1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

SDV FAQ

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

  1. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,923
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    You're right, I should have qualified that statement.

    Yeah, there's a thread somewhere on this forum about this.
     
  2. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,923
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Of course both of our opinions on this matter are completely unsupported, so I don't suppose it really matters, but I think you're wrong on this. First of all, had that been their agenda, they could easily have taken steps which would have been much less painful for everyone but the consumer and no more so for the consumer. There's a favorite old expression of mine: "Never attribute to malice that which may be adequately explained by stupidity." It often applies in every day life and it almost always applies when a government agency is involved. I think it definitely does in this case.

    More significantly, however, the fact is most of the business interests in this matter have been served at least as badly or worse than consumers by the FCC's actions - or lack thereof. Only the smallest business interests in this mess - the CATV equipment manufacturers - are benefitting from it or would reasonably be predicted to benefit from it. Of course it's entirely possible someone at Scientific Atlanta or Motorola managed to bribe a few people at the FCC. I certainly wouldn't put it past any of them. I don't think, however, that's the case.

    No matter what, we only have a very tiny window where the technological entrenchment can be reversed before the investments and / or potential costs to the CATV providers and the CATV equipment manufacturers for migrating the technology becomes unreasonably large.

    As to the consumerist mojo, I suspect they couldn't care less. What are the consumers going to do? Fire them? When was the last time you ever even heard - let alone had hard data - about a bureaucrat being fired for not giving a damn about the public? Other than the bureau chiefs, a bureaucrat has to work really hard at delibertely being fired in order to get fired for any reason.
     
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,923
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    You mean integrated security? Assuming so, it's not necessarily true. Integrated security and separable security are not fundamentally incompatible. As long as the CATV equipment's protocols and hardware are compatible with devices hosting separable security, an STB manufacturer could develop a device for a single platform without much impact on the situation, or at least hypothetically so. Of course, banning integreated security altogether guarantees the proliferation of separable security, which was the putative reason for implementing the ban.
     
  4. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,389
    2
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    Yeah, I meant integrated security. I guess that the ban on integrated security could be considered a separate matter from the mandate to support separable security. It's probably more correct to state that without support for separable security, TiVo S3 and TiVo HD would never have been brought to market. I can't see TiVo creating different versions of their product for different networks--it'd be a marketing nightmare if nothing else, particularly in markets like the one that I live in, where networks involving both S-A's PowerKey and Moto's Digicipher serve the various communities. The FCC could have continued to allow the cable providers to purchase and deploy devices with integrated security; the ban is intended to make them dependent on properly functioning separable security. Pre-ban, their support for separable security was so deplorably poor that it can only get better. If nothing else, if they get it working reliably with the equipment that they use, manufacturers can obtain that equipment and study it to make sure that their own products work the same way with CableCARDs.
     
  5. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,923
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    That's not quite the salient issue. The rule requiring a band on integration was established in 1998. The deadline was extended several times, but when the TiVo was in development, it was clear the ban would be enforced at some point.

    The first stage was to force all CATV systems to begin deploying CableCard compatible systems.

    It enforces the move to separable security systems. The CATV companies had to deploy CableCard services in their markets, but could continue to purchase and deploy compatible STBs which didn't use CableCards as well as incompatible STBs. Now they can purchase and deploy neither.

    If you mean other UDCPs, such as TVs, wich employ CableCards, there still are. If you mean other DVRs, then not. If you mean CC 1.0 compatible consumer devices which did not employ CableCards, then also not.

    I haven't the faintest clue what you mean by this.

    This would not have been true if it were not for the development of SDV. For some CATV systems it is still true. A number of CATV providers obtained waivers to the 7/1/2007 deadline and are continuing to deploy STBs which are not compatible with CC 1.0. With the widespread development of SDV, however, most MSOs are eagerly switching to CC 1.0 equipment.

    Not particularly. S-Cards are every bit as compatible with OCAP and true2way as M-Cards.
     
  6. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,923
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I'd like to clarify what I think the real issue is, here. You have several different groups each with a different agenda, and they are all adding fuel to different parts of the fire:

    1. The Public: Hates STBs. Wants to be able to purchase a TV which will eliminate the need for an STB. The proliferation of leased DVRs has clouded this issue, because the DVR replaces the STB.

    2. Consumer Electronics Manufacturers: Doesn't really care about STBs one way or the other. Would like to be able to provide a model which meets the consumers' demands for no STBs as a marketing tool, but it is not their priority agenda.

    3. CATV providers: Want security. Mostly Hate the ban on integrated security. Would like to get rid of the headaches associated with STBs, but since they don't lose any money by delivering STBs, it is also not their priority agenda. Would love to be able to purchase compatible DVRs (and STBs, if they must) from more than 1 vendor in order to keep costs down. Want OCAP becasue it allows them to control the consumer's equipment and decide unilaterally what software will be in use by the consumer. Some may be salivating over the prospect of being able to spy on consumers in their homes.

    4. Hollywood: Demands Security. Wishes DVRs didn't exist. Holds significant financial interest in many CATV providers.

    5. CATV Equipment Manufacturers: Love the ban on integrated security because they get to sell tons of new STBs and DVRs. Love the fact they have been able to develop proprietary systems which effectively prevent their current customers from buying devices from anyone else, allowing them to severely inflate their prices once a customer has bought their CATV equipment for initial deployment.

    6. The FCC: wants people to think they're doing their jobs so they can collect pay without actually having to do anything. Mostly incompetent. 'Typical government agency.
     
  7. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

    63
    0
    Mar 11, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    I was under the impression that the CableCARD was to decrypt encrypted digital cable signals, which would be required for digital cable regardless of whether you opted for an HD package.

    Yeah, it's been on shelves for a little over a year, now, and introduced at extraordinarily exorbitant prices. Jay Leno was broadcast in HD in the spring of '99, and with TiVo's HD solutions being on the shelf for only a little over a year, early 2007 or late 2006, yeah I would still consider it "fairly recently." In fact, that's why I said so.

    You seem to imply that the CATV industry wanted to support this third-party hardware. I'm not sure I agree. They've only abided by the minimum regulatory requirements while often actively discouraging it, even if grudgingly making it available.

    ...but not CATV providers, who get paid monthly by their customers for the abominably bad hardware?

    I would love your source on that. The reality is that you may be right, or you may not, I don't know, but offering a DVR is a great marketing tool even if you only break even otherwise.

    What are you talking about? It's possibly the most basic asset management task ever, and if you fail to come up with the hardware, they just charge you an arm and a leg for it (on top of what you've paid monthly up to that point). Anything not recovered is sold off to debt collectors and the difference is written off. Little energy is wasted.

    They have insurance, and their attitudes and the both subtle and overt discouragement of using 3rd party devices as well as their total lack of respect for them in their designs suggest that your assertions are exactly backwards.

    What are you talking about? There's more than one company that can and does manufacture cable boxes, regardless of who's won which contract.

    Yes, they are. They are here in most of the San Antonio area, at least. The only competition is Grande Cable, which is available only in limited spots, and AT&T's U-verse, which also has limited availability and doesn't seem to support S3 or TiVo HD at all. Many apartment complex contract to allow only one or the other, so if you're an apartment renter, you've got no choice at all in the matter.

    Yet you insist they're a loss-leader.

    No, it's $9.95 for the DVR, and I only have one so I don't know what additional charges may be (as far as I know it's $9.95 for each).

    Then why are they switching channels to it and making all new channels set up for it? Discovery Channel is "very low market share"? Really? Who here doesn't watch Mythbusters if nothing else? And all the HGTV channels and Food Channel and such that so many people seem to tune into, especially if they're homemakers? Come on. I have no interest in VOD and IPPV. All I care about are my HD channels, and they're mostly not available to me via CableCARD here in San Antonio.

    Care to explain that? We're still paying for the same channels and yet aren't getting them. You're exchanging $9.95 a month for a TWC DVR for $12.95 a month just for the TiVo service. And you can only get that after you've spent hundreds on the TiVo hardware itself. And in the end, while you have superior hardware, your viewing options have been cut off at the knees. SDV is doing us no favors.

    What? What are you talking about? So our TiVos can indeed receive SDV channels? Really?

    I was unaware that there was a call for the latter.
     
  8. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

    63
    0
    Mar 11, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    What are you talking about? With CableCARDS, the only thing you get are channels. Nothing else, not even the program guide. As a result, nobody really wanted the CableCARD systems in their TV's, which is the only place they were generally available since about four years back until a little over a year ago when the REAL reason to have such a standard (TiVo) finally came out, at which point it was too little, too late. It would've been fine, but switching to SDV has killed TiVo off (or at least made it a very difficult decision) for many of us.

    That's quite the assertion. I'm not convinced the public hates STBs, but either way DVRs have become the new STB, and everyone wants one and hates living without it after getting used to it.

    You seem to have some sort of unique inside information into the cable industry. What's your source? Do you work for one, which would explain the insight, or what? I've not heard these assertions from anyone else, whether friends who actually work for TWC or anyone here or elsewhere on the net.

    There's absolutely nothing to stop them from doing so now. Scientific Atlanta holds no special permit from the FCC that grants them government-protected monopoly status or something, and other manufacturers make these boxes (Motorola not the least of which). Regardless, a whole slew of different boxes wouldn't be as efficient to deal with as one. They only thing more competition gets them is more leverage to lower acquisition costs and therefore increase their margin on the DVRs.

    Neither one of those things sound very good.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    lots of things to reply to-

    but a few points-

    - cable doenst need to buy TONS of new boxes just becasue of the integration ban. I'm farily certain they are permitted to continue to deploy their old integrated boxes as long as they want- it's just that any NEW boxes need to have cablecard (unless of course they have waivers). So it's not some huge windfall to SA and moto. They will now get to sell a shiny new cable card with each box. So that might be. BUT becasue everyone now has to go to a cablecard box anyway- SA and moto now have a disadvantage- 3rd party's can now get in. See Panasonics dealings with comcast. Comcast is no longer a slave to moto or SA for STB's- now with cablecards and OCAP they are buying panasonic boxes.

    -SA and Moto dont have govenerment dont have govermnet issued permits but they do possess control of the security systems to connect their boxes to thier head end systems. Until cablecard you basically couldn't connect anything but a moto box to a moto head end or a SA box to an SA head end. So once Moto or SA got their foot in the door selling the head end then the cable people were looked for life to that company untill they tossed out the head end and built a new one. So while legally there is no monopoly or duopoly- there is quite a barrier to entry for any new comers.

    and yes the reason cablecard slots are being dropped from current generation devices is becasue of SDV- hence the discussion in the sdv thread. Once the SDV thing is squared away with a 2-way standard (OCAP, TRU2WAy, or whatever) then probably you will see them go back in- at least panasonic sounds like it plans to add them to back in.
     
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,923
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Not at all. First of all, every locally broadcast network channel by law must be delivered free of encryption. Any digital receiver can receive them. The CATV company is also free to deliver any other digital content it likes unencrypted should it so choose.


    You bet. One of the greatest headeaches they had to endure was constantly trying to explain to customers why their "Cable Ready" TVs needed an external box. Since the late 1970s, the #2 customer complaint, right behind cost, was the requirement for an STB. Hundreds of calls a day come in, and installers continue to be constantly harrased when they tell new customers they need to have STBs inststalled - at $7.95 a pop, no less.

    There's a difference between wanting a feature to be available and liking the version of the feature which rolls out the door. There's also a differecne between wanting to deliver something on one timeline and being forced to deliver it on a much shorter one than one desires. Most of them wanted to get downloadable conditional access systems working, but few if any were able to do so by the 2007 deadline.

    There is a diferecne between revenue and profit. CATV providers barely make a profit on STBs, if at all.

    I am the source.

    Absolutely. An STB is a different matter, although even then their margins on DVRs are not that high. Once again there is a big difference between offering something to consumers and being required to force something on consumers.

    No, managing the materials in a limited number of sites controlled exclusively by the company itself is the most basic asset management tqsk ever, and even that can be xtremely difficult. Some years ago, Worldcom misplaced 35,000 muxes valued at $60,000 each. They were never found. They had fewer than 1000 facilities, at the time. Imagine trying to keep track of equipment in over 20 million facilities, none of which are controlled by the company. I've been living in my current house for over 7 years, now, and during that entire time TWC has not for any period more than 3 months long had a proper inventory of what equipment of theirs is in my house.

    Quite to the contrary, it's a major resource drain. First of all, writing something off does not count as profit. Secondly, since by definition the person who has incurred the bad debt usually no longer resides at the former place of residence nor has the same phone number, debt collection is more often than not ineffective, and it does cost money.

    No, they don't. Most MSOs are self insured. Even if not, the premiums for ththe equipment - if they botherted to insure it, would be exhorbitant.

    At one time that was the case. It is no longer so. No other equipment in the world will work with Motorola's headend SDV equipment other than Motorola unless they license Moto's protocols. Ditto Cisco.

    That's not what you said.

    Well, not quite. They do usualy make a small profit. Not much, though. Given the unusually short average lifetime of a leased STB, they don't do much better than break even. Compare that to the average $40 a month they make off IPPV. Some customers regularly have IPPV bills of over $150 a month.

    You said you're in San Antonio. Go to the web site and you'll see it. It's $9.95 for the service plus $7.95 for each DVR, or at least that's what it used to be and how much I saved by switching back in 2006. The proce structure could be different, now, but not how I read it.

    Discovery is not SDV. Even Discovery HD theater is not SDV. Only Discovery in HD is SDV, and yes, the number of people who have HD sets is still fairly low. Multiply that fraction by the market share, adn you wind up withe a very low subscription target indeed. Assuming roughly 1000 receivers per node, the odds any single node is not requesting Discovery in HD is pretty good.

    This is the Series III forum, so everyone here probably watches HD, and I suspect the percentage who watch Discovery is also somewhat higher than the citywide norm. If every single node in the city has the channel on at least 1 receiver 24 hours a day, then SDV does nothing at all. SDV starts to pay off if the market shre for the specific stream in question is deployed to something less than 1 receiver in 1000 for at least 1 hour out of 24.

    Of course, there is another paradigm, as well. If the CATV company's roster is full, and they have to purchase a new QAM, putting even a popular new channel on an SDV QAM may make sense. They don't get the benefits for the new channel, but they do for the other channels sharing the QAM.

    Like it or not, you are not the averrage consumer.

    Name 5 channels you used to receive in September 2006 that you can no longer receive on your S3 / TiVo HD today. HD versions of the channels you can still receive in SD do not qualify.

    I have lifetime service on two TiVos and pay $7.31 a month on the other. Those three TiVos replace 4 STBs and a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD. My service fees dropped $40 (after accounting for 5 CableCards), as I said.

    Are you suggesting Tivo should give them to you free?

    It's a massive mess, but the mess has nothing to do with SDV and everything to do with the lack of a unified standard for 2-way hosts.

    No, because the TiVo is not a 2-way host. 'Take those very same CableCards, stick them into a Scientific Atlanta or Motorola STB or DVR,a dn they work just fine with SDV. Fix the !@#$$% regulations so it will be practical for TiVo to build a 2-way host, and if they decide building one is profitable, they can.

    Consumers, CATV providers, and Consumer Electronics Manufacturers have all been screaming for it since the early 1980s. None of them want to compromise on a solution, however.
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    point
    counter point

    reminded me of
    "jane you ignorant sl##)

    :)
     
  12. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,923
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    'Not true. First of all, the CableCards are a security device, not a content device, but they allow for a broad array of one and two way servies. Oh, and my Mitsubishi TV derives a TV guide through its CableCards, BTW. It's only available when the CableCards are inserted.

    Not at all. Customers were mightily pi$$ed off when they paid a pretty fair chunk of extra dollars for "Cable-Ready" TVs in the early 80's only to be told they could not get any pay channels unless they rented an STB. Believe me, I got an earful on a regular basis, and so did the GM and the CEO.

    1. They are indeed popular, but saying everyone wants one is an overstatement. Even if they were free, there would no doubt be some people who didn't want one. As it is, many choose not to get one.

    2. The really operate word is one. Most people want one DVR, but most people have more than 1 TV. Most would rather not have a second DVR or an STB on their additional sets.

    I used to work as an engineer for one, and I still have close unofficial ties to a number of people working for several different companies in the industry. I would never divulge confidential information, but this isn't confidential.

    Yeah they do, actually. It's called a patent (patents - plural, actually), although they're issued by the patent offiice, not the FCC. Still, it represents a permit to prevent anyone else from manufacturing and distributing the covered devices under penalty of law.

    No Motorola STB or DVR will work in a Scientific Atlanta system or vice-versa. If they did, we wouldn't be in this mess, because TiVo, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, etc could all manufacture devices which could be taken to virtually any city and used to receive SDV servces.

    Exactly (although it counts for STBs, as well). Some MSOs purchase in excess of 100,000 STBs/ DVRs a month. If they can save even $1 each, that's $1.2 million in reduced expenses a year.
     
  13. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

    63
    0
    Mar 11, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Here in SA, TWC does not charge $7.95 a month or any other fee for STBs (at least for the initial unit). If they do, it's buried (not a line item in the bill) in the general cost for cable service. I'm not sure how many people are just now being introduced to the concept of digital cable, but I would be honestly surprised if there were a significant number of people who were shocked and angry when the tech installed their STB for them.

    So they didn't like it. Boo hoo. I'm sorry, but it's difficult for me to feel a tremendous amount of sympathy in this case, especially when they had, what, at least 5 or 6 years to get their preferred system working?

    I don't expect that they do, at least directly, but if it weren't beneficial to them, why would they decide to do use them?

    That's not very helpful, nor is it exactly accurate. Your other, later answer was at least more informative, that you used to be an engineer (of some sort) in the industry and still have contacts that clue you in from their perspective, which is helpful information when evaluating the credibility these sweeping, authoritative statements you're making.

    So they're required to force systems on consumers that break the CableCARD standard, rendering them useless for every channel on that incompatible standard?

    To me that's much more a scathing indictment of TWC than an argument that it isn't easy. And while there aren't 20 million facilities in San Antonio, I've never had a problem with phone support (including call centers in Canada) being able to look up my equipment, ping it, reset it, etc, whenever necessary. I will point out that of the three TWC people (granted not an exhaustive survey) I've spoken with about the change-over, including one in person, they've all told me I'm making a mistake and that it's much better to stick with TWC's hardware and rolled their eyes and generally tried to discourage me from switching. If they're so eager to get out of the DVR business like you claim, why would they have that attitude?

    Debts are fairly quickly sold off to collectors and losses written off as such.

    It's not legislated that way. CATV providers have chosen to paint themselves in a corner that way rather than insisting on an open standard or just inventing one themselves. Nobody forced them to do so.

    You're right. I guess I should've clarified "in the area" to avoid giving the impression I meant "in the entire known universe."

    Which is exactly what I said. This whole freaking discussion has been about HD and the lack of channels available to subscribers due to the implementation of SDV. I said Discovery Channel, not HD Theater, and yes, I mean in HD. When I pay for HD service and someone tells me to be happy because it's still available in SD, they might as well serve me week-old salisbury steak instead of the Kobe beef I paid for and tell me to be happy because it's still cow.

    Across the nation? Perhaps. In my neighborhood, though, I have very strong doubts that there's no HD TV in the house, and if you're going to assume 1000 receivers per node in my area, you're talking about 1000 fairly affluent households, people with both HDTVs and the education to interest themselves and/or their children in something like the Discovery Channel, especially considering the popularity of shows like Mythbusters with pretty much everyone under 40. I'd say the odds are a little higher than you're arguing that someone might be watching Discovery at any given time.

    Yes, exactly, which is the reason they're moving to it. Even if the savings are minuscule, it appears to be worth brushing off CableCARD-using subscribers.

    This is supposed to make me feel better or lessen ill will toward the CATV company, especially when noting that telling CableCARD users "tough luck now pay me my money" doesn't even offer any direct benefit for that popular new channel?

    Really. So my HDTV-equipped neighbors don't care about HD? That they wouldn't rather be watching the same program in HD? Or is that just because I've attempted to get a TiVo and am not necessarily perfectly happy with whatever junk TWC sticks me with and tells me to like it?

    I don't even know how to respond to that properly without insults and bad words. I'm at a loss to figure out your point. You've gone from being frustrating to not making any sense. The issue at hand is the number of HD channels I'm paying to receive that I cannot unless I pay TWC for their proprietary and vastly inferior DVR, specifically due to their implementation of SDV without any remedy in place for those subscribers who use the standard CableCARDs.

    Do you really have a point? Or are you trying a politician-like game of semantics? If I pay off my truck tomorrow, I can claim that my monthly bills have dropped, but my bank account balance has dropped considerably as well. You're implying that switching from a monthly service fee to a bevy of TiVos has saved you money, and it may well in the long term, but you neglect to mention the vastly higher amount of money you shelled out for those TiVos and lifetime service plans. And I'm still unsure as to what any of this has to do with SDV and getting shut out and brushed off by TWC due to their SDV implementation.

    Are you suggesting you sincerely believe that's what I said?

    I honestly don't know what to think when you say something like that. If the mess has nothing to do with SDV, then why is it that SDV breaks compatibility with CableCARDS? SDV is specifically what's keeping me from being able to receive the full range of channels I pay for every month. Its root cause may be the cable industry's inability to pull their head out long enough to come up with a solution, but that's not my problem. Instead, the cable industry makes it my problem by forcing me to pay them for their own proprietary hardware in order to receive the service I pay for. And what is the technology that forces that on me? SDV. The topic of this thread. The part of the "massive mess" that's been dumped on our heads.


    It's amazing how the entertainment industry managed to settle on the DVD standard without the federal government having to make them. While I'm no fan of the government in general or the FCC in particular, saying it's the government's fault rather than the industry's when the government hasn't done anything to prevent them from hashing out a standard doesn't really make sense.

    And yet I'm supposed to be yelling at the government?


    OK, so every single TWC I've ever spoken to about them (including before my recent TiVo purchase) has been lying to me. I will get TWC's program guide in my CableCARD-equipped TV with no STB just like I would with the STB. Awesome news. Obviously someone needs to educate the entire industry, or perhaps they're all just that dishonest in order to discourage people from saving the company money and time.

    Really. You're really going to say that. Someone's going to choose to decline a DVR for an STB when there's no price difference. Someone's going to insist that they get an STB without the DVR's capabilities. Perhaps you can explain why?

    So? Due to the implementation of SDV, they HAVE to have an STB in order to receive the full range of channels they pay for. Now they have no choice. And to act as though it's the number of DVR's at issue is seriously going beyond the call of duty. It's like you're reaching so hard, going so far out of your way to try to pick apart and contradict anything I say that you've abandoned any pretense of an effort to maintain relevance or even just to make sense.

    And who exactly holds the patent that prevents TWC from going with a different supplier, that prevents the industry from crafting and agreeing on an open standard, or any other action that would cause this to be a moot point? No patent says they have to award a contract to one company or another.

    Obviously. You're not really winning any points for SDV, there, though.

    And yet they don't seem too intent on making that happen. They could save ALL of the money EVERY year if they'd get out of the STB/DVR business altogether, something you insist the CATV providers are all too eager to do. Except that apparently that's not a good enough motivator, and it's become quite clear that customer satisfaction doesn't exactly rank high on the priority list.

    So let's recap. According to you, consumers hate STBs. CATV providers really hate STBs. CATV providers make little to no money whatsoever on STBs and are saddled with the massive burden of keeping track of all these units. CATV providers burn through huge amounts of cash in purchasing and generally being involved with STBs. And yet the CATV provider's solution, rather than to come up with an open standard, is to buy into a proprietary system (that at best skirts the letter of the law) where they're paying untold sums of cash to saddle themselves with the very thing they hate and their customers hate and everyone hates and nobody benefits from except for the specific vendor of the chosen proprietary system.

    Either every CATV provider is functionally retarded or your assertions are inaccurate. I've left out other options because for now I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you're not intentionally misleading people or so heavily biased that you don't which way is up anymore.
     
  14. Eccles

    Eccles Mostly harmless

    350
    0
    Dec 27, 2001
    Austin, TX
    *pulls up a chair and breaks out the popcorn*
     
  15. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

    1,269
    0
    Jan 6, 2007
    A patent, by itself, doesn't prevent anyone else from manufacturing. It forces other manufacturers to do so under your terms. Only if the company has no intention of licensing does it prevent.

    Pace Micro has both SA and Motorola compatible STBs. TW and Comcast wanted less expensive alternatives for STBs and Pace was there to satisfy the demand. They license the CA technology from SA and Motorola.
     
  16. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    While I don’t disagree with much of lrhorer’s points.

    I am sick of this cable propaganda line that HD is a fringe.

    http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv/mass_adoption_hdtv_0318/

    If I understand correctly then there are about 85 million pay tv homes in the US. That means by year end more people then not will be PAYING for HDTV.

    Never mind the people that don’t pay extra for HDTV but still want it- like everyone on cablevision since they include HD for free (so their ads say), like the small but vocal minority here that connects their S3’s to cable but doesn’t want a cablecard, and lots of other people who are happy with the FREE parts of HDTV on cable (I have 24 free HD channels on my cable system, 4 movie channels that are free if you buy the corresponding multiplex, and if you really insist on paying it’s 1.99 for hdnet/hdmet movies/wealthhd)- so myself maybe I decide the 1.99 isn’t worth those 3 channels and stop paying for any HD yet still I'd be getting 24-28 channels which are a large reason I'm with the local cable company.

    Even now implying that 17+million out of the 85 million homes is not worth serving is silly. That’s 20% and most likely contains the top tier of disposable income and the top tier of most profitable customers since they have that extra cash.

    So if cable really believes and continues to believe HD is a fringe not worth serving then DBS and FIOS are going to hand them a strong kick in the pants over the coming months.

    Cable needs to upgrade it's canned responses and PR machine to get rid of the "you are fringe" response. And instead say "we're working as best we can as quick as we can to worth through this transition" The you are fringe response almost comes off to me as blaming the HD customer like there are some kind of problem or annoying segment.
     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    while I dont disagree with any of those facts. I think it's clear that competition in the STB space is minimal- the 1996 law pretty much says as much and that was the point of separable securty. The fact that basically pace is the only 3rd party manufacturer in a market space with millions of millions of units beling sold a year kind of points to that. SA and moto's terms might be ugly and that wouldn't be cable's fault. Sa and moto hold all the cards.

    So I think cable is more then happy to get an open standard- problem is as has been said above that they want it the way they want it without compromise so that anyone else gets anything from it (which is probably to be expected) . Look at comcast's dealings with panasonic to make OCAP/True2way a reality. For whatever reason panasonic wasn't making boxes when they had to deal with Moto and SA for licenses- now they dont need to deal with the duopoly and they are jumping right in with 2 feet. They are making piles of lease boxes for comcast and a line of 2-way products for retail. So in the end it does benefit cable to get an open standard. The only problem is the lack of compromise.
     
  18. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    On STBs:
    They need them to be able to sell their interactive services.

    Currently, nobody except their security providers and their licensees, makes a fully two-way solution, so they need to issue their own STBs.

    To remain competitive, yes.


    If the mess has nothing to do with SDV, then why is it that SDV breaks compatibility with CableCARDS?
    [/quote]
    It has everything to do with SDV, SDV being a two way service.
    The one DVD "Standard" could happen because there was no real standard to begin with. Cable on the other hand, is built on two (or more) hardware platforms, with a number of software providers, which is the legacy the providers have to work with.

    In the context of that statement, it is purely contractual and/or economic reasons to stay with one hardware platform.

    Supposing there were one headend hardware standard, an on software interface for interactive services, they'd have to change out a number of existing STBs and headend equipment to meet the new standard, or at least dispose the ones they have.
     
  19. bxojr

    bxojr New Member

    51
    0
    Mar 4, 2005
    Pittsboro, NC
    I thought this story was interesting. Not that Cablevision is deploying SDV (I don't suppose that's a surprise), but the fact that they're offering CableCARD subscribers a free STB for a year as compensation.

    From what I hear, we haven't seen anything like that kind of conciliatory attitude from TWC. I'm lucky enough that TWC in my area hasn't deployed SDV yet, but it could happen at any time. If they offered me a free STB to get me through until the tuning resolver is out (especially if it's a DVR), I think I'd be reasonably satisfied.
     
  20. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,389
    2
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    I have a Mitsubishi LT-46231 46" 1080p LCD panel and it's not getting that listing from the CableCARD. It's the Gemstar "TV Guide On Screen" product (see this), which is generally loaded from information carried in the VBI of some local channels, probably gradually transitioning to datacast subchannels of local DTV broadcasters. It did used to not seem to work without a CableCARD installed, but now I notice that it's working just fine (I haven't used the TV directly in months) with just a split of the cable on the antenna 1 input, no CC. (Of course, I moved recently and it's unaware that I've changed cable provider, so it has some channel numbers wrong; I've corrected my ZIP code on the TV's menu, so I presume it'll determine the available channel line-ups for my area and fix that over night).
     

Share This Page