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SDV FAQ

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

  1. nickhaas33

    nickhaas33 New Member

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    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.[/QUOTE]

    This hits the nail on the head!
    Give me one that supports fancast, netflix, hulu, etc.
    If the PS3 would do that, they could sell even more of them (no Flash 8/9 support).
     
  2. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    And make sure this magical box, through all these services, support Closed Captions.
     
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    According to this financial report from TiVo, as of Jan 31 of this year, TiVo has 3.95 million subs. Now some large fraction of those subs are using DirecTiVos, and some fraction are using their TiVo strictly OTA, but let's be generous and say all 3.95M are on CATV systems. According to this survey by MRG, the top 8 MSOs, representing 60% of CATV providers, have 2.4 million DVRs deployed. Extrapolating to 100% of subscribers, that would amount to 4 million DVRs deployed. Note the CATV subs on SDV systems also have access to SDV via their DVR, but we'll also assume it's not the case, just to prevent from underestimating. That's a total of just under 8 millions DVRs, spread out among 75 million subscribers with an average of something over 2.5 TV sets per sub. This means even being extremely generous with the DVR estimate there are more than 27 TV sets attached to CATV system through some means other than a DVR for each and every set attached to a CATV system through a DVR. The actual number may be less than 1 in 50, and the number of TiVos attached to CATV plants is less than 1 in 57, perhaps less than 1 in 100. Within a small margin of error, the percentage users with DVRs in any SDV system is going to be the same as the percentage of DVRs on CATV systems in general.

    Since according to this post there have been only at the very most 339,000 TiVos attached to CATV systems with CableCards, that makes only 1 CATV subscriber in 221 owns an S3 class TiVo, and only 1 TV set in over 550 attached to a CATV plant is getting its service through a TiVo. The actual number is probably less than 1 in 1000.

    I have never said or suggested anything of the sort. VOD is just one of a huge number of applications for SDV. It also happens to be at this point in time the most widely deployed, as well as the one whose basic technology may have the broadest implications for the development of future applications. The entire vast television industry is a direct result of the development of the Flemming Valve vacuum tube. The implications for development of applications dependant upon SDV may be even broader.

    I'm not going to do this dance again. The simple fact is the existence of SDV long predates the existence or even the development of the 3rd part UDCPs, so you can't claim SDV breaks them, any more than the fact Unix-only applications won't run on a Windows PC means Unix breaks Windows PCs.
     
  4. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Really? You've never bought a laptop / notebook computer, PDA, Blackberry (or a clone), or I-Phone (or a clone)? Most people have bought at least one of these over the last 20 years or so.

    With the exception of the 9 month period of time between my buying my Mitsubishi HDTV and the release of the Series III TiVo, I haven't used one since 1984. Indeed, the only TV I had in my house between 1984 and 2000 didn't even have a built-in tuner. I still use that TV, and the projector in my Theater doesn't have a built-in tuner, either.

    Well, it doesn't appeal to me in particular, either, with one minor exception, but then I'm not the average consumer. The fact you are on a TiVo chat forum means there's a good chance you are a techie-type, at least to a certain extent. Most people are not, so you probably aren't an average consumer, either.

    On the other hand, a set with built in separable security isn't particularly off-putting to me. Also, the one minor exception to my indifference is that very rare occasion when I want to watch a 3rd show on a particular TV in the house. Then it would be nice to be able to watch live TV while the other two tuners are busy. Especially with 3 TiVos sporting 6 tuners in the house, this is an extremely rare occurrence, and I can easily live without the capability.

    I think that's probably true, or at least most men don't have any strong objections. Women generally speaking have more issues with multiple gadgets in the living space, but even most women probably don't have a strong objection to an STB or DVR. Other than price, however, more people express concerns of varying degrees over having to have an STB - or especially multiple STBs - than any other single complaint. They tend to be more vehement about service issues, at least while they are experiencing them, but by far the greatest number of complaints other than issues with their bills is the fact they have to have an STB.

    Let me put it this way: suppose you stop 1000 different people on the street who have not recently had severe technical difficulties with their CATV service and ask them what their chief non-financial complaint with their CATV service is. You will get at least 100 or so different answers, but while maybe 50 or more people would complain about having to have the STB, not more than 10 or 15 would bring up any other single issue. (Note, these numbers do not represent the actual metric. They are simply offered as a means of demonstrating my point.)
     
  5. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Since OCAP has nothing to do with hardware and is in fact nothing but a software interface between two other pieces of software, that's a given.

    That was either empty saber rattling, a misinterpreted quotation, or someone who hadn't a clue about what they were speaking. OCAP is middleware. It has nothing directly to do with any UI, except that the UI must be able to communicate reliably with OCAP. It needs to be able to send messages to OCAP which then forwards them on to the CATV headend, and it needs to be able to respond to requests and answers from OCAP, splashing something on the screen if applicable or doing something internally if not. Take a look at Galleon or TiVo Desktop if you want an example of something similar.

    Well, yes and no. The UI doesn't need to be tightly coupled with the middleware, per se, but it does need to provide a reasonable and reliable means to display information handed over by the middleware to the UI when appropriate and to forward any input by the user to the middleware in an unambiguous manner. Basically, in many ways OCAP is somewhat like X11. One can run an X-server under Windows, Mac OS Desktop, KDE, CDE, Gnome, XFce, XPde, or whatever other flavor of desktop the administrator happens to choose. The User interfaces for all those desktops vary a great deal from one to the other, or in some cases even from one release to the next of the same desktop, but an X server can run on any of them and provide an interface to a remote client anywhere.

    In this case, the DVR / receiver UI is the server, the headend is running the client, and OCAP is acting as an agent. It needn't provide any user interface at all.
     
  6. bxojr

    bxojr New Member

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    Sure. But I don't think that's an apt comparison; those are portable devices where I'm willing to pay a premium, and make many other compromises, in order to minimize size and bulk. One of the big disadvantages of a laptop is that it's not very upgradeable, and it's hard to repair. You accept those disadvantages because you want the portability.

    The same calculation does not apply to a home-entertainment center. For that application, modularity makes the most sense.

    My vision of the future is a LAN-wired house with a central server that handles all of the tuning, security, and DVR-type functionality, and sends video signals to monitors installed throughout the house. I grant that I am not a typical user, so maybe that's a science-fiction vision; certainly CE manufacturers would not be building OCAP-equipped TV sets if their research didn't indicate that there was a market for them.

    Still, I think a modular system would have a lot of advantages. And I don't think it will seem so outlandishly futuristic in a generation or so, when those of us raised on linear TV broadcasting aren't making the big purchase decisions anymore. Most college students today don't even own traditional TV sets; they watch all of their TV on computers, so for them it will be quite natural to see a home-entertainment center as a specialized computer setup with a big monitor.
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Point well made and well taken.

    For you and me, and probably most of the members of this forum, that's essentially true, although I wouldn't have put it quite that way. Rather, it's our preference, for very valid reasons. Indeed, it was no less true in the 1970s and 1980s when audiophiles like myself insisted on purchasing component audio systems. The number of console stereos and for that matter console TV / Stereos sold far exceeded the number of component systems sold, however. While component systems are much more ubiquitous today, the average consumer - and if it is a man then often his wife, is likely to prefer a more highly integrated solution over a more modular system, even if the modular system offers better quality and less maintenance expense.

    'My point exactly.

    Again, exactly so. If we were talking about my personal preferences or how I think the world should run then it's one thing, but my pragmatic side insists I take reality into account. I myself don't usually care for mustard, and I never order it, or put it on my sandwiches, but I do buy it because many of my guests do like mustard. If I were the owner of a grocery store, mustard would be very high on my list of things to keep stocked on the shelves, my personal taste notwithstanding.

    Of course it does. I also don't mind the extra electronic box or ten on my shelves.
    [​IMG]

    See? (You should see my server room. I'd send a picture of it, but it's too small and cramped to get back far enough to take a picture of all the printers, servers, RAID system, monitor, cable gateway, VOIP ATA, Ethernet switch, etc.)

    Yes, precisely, and SDV services will be another highly integrated piece of the whole delivery system. How limited the number of boxes will be I think will continue to depend on the individual consumer. Many will applaud having only a single box handle all their phone, video, data, internet, and environmental systems. The microwave, fridge, dishwasher, and blender might even all be in the same box with everything else. Others will prefer a minimal amount of physical integration, with a box here, a box there, and a box around every corner.
     
  8. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

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    San Antonio, TX
    Perhaps you didn't hear me when I specified DIGITAL CABLE subscribers. If the numbers you're mentioning with no source attributed are referring strictly to digital cable, then this is interesting information. If not, it's useless.

    There really needs to be an :eyebrow: emoticon to use. This is so silly it hurts. None of the VOD or IPPV features existed before the TiVo or CableCARDs for that matter. Just because someone thought up the idea a long time ago doesn't mean that moving from a linear system to an SDV system doesn't break TiVo's ability to receive channels that are supplied exclusively via SDV.
     
  9. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Could you possibly tone down your snide and condescending attitude? See if you can state your case without calling what others have to say "so silly it hurts". I don't think that any of us can survive another long vitriolic exchange between you and lrhorer.
    According to Wikipedia, VOD was first deployed in the US by Oceanic Cable in Hawaii in January 2000, 9 months after TiVo first shipped in March 1999, but 4.5 years prior to the FCC requirement that cable service providers support CableCARDs. VOD had been available for years in the TWC system that I was using in July 2004, when FCC regs mandate CableCARD compliance--certainly it'd been available for all 3 of the years I'd lived there at that point. However, I recall IPPV being around for a very long time in the various cable systems I've lived in (13 cities in 11 states and multiple neighborhoods with different cable systems in some of them). The first reference to a US deployment of it that I can find online in a cursory search is this, an abstract of an archived L.A. Times article from May 1989, nearly 10 years prior to the introduction of TiVo.

    So, someone hadn't just "thought of" IPPV and VOD--both had been widely deployed by MSOs long, long before the first Undirectional Digital Cable Ready product was sold. Not that any of that either endorses or condemns the cable industry's deployment of SDV.
     
  10. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Those DVR numbers are very wrong. It is not important to this whole discussion, I just don´t want them to enter into the folklore.
     
  11. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    What my post said was that the NCTA claimed that, through the beginning of December, the 5 largest MSO's had deployed 271,000 single CableCARDs, and that, extrapolating the number to include all cable providers, it might have been something like 339,000 CableCARDs deployed. If they were all in use in TiVos (which they certainly weren't), it represented a maximum of about 170,000 TiVo Series3 and TiVo HDs in use with CableCARDs nationwide through that point, since each uses two CableCARDs.

    Obviously this was a bunch of guestimation. I'm guessing that there were far fewer than 170,000 TiVos using CableCARDs at the end of last year. Of course, that number will have increased some over the past few months.
     
  12. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    I did read it, but I took it to mean subscribers on digital cable systems. It's the bulk of subscribers which is most important to any service industry, not a particular faction of a particular fraction of subs. Nonetheless, even limiting it to CableCard subscribers, at most only a bit more than 1 in 10 digital cable drops has an S3 TiVo hanging off it, based upon this very same article provided by mikeyts. Likely it's fewer than 1 in 20.

    I attributed sources to every one. The remainder of your post is not worthy of a response.
     
  13. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Within a reasonable margin, that guestimation is quite accurate. It's a far, far larger sample than is used by Nielsen to rate TV shows. It's also a far larger sample than is usually available for scientific researchers in most fields.

    Even if we assume every TiVo has only 1 CableCard, and only TiVos were included in the count, it still limits the number of CATV based S3 TiVos to less than 400,000. Even if it were 4,000,000, however, it would still be a drop in the bucket. 'A much bigger drop, to be sure, but still a drop nonetheless.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Video On Demand means you request a service stream and it is sent out to you when you request it.

    Impulse Pay Per View means you request a program and at some point in time receive it. Traditional IPPV programs are broadcast at specific times. If the sub were 5 minutes late requesting the program, they would miss the first 5 minutes. Most CATV providers cut off ordering of PPV events 10 minutes into the event in order to prevent complaints from consumers about not receiving the entire program.

    Switched Digital Video means a stream is only sent to a node if someone on that node has requested the content, whether that content happens to be scheduoed or not.

    Linear Channels are sent to every node in the system, no matter whether anyone on the node has requested it or not.

    That's right. Their node coverage is 1 household, as opposed to between 500 and 1000 homes for most CATV systems. On the other hand, their bandwidth is even more severely limited. A CATV system with no analog channels has an ultimate maximum bandwidth of about 40 Gigabits per second downstream. Most current CATV systems have somewhere around 5 Gigabits or so actually allocated to digital QAMs. San Antonio is somewhat unique in having nearly 10G available for digital QAMs, but I suspect other systems will begin cutting back on analog services before very long.

    Note AT&T's offering currently can only deliver a single HD stream to the house. One can have several SD programs on or being recorded around the house, but only 1 HD.
     
  15. mel.simmons

    mel.simmons New Member

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    Is there any definitive way to tell if a channel is SDV or not? It seems that many of the reports of SDV channels turn out instead to be failures of the cable provider to provide access to that channel by cable card.
    It seems a reliable way to make this test would compare channels on a series 3 TiVo and a bidirectional device with a cable card (i.e., a cable company provided set top box).
    Is there any easier way to find out which channels, if any, are SDV?
     
  16. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    In some places the cable companies are blatently stating that some new channels are "Not available to CableCARD subscribers". Go to your cable provider's site and search for announcement of the new channel and read the fine print.

    Otherwise, even if it's on the wire as non-switched linear service, if they don't advertise the channel in a PSIP loop in stream which contains it, there's no way to know that its there. Even with that, TiVo couldn't detect it.
     
  17. mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

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    That's interesting. We're not in an AT&T market, so I haven't researched the specifics of Uverse, but that's good to know (my in-laws are moving to an area that is serviced by AT&T and supposed to get Uverse in the near future according to AT&T). Any idea if that's a surmountable issue that they tend to rectify in the foreseeable future?
     
  18. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    Sorry if I missed it in this thread (I skipped over a lot of the bickering going on here lately), but this was posted by ASW in a recent thread that shows some progress on the tuning adapter development:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=6183997#post6183997
     
  19. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    That was mentioned in this thread one week ago (some 65 posts back) here, in post #1353 by hsfjr. We subsequently discussed the implications some. I found it to be "encouraging", given that CableLabs must have thought that most of the players had basically finished products to bring if they were holding an interoperability testing event.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  20. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    i AM NOT an expert- but my understanding is the problem is ATT in most areas does not run fiber to the house like verizon does with fios. ATT runs fiber nearby and then still uses the twisted pair to send something akin to DSL from the fiber to the house. So I assume the limiting facotr is what you can put on a single copper twisted pair and I know that's a bunch more limited compared to fios's fiber or cable's coax.
     

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