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SDV FAQ

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

  1. Oct 6, 2007 #401 of 2401
    HiDefGator

    HiDefGator New Member

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    I suspect since each cable company has different hardwrae configured in numerous different ways that the dongle or the firmware for it or the software for it would have to come from each cable company. Ever tried getting a cable company to do something just for a handful of Tivo S3 owners?
     
  2. Oct 6, 2007 #402 of 2401
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    With todays "field programmable" devices, I believe that UDCP box manufacturers could make them themselves and program when installed.
     
  3. Oct 6, 2007 #403 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    It could follow the CableCARD model, with a proprietary protocol spoken to the headend and a standardized protocol between the host the "tuning resolver". That would need an amendment to CFR Title 47 Part 76 to require that the cable companies stock the appropriate model "tuning resolver". Alternatively, they could standardize both protocols (host-to-resolver and resolver-to-headend) and anyone could manufacture and distribute (or sell) them. Unlike CableCARD, there is no security concern to push the former model.

    No use speculating--we'll see how it comes out. I think that the existence and wording of TiVo's customer notice encouraging (and the fact that it's not accompanied by some BS "these are forward-looking statements which do not commit in any way" disclaimer).
     
  4. Oct 6, 2007 #404 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    However, some folks need to make decisions now, and that'll be the case going forward, based on a best guess about how this will all work out.

    Well, I wouldn't be so sure.

    "... TiVo does not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of contents on the Site. ... TIVO MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO ... A USER'S RELIANCE ON OR USE OF ANY INFORMATION .... PROVIDED ON ... THE SITE, OR ANY FAILURE OF PERFORMANCE CAUSED BY OR ARISING OUT OF USE OF OR ACCESS TO ANY ... INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE SITE."

    I'd say that pretty-much covers their tail backwards and forwards.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2007 #405 of 2401
    DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

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    I am also going to keep a positive attitude toward this whole situation :up:

    I do hope that we see the solution sooner rather than later, as many people need the device now.
     
  6. Oct 6, 2007 #406 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    We haven't been given enough data to make anything like an educated guess. You may as well flip a coin.
     
  7. Oct 6, 2007 #407 of 2401
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    There's also the possibility that the entire industry drags it's collective heals for 10 years like they did with CableCARDS, though I dont' think the FCC will let them get away with that again.
     
  8. Oct 7, 2007 #408 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Actually, that's not quite what the official website says, and in fact I hope it isn't the case, or rather I hope if it is the case it isn't the only case. While workable, a USB based dongle is the least flexible and least desirable solution for many devices, including the Series III / TiVoHD. If somone does develop a USB dongle, fine, but I hope they either make it both USB and Ethernet, or else they develop both a USB and Ethernet version of the dongle. Certainly the code revisions required for the TiVo are much, much simpler for an Ethernet version. It will also result in much simpler administration and far less plumbing, plus an Ethernet version of the dongle would allow the consumer to have one dongle serve every Ethernet based CableCard device in the house. A USB Dongle will require a separate dongle be purchased for every device. An Ethernet based dongle capability would even make it possible to eliminate the dongle altogether as long as the user has Internet service with their CATV provider, if the engineering is done correctly.
     
  9. Oct 7, 2007 #409 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yes, and what's worse, the uncertainty is not good for the consumer in general or the prospective TiVo owner in particular. Not only that, but while in some cases an air of uncertainty can readily be exploited, most often by the entrenched interest, in this particular case I don't see that the resulting FUD is really benefitting anyone very much. It may be renting out more CATV leased DVRs, but I'm not sure that isn't offset by those who are using it as a decision point to go with some other provider (AT&T, FIOS, Satellite, alternate CATV provider, etc). This I think especially since some CATV providers have made their DVR leases a near loss-leader to encourage retention and greater market penetration. In short, if the situation is at all deliberate on their part, it may have backfired.

    On the other hand, I don't think the situation is as much a result of Machiavellian conspiracies as of downright short-sightedness and pig-headedness. Add a little greed and a healthy dose of parochial attitudes and you get... well... what we've got.
     
  10. Oct 7, 2007 #410 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    One doesn't necessarily follow from the other. Generally, if you feel you haven't been given enough data to make an informed decision, then the best decision is typically believed to be the least invasive decision, i.e., in the case of TiVo, don't purchase it.
     
  11. Oct 7, 2007 #411 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I haven't seen any indication that anything has changed that would lead me to believe that the FCC will act any differently in the future than they have in the past. If anything, the fact that they "let them get away" with things before is foundation for projecting that they will "let them get away" with things again.
     
  12. Oct 7, 2007 #412 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    It may be fun to project such aspersions on the various parties, here, but the reality, I believe, is much less nefarious. Each company is doing what it should: Operating its business in accordance with the laws, in the best interests of its owners, as per their obligations. That normal-and-reasonable manner of conduct need not necessarily result in sweetness-and-light for everyone. Business is a naturally competitive, and often tumultuous environment, and it should be. Just because someone doesn't experience a smooth road doesn't mean that anyone else has wronged them.
     
  13. Oct 7, 2007 #413 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    TiVo's announcement says:
    "The" (not "one possible") solution revealed on PDF page 36 of the FCC filing is a USB-2 based "tuning resolver":
    I can see ways in which they could use Ethernet to solve this problem--they could run a server in the headend with which a running device could register over the internet for each of the unidirectional CableCARDs it hosted. It could then send messages requesting mappings for services that it wanted to tune and telling it when it was no longer actively using those services. That solution wouldn't require a "dongle" at all, just authorization of your network capable device with the cable headend as a valid user of the server. How do you envision an "Ethernet dongle" working?
     
  14. Oct 7, 2007 #414 of 2401
    CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    I was hoping that you weren't suggesting a design that required that one be getting Internet service through the cable company, but... :( . For a LOT of us, DSL is a more economical choice (not to mention the usual issue about sharing the bandwidth on your node).
     
  15. Oct 7, 2007 #415 of 2401
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    I probably read too much into this statement from Tivo:

    I assumed that since it was being referred to as a "tuning resolver" that it would be a USB solution and that if it were an Ethernet solution it would be something like a "channel requestor".
     
  16. Oct 7, 2007 #416 of 2401
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    It can't be an ethernet device because there is only one ethernet port and, at least in my case, it's already being used to connect to my local network. Any "tuning resolver" would have to connect to a QAM or DOCSIS network. There's no way to connect 2 physically different networks to one ethernet port.

    Since there are 2 USB ports, another device could be plugged in even if one USB port was in use.
     
  17. Oct 7, 2007 #417 of 2401
    pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

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    If it were an ethernet solution it'd be something like "software". It's a USB dongle with a QAM transmitter and maybe a receiver as well.
     
  18. Oct 7, 2007 #418 of 2401
    entropy1980

    entropy1980 New Member

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    Anyone know if TWC Canyon Country, CA just went SDV? I Just came home had a TiVo message that a lineup change had occured that TBSHD had been "added" and now a whole block of channels aren't working....
     
  19. Oct 7, 2007 #419 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    I must admit it was really hard for me to resist blasting this response with flames. Please look up the phrase "layered network model", and then the terms "network bridging" and "network routing".

    You really have a lot to learn about networking, I'm afraid. Not only is it false there is "no way" to connect 2 physically divergent Layer II or Layer III networks to a Layer II or Layer III Ethernet network, there are in fact a very large number of ways, generally called translation bridging (Layer II) and routing (Layer III). Secondly, a single Ethernet interface can very easily host large numbers of networks - dozens or even hundreds in fact. They don't even have to be compatible networks. A single interface can easily handle TCP/IP, NetBEUI, IPX, and OSI networks simultaneously. Thirdly, it is also untrue the resolver must connect to a QAM or DOCSIS network, although if the user has his internet access provided by the CATV company, it's virtually certain it would transverse the DOCSIS network at some point, that point being the most logical place to insert the request packet into the CATV provider's network. All that is required is the request packet reach the video server farm at the CATV headend and that the ARP tables of the switches which serve the path to the user's node be updated with the TiVo's network address and the IP address of the CableCard. Yes, the easiest way to handle this is over the CATV provider's DOCSIS network, but it isn't the only way. What's more, providing a resolver which provides a bridge to the DOCSIS network from the consumer's LAN is not difficult at all. Indeed, it is precisely what the DOCSIS modem sitting in my computer room is doing right now: providing access to the CATV company's DOCSIS network for my broadband Internet connection via Layer III routing. That includes all three of my TiVos. That's exactly what the dongle will do, as well, whether it is a USB or Ethernet device, although it will probably also act as a VPN endpoint.

    What's your point? While you are looking up the other terms, I suggest you also look uo the term "layyer 2 network switch". I have nearly 20 devices - including 2 other TiVos - "plugged in" to each of my TiVo's ethernet ports. Indeed, if I were to shut down the firewall on my cable gateway, there would be essentially hundreds of millions of devices plugged in to the Ethernet ports of my 3 TiVos, including every single router owned by my CATV provider. Whether the dongle is USB based or Ethernet based, it will be providing exactly the same function at the network layer. The difference is an Ethernet based dongle requires far less specialized code in the TiVo, only 1 dongle is required for every device (TiVo or otherwise) in the house, and the function of the dongle could quite readily be taken over by the DOCSIS modem most Series III TiVo owners already have in their house, or possibly even by a DSL modem, for those of us who buy our Internet access from someone other than the Cable company. The latter will require a bit more in the way of indulgence on the part of the CATV company, but what the heck, if DSL subscribers have to have the dongle while CATV broadband customers don't, c'est la vie.

    Oh, by the way, the two USB ports on your TiVo are not completely independent. They represent two ports on a USB hub, and the only difference between two USB ports and multiple Ethernet ports is the hub / switch is internal for the USB ports and external for the Ethernet ports. Well, that and the vast advantages offered by switching over hubbing, and the fact the required network protocols for the Ethernet port are already in place in the OS, and very little applications code will need to be written for an Ethernet dongle and ...
     
  20. Oct 7, 2007 #420 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Please re-read my post. I specifically stated I believed the situation is NOT a result of coordinated nefarious intents, or in fact of any nefarious intent.

    No, they are operating in accordance with what they THINK is in the best interest of the profiting parties, not what IS the best interest of the company. Said thinking is often tempered by greed, often to the detriment of the cpmapny (which is more than just the investors). No offense, but you seem to have a hard time distinguishing between intent and the ability to implement that intent. Just because an executive intends to save his company millions of dollars by some decision does not mean he will, and while greed is not necessarily the difference between the two, it certainly can be and historically has been on many occasions. Not only that, but many businessmen don't care what is in the best interest of the business, only what they can get out of it today. I can give you hundreds of examples, but I'll give four:

    1. The motion picture companies virtually had simultaneous coronaries when VCRs became widely available. Many of them refused to release titles at all, or agreed to do so only long, long after the movie was out of the theaters and had been broadcast on TV. Greed suggests preventing the user from renting or purchasing the movie will cause him to spend more money at the theater. The truth is ready access to video rentals and purchases increase the number of theater goers, and now many films make far more on rentals and DVD purchases than in theaters, yet theaters are making more money than ever and the movies studios are consequently making more money, as well. How was their obtuse conservativism motivated by greed good for the companies and their investors?

    2. Sony believed by refusing to release their Betamax patents for others to manufacture they could keep all the money made in the VCR and tape market to themselves. When was the last time you saw a betamax tape? How was this decision clearly motivated by greed rather than good business sense good for the company and its investors?

    3. A few years ago, one of our sales representatives came to me outraged because we did not have any available bandwidth going into one of the major long distance providers. She demanded to know why. The reason was we had filled up the systems going to the carrier. She then demanded we build another system into the carrier. I explained a new system would cost $200,000, and the revenue we had put on the old system took almost 10 years to fill with 1/4 the bandwidth. The circuit she was so incensed she could not sell would garner $75 a month. I told her we could not afford to spend that sort of cash on a system which was unlikely to pay for itself in 10 years, let alone in 3 (which is our standard business model). I asked her if she would agree to cover the difference if the system did not make money inside of 3 years. She went away, but stamped her feet and threw a temper tantrum to our local VP and demanded we build the system. Having placed all sorts of dollar signs in the VP's eyes, she demanded we build the system. Ten years later, the revenue on the system has paid for about $15,000 of the $200,000 build. The sales rep doesn't care, though, because she got her commission and doesn't have to pay for the $185,000 loss. She could not then and does not now care that she cost the company a small fortune. The VP is less sanguine, but what can she do? She was hoist upon her own petard. How was this decision clearly motivated by greed rather than good business sense good for the company?

    4. At the onset of the telecom bust, the CEO of our company met with a number of other CEOs and CFOs from our business sector. At the timne, all the companies including ours were beginning to feel the pinch caused by the market overindulgences (more greed, by the way) in the high tech sector in general and the telecom world in particular. She was shocked. Virtually every one of them had business which could be saved by cutting their workforce 15 - 20%, consolidating their debt, and controlling their expenditures over the next 24 - 36 months. The solution favored by every single one of them, however, was to deliberately bankrupt their companies and run with the cash. The end result? Every single one of those companies went bankrupt within the next 3 years, the employees all lost their jobs, and the investors were largely left holding the bag. How was this decision clearly motivated by greed rather than good business sense good for the companies and their investors?

    Which has nothing to do with my statements. The fact monkeys can be captured by placing food into a small hole where once they have grasped the food they are unable to withdraw their hand in no way comments upon the highly competitive world in which they live. They are an extremely successful genus, but they can be individually undone by their greed. The same is true of corporate executives. Many care virtually nothing for the company for which they work, and in many cases they will deliberately choose a detrimental course for the company if it yields greater short term gains for them personally. In this case, however, I as I already said, I think it is more a matter of being blinded by greed than being directly motivated by it. To put it briefly, many of the execs are simply unable to see the real advantages to be gained by cooperating in this situation.
     

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