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SDV FAQ

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

  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Oh- I see your point now- I thought by linear you meant scheduled.

    I’d agree in 10 years there may be a tiny handful of always on channels and the rest will be streamed on demand or vod or sdv- whatever they are calling it at that moment.

    I am not intimately away- but isn’t that what att’s uverse already does even- streams only the channel you want at that moment?
     
  2. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    When your date mentions a show you´ve never heard of that she´d really like to watch with you back at your place ...
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    I thought after I posted-

    You asked specifically what the regs./laws say aboiut the issue- and I didn’t answer with any of those.

    SO yep- you are right there are no current regs that govern the mess – it’s just a bunch of half way regs that don’t really help get anything done. (and that’s the problem in my head).

    But my point about the report and order is it shows the intent of the FCC (at least the fcc as it existed in 1996-98 timeframe- probably totally different people now) and also their understanding of the point of the law. It seems clear to me from reading that- that the point of the law and the fcc (at least those in power in 1996-98) has completely not come to pass. Seems they wanted 3rd party devices readily available, they wanted them fast (I think someplace they even mention expecting them in retail for Christmas 2000 or 2001), they wanted 2-way devices that could do ppv, get guide data, etc some time after that- and seems to me they didn’t expect it 10 years later. That they didn’t expect the 3rd party devices to be missing things that cable company boxes get.

    So true none of the regs reflect any of that intent, but it seems from that report and its references to the conference report in congress that what we have today wasn’t what they expected.. Iy looks to me like the regs went terribly awry

    Anyway- all that said- I totally agree- if dcr+ got mandated it will make a mess. Cable just might as a whole abandon the dongle for the couple hundred thousand tivo’s out there that would benefit (maybe if some big company’s already had it ready before DCR+ got mandated they would make them available for political reasons but probably you couldn’t get everyone to agree anymore.). I assume they are too far down the OCAP/True2way road to bail ont hat- so in the end they would wind up with both systems I guess and tivo could build a tivo series 4 or 5 for either one.

    But there’s a cbunch of issues rolled up here: What do I want to get my tivo S3’s to work, what’s right, what is isn’t damaging to any of the players, etc. Taking my personal motivation to keep my S3’s working aside- I’m not sure that DCR+ is so bad as a whole for an end game. My own opinion is there needs to be some standard that everyone can live with- that such a thing would be best in the end for cable, CE, and consumers. Obvioulsy others feel differently. Maybe DCR+ is that end point….
     
  4. mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

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    We have a Tivo (actually we have three... two Tivo HDs and a Tivo DT); however, we also keep a cable box solely for VOD. Why? Because we also have a five year old whose tv viewing habits are much more varied than either my wife's or mine. My wife and I both have a very limited amount of viewing time available. There are probably five or six shows that each of us want to watch regulalry (for me PTI, the Office, Ghost Hunters, UFO Hunters, and John Adams) as well as the occasional special (most of which come from the History Channel, Discover, or Nat Geo for me) and some live programming (football, some bball, news). That's it; I have a hard time squeezing those in at a couple of hours per day max. My wife is the same way (although her selections lean more towards reality programming), as are most of our friends. However to my daughter, the TV offers endless possibilities. Today she wants Sesame Street, tomorrow Calliou, the next day Berenstein Bears. After that who knows maybe Pinky Dinky Do, maybe Dragon Tales. We limit her tv watching time pretty significantly, so when she does get to watch, she likes variety. VOD is the most efficient way to offer that kind of viewing. I would venture that many other parents feel the same.
     
  5. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    MichaelK --

    On the one hand I do agree with the CEA that DCR+ would be nice to have. On the other hand, <tru2way>/OCAP holds quite a bit of promise as well (in principal, though I still have problems apps much beyond IPG, IPPV, VOD and some trivial games). If the CEA gets DCR+ in the near term, I'd guess half the major manufacturers will never bother to make <tru2way> compliant products. (There's a small group of CEA members--including Samsung and TiVo--who are supporters of <tru2way>, so it wouldn't die completely, but the cable providers would like for it to be as ubiquitous as possible). The fact is that the Tuning Adapter addresses the most pressing need--providing a mechanism for low-end TV products to access SDV. The Tuning Adapter could evolve into essentially DCR+ in the future in a straight-forward fashion. Until it does, people can use leased cable boxes with their inexpensive televisions, if they want to view IPPV and VOD content on them.
    A small and unimportant nit--"<tru2way>" is a registered trademark of CableLabs. There is no "e" in the spelling and they'd prefer that you use all lowercase and that it be encased in "angle-brackets" where possible (I guess that it graphically suggests the bidirectional nature of the set of the technology); they insist on the angle-brackets when used as a logo on compliant products. You can see the guidelines for its use at www.tru2way.com.
     
  6. bxojr

    bxojr New Member

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    But that's not a prospect worth considering. Maybe I'm too easily persuaded, but I found the NCTA's critique of DCR+ to be pretty convincing. It comes across as an unrealistic and half-baked proposal that would take a long time to design and implement. So even if the FCC were to order DCR+ in the near term, it would likely be years before it's actually rolled out.

    In the meantime, OCAP is coming, regardless of what the FCC decides, and I think you're right that it holds a lot of promise. It's far from perfect, but the opportunity for an ideal solution was lost a decade ago. The fact that TiVo feels that OCAP is viable reassures me -- mainly, it reassures me that the NCTA is willing to work with CE manufacturers to address their concerns. I think OCAP will evolve over time, and it can be made to work.

    All of this makes me think the FCC should just stay out of it. They've done precious little in a decade, and yet a solution (imperfect, but a solution) is coming anyway, voluntarily developed by the NCTA and some CE manufacturers. It's hard to imagine anything the FCC could do that would not make matters worse rather than better.
     
  7. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    The fact that that solution was only revealed some 9 months after the CEA filed their DCR+ proposal makes me suspect that it was only created in response to the threat of DCR+. I am grateful for it, though :).
     
  8. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

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    Source? I want to know what percentage of digital cable subscribers with VOD access have (or don't have) a DVR. You seem confident in your numbers, so by all means, let's have them.

    :eyebrow:

    Yes, that's a perfect set of analogies... Regardless, like I said, I have no problem that it exists, but several people here, lead primarily by you, seem to be arguing the CATV providers' stance with VOD pretty much the only card to play and acting like it's a trump card. I've said it before, but VOD is nice and all but is not justification for breaking functionality with any 3rd party CableCARD host such as your TiVOs.


    Heh, nice. That's never come up, but it would be handy if it did. Like I said, I have no problem that it exists, but rather that it's being put on some sort of holy pedestal by the likes of horer.
     
  9. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Its going to be quite a phenomenal time in the next short number of years making all this available along with DVR use.
     
  10. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    I didn&#180;t think that the OCAP issues were really hardware in the long run, but interface issues. TiVo broke with CE to broker a compromise deal they seem satisfied with.

    My guess is that put the nail in the coffin of the CE proposal.
     
  11. bxojr

    bxojr New Member

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    Yes, and since the UI is arguably TiVo's most important selling point, I think it's very significant that TiVo came around to a pro-OCAP position. In August of last year, TiVo was still strongly pro-DCR+, criticizing OCAP because (they claimed) it would remove the ability to differentiate with a user interface. Four months later, after getting their "clarifications and adjustments" to OCAP, they'd reversed position and believed that OCAP was preferable to DCR+.

    I think this actually makes a lot of sense. The value of TiVo's user interface is primarily in how it handles linear programming. On the other hand, I think it's pretty reasonable to say that interactive services need to be tightly coupled with their user interfaces; that's all part of the service the cable company is selling.

    If I had a tru2way TiVo, I might switch to "cable mode" for a VOD program once in a while, but I don't see any particular reason for that kind of functionality to be part of the TiVo UI. (On the other hand, I would like to see the ability to record a VOD show after ordering it, and have it available through the TiVo "Now Playing" list; I have no idea whether that level of integration is a possibility.)

    I do find it interesting that TiVo's objections to OCAP in August turned out to be non-issues in December. That tells me that one of two things must be true: either TiVo (along with CEA) misunderstood the OpenCable spec, or the NCTA was willing to modify it. I wonder, were there more "clarifications" or "adjustments" in those talks?
     
  12. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Its always "interesting" how some "objections" disappear when settlements are reached. ;)

    I think there is alot of value to being able to use local storage & processing power (DMR) to handle VOD type programing, and furthermore value to a TiVo (or other good) interface for doing so.
     
  13. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    The OCAP/tru2way spec. doesn't say anything about these issues. CE companies put 2 and 2 together and got 20. And then they got nervous. They just needed reassurance that the cable companies would not take over the entire GUI, and that 2+2 really does equal 4, even for potentially large values of 2. Plus, the NCTA threw in a free gift called the tuning adapter which the main opposition CE company desperately needed. Sometimes there are things about interoperability you just can't spec. You have to work together with the other companies (here I go again) to fill in the missing or gray areas. And bribing the opposition to keep them quiet doesn't hurt either. :D

    The other reason for nervousness, as some have pointed out, is some CE companies aren't designing for boxes but TVs instead. Putting an "expensive" processor inside a TV reduces profit margin. But as more people want DVR functionality and then next gotta-have-it feature, they'll need a box because you can't put a hard drive inside a TV. And I don't see anyone strongly opposed to the presence of cable boxes in their entertainment center. I think customers have come to expect that they will always need a separate box. That means TVs might turn into monitors. And there is not as much profit margin making monitors, either. So either way TV manufacturers are screwed with tru2way.

    But I think DCR+ is too complex for TVs and too simple for DVRs. And it's not at all future-proof. In the same way SDV indirectly defeated the purpose of CableCards, some new gotta-have-it feature will trump DCR+ because it isn't adaptable.

    Finally, you will be amazed at how great support and development is for specs. that are approved by the service providers vs. specs. that are not. (Oh wait, you all have CableCards, and this thread exists and is the first sticky thread, so you do know this). So even if both DCR+ and tru2way were approved, tru2way would become the default standard. Which is what the NCTA is hinting to the FCC.
     
  14. slude

    slude New Member

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    (limiting my response to flat-panel TVs that could be wall-mounted on the assumption that's what you were thinking about)

    LG disagrees. 3 years ago they started selling TVs with internal DVRs http://www.engadget.com/2005/05/03/lgs-new-50py2dr-and-60py2dr-plasma-tvs-with-built-in-dvr/.

    Samsung disagrees. 2 years ago they started selling TVs with internal DVRs http://www.wiredathomeblog.com/blog/2006/05/samsung_intros_.html.

    Toshiba disagrees. Earlier this week they announced they will be selling TVs with internal DVRs http://www.engadget.com/2008/04/09/toshibas-10-new-regza-lcds-3x-ethernet-built-in-dvr-and-much/.

    Even Humax is doing it http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/humax-40-lcd-tv-with-builtin-40gb-hd-162267.php so putting a hard-drive-based DVR inside a flat panel TV can't be rocket science.

    Yo (sort of). You've side-stepped the very important point that most homes have only a single entertainment center but have more than a single TV. The migration to flat-panel TVs has made people less willing to accept a box with the bedroom TV, living room TV, etc.
     
  15. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Mitsubishi has also put DVRs inside of panels. My panel, which doesn't have a built-in DVR, does support a 1394 AV/C AVHDD, which is basically just a drive in an enclosure which will repond to a set of 1394 AV/C commands, which have to do with opening files and streaming data into and out of them--it has no tuner or timers. With one of these hooked up, the television will add an interface for managing and playing back saved recordings and you can use the TV Guide On Screen grid to schedule them.
     
  16. bxojr

    bxojr New Member

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    This is an excellent point. I think the idea of putting more and more function into TV sets is exactly the wrong way to go. Cable TV is just another kind of digital video content, just like all of the streaming and downloadable content we can get over the Internet. The logical model is for the home-entertainment center to become a specialized computer system, with a BIG monitor and a high-end sound system, and a network-connected special-purpose computer (like a TiVo) to provide the signal.

    I don't expect my computer monitor to have the computer built in, and I wouldn't buy one that did come that way -- too much to fail in a single unit, and too hard to upgrade.

    I haven't used a television set's built-in tuner since sometime in the early 1990s. So the idea of a TV with OCAP built in doesn't appeal to me in the slightest.

    I think you're right: most people don't have any objection to having an external box to deliver the programming. What we don't need is multiple boxes. Give me a TiVo with built-in OCAP, and the ability to stream video from NetFlix and Hulu, and I'll be pretty happy.
     
  17. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

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    :eyebrow:

    This is a TV we're talking about. How many times have you "upgraded" your TV in the past? Or your TiVo for that matter? Few people ever turn a screw on either of these devices.

    Perhaps not, but if there's no tuner it can't be sold as a TV. It's just a monitor at that point. Regardless, many people still use the built-in tuner for both cable and OTA (including HD).
     
  18. bxojr

    bxojr New Member

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    I don't want to upgrade my TV.

    I'm now on my third TiVo since 2000, and I fully expect to upgrade again within the next two years. I've also gone through multiple DVD players and STBs. And I was able to do all of this upgrading without having to upgrade my TV -- which is the most expensive part of the whole setup -- because these devices are all separate boxes.

    I grant that many people, maybe even most, are still using the tuners built into their TVs. What I'm suggesting is that will change as our mechanism for receiving video programming changes.
     
  19. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Panasonic is also a BIG support of TRUE2WAY. I believe they intend to have several devices in retail second half of this year and also Comcast has a deal to buy 500 OCAP boxes from them. So I’d say panny is deep in that camp.

    (now that you told me it annoys them- I’ll be sure to include the e and caps- laughing!)
     
  20. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I think that most people don't mind having a separate box for delivering their programming in their main family room home entertainment set-up, but many people have lots of smaller televisions placed around their home that they watch while doing chores and otherwise going about their business. Hanging from beneath the kitchen cabinets, on the workbench in the garage, on shelves in home offices and sewing rooms and small kids' rooms and nurseries: these are places where space is at a premium and external boxes for television reception are definitely not welcome. The fact that you can just plug a television into a simple cable coming out of the wall and use it to receive all non-premium programming is a strong selling point over satellite, etc, and cable has spent a lot of money to set up being able to offer as much programming as possible that way.

    It's particularly objectionable if each of those boxes comes with some kind of lease fee, laying on more cable fees for each television in your home and if you have to wait for someone to come out and install them, paying a fee for that service. People currently don't have to pay anything to hook up convenience televisions on which to watch core and extended basic and they don't have to make arrangements to do so with the cable company.
    I'm sure that they'll ignore you and say, "I wonder what this TRUE2WAY crap is that he's going on about. Do we have a trademark infringement case over whoever's selling something called 'TRUE2WAY'??? It's awfully close to our trademark--we should sue!" :D
     

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