antenna and Netflix. If it is important enough, move to where you can get better reception, or choices. This is the reality. The FCC even has tried to deny it, but when they did so they were spanked by the US Court of Appeals.

    Anyone buying anything before the marketplace for that thing is sufficiently stable is an early adopter. I cannot imagine what you could possibly be thinking is the definition of early adopter, besides that.
     
  15. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    "They" are still not obligated to do so. The obligation to put such strictures in place rests on the government. What you're seeing is a reflection of the government lacking the intelligence to foresee what technologies are going to be needed in the future, and building those technologies before the marketplace prompts suppliers to provide capabilities for which those technologies that government should have already put in place would provide the kinds of flexibility that we might want.

    Again, back when I was working for Ma Bell, before there were more than one phone company, we did this. We thought ahead. We put everything in place before consumers even knew they wanted it. We were provided vast resources beyond what a normal company would normally have -- our profit was a percentage of expense, not a percentage of revenue. Those days are gone though. The people of our country decided that they didn't want that kind of overhead, and they therefore decided that they were willing to live with the consequences of that decision, in return for the promise that competition between cable companies and satellite providers provide.

    I have a TiVo S1. I've been "screwed" before. It won't be a big shock to be "screwed" again. My TiVo S1 does exactly what I paid for it to do. The fact that the environment within which I would use such a device has changed so much in less than a decade that I effectively, now, have a big paperweight, doesn't mean anyone did anything wrong, or someone is getting away with something that they shouldn't be able to get away with. It is just a reflection of reality.

    Curmudgeons love to raise the specter of stuff like that, but it is simply bull. I know; In my previous career, I used audit them all. I know, from personal observation, that such accusations are not much more than baseless whining, and self-centered myopia.
     
  16. morac

    morac Cat God

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    That's actually a point most people forget or ignore. CableCards aren't going away nor are they aren't being replaced by SDV or Tru2Way. As you said, none of these has anything to do with the others. CableCards handle the encryption, SDV is a method of sending channels only as needed and Tru2Way is communication standard to allow consumer electronic devices to talk to the cable head-end.

    I'll point out that there is one exception to cable cards obsoleting our early cable card devices and that's the M-Cards. Some devices can't use M-Cards at all and some can only use M-Cards in S-Card mode (like the S3).
     
  17. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I agree except I wonder if (hope?) you are a too pessimistic about "our early cable card devices." I have periods of several weeks without any major TA (or CableCARD) problems and during that time "how sweet it is!" -- well relatively speaking; still an assortment of small problems that I can live with. Maybe TA/CableCARD problems will settle down eventually and our devices won't be obsoleted. We'll probably never have VOD but that doesn't bother me that much. There's Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. For MRV with CCI = 0x02, I wonder it isn't feasible for TiVo to give us a solution through just a software update?
     
  18. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    When I read "our early CableCARD devices", TiVo didn't spring to mind. I thought about the millions of televisions sold with CableCARD slots; eventually they won't be able to get much of anything with just a CableCARD.

    TiVo's fine right now and I don't see that immediately changing. If you wanted cable providers VOD, why'd you buy a TiVo? As for MRV, they probably should redo that to use some secure streaming method (as they should have done to begin with, like Moxi) instead of just slowly copying files around. (I wonder what Moxi uses for that? There are a few different streaming protocols emerging which use DTCP/IP for authentication and protection).
     
  19. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Then the technology that the cards use isn't obsolete, they are reduced function with the older S3 units.
     
  20. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    SDV probably won't do it, IF they continue to work out the kinks with the TA's. I just don't know enough about Tru2way to say. Can they upgrade the OS enough to do it with a firmware /OS update or does it actually require a hardware update. But the Cable Card is probably going to be around a while.

    Out of curiosity does anyone remember, why they decided to use CC in the first place? IIRC the cable companies fought to get something to address security issues with 3rd party CE devices and the CC was what came out from that.
     

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