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. toy4two

    toy4two New Member

    20
    0
    Mar 27, 2008
    What he is refering to is TV Guide On Screen data. Its a closed standard, the protocol was written by GEMSTAR and SONY, Mitsubishi, and others licensed it, while GEMSTAR gave tv stations the equipment to install at their stations, pretty much one station in each market, thats all you need for complete coverage. It is passed through to TVs and DVRs (non-TIVOs) through analog and digital tv stations, right along side closed caption data. All major markets have free guide data being transmitted via over the air analog or now digital on some CBS and PBS stations which includes all the data going out 14 days for all the tv stations, THIS IS SEPERATE FROM PSIP DATA AND NOT MANDATORY, but its so widespread it may as well be a standard, it takes about 1 week to get enough data to have a complete guide, unlike say TIVO or your cable company which take seconds, when you turn off your device at night it switches over to the channel in your market that contains that data and starts downloading, the protocol is very good though, even on a OTA station with lots of static, the data manages to get through. Gemstar owns the patent, all the major markets have it and non-TIVO DVRs rely on it for their program guides, it has NOTHING to do with Cable Cards, that guide data, different from PSIP is free and available in the clear and even over the air, here are all the details:

    http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/S-jqyleDfUqOQ/learningcenter/home/tvgos2.html

    If you ever wondered how SONY and LG DVRs get their guide data without have to be hooked up to the internet, or dial some phone number, now you know. Its actually pretty decent, its not Tivo good, but you also don't have to pay for it. Its not like PSIP data which FCC regulates, it just happens to be very widespread, if you don't have a TV Guide On Screen compatible device you prob never heard of it.

    Its got some neat features, like if you record an analog tv station to VCR, then play it back you can still extract the TVGOS data, just like you can play back the Closed Caption (CC) data on a VCR, there are some advantages to this like capturing a firmware update on VCR tape and giving your buddy the tape, ok Im getting way too indepth, go check out the SONY HD DVR thread at AVS those guys are masters of TVGOS data hacks.
     
  2. m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

    625
    0
    Jan 3, 2002
    Albany, NY
    I bet we (especially for SA systems) won't see anything until the very end of 2008, and even that will be a slim chance.
     
  3. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,390
    2
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    If you're right, I'll bet that the FCC will order cable to work with the CE OEMs on DCR Plus and that we won't ever see the tuning resolver. If they don't get it into the field before the FCC can make a ruling on the CEA's DCR Plus proposal, then it will not serve the purpose that it was created for, which is to minimize the need for DCR Plus and I'm betting that they'll drop any support for it.

    Obviously, it'd be useful for a couple hundred thousand TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD owners (an optomistic guesstimate), but I really don't think that they care much about us. Businesswise, I don't blame 'em--we're small potatoes. If we all stopped using cable en masse (which ain't gonna happen), they'd hardly notice it on their bottom line.
     
  4. mamosley

    mamosley New Member

    96
    0
    Apr 9, 2003
    Add time warner in the dallas, tx area using the sdv as they added 11 new hd channels today, all on sdv. :(
     
  5. DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

    523
    0
    Jan 25, 2005
    Richardson, TX
    The new channels in Dallas, Richardson, Plano and Mesquite are not SDV--I'm getting them right now.

    Of course, they could take them away later, but for now they're plain old linear broadcasts.

    TTYL
    David
     
  6. mamosley

    mamosley New Member

    96
    0
    Apr 9, 2003
    All the news articles say they are. Hopefully they still wont be by the time they are turned on in Irving.
     
  7. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,390
    2
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    Hmmm--this article talks about them expanding their capacity using SDV, but doesn't say that all the new channels are. DaveDFW says that he's getting them (on the CableCARDs in his TiVo, presumably), so keep the faith :).
     
  8. DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

    523
    0
    Jan 25, 2005
    Richardson, TX
    Yes, the HD channels I received today are viewable on my S3's. It is a limited rollout--only four cities in the DFW Metroplex got anything new.

    I hope TWC isn't going to pull a Brighthouse and move them to SDV later.

    TTYL
    David
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Actually, that's an underestimate. I spoke with a TiVo employee a month after the Series III was released, and he told me the Series III had sold more than 250,000 units in less than a month. Of course, he could have been exaggerating, but according to TiVo's Q1 2008 financial report, they have a total of 1.75 million subs with 33,000 being added in the quarter. I suspect a significant fraction of that 1.75 million subs are Series III class systems, and I would be surprised if a large fraction of the new subs were not Series III class units. Still, while I believe 200K is an underestimate, I think a million would be an overestimate, especially after allowing for the fact some CATV subs have more than 1 TiVo sub (some of us have more than 1 TiVo). Even if it were 1 million, however, the number of S3 TiVo subs is tiny compared to the number of cable subs, which stands somewhere above 75 million.

    Oh, they would surely notice. Being what it is, the bottom line is very sensitive to even small fluctuations in revenue, and the difference between being cash flow positive and cash flow negative is often much less than 1%. Look at the financial statements of any large corporation, and you will find their earnings statements put their net profits - if any - well below 5% of gross revenue. The stock market is even more sensitive still, since a 1% change in gross revenue can easily result in a 50% or greater change in profit, and if a company predicts a 7% earnings, but only hits 6%, the stock price can plummet.

    The big issue is not the relative size of the TiVo market share, but its impact on the business. In order to make any concessions to the TiVo subs, the costs of those concessions must be less than the potential loss in revenue. Said impact is a combination of any development and deployments costs added to any potential impact on other revenue streams. It doesn't do them any good to save a TiVo sub if it costs them a non-TiVo sub to do it.
     
  10. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,390
    2
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    The NCTA's claim is that, as of 6 December 2007, the 5 largest MSOs had deployed 271,000 CableCards for use in third-party UDCR equipment; those MSOs account for 80% of all cable subscribers nationwide, and if we extrapolate that out to 100% of subscribers, it becomes an estimated 338,750 CableCards deployed by the beginning of December. Of course, time marches on and in the nearly four months since then more TiVos and CableCards will have been deployed, but even if all of those 339,000 cards were installed in TiVos (and I feel that they aren't all, though probably most), that's only 170,000 TiVos hooked up to cable systems. If you're right and there are many more than 200K high-definition TiVos in the field right now, then a surprisingly high percentage of them are being used OTA-only. It's possible, I guess :).

    Even if there were a million CableCARD using TiVo subs around the country (and it can't possibly be more than 20-30% so many, they can lose them without blinking an eye if they're losing them to add more content in the name of reclaiming or stopping loss to satellite and the telcos. They probably lose a few times so many subs as all CableCARD TiVo users every quarter.

    It's nice to imagine that you're important, but, so far as the cable companies are concerned, we really aren't.
     
  11. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Well, there also could be a fair number on Cable but not using CableCards, but I agree the stats don't match up.

    Well, there's important and important. The company for which I work grosses over a billion dollars a year in revenue, and our largest customers pay us in excess of $100,000 a month, yet we often fight almost unbelievably hard to get and retain customers who only pay us $375 a month. Now there's no way we would ever let a $375 a month customer significantly impact a $100,000 a month customer in even the slightest fashion, but we don't ignore them, either. We also spend a huge amount of money on the $375 customers as a group, they being far, far more in number than the six figure clients. Of course, the dynamic is a little different for the Cable Company, because for them there is not such a large difference in revenue between their highest paying and lowest paying individual customer, and also because they must spend the same infrastructure dollars whether they catch the biggest fish or smallest fish in their pond, while we spend much more individually on infrastructure on the $100K customer than on the $375 customer.

    You are correct in saying we S3 TiVo users are not their highest priority by a long shot, but it would be inaccurate to say they don't care about Tivo owners, at all. To a certain extent, any good businessman is concerned about each and every customer, including the very smallest, and to some measure the CATV company is concerned about each and every single loss to their competition, even if it's just a basic subscriber. What's more, on a one by one basis, S3 TiVo owners are probably right at the top of the revenue getters, not to mention being more likley to be rich and politically powerful than the average sub. Nonetheless, as a logical grouping, S3 owners represent a very small fraction of the overall revenue stream, so it would indeed be quite unwise - not to mention all too easy - to overestimate our importance to the CATV providers.

    Indeed, the fact I know some uncomfortable facts about certain highly placed employees in the industry probably offers me more clout. :p

    The fact I am much bigger than they, can beat them up, and know where they live probably offers more still. :D

    Nonetheless, there is still a significant difference between "small" and "zero", and while a CATV provider isn't going to spend millions in cash or even jeopardize tens of thousands of dollars of their revenue stream, any responsible CATV company should certainly be willing to listen and to consider policies which don't otherwise impact their revenues or cost them anything out of proportion to the admittedly small revenues we represent.
     
  12. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

    63
    0
    Mar 11, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Just for reference, a company's bottom line is the total of their costs (laying off employees decreases the bottom line). Their top line is their revenue (losing customers impacts their top line). Their actual profit or loss is the area between the two amounts of money on a graph. Not a big deal, but it seems to be misused so often I thought I'd chime in.
     
  13. jefny

    jefny New Member

    26
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    There may be another factor in the issue of providing a resolution to the sdv issue for TIVO owners who use cablecards. This is competition with Verizon FIOS TV. In my area (the north shore of Long Island) which is Cablevision territory(who recently mailed out cards indicating loss of HD channels for cablecard customers) a franchise has been approved for Verizon FIOS. This will push Cablevision customers such as myself to switch as Verizon, according to a sales rep that I spoke to, has no plans at present for SDV because they have sufficient bandwith to begin with, thanks to fiber optic cables that now run to my house (I have Verizon Internet).

    I realize that cablecards are still problematic and seem to cost more to install than a box but the fear of competition might push some cable companies to provide an SDV solution that appears to be in the works.

    Of course I hope that it is not just wishful thinking on my part.

    John
     
  14. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Well, do keep in mind, though, that FiOS cherry-picks. So the impact of FiOS is a bit muted, affecting mostly the customers who are already the most mobile (most financially able to switch, since many don't currently rely on analog, as much as the customers whom FiOS bypasses).
     
  15. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,390
    2
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    As I understand it, the phrase "bottom line" is synonymous with "net income", a number typically shown on the last (i.e., "bottom") line of a traditional financial sheet. After we collect all revenues and pay off everyone we owe for our operations this past year (or quarter, or whatever), this is how much we ended up earning or losing. All revenues and all expenses affect the bottom line. In a publicly held company any dividends paid to shareholders come out of this (if it's a positive number).

    It's pretty much what people always mean when they say "the bottom line" and that financial derivation is where the idioms like "skip to the bottom line" come from--it means, "forget all hairy details and just tell me how we made out".

    The first definition of "bottom line" in The American Heritage Dictionary is "The line in a financial statement that shows net income or loss."
     
  16. ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    2,211
    0
    Jan 8, 2006
    Yes, Mike is right. Your interpretation of bottom line is wrong which would indicate why you think so many others are misusing the term.

    revenue (top-line)
    - cost of goods sold
    --------------------
    margin
    - SG&A, operating costs
    --------------------
    operating income
    - non operating items
    --------------------
    Net Income (bottom-line)
     
  17. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Well, first of all, "plans at present" and what actually unfolds are often two different things. Ignoring interactive services for the moment, it's true the 870MHz digital bandwidth of the FIOS signal offers more bandwidth than is currently available for linear broadcast, but that's going to change soon. While no CATV company presently has enough gas with or without SDV to exceed a linear offering of 145 QAMs, SDV offers the ability to eventually do just that, especially as more and more HD offerings come online. By "eventually", I don't mean many years, either. I mean perhaps within the next 18 - 24 months.

    More importantly, the term "sufficient bandwidth to begin with" suggests a perspective which ignores the fundamental capabilities of SDV, especially in terms of interactive services such as VOD, IPPV, Video Rewind, video conferencing, online video based shopping, specialty video feeds, secure video feeds, online video banking, etc.

    I'll give you a directly analogous example. The following glosses over the development timeline somewhat, and fudges on some of the availability issues and evolutionary detail, but otherwise is accurate . When Ethernet first began to be deployed, it's topology was analogous to linear video broadcasts. Everyone on a LAN segment shared the same 10Mbps bandwidth. It was great, because essentially everything usually came from a single server and 10Mbps was more than the server's hard drive could usually manage, anyway. As time went by, however, server speeds and hard drive speeds went up, but everyone was sharing the same 10M bandwidth. What's worse, there were more and more workstations as well as more servers being added to the same LAN segment, so congestion soon became the biggest nightmare of the LAN administrator. An obvious solution to the problem would be to increase the LAN speed to something more than 10Mbps, and of course that did in fact happen, but just increasing the LAN speed wouldn't have resolved the underlying problem of shared bandwidth. The answer was to abandon the Ethernet hub and replace it with an Ethernet switch. Doing so allowed each and every workstation to potentially use up to the full 10M (or 100M or now 1000M) bandwidth. Of course, in addition, it made the communications full duplex, so the upstream utilization no longer impacts the available downstream bandwidth, but the main point is that without changing the bandwidth capabilities of the underlying hardware, merely by changing to a switched protocol rather than a hubbed protocol, the overall LAN bandwidth was increased much more than an order of magnitude, or in some cases more than two orders of magnitude.

    The same is true here. SDV offers an essentially unlimited increase in effective bandwidth to the CATV system. At some point in the not too distant future I would expect it to well exceed 10G, and perhaps even 100G. That will leave FIOS' 870M way, way in the dust. Viewed as an overall offering, we are talking about effectively tens of thousands of unique, independent video feeds around the city. Many, of course, will just be the very same video content time shifted by a minute or ten as subs take advantage of Video Rewind or VOD. Others will be completely unique as a user pulls up an HD video of a home for sale somewhere across the country and another shares a home video off an HD camcorder from his sister in Peoria. Your employer can put up a video presentation available only to employees, and your model car racing club can put up videos available 24 hours a day available to every member of the club.
     
  18. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    The point is the protocol does work with CableCards, CableCard equipped devices can make use of it, and it is interactive.
     
  19. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,390
    2
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    Verizon's big advantage in their offering is like the satellite services--nothing that they offer is analog, and therefore they don't have to waste more than half their capacity on 70-80 analog standard-definition basic and extended basic channels in bandwidth which could host twice as many 19 Mbps HD video streams.
     
  20. ilh

    ilh New Member

    377
    0
    Dec 21, 2007
    Channels 1-50 are all analog on my FiOS line-up if you're not using CableCARDs. (I used my THD that way for 3 weeks waiting for CCs.) However, analog is apparently going away starting in May according to mail Verizon just sent out.
     

Share This Page