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SDV FAQ

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

  1. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Georgia
    There is no convincing evidence of arrogance having the impact you mentioned (a claim, incidentally, which seems to be launched most commonly as an outgrowth of consumer frustration than based on any objective evidence). Indeed, the most nefarious claim I've read, and see merit in, regarding the Coke situation, is that they planned this from the start (which is why they were able to relaunch the old formulation so quickly, and had already thought through the heartstring-tugging name "Coke Classic"). The hubbub perhaps was responsible for a massive surge in demand for Coke in the year or two afterwards. Amazingly strategic if true, and it is as believable as any other explanation I've read.

    If there is any arrogance, per se, it is clearly justified by cases like that, rather than condemnable.
     
  2. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    You're killin' me, lrhorer :rolleyes:! Pay attention! All of this was revealed in articles linked to by posts in this thread. First, from a bit in Engadget ("the company" is Motorola):
    From a piece in LightReading:
    That bit doesn't say that Cisco's unit did well at CableLab's interop, but I've read that somewhere.

    And as I said, having said all of this to the press, they'd just have some explaining to do if they failed to bring working units to "Noleans" as promised. I didn't say that there'd be anything we could do about it :).
     
  3. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    In context, the term "bidirectional" was in regards to communication with the cable system, not communication between the card and the host device. My point was that when talking about unidirectional versus bidirectional, we should not be thinking about the actual cards, since they don't speak to the cable system at all or even directly listen to it. They're just tools used by the host device for decoding what they receive from the system (and, when in bidirectional hosts, for composing some messages to be sent to it).

    This reminds me of your insistence that "SDV" also refers to "VOD". While technically true, people using the term "SDV" in the press and in this thread are never referring anything other than the relatively new bandwidth optimizing technique of using digital switching to transmit essentially linear video services. I and everyone else say "potato" while only you say "potahtoe". You enjoy semantic games too much, but it's part of why we love you :D.
     
  4. m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    Really?

    http://www.timewarnercable.com/Albany/Products/Cable/CableCard.html

    Further, I stated that the Tivo would not be compatible in "2-way mode". You conveniently ignored that and twisted my statement to claim something I did not. Name me a currently produced and available Tivo unit that can use a cable card in 2-way mode.

    oh that's right, it's not out yet (because if there was one, we wouldn't need a tuning resolver and we'd also be able to VOD and PPV).

    SDV may be two way, but the currently available cable cards do not send out the information. (at least according to the TW link above for retail devices). It may be with actually doing "2-way mode" with the cable companies STB, but I'm not sure about that. (TW website seems to indicate that they are, but I don't know that for sure).

    Also, please backup your statement that the majority of all SDV boxes are cable card based. I would respectfully state that is untrue. In our area, TW own numbers state that they have approx. 500 cable card customers. The rest of their customers are analog only or TW non-cable card digital STB. Only NEWLY deployed devices are required to use cable cards, I believe. But I don't think that means that TW or other cable companies cannot "recycle" their existing supply of non-cable card STB.
     
  5. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Vero Beach, FL

    Gee... you believe the pure crap that cableco say??? Why not go to the source... cablelabs...

    http://www.opencable.com/primer/cablecard_primer.html

    Snip...
    The media has frequently reported that first-generation CableCARD 1.0 modules are one-way devices1. This is simply not true. CableLabs had always intended to develop the CableCARD module and host receiver standards with two-way capability. However the manufacturers of digital TVs requested that a host standard be developed that only had one-way capability. This one-way cable-ready receiver was defined by the FCC's Plug & Play order and by the Joint Test Suite (JTS). It is the definition of this one-way receiver that lacks the ability for two-way functionality, not the CableCARD module. While the FCC defined the elements of the one-way cable-ready receiver, CableLabs continued to define specifications for two-way receivers.

    When a CableCARD 1.0 module is used with a two-way receiver (e.g., Samsung HLR5067C) that card supports all the necessary two-way functionality for VOD, SDV, and other interactive services.
     
  6. wizzy

    wizzy S1, (2) S2, TivoHD

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    Engadget was able to see the resolver in action at the Cable Show.
     
  7. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Cool. Now where's the report on the SA box that subs of the the most aggressive purveyor of SDV, Time Warner, are mostly going to need :rolleyes:? Nice to see some of the modifications to the TiVo GUI, though.

    Thanks for the link.

    EDIT: In comments on that article, author Ben Drawbaugh--aka bdraw, poster of this FAQ--indicates that Cisco's STA-1520 was there, but they didn't have a working demo up as for the MTR700. He'll try to get pictures up on Engadget of their display today.

    I note that the primary cable provider in New Orleans is a division of Cox using a Motorola network, which might have made it easier for Moto to set up a demo there.
     
  8. TiVo Steve

    TiVo Steve New Member

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    Jeez... cable card(s), now a "Tuning Adapter"... pretty soon there will be more cable company parts than TiVo parts. :eek:
    That will be the time to move to OTA recording!
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yes, you did. There is no such thing as "2-way mode" for a CableCard, nor is anything under development which would make use of such a mode.

    Depending on how one defines "2-way mode", one may either say that no CableCard host does or ever will or one may say every CableCard host does and always shall.

    That has nothing to do with the CableCards. Your original statement was:

    There is no such thing as "2-way mode" for any CableCard which may be distinguished in any way from the operations of the very first CableCard ever manufactured. Your post very clearly suggests there is some sort of revision to CableCards which looms on the horizon which will employ some sort of 2-way capability not found in the current batch of CableCards and this imminent card will have some sort of incompatibility with the Series 3 class TiVos.

    ...and they never will. They can't. A CableCard is nothing but a standard PCMCIA card. It would fit in your average laptop. There are no RF connections to the outside world, and no real way to create one - there being no reason to create one, either. Every CableCard communicates bidirectionally over a 2-way bus to its host. No CableCard communicates directly to the Headend, although some of it's messages are passed along by the host if the host is 2-way.

    Take a look at the CableCard setup screen on your S3 or THD. You will see all sorts of information transferred from the CableCard to the TiVo, including the
    CableCard ID. Then take a look at the diagnostics screens. You will see all sorts of information transferred from the CableCard to the TiVo at the TiVo's behest. Finally, take a look at your TV screen while watching a digital program. That digital stream is coming from the CableCard to the TiVo, after first being transferred from the TiVo to the CableCard.

    When they say "CableCard customers, they are usually referring to customers with 3rd party equipment containing CableCards.

    In which case they don't get SDV channels and are not part of the metric.

    Yes, "newly" being defined as after July 7, 2007, or nearly a year ago.

    True, and it's possible there are more such boxes out there than new ones, in which case your comment would be correct. Given the fact a siginificant number of systems have only deployed SDV within the last 12 months, however, and given the huge number of CableCard based STBs and DVRS deployed in the last year, I suspect the number of CableCard based devices greatly exceeds the number of integrated devices. I could well be in error on this point.
     
  10. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Engadget has a blurb up now here, about Cisco's STA1520 Tuning Adapter, a prototype of which is on display at The Cable Show in New Orleans. It's considerably bigger than Moto's model (bdraw estimates that it's about 10x7x2), but it'll fit on the floor behind my equipment cabinet just fine.
     
  11. imreolajos

    imreolajos New Member

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    Yeah, this is getting ridiculous! I have had a ton of problems with CableCard vs. TiVo HD ever since I bought my unit (5+ months), a day ago my M-Card stopped functioning altogether, so my local cable tech will be coming out to replace it. If they can't even get that one right, I can't imagine the kind of problems we'll be having when yet another box is thrown at us - from YET another company. :(
     
  12. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    What YET another company??? If you're using a Cisco/SA M-Card you will be using a Cisco/SA Tuning Adapter. The Cisco/SA TA will not work on Moto networks and the Moto TA will not work on Cisco/SA nets.

    If you feel like making a complaint in this thread, do us all a favor and just quietly sell your TiVo and get DirecTV installed. First, everyone's up and arms about SDV rendering their TiVos useless and now the Tuning Adapter starts to become a reality and the cry-babies whine about that :rolleyes:.
     
  13. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Well, first of all, it's not from another company. The TA which you receive will be manufactured by the same company which manufactures the CableCard. If you have a Motorola CC, then you'll get a Motorola TA. Secondly, the presence of the TA should make troubleshooting much easier. One of the shortcomings of the unidirectional CableCard host is that there is no interaction with the headend, so the CSR at the CATV company can't see what is happening at the receiver. With a 2-way device (which includes the TA / TiVo combo), the host controller at the headend can query the device to see if it's talking and in good order. To the CSR, it will look pretty much like the CATV company's own box, and the hassles associated with CableCard problems should be reduced.

    Note I said, "Should be". As always, YMMV.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    I really am not sure what you mean by that, although you've said something like it before. I don't believe I've ever said anything of the sort, or if I did it was a typo on my part. All Video on Demand is implemented via SDV or some other switched protocol such as IPTV. While not technically impossible to deliver VOD service over a linear channel lineup, even an extremely limited VOD deployment in a geographically very small delivery system would eat up hundreds of MHz of bandwidth for a single VOD offering on a purely linear system. It would be like laying train tracks to every house and trying to move everyone around the country by selling each person their own locomotive. Thus, in the vast majority of aluminum coax based MSOs, VOD strictly implies SDV. SDV, however, in no way necessarily implies VOD. There are a ton of services engendered by SDV, and VOD is only one of them. Indeed, VOD is only prudent in a system where there are enough SDV QAMs over and above the number necessary to handle the load of scheduled programs available to make it practical. Even in an SDV system, VOD eats up bandwidth in a hurry. A really diverse CATV lineup might have 300 scheduled streams. A VOD system with more than 100,000 subs could easily run to thousands in a hurry. More than 2/3 the SDV QAMs in a large metropolitan market must be allocatable to VOD if VOD is to be deployed at all.

    I think you mean scheduled services. A linear channel is one which is specifically not SDV. Nonethless, I shan't attempt to speak for the other members of this forum and certainly not for the press, but the simple fact is eliminating SDV means eliminating VOD, period. It also means eliminating most of the HD content which could be delivered in the future. For some systems, like TWC here in San Antonio, it would mean eliminating a large number of existing SD and HD channels that are available at this very moment.

    Regardless of how the term might be used or misused in the vernacular, SDV is a protocol which switches the digital content on a node by node basis. It has nothing specifically to do with what that content might be, whether it be scheduled programming, interactive services, games, internet access, VOD, or features like "video rewind" and IPPV. By far the greatest number of SDV QAMs will be eaten up by VOD services. (Note: "Video rewind" is a VOD service, but doesn't look to the consumer like it is VOD.)
     
  15. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Well, then it looks like SA / Cisco has some 'splaining to do. While true (as you mention above) the easiest way to get a CATV feed to the box at the cable show is to use the local CATV company's feed, the excuse of not having a compatible CATV feed for the box on hand falls rather flat. They are, after all, the people who make the equipment which produces the signals in question. I'm not saying they did, but anyone could take an existing STB and silkscreen the letters "STA1520" on it.

    Although despite the fact I am rather disgusted by the approach they decided to take for the TA, few people, if any, are looking forward to the delivery of the SA / Cisco TA more than I. I'm not holding my breath, however. I would be willing to bet a Klondike Bar there won't be one (let alone 3) in my house before Thanksgiving. I wouldn't be shocked if I can't get one before next summer, and then perhaps not at a reasonable rate. I'd love to be surprised, though.
     
  16. ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    Here we have a fundamental difference of opinion. I (and I believe many others) use the term "SDV" to refer only to the switching of scheduled broadcast non-trick-play services as demonstrated by the recent releases from SA, Mot and Bigband. Dynamic services like VOD are unique to the home ordering it and involve so many other technologies such as trick-play controls that they are refered to in other terms such as "VOD". VOD has been around much longer than the SDV as I've described and the use of the term SDV when you mean VOD is just plain confusing.

    I'd bet a case of your favorite beverage that you are the only person on this forum using the term SDV to refer to VOD services.
     
  17. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

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    No, you have a fundamental lack of understanding. SDV is the technology that makes VOD and other such services possible. If you had VOD services available to you, they've been delivered via SDV. Just because VOD may predate your awareness of SDV doesn't mean SDV came after VOD. At first, no channels were themselves switched; they were just always on. But in an effort to accommodate more and more HD channels including for niche markets, more and more channels are being switched.

    If so, then it's a) primarily because you're confused in general and b) it hasn't happened. Perhaps you didn't read the first couple of sentences of his post: "I don't believe I've ever said anything of the sort, or if I did it was a typo on my part."

    You owe him a case. See that you deliver it promptly.
     
  18. cableguy763

    cableguy763 New Member

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    I had to look out the window to see if pigs were flying. Firekite is agreeing and actually defending Irhorer :eek:. Next thing that will happen is the tuning resolver being delivered to customers tomorrow.
     
  19. ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    Please show me one reference to the term SDV to refer to any VOD service please (other than this thread). I guess two fools and I lose a case.

    p.s. I don't have a fundamental misunderstanding of the technology. I know how VOD, PPV and SDV work. Many around here know I work for a company that is intimately involved in the development and deployment of SDV systems.
     
  20. smelchionda

    smelchionda New Member

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    May 20, 2008
    Ok, how about back to a relevant topic...

    Anyone have an update on when we will have that USB "dongle" that will allow me to finally use my Series 3 Tivo with out the need to use a cable box?
     

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