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SDV FAQ

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

  1. Nov 5, 2007 #541 of 2401
    sidsub

    sidsub New Member

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    At this point, it would be most of their new or upgrading customers, right? I mean the only TiVo's that do HD are the TiVo HD and the Series 3, and they only work with either basic cable or digital cable using CableCards, and those CableCards are getting to where they'll miss a lot of HD channels now in an increasing number of markets thanks to SDV. This would seem to be a *big* problem for TiVo.
     
  2. Nov 5, 2007 #542 of 2401
    HiDefGator

    HiDefGator New Member

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    I suspect it is getting to be a bigger problem for them by the day. But keep in mind that most people have no idea that the Tivo HD they are buying today will not get any HD once SDV comes to their city. If they don't get a solution for it relatively soon it will start cutting into their sales. How many people will need to return their new Tivo to Best Buy before they decide to stop stocking them?
     
  3. Nov 5, 2007 #543 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    There can be no temporary fix. SDV is an application-level protocol and the reason that TiVo can't directly support it is that it require bidirectional communication with the cable system; it's not something that's built into M-Cards. M-Cards aren't inherently bidirectional and S-Cards aren't inherently unidirectional--it's the interface in the device (television or STB) which supports bidirecitonal or unidirectional communication. The "M" in M-Card stands for Multi-Stream, meaning that they can decrypt multiple service streams simultaneously. Because of this, TiVo HD can use a single M-Card for both tuners. They're working on making that work for TiVo S3, but neither will ever be capable of the bidirectional exchanges necessary for SDV. To gain access to a channel carried as SDV, a device has to be able to ask the cable system for information, and TiVos aren't physically equiped with what they need to do that. What's being discussed is attaching an external "dongle" to them via one of the USB connections which would also be connected to the coax through which they could speak the SDV protocols back to the cable system.

    You need to identify your local cable franchising agency and complain formally (and vehemently) to them on paper, with copies sent to the cable company management. I'm fairly certain that it's against FCC regulations for your cable company to present their rebroadcast of the over-the-air DTV channels as SDV, so you should at least get that handful of HD services (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, the CW, PBS and any local independents). If you're indignant enough, maybe you can get them to shake free a few of the channels outside of the core basic tier. If they add dozens of new HD service in order to compete with what DirecTV is doing, don't expect to be able to get any of them unless and until this "tuning resolver" dongle is available.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2007 #544 of 2401
    3morgans

    3morgans New Member

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    I had this problem too. It turns out that everytime Cox makes an SDV programming change, your cable cards loose encryption. I found out that a TiVo reset will resynch the cards and give you back your non-SDV channels.
     
  5. Nov 5, 2007 #545 of 2401
    pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

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    Ah, if that's the problem, they'll also fix themselves eventually if you leave it alone, but it can take almost a day!
     
  6. Nov 5, 2007 #546 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I'm sorry--I didn't notice this post earlier, or I'd have argued with it :D.

    I believe that your understanding of this is incorrect. Cable is allowed to carry digital only, but only if all their subscribers have equipment that can handle it (not if they make such equipment available for to lease to their subscribers but if they can prove that all of their subs actually have such equipment), which isn't likely to be true in any market or to become true by 02/09. The way that you interpret this, the ruling has no effect whatsoever, since I believe that all of the cable providers are currently leasing digital boxes capable of outputting downconverted HD digital signals over SD analog outputs; the boxes I was using 3 years ago could do it. Martin's original stated goal for this regulation was that no one be immediately forced to lease a digital box after the analog shutdown, so he considers it a win; cable considers it a win because Martin did not want the regulation to contain a sunset date--he wanted them to continue analog carriage indefinitely and he didn't get that.

    I find it very difficult to believe that any system in Chicagoland is small enough to qualify to request an exemption from this ruling (I lived there for a couple of years, working for 3Com). Cable wanted automatic exemptions for systems of 552 MHz capacity or less and the commission refused, though they will review case-by-case exemption requests. Is there some online citation that you can make that some Chicago area system has gone all digital?

    I really wish that I could actually quote the text of the order here (FCC 07-170, adopted 9/11/07). For some reason the R&O is not available online yet, though another order that they adopted the same day (to force cable to continue to sell the channels that they own to their satellite and telco competitors for the next 5 years) is available.
     
  7. Nov 5, 2007 #547 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    There was no indication that the regulation includes any such provision.

    Which is why industry analysts generally labeled the decision as a rare FCC win for cable companies.

    I guess we'll have to wait first for the R&O to be released, and then for its interpretation to make it to the courts, to know for sure.
     
  8. Nov 5, 2007 #548 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    it's more than just one city-

    In many BIG cities cable is already all box in some areas so they can encrypt everything to stop pirating. If they are 100percent box anyway then ditching analog is pretty easy.

    Time Warner's NYC plant apparently did the same thing some months ago (and I think they own Staten Island so it might not have already been 100% box- I'd assume parts of Brooklyn and the south bronx to be all box though) . And I believe Cablevision is working on it to in their parts of NYC.

    I'd assume if NYC and Chicago are doing it than places like philly and boston and LA, etc aren't far behind.

    The majority aren't going to go all digital tomorrow or anything but they could quickly get to 10 or 20% of cable households if they flip the big cities.
     
  9. Nov 5, 2007 #549 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    honestly I'm not sure how things turn out. But recovering 30 channels is more than enough for now. that's what- 90 HD channels- that's still a decent amount more than all the HD ANNOUNCED channels in existance. Even counting VOOM I think that's plenty for the next year or so. Going all digital on a 750mhz system gives what- 200 HD and 300 SD channels? (too lazy to do the math but it's in that range- no?)
     
  10. Nov 5, 2007 #550 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    #4 dont want to piss off the FCC

    #5 dont want to piss of congress.

    I think number 3 with those last 2 are what matters. They dont want to be seen circumventing the intent of the 1996 telecom act to allow 3rd party devices to exist.
     
  11. Nov 5, 2007 #551 of 2401
    ntrainer

    ntrainer New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, 3morgans. Indeed, the reboot has gotten me all my 'regular' channels back -- that is, the ones I watch: HD networks, the regular NBC 4, and HBO. I hope I don't have to reboot constantly to solve this problem as it re-occurs. But I appreciate the pragmatic suggestion!
     
  12. Nov 5, 2007 #552 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    found this press release thing about cable needing to support analog tv's:

    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-276576A1.pdf

    Sounds like Bicker is correct (there I go again agreeing with him- LOL).

    At worst cable will have to 'provide' that equipment to people . So they'll give out free boxes and just jack the rates for basic to include it. At this point many include a "free" box with digital cable. So who's to say they dont just 'include converter boxes for free' in the future?

    Maybe I'm missing something - but it sure does sound like a non-story. Is there ANY such consumer device today that doesn't have a set of ananlog rca outputs? Maybe blueray players dont but doesn't pretty much everything else?
     
  13. Nov 5, 2007 #553 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Yeah, I think that both bicker and I read all of the press releases and commissioner comments. The way that I read it is that they're going to have to actually place equipment in all of their subs' homes in order to do digital only broadcasting. If they force their subs to lease equipment they will undoubtably lose subs by the millions. If they provide it for free, they're gonna take a big hit. If they raise the basic rate (which the regulated providers cannot do without FCC buy-in) they will lose subs.

    We'll see what the net effect becomes in the end.
     
  14. Nov 5, 2007 #554 of 2401
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    I think there's a happy medium in there... one that's probably being tested in the handful of markets where they're doing just that... putting in a free digital receiver even for basic tier subscribers. Equipment costs really aren't high per receiver, and they gain the opportunity to capture more income from interactive services, PPV/OnDemand, and eventually a la carte channel offerings.
     
  15. Nov 5, 2007 #555 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    See? That didn't hurt too much? :)

    Though not that the R&O didn't include the word "free" -- not even the word "affordable".
     
  16. Nov 5, 2007 #556 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I do think that this is one reason why they're pushing for the low-end cable-box integration band exemption. With CableCard capability, these STBs will be, of course, significantly more expensive.
     
  17. Nov 5, 2007 #557 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    yep-

    I noticed the lack of "free" in the press release. That's why I'm saying "worst case" is they are free.
     
  18. Nov 5, 2007 #558 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    And to be fair, they probably WILL be free, for either at least one or perhaps as much three boxes, for the market-share-related reasons mentioned.
     
  19. Nov 5, 2007 #559 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    true they might lose bottom subs but i dont see the regulators stopping anything. They haven't done a thing to cable in years that mattered. More and more plants are declaring competition from DBS all the time. And Verizon is going to let a big chunk of the northeast off the regulatory hook in the next couple years.

    As to loosing bottem end subs- I dont think they care. Directv noticed a couple years ago that the bottom of the subs account for little profit (the numbers directv showed were remarkable. It was akin to the top quarter of their subs accounted for the lions share of their profits.

    Comcast seems to have noticed that too- their last conference call they had a NET loss of a good pile of basic subs but their high end subs numbers went up with people adding digital cable or interent or voice and so their revenue was up a bunch.

    Based on those 2 examples I'm not so sure they wouldn't actually LIKE to jack the rates 10 bucks and give digital boxes for free and then let the 'cheapskates' leave and call DISH (if they even want to be bothered with them anymore). There's parts of the country where digital cable costs almost the same as analog at this point- clearly they want to get people into those upper tier services with a box in the house. As Doug says - you drop the box off and they can order PPV/ VOD, online dating, jobs, cars, hook them into advertising, etc etc.
     
  20. Nov 5, 2007 #560 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    I looked it up in my town just to get a frame of reference.

    Analog basic is 56.80.

    Digital basic is just $8.95 more and you get a "free" digital box (which are 4.95 alone) with that. Addtional tv's are 6.95 which includes a "free" box.

    end game- analog basic is 56.8. It's 4 dollars to add digital basic. and then 2 bucks more pre tv after the first for digital service (likely the "additonal outlet" fee).

    A bunch of numbers in there- but point is they could use the 2008 and 2009 rate increase to raise analog basic at a rate faster than digital basic so in the next couple years they would wind up being basically the same and few would even notice. If someone is willing to walk for 5 dollars a month at that point then probably cable doesn't want them since they wont be ordering PPV or anything else extra.
     

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