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SDV FAQ

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

  1. Dec 31, 2007 #941 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Hmmm. "Critical" is a very relative term, as you apply it. I wonder just what percentage of TiVo users would find your first 4 missing "critical" features to be of any use or concern to them :)? TTG/TTCB would be nice, if I could get it to work. I've stored this season of Friday Night Lights on an HDD on my PC using freeware TiVo Desktop; recently I went back to watch those 9 episodes and each and every one of them is nigh unwatchable, riddled with macroblocking and audio and video skips that were not present in the original recording. I know that TiVo has to strip out encryption that it added while recording, but apparently it introduces intra-frame sequencing problems while doing it (or while transferring it back--playing them back on the PC is much better, so perhaps there's hope). People must have found ways to deal with this, but what good is a feature if you have to find this forum and dig through discussions to successfully use it?

    As for "suggestions", in my mind, it's probably the worst conceive feature of TiVo. Utterly, profoundly useless. In any case, I already watch way too much television to need some lame excuse for AI trying to help me find more (I know, I know--lots of people like it. I wouldn't object to it if it were a Wishlist criteria that I could use to see a list of scheduled stuff that the AI thinks that I might like without requiring that I automatically record all of them).

    More flexible searches is something that I appreciate. However, Passport Echo has much more flexible "Season Pass" scheduling--you can say things like "Record this program only on this channel when it airs on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday". If it had had time-of-day ranges it would have been perfect. Also, things that aren't marked KUID are deleted in the order that they appear on the "Now Playing" list (added to the top as they're recorded and deleted from the bottom); you can change this order at will by grabbing an entry and dragging it up or down, like adjusting priorities in TiVo's "Season Pass" dialog. Then there are the little things, like being able to see at a glance in the guide which things are already scheduled to be recorded. (For some unknown reason TiVo refuses to add this :rolleyes:).

    I still haven't bothered to find out what "Galleon" is :).

    Many TiVo users are ecstatic over all of the network-enabled features that I have little to no use for (TiVoCast, Unbox, Rhapsody, etc, etc). It's possible that I would have more use for these things if I didn't use my laptop as an HTPC (I'm entering this post while using my 46" LCD flatpanel as a monitor :cool:). All I ask from my DVR is that it do DVR things--good guide navigation including searches, reliable recording and playback with copious and flexible scheduling options and a good facility for managing stored recordings, all wrapped in an intuitive, efficient and pleasant-to-use UI. TiVo is quite good, but it's not my dream DVR (which doesn't actually exist in the real world :)).

    Having used TiVo S3 for a year, it wouldn't break my heart to have to go back to Passport, particularly the latest versions, which have a bunch of features added since the last one that I used. TWC systems have generally avoided upgrading to the latest, since they've known that they were headed toward Navigator. Strangely, some Cox systems are planning to roll out Passport--which now belongs to Gemstar--on SA stuff (see this), though TiVo's working on a port for Cox of thing they did on Moto boxes for Comcast. I think that the psuedo-TiVo GUI is always going to be an extra-cost option, while Passport will take the place of SARA. Under those circumstances, selling the TiVo GUI to non-TiVo users could be challenging.
     
  2. Dec 31, 2007 #942 of 2401
    gatzke

    gatzke New Member

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    They announced in late November a USB workaround for switched video. It should be available in Q2 2008. I would assume they are working into testing, but I have not seen anything on it around.

    I spent a lot of time to finally find out I can't get half my HD channels due to SDV. If I did not love the Tivo so much, I would be quite angry. After a year on a SA 8300 HD with Sarah, I was going nuts. Having access to my HTPC for TV, DVDs, and home videos is great.

    How long until we actually see the USB add-on in the hands of consumers?

    Will it do on demand as well as SDV?

    I think Time Warner is screwing Tivo users and abusing their monopoly, so I sent the following missive off to the FCC:




     
  3. Dec 31, 2007 #943 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I'm fairly certain that the FCC is well aware of SDV and how it screws over unidirectional CableCARD device users. I've heard many positive comments about SDV issued from a few comissioners, so I believe that they're fairly in favor of the technology--anything that allows cable to continue to compete well with satellite is okay with them.

    The USB dongle, which has been much discussed in this thread, is the cable industry's response to the Consumer Electronic Association's filed complaint to the FCC about SDV and other interactive services and the expensive-to-implement route that cable wanted them to take in implementing compliant devices. The CEA outlined an approach in that complaint called "Digital Cable Ready Plus" (or DCR+) which would have required a lot of time and effort to get off the ground, and moreover wouldn't have helped anyone using current generation equipment. The cable industry countered the CEA's proposal (in part) with the USB "Tuning Resolver". To strengthen their proposal, they've gone ahead and worked with OEMs like TiVo to implement working prototypes and come out with a plan for near-term distribution of the things. As far as I know, the FCC hasn't responded to either proposal yet, but cable's proactive efforts are likely to get their thing "officially" adopted, with support for it required by future FCC rules.

    So far, of the cable providers, only TWC has been so gung-ho in implementing SDV. Of the three largest MSOs (Comcast, TWC and Cox), Comcast has only deployed in two systems and Cox in only three (stating that they expect that to be it through 2008), with both companies taking a let's-carefully-check-it-out attitude; as of a mid-November report, TWC had at least installed SDV in no less than 15 markets.

    Good luck on that free-service-until-the-tuning-resolver-is-available thing :).
     
  4. Dec 31, 2007 #944 of 2401
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    I am guessing perhaps fall 08 at the earliest in some markets. And that may be for the Motorola unit. I haven't heard of an Scientific Atlanta or other one (not that I've looked).
    Probably not. While the hardware likely could handle other interactive services, TiVo would have to do a lot of work to make it work, if the cable providers were to allow it which that has a fat chance of happening. With more interactive features coming to the Series 4, I would expect TiVo to put those eggs in the Series 4 basket.

    IMO, just be happy SDV is being fixed.
     
  5. Jan 1, 2008 #945 of 2401
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    I agree that suggestions are pretty useless and was one of the 1st things I turned off (right after the Tivo sounds). However even with suggestions turned off you can still go get a list of upcoming suggested recordings from Tivo if you wish (I never bother with it), so it's not like you are forced to have recordings to see potential suggestions.
     
  6. Jan 1, 2008 #946 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I hadn't realized that item was there under Find Programs. Not that I have a use for it, but it's nice that you don't have to auto-record them to see them.
     
  7. Jan 1, 2008 #947 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I disagree. I cannot tell you how often I fall back on suggestions. My wife and I watch television together, so it doesn't make sense, when I have an hour to kill and she isn't around, to watch something from Now Playing -- I'll probably just have to watch it again when she's ready for it. So the suggestions are there for cases like that, for programming that we don't really plan to watch, so either of us can have something related to our interests to watch when the other isn't around. It does an incredibly good job of predicting what we'd like.
     
  8. Jan 1, 2008 #948 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    There's the difference--if you've tried suggestions and they work for you, that's cool. If you've tried them and after many months the only things that it suggests that you might want to watch are things that it knows that you actually have watched in the past (my case), then it seems silly and useless :).

    I think that an algorithm based on random numbers would probably choose more things that appealed to me.
     
  9. Jan 1, 2008 #949 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    While the software will often put choices in that are related, the primary source for suggestions will be programs we've watched. So I think a lot of our success has to do with how we've applied Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down. It is important to remember what Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down is for: We're not voting for our favorite; we're explicitly and strictly providing hints to the software about what we want recorded as suggestions. There is no other purpose for Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down. So while everything we watch will have a Thumbs Up, we'll focus on putting two and three Thumbs Up on programs (again, explicitly) that we want recorded as suggestions. This is especially effective for the things that typically are used as filler: Showbiz Tonight is a good example. I won't watch it every day, but maybe once every week or two, but there is almost always a recent episode or two sitting there waiting for me. (Soup started out that way, but we decided we like it enough to be sure we record every episode now.) Food Network and HGTV shows are other good ones; we don't religiously watch every episode of these shows, so as long as there is a recent episode available whenever we want one, all is good.

    Very infrequently will we take advantage of the new (to us) program suggestions, i.e., we like Criminal Minds, so it recorded Without a Trace. However, this did prompt me to add a Season Pass for Without a Trace when it started up in syndication from episode 1, and that's working out very well for us this week.

    Anyway, I think we're getting far away from the topic here.
     
  10. Jan 1, 2008 #950 of 2401
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    Doesn't SDV stand for "Suggested Digital Video"? :p
     
  11. Jan 1, 2008 #951 of 2401
    drcos

    drcos HD where available

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    Actually in some cases, I would think "Somewhat Demented Viewers" (present company excluded, of course)

    I was not aware there is no SA solution, but since Cisco bought SA, I'm sure that will be remedied rather quickly :rolleyes:
     
  12. Jan 1, 2008 #952 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Actually, I would say "subjective" rather than "relative", but yes, of course. That said, I submit anyone who doesn't consider TiVoWeb Plus or an equivalent to be critical has never used TiVoWeb Plus.

    Anyone who wants to make actual use of their hardware. I must say I am constantly flabbergasted by people who pay good money for a device and then don't bother to make use of its major capabilities. I am also nearly as flabbergasted by people who do not customize their hardware to meet their needs as closely as possible. Hell, the first thing I do when I buy a bloody screwdriver is re-grind the tip to get better gripping capabilities.

    That's very interesting. I've used TTCB quite a bit (using Galleon, not TiVo Desktop), and had never seen what you describe, but just last night we watched a show which had the same problems as you describe. It wasn't unwatchable, but I did wind up tuning on Closed Captioning just so we wouldn't miss the odd bit of conversation. I think a call to TiVo tech support is definitely called for.

    This must have started happening quite recently. I've not seen it before.

    Quite the contrary. I have found the TiVo to be astoundingly good at figuring out what I might like and recording it. After only 1 or 2 week's worth of watching a new TiVo and being diligent about applying the thumbs up and thumbs down, it can start to record a high percentage of programs I like. I find that better than 50% of the programs are ones I like. What's more, it's very convenient to let suggestions record certain series I like to occasionally watch or which are in massive syndication without risking an episode overwriting one of my scheduled recordings.

    That's just the point. It's not lame, and it is under your direct control. It's only lame if the user is lame. It frequently catches great material of which I was unaware, and regularly records great material of which I am aware, but for whatever reasons do not wish to include on a Wishlist or a Season Pass.

    Well, first of all, you can. Unless I am mistaken, you can look at the TiVo Suggestions list even if you have Suggestions turned off. More to the point, however, is the question, "How is it being a 'requirement' a burden to your experience?" It doesn't require you personally to do anything. It doesn't impact the operation of the DVR - it's recording 24 hours a day no matter what. It doesn't impact your scheduled programs. No Suggestion will ever overwrite a scheduled recording or be recorded in place of a scheduled recording. It doesn't even really impact the Now Playing list significantly. If groups (folders) are turned on, the suggestions are all in one little folder. If groups are turned off, it's trivially easy to skip over those programs marked as Suggestions.

    That could certainly come in handy. Have you suggested it over on TiVo Suggestion Avenue?

    I'm not quite sure I see how that would be useful, but it doesn't hurt to have a feature I wouldn't use. 'Suggest it!

    I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying re-sorting the NPL will cause the delete order to change every time it's re-sorted? No, no I don't like that at all. Not one bit. It's a terrible idea.

    That only really works if the NPL isn't sortable. 'Given a choice between being able to more easily change a delete date and not being able to sort the NPL, I'll take that latter, hands down. One can always change the delete date with a couple of extra keystrokes on the remote to select "Keep until".

    I'd be just as happy if they got rid of the guide altogether. Although much better than the SARA guide, all guides are useless on a properly designed DVR. It's like adding a buggy whip holder to a Lamborghini. Indeed, one of my most seething hatreds of the SARA system as it based all recording vectors on a guide. OTOH, as I said, having a feature available which I don't care to use but am not forced to use is not a problem, so suggest away.

    It's a 3rd party HME / HMO application which supplies lots of great features. There are lots of neat 4th party applications written for Galleon, as well. Among other things, it provides a much better utility to handle weather reports, traffic information, music (both from the PC and streaming from the web), e-mail, RSS feeds, video, and TTG / TTCB. Currently there are 22 applicatiojns available for Galleon, including those I just listed. It's the only application which allows the user to select which shows to transfer to the PC right from the Tivo itself, or indeed from any other Tivo to the PC. It's available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

    I have PCs connected to my 62" Mitsubishi and my Optoma projector with a 140" screen, as well (right now I'm at my desk). That's not really the point.

    How are Amazon Unbox and TiVocast not DVR things? I select them like any other video, They are in the NPL for me to watch like any other video, and I delete them when I'm done like any other video.

    Not only that, but the music player (under Galleon) is far more stable than any I've used on the PCs, and pulling up the weather and traffic reports on the TiVo is much easier and more convenient than on the PCs, especially if I'm already watching the TiVo, not working on the PC.

    Surely not. Mine either, especially since mine would also be free. :p

    Don't ask me to explain or even understand the thinking of the marketing types.
     
  13. Jan 1, 2008 #953 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    How do you know it's useless if you never tried to use it? TiVo Suggestions finds easily 2 or 3 programs a week I would never have known were there, and records easily 10 or 20 shows a week I do know are there and like to watch from time to time. Indeed, while the suggestions list often contains "second string" programming, If all the scheduled recordings were to be suddenly lost, I would be quite well served watching only the Suggestions. Certainly browsing the recorded suggestions list is far, far better than browsing a stupid TV Guide. Browsing the TV guide is a complete waste of time. Unless it's right at the top or bottom of the hour, a guide can only show me things I might be able to watch in the future, and 98% or better of the things it shows me you couldn't pay me to watch. There is not even one chance in a thousand browsing any guide will find me a program I want to watch right now, while browsing the recorded TiVo suggestions folder is guaranteed to bring up at least 10 or 20 shows I like and can watch right now, while only showing me a comparatively much smaller list of shows I don't want to watch now and a vastly smaller list of shows I don't want to watch ever.
     
  14. Jan 1, 2008 #954 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    What has that to do with it? 99% of the things I want to see I've seen before. I would far, far rather watch one of my favorite movies for the 200th time than some new piece of garbage. Indeed, nothing goes on my server and very little on the TiVo in the theater room that I have not seen at least once.

    Of course, YMMV, but I have to wonder how much thought you put into using thumbs up and thumbs down. Both are important. Of course, it could be your likes and desires are quite broad in scope while your viewing habits are quite narrow, or vice-versa. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it would make predicting your needs very difficult. In my case, when I got the newer of the two S3 units, it began recording M*A*S*H, Golden Girls, Eureka, ER, Law and Order (various incarnations), Star Trek (various incarnations), Modern Marvels, Designing Women, The Twilight Zone, John Wayne movies, Clint Eastwood movies, and Harry Potter within a month despite my never having recorded any of these specifically (other than two or three of the Wayne and Eastwood movies), strictly from analyzing my thumbs up and thumbs down selections.

    It also began recording things like Gray's Anatomy and Survivor, but a quick thumbs down took care of those.

    It's probably worth noting the Suggestions lists on all 4 TiVos are very similar even though I made absolutely no conscious effort to make them so. While I certainly cannot say I like every item recorded in Suggestions, the percentage of items I like is vastly higher than any guide coud ever offer, and the percentage of programs I really hate is astronomically smaller - if that's not too much of an oxymoron.
     
  15. Jan 1, 2008 #955 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yeah, you're right. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
     
  16. Jan 1, 2008 #956 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Since, for the moment, TWC is by far the biggest adopter of SDV and mostly uses networks composed of SA equipment, a solution compatible with that (and BigBand Networks' SDV stuff) is the most urgently needed. However, I feel certain that SA has also developed prototype tuning resolvers--I believe that we know about the Motorola one due to a corporate leak and not any announcement from them.

    It appears that a major gating event now is IP search for the CableLabs specification; they can't officially issue it (and no one can finalize their design) until they determine that the current spec doesn't cross any established patents. They expect that to happen early this year.
     
  17. Jan 1, 2008 #957 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Amen. I don't want to see others left in the cold, but since I'm on TWC, I need a solution. Of course, and even better solution might be dropping TWC and going with Grande. They have service in my neighborhood, and they're cheaper.

    I have specific reasons to believe SA is working on a resolver. Whether they have a working prototype and at what level they are including TiVo in their development I can't say.

    On this I have no idea.

    Until it's sitting on the dock in shrink wrap, it's vapor. CableCards (or an equivalent) were supposed to be available in 1987.
     
  18. Jan 1, 2008 #958 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Who says I'm "Somewhat Demented"? I've never been "Somewhat". ;)
     
  19. Jan 1, 2008 #959 of 2401
    BillP Studios

    BillP Studios Creator of WinPatrol

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    Seems like if they're giving a $40 coupon to help current analog users to receive new digital signals, we all should get a coupon so we don't have to purchase or lease the new SDV adapter/dongle.

    Time Warner here in Albany made the decision to move 29 channels to SDV. That means for at least six month I'm paying for channels I can't watch.

    20 are premium channels and the other 9 are brand new HD channels that I was really looking forward to.


    Just had to get that off my chest. :cool:


    Bill
     
  20. Jan 1, 2008 #960 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Don't hold your breath.
     

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