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SDV FAQ

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

  1. Dec 14, 2007 #821 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    See my comments about "opening doors".

    At which time lrhorer will change his argument to, "It's always been this way..." :rolleyes:

    You must be using the word "easy" in a manner I'm not familiar with.

    You're also inserting words where they don't belong. I didn't say ANYTHING about a "4 tuner SDV ready DVR". There is no such thing available for sale to the market today, and there is no reason to believe that Microsoft and its partners, for example, are even working on a version of MCE and accompanying hardware that would qualify. So for the rest of this message, I'll be editing out the term SDV ready where you've added it erroneously.
    Resulting in a massive PR hit, as tens of thousands of customers start complaining that they suddenly lost a significant amount of their service.

    They're already going to be losing some service as things are, without what you're suggesting, but at least it won't be as draconian as the wholesale move necessary to accomplish what you're advocating, plus cable will be able to roll it in more slowly, spreading the much smaller hit over a much longer period of time.
    Resulting on both a lot of extra cost (which I'm sure YOU don't want to pay for), and a significant PR hit.

    As edited, that is patently untrue, given that there is nothing ensuring that anything will be SDV ready other than equipment provided by cable companies and the TiVo S4.
     
  2. Dec 14, 2007 #822 of 2401
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    Well, as much as I like the Tivo, I think the analog expanded basic tier's days are numbered. I do not expect it to last until FEB 2012 like basic broadcast.

    i expect the appearance of HD version of (name a channel) will be used as an excuse to jettison the SD version. Duplicate carriage of a given channel is just not worth it. About a third of my expanded basic tier already has HD versions (although we don't yet have them). As more people get HDTV sets, they will want USAHD or whatever in place of SD, folks will get cable boxes, the number of folks wanting USASD on their primary TV will decrease dramtically, etc. The end result will be more folks using SDV in the form of cable boxes. Secondary household TV sets that do not use cable boxes are the wild card in this scenario. If cable companies mandate cable boxes for analog receipt of locals (and they can) they can dump a bunch of sd channels and dump the SD versions and move the HD versions to SDV is they aren't already there.

    As regarding a 4 tuner SDV DVR. The specs for DVR hard drives say they support 10 simultaneous HD streams (don't say 720P or 1080i) and i have seen reference to a 10 tuner DVR. This would have sense for a home video server for high end clients.

    To assume MS isn't working on a solution for MCE is very strange. MCE 2005 has some features that Tivo doesn't support. Locking down the options and equipment can make for a more stable PC.

    Having started selling the Home Windows server (which already has a Tivo addon available), they could easily start building a home video server with MS STB's and run SA and MOTO out of business (since neither of these seems very interested in providing a decent UI).
     
  3. Dec 14, 2007 #823 of 2401
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    You seem to be saying that switched video will be used more if analog is dumped, but at least in the short run, it's just the opposite. Switched video and dumping analog are alternative ways of expanding usable bandwidth. Most cablecos seem to believe that switched video is the less expensive option.
     
  4. Dec 15, 2007 #824 of 2401
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    Actually switched video is the more expensive option. Dumping analog is actually very cheap to do, but it is highly likely to piss off analog cable customers. As the number of analog only cable customers goes down, you'll most likely see more cable companies dumping analog completely, but in the meantime, SDV is the lesser of 2 evils for them since the only ones it currently hurts are cableCARD users.
     
  5. Dec 15, 2007 #825 of 2401
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    It's not cheap. The cheapest set top box is something like $80, and most TVs will need one, not just the "primary" TV. It doesn't only affect analog-only customers (and those are still 50%). Plus installation costs.

    If the channels are sent unencrypted, then most recently made TVs could receive them. That would reduce the costs some.
     
  6. Dec 15, 2007 #826 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    True, but there is no requirement that STBs be provided for free.

    If you totally discount the costs associated with losing customers because you take away unencrypted analog channels, then doing so is indeed the lowest cost option. However, you cannot legitimately ignore those costs, and they are substantial. That's why more and more you'll see MSOs making the decision that SDV is the lowest cost approach.
     
  7. Dec 15, 2007 #827 of 2401
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    I agree about the short run, since it will take a while to manufacture and install the new equipment, especially the neighborhood headends.
     
  8. Dec 15, 2007 #828 of 2401
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    People moving to HD are at least somewhat liklely to be using a digital cable box now. Giving them a new HD cable box may free up a lot of non-HD cable boxes, many of these are SDV capable (I wouldn't hazard a guess about how many). these already paid for cable boxes could be used to support the analog SD TV sets that will remain sprinkled around in many houses and offices.
     
  9. Dec 15, 2007 #829 of 2401
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    A cableco can (and probably should) charge for STBs, but then it would have to lower the base price to compensate. So the cost is still there.
     
  10. Dec 16, 2007 #830 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    True, and while it isn't required for them to provide any STBs for free, if they go all-digital, a lot of us believe many of them will provide at least the first STB for free ("included").
     
  11. Dec 17, 2007 #831 of 2401
    brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

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    This may have been posted, but I did not read the entire thread. So forgive me if it has.

    Good News if it's true. Just read Charter may employ SDV early as next year. I hope this thing is available if they do.

    http://www.eetimes.com/rss/showArtic...etimes_newsRSS


    Edit: Although this post is obviously not worthy to some people, I felt this article gave some updated information on the topic that I did not get from reading previous posts. I never said or made it seem like I was introducing a new topic.
     
  12. Dec 17, 2007 #832 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Apparently the correct response to this type of post-old-news-without-looking at all in this forum is "you smeeked" :rolleyes:. We've been discussing this upcoming "tuning resolver" device in this and other threads for months.
     
  13. Dec 18, 2007 #833 of 2401
    OrangeKid

    OrangeKid New Member

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    Does anyone know if Cox Las Vegas has started using SDV? A number of new HD channels have been introduced over the last few weeks and I cannot receive them on my Tivo S3. Before having a tech come over I would like to be sure that it is not an SDV issue.
     
  14. Dec 19, 2007 #834 of 2401
    jercra

    jercra New Member

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    Keep in mind that this is one of the reasons that companies like Comcast choose companies like Motorola as their sole SDV vendor. They are also their primary STB vendor. Motorola is able to offer bundled pricing to help absorb some of the cost of all the new STBs required so long as Comcast chooses only them as the SDV vendor.
     
  15. Dec 21, 2007 #835 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Not fundamentally it isn't no. It's true there is an expectation of a certain penetration in a neighborhood, and it's true deviations from that expectation by something like an order of magnitude would produce significant network congestion. In fact, this would be a problem for the CATV users more than the CATV company, but we'll let that pass for the moment, and assume the CATV company would have a heart attack if even one customer complained of blockages. The projections of which you speak are completely instantaneous and time-independent ones. The model takes no note of what time of day or for what period of time the system is in use. It is entirely based upon the metric of how many simultaneous streams there are at peak useage.

    It is even more unreasonable to assert there are going to be hundreds of TiVos on each node all recording different things on that node 24 hours a day. It just won't happen. What happens across town and how many TiVos are distributed throughout the city is irrelevant. It is unique recordings from a particular node which impact the SDV model, and only at that node. The odds of having hundreds of Series III TiVos on a single node are vanishingly small until TiVo has sold on the order of 100 millions units. Don't hold your breath. The impact of Series II TiVos is vanishingly small.

    Not only that, but your assertion that all the TiVos will be recording completely independent content on both tuners 24 hours a day is nonsense. First of all, one would have to really, really work to get the TiVo to record anything 24 hours a day, unless one simply set up a 24 hour recording schedule on both tuners. No one in their right mind would do such a thing. I have three TiVos wth fairly extensive recording bases, and the three put together don't record more than twelve hours a day, and a significant amount of that is duplication.

    There's no theoretical limit. There are practical ones, but they are huge. More importantly, the point you are missing is it is not any more of a load on the SDV system at the headend to have a million receivers watching a channel than to have 1. It is only unique content which adds extra load to the system, and that load metric is entirely instantaneous. Watching 24 hours a day is no more of a load on the system than watching for 1 microsecond and then shutting down. If anyone on any receiver anywhere in the server realm is watching a program, then adding 100,000 additional receivers to the realm watching the same program doesn't add a single, solitary, even remotely miniscule bit of load to the headend system. Quite to the contrary, the big load on the SDV system will not be TiVos and the like, which will all be recording at regularly scheduled times, no matter how many millions there might be. The big load on the system will be human watchers who employ things like VOD and Video Rewind. These users cause the system to have to produce a totally unique program stream used by no one else anywhere in the city.

    Let's put it this way. Suppose the CATV system in question provides a schedule of 2000 channels in a city the size of San Antonio, with roughly 250,000 subscribers, or about 600,000 viewers. At peak viewing times, how likely do you think it is there is not at least one person out of 600,000 watching every one of those channels live? If the headend can handle all 2000 channels at peak viewing time, then it can handle it continuously, 24 hours a day.

    The simple fact is, with or without suggestions, the TiVo and similar devices reduce the load on the SDV system by eliminating significant use of VOD and
    Video Rewind, streaming the content from the servers when lots of other people are obtaining the very same content and saving it on the local hard drive rather than calling it up uniquely at some later time from the server. Perhaps it would be better to say they tend as much to level out the load, as reducing it. Either way of looking at it, it's good for the CATV server farm because their peak loads are diminished.

    Your explanation is nonsense. It either stems from a very significant lack of understanding of how a switched broadcast network works, or else you are just blowing smoke. Here are the simple facts:

    1. The number of TiVos in the network is far too small to have a statistically significant impact on the network utilization and will remain so for quite some years. I wish everyone had a Series III TiVo, but the fact is not one in 500 people does.

    2. The actions of any DVR system tend to REDUCE the load on the CATV system because it is based upon scheduled events. During peak loads, the odds of there being a single scheduled channel not being watched al least one place in the city is vanishingly small, and adding the TiVo to the list of "watchers" doesn't impact the headend servers in the least.

    Will the TiVo increase the server load at 04:00 in the morning? Surely, but who cares? The load at that time is very small anyway, and if the servers can handle the load at 19:00, then they can handle the extra load at 04:00. The fact the user will be somewhat likely to watch the 04:00 recording off the local hard drive at 19:00 rather than select a VOD offering or use Video Rewind when he gets up to go to the bathroom only makes things better.

    I'm sorry, but the next portions of your post are just poorly conceived and badly thought-out nonsense. If you can't see the analog between singling out people in the middle of the block by a delivery service on whose operation the customers in question have negligible additional impact and singling out CATV subscribers who have at worst a negligible negative impact on CATV service delivery, then I truly don't know how to debate you on it. I'll try to make it simple for you. Even if every house on the system had ten multi-stream TiVos all recording suggestions 24 hours a day, the additional load on the headend servers would be manageable with only a modest increase in the number of servers. The impact to the individual nodes would be somewhat greater, but by cutting the number of subscribers per node, this also could be handled. Unless everyone in the United States goes out and buys a TiVo in the next six months, they'll be able to handle the increasing load.

    'Not if it's a closet door, and this is one awfully friggin' small closet.

    I think you need to look up the word "prudent". If your notion is prudent, then spending a few billion dollars to prevent an aerial invasion of Flagstaff, Arizona by the Haitian Air Force is downright essential.

    Did you bother to read what you just wrote before posting it? In order to prevent possible unpredictable problems with a system in the unforeseeable future we need to apply a patch which has no positive impact to the system either now or then, but does negatively impact a related system which has no negative impact now or any foreseeable one in the future?

    Dude. Get a grip.

    You seem to have a truly tangled understanding of business. A business - any business - has only one purpose. It must provide its customers with valued goods and services for which the customers are willing to provide renumeration. That's it. If any aspect of that purpose becomes "inconvenient" for the business, then they can and should shut their doors, or have them shut for them. The customer is the sole reason the business exists. If the consumer base wants chocolate cake then the baker darned well better make chocolate cake, no matter how allergic to chocolate the baker might be or how much more difficult it might be than yellow cake.

    Right now TiVo users are a small fraction of the subscriber base. If they remain so then their impact on the CATV system will remain negligible. If they become a large fraction of the subscriber base, then the CATV providers will have to allow for whatever impact those user's equipment may have. If not, they will find themselves losing customers in droves. In this case, however, even in large numbers the use of TiVo suggestions will not ever have a devastating impact on the CATV system.
     
  16. Dec 21, 2007 #836 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Well, yes, but the point is it's a silly thing over which to be concerned.

    No, no, no. You guys are making this way too complicated. The SDV metric is a simple one. The number of channels a CATV system can deliver is logarithmically inversely related to the number of receivers on a node. 'Double the number of channels, and the number of receivers per node must be reduced slightly. This is done by lighting up an additional pair of fibers, planting a new node somewhere in the neighborhood, and moving houses from several nodes onto it. It's a significant investment, but not vast. Conversely, increasing the number of receivers per node (by having multiple receivers in a DVR) will prevent the CATV company form delivering quite as many channels, but only a very small amount, and that number is still considerably greater than the number of channels there are.
     
  17. Dec 21, 2007 #837 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Hang on a minute. First of all, SD != analog. An analog channel uses up 6MHz of bandwidth. The same 6MHz slot used for a digital stream can easily carry 6 - 8 SD streams or 2 HD streams and an SD stream, depending on the encoding and how much the CATV provider rate shapes the streams. The point, however, is even if every carrier were used for HD to its maximum extent, there still is room for half as many SD channels as HD channels, and not to deliver at least 1 SD channels for every 2 HD channels is a complete waste of bandwidth. SD feeds won't be going away any time in the near future.

    Yes, but encoding HD content is not trivial or cheap, adn neither is recording it. It's going to be a while before every source will be capable of delivering HD content.
     
  18. Dec 21, 2007 #838 of 2401
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    Switched video doesn't require new set top boxes (maybe new firmware), so I'm not sure what you mean.

    Cable companies take care not to obsolete their enormous investment in STBs. Video on demand, for example, was implemented in a way compatible with legacy set top boxes.
     
  19. Dec 21, 2007 #839 of 2401
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    Theoretically, a rich guy could set up a monster DVR (or multiple DVRs) to record every single channel. In that case, switched video doesn't save any bandwidth regardless of service area size.

    In general, if one atypical user can consume as much resources as a large number of typical users, then it creates some tension for a flat rate pricing system.
     
  20. Dec 21, 2007 #840 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Recording every single one of hundreds of channels, all the time; nooooo, nothing suspicious about that :rolleyes:. I think that the cable system and their content providers would discretely have that guy whacked and his "giant DVR" would burn down in a fire of mysterious origins ;).
     

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