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SDV FAQ

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

  1. Nov 9, 2007 #581 of 2401
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    A Tuning Resolver dongle could be created that would work with any DOCSIS-compliant cable system, which most all are, and very likely all that would be using SDV would be.

    Of course, that's referring to the hardware. What would be necessary is firmware implementing whatever protocol was necessary to support the SDV requests on a specific system.

    And the simplest thing to do would be to create this Tuning Resolver USB dongle and establish a standardized way (or ways) it attempts to bootstrap itself via communications over a DOCSIS-compliant cable modem; that bootstrap process would involve loading firmware on the Tuning Resolver that is created specifically for that cable system.

    In the end, you have one piece of hardware that can be utilized by all cable systems and only a tiny bit of firmware coding may vary between cable systems, all of which could be delivered to the USB dongle in the field, requiring no preauthorization by anyone.
     
  2. Nov 9, 2007 #582 of 2401
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Well I guess I knew it was going to happen sooner or later - looks like SDV is coming to Cox, Orange County by December 17 when a whole host of new HD channels will be added:
    http://cox.com/ocpv/hdtv/new.asp
    The clue is the following line:
    Of course no details given on which specific channels will be SDV.

    Would be nice to know what Tivo's definition of "widespread SDV deployment" really means and how much time they think that statement can buy them...
     
  3. Nov 9, 2007 #583 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Hmm. My housemate's son-in-law is in technical operations management with Cox San Diego. I was at his home for my housemate's daughter's birthday, and he didn't seem to think that they were going to roll out switched video to the home anytime soon (apparently, they've implemented some form of switching at a national level--I didn't ask). Hopefully he's right.

    Of that list, we don't have HGTV, Food, CNN, TLC, NFL, FSN, History, Animal Planet, the HDNets, Cinemax, Starz!, Discovery (the new Discovery HD--we have HD Theater) or TLC. It would be a decent upgrade, but hardly equal to the huge number of new HD channels recently added by D*. What in that list is new for your area?
     
  4. Nov 9, 2007 #584 of 2401
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    Selected Orange County areas already had:
    MYTV13 HD, National Geographic HD, A&E HD, FSNW HD, Starz HD, Cinemax HD

    New to everyone:
    NFL HD, History Channel HD, Animal Planet HD, CNN HD, TBS HD, TLC HD, Discovery Channel HD, FOOD HD, HGTV HD, HDNET, HDNET Movies

    After this update the only ones missing I would care about: SciFi HD & USA HD
     
  5. Nov 9, 2007 #585 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Give me Sci Fi HD and I'd be perfectly happy with what I already have (though I'd watch the HD Nets if they were there--I had them before when I lived in a TWC area). Sci Fi is the only SD network that I watch anymore. I currently record some 22 hours of HDTV from the networks and Showtime; it's difficult keeping up with the television that I already watch.
     
  6. Nov 10, 2007 #586 of 2401
    jimwnola

    jimwnola New Member

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    Perhaps, this is off point. I don't know.

    2 weeks ago I was getting by with a dvd recorder with tv guide plus, and an HD TV with a cable card. Just like that, the digital tuner breaks. Before, I couldn't watch recorded HD, but I could at least watch it live and record other shows with an ir blaster. Now, without the tuner, no more watching and recording. I figured a repair would be hundreds of dollars and still no recorded HD. I began researching all my options, reading everything and was just about to get a tivo. I had never heard of SDV 2 weeks ago, and this issue, alone, has me stopped in my tracks.

    On top of providing better service, one thing that appealed to me about tivo, compared to leasing a dvr from Charter, was paying the lump sum for 3 years, getting it over with, and bringing down monthly costs to $8. I see Charter also plans to use SDV, so it almost seems reckless to pay $600 or more dollars on service that is threatened to be unusable in the near future. Hope that the issue will be resolved isn't much to rely on. I don't think the cable companies have much of an incentive to help tivo get the $15 or more a month they want for themsleves. And as noted by some, the rest of the country doesn't even know what SDV is, and many might even welcome it for the new HD channels.

    I have read most of the posts here. I don't really want to rent an overpriced dvr from Charter, spend $600 on a tivo that could be soon obsolete or half functioning, or pay hundreds in repairs just to be where I was. Tell me why it might be smart to get the tivo, even with this SDV issue looming?
     
  7. Nov 10, 2007 #587 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I'll tell you why I bought a TiVo S3 despite the looming spectre of SDV. Worse comes to worst, I put up an antenna, and just record OTA. It wouldn't be as good as getting all those cable choices, but it would still provide some value, enough that the risk is worth it, given that if the risk never materializes, I get the full value of the DVR.

    That was my rationale. How well it helps you depends on how much you and your situation matches mine.
     
  8. Nov 10, 2007 #588 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I bought my S3, fully aware of the pending SDV problem, because I couldn't deal with the cable company's DVR. I moved from a TWC neighborhood into a Cox one; previously I'd had an SA8300HD running Passport Echo, which I was reasonably satisfied with (there are several features of it that I still miss), and got the same box running SARA from Cox, which has an intolerably poor user-interface. Just unbelievable--it's like it was designed and written by a bunch of not-particularly-talented and under-motivated high-school hackers. It was almost physical painful to use. My choice was to buy a TiVo or stop recording television.

    If things remain the same in terms of cable content available to me, I'm fine. My fear is that they'll move some things to SDV, reducing what I can watch. Even then, there are 5 or 6 HD channels that they could take away from me that I'd hardly notice the lack of (TBS HD, Discovery HD Theater, A&E HD, NG HD, MOJO, etc). If they add Sci Fi HD as an SDV service it will break my heart, but I'll live. The more HD the merrier, but I'd hardly watch any of the other things that I don't already have that DirecTV has added so far.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2007 #589 of 2401
    chashulme

    chashulme New Member

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    Laguna...
    Well, I'm in precisely the same boat you are (1x Series 3 unit with CableCards + OTA in Laguna Niguel), and unfortunately I think I have at least a partial answer to your question.

    This morning I received the blast email from Cox about adding HDNet and HDNet Movies (new HD Tier) on December 17... I've been running DIRECTV on HR20's, and also a single S3 on Cox to compare the two... With the addition of the HDNet feeds, I thought I might want to dump DIRECTV altogether, as they are in the maw of forcing out the HR20's by year's end. But what I found out when I called Cox made me do an about face.

    It turns out that the HD channels Cox S3 customers have now are all they're gonna get. According to Cox tech support, and a supervisor I was transferred to, S3 (cable card) customers will not be receiving any of the new channels to be broadly launched on Dec. 17, nor any added thereafter. The supervisor informed me that SDV support is required to get any additional channels, and that cable card S3's would not be compatible. When I complained about not being notified in any way of these limitations, she tried to float the notion that it's not only the cable card that is incompatible, but also the S3 and my displays -- that's when we parted company (I hung up the phone).

    So now, AFAIK it seems to be either I learn to like the HR21 and the dreaded DIRECTV Grid, or I deep-six my S3 and cable cards in favor of Cox hardware? This seems to all have happened overnight...

    In any case, the HD channels I cannot get now, even though I live in Laguna Niguel, are CNN HD, Discovery HD, NFL Network HD, TLC HD, History HD and Animal Planet HD. And I assume I won't be watching HDNet or HDNet Movies on Dec. 17... :mad:
     
  10. Nov 15, 2007 #590 of 2401
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    I guess we'll see. When I asked SDV is not yet deployed in Orange County and it is coming sometime next year. Seeing as some areas already have these they are not under SDV currently, but perhaps Cox is already reserving future HD channels for SDV as you say, and won't enable them for CC customers. Scanning with my QAM tuner there are 7 encrypted QAM channels showing up so I know I'm getting the signals, they just are not in my CC channel map.
     
  11. Nov 15, 2007 #591 of 2401
    chashulme

    chashulme New Member

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    Laguna...
    I was left with the impression that SDV is not enabled now, but that Cox has decided to drive a stake in the ground (or, 'in the heart' might be more apt...) on CC's. And although I haven't yet gone toe-to-toe with the sales group, I was told that it would make no diff. The conversation was not heated, as I think this just puts up a barrier to any positive outcome. But the sup essentially told me that, although they really didn't want to lose me as a customer, escalating the issue would have no positive effect... The appear to be determined.
     
  12. Nov 15, 2007 #592 of 2401
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    SDV works fine with CableCARDs as long as the host device supports two-way services. Unfortunately the TiVo does not.
     
  13. Nov 15, 2007 #593 of 2401
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    It's insufficient just to support two way services. The host device also has to be running the cable company's software (there is currently no standard SDV interface, just standards for downloading software). And there is no standard modular interface at the moment, so the complete software system has to be supplied by the cable company. Why have a TiVo then?
     
  14. Nov 15, 2007 #594 of 2401
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Why have a Tivo? To use it for the stuff not on SDV and the stuff available OTA. This minimizes the exposure to the nasty low capacity cable DVR to stuff only on SDV. That is my plan.
     
  15. Nov 15, 2007 #595 of 2401
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    My point was why have a TiVo if the cable company is supplying the software (and TiVo isn't).

    I agree it may be reasonable to run a TiVo and not have access to the SDV channels. But an OCAP compatible TiVo that can get SDV with the cable company supplying the software seems useless. Perhaps someday standards will arise here, but there aren't any useful ones now.
     
  16. Nov 15, 2007 #596 of 2401
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    But that isnt what OCAP is doing. Cableco is supplying middleware and unique FW for their cable system. Tivo would be supplying the user interface and the guts of the Tivo experience.
     
  17. Nov 15, 2007 #597 of 2401
    HiDefGator

    HiDefGator New Member

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    It seems reasonable to you because you are only missing a couple of HD channels today. How reasonable will it seem the middle of next year when you aren't getting say 100+ HD channels?

    Once you have mopre than one HD TV in the house is it reasonable to buy a Tivo and lease a cable DVR for each one?
     
  18. Nov 15, 2007 #598 of 2401
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    I fully expect a Tuning Resolver to become available before any cable system offers 100 or more HD channels using SDV.

    In the meantime I have a primary viewing location and already have a cable company DVR for it in addition to two Series 3 TiVo's; and while I almost never use it, it's there for access to OnDemand and PPV programming anyway.

    It's not unreasonable for someone with multiple TiVo's and multiple HD displays to at least equip one of them with the cable company DVR to gain access to programming currently unavailable any other way. Doing it for every display location might be excessive, though. :)

    For me, personally, there's only maybe 5 or 6 channels that I record anything from that aren't already available to me in HD from my cable company. For the most part beyond just channel surfing a few times because I can, I can't see that the other 90+ HD channels would even ever get tuned once in my house to watch something, let alone to record something.
     
  19. Nov 15, 2007 #599 of 2401
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    But it's impossible for TiVo to do that at the moment. There is no standard for TiVo to communicate with the cable company middleware, as they need to. Once there is a standard, I agree that's the desired division. But I see no indication that the cable companies are moving to make that happen. That's why TiVo has been filing all those briefs with the FCC.
     
  20. Nov 15, 2007 #600 of 2401
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    Uh, what part of 'support two-way services' are you adding extra conditions to? All of what you are adding is covered in my statement of 'support'. Why do you have a need to add unnecessary info.

    The software does not have to be cable company software. Anyone can write to the specs that are provided by the cable operators.
     

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