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SDV FAQ

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

  1. Jul 31, 2007 #141 of 2401
    DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

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    Jan 6, 2000
    New York
    Discussing this issue with you is the same as banging my head against the wall and then sticking it in a 550 degree oven.

    With that said: Let the cable companies follow the path you think is the righteous one, and most of us that have the option will end up with FIOS or AT&T's offering.

    A friend of mine just had a FIOS installation this weekend. He is saving money, has faster internet with lower latency, and receives all of his channels on his CC S3. It may take 15 years, but unless the cable companies wise up, and start becoming customer centric, they will lose a lot of customers.

    I was always under the impression that companies offering a product or service that another company also offered, were the ones that were at the "mercy" of the customer. Did someone change this rule, and I missed the memo? Rarely is it the case that, and I quote your words, "Other customers are in competition with each other for the affection of the cable and satellite companies." This is only the case when an alternative service is not available. Many of us have no other options, and are at the mercy of the cable company. This is why they are considered by many as monopolies. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, you refuse to admit that.

    It's time to break up the monopolies, and I can't wait until Verizon and AT&T have the infrastructure in place to do it. Someone mentioned that Time Warner was charging $40.00 per month for phone service. Are they out of their minds? In the areas that I know of where FIOS is available, the cable company charges $14.99 for unlimited phone service. Now that's competition, and what we all should be hoping to see.

    For the record, I am very happy with my cable company, and I have no axe to grind with them.
     
  2. Jul 31, 2007 #142 of 2401
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    While we are on the subject of monopolies and cable, I would like to ask a question.

    Why is it that a company has ownership of a cable running through my property and through public property (arguably, also mine)?

    Sure, they paid to lay the cable, but how long does that right last? Currently it lasts forever, if that cable (whether it be coax or fiber) had a limited ownership, -- assuming they paid to lay it in the first place -- then it would be harder for companies to hold on to their monopolistic business.
     
  3. Jul 31, 2007 #143 of 2401
    SMWinnie

    SMWinnie Dis Member

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    Aug 17, 2002
    Peninsulam...
    I find this surprising. Could you point me to a citation? (An appellate decision would be nice, though an FTC or DOJ announcement is probably more relevant in practice.)

    Seriously, I have no axe to grind here. I've had both econ and law professors hold up CATV as an example of a natural monopoly and both a de jure (prior to the meaningless Boulder decision in 1982) and a de facto municipally-licensed monopoly as well. I would love to have a counterargument handy.
     
  4. Jul 31, 2007 #144 of 2401
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    I think my view of SDV is different from most. I think most of us understand that SDV is a great technology, but monopolistic pressures, combined with an absentee landlord FCC and Congessional indifference has resulted in a poor deal for consimers. Tivo aside, Congress has ordered the cable companies to open up their systems. The FCC has allowed the cable companies to delay and is now probably allowing them to do a technological end around by acquiesing to cable labs delays. I believe the FCC should have required the cable companies to develope open solutions meeting the intent of the 1996 legislation (as I understand it anyway).

    But most of all the FCC has required all TV's to have ATSC tuners, although most TV's will NOT be used with antennas. Effectively that's a tax designed to lower the cost of tuners. I could live with that if they had they required all TVs to have cablecard tuners. While an clear QAM tuner is the technical euiqvalent to the analog "cable ready," tuner found in every US TV for the past 20 years, it will likely not result in an equivalent channel lineup. The consumer electronics industry has seized upon "Digital Cable Ready" for their cablecard TVs. This could result in a roughly equivalent channel lineup, or not, depending on how SDV is implemented.

    Why do I beleive this channel lineup issue is important? Because even the educated consumers on this forum can't buy a TV for the kitchen or bedroom now with a guarantee that they won't have to have a cable box in a few years (not necessarily corresponding to Feb, 2009). If you try to discuss this with the general populace (or Congress, for that matter) their eyes will glaze over.

    The CEA is taking various positions designed to put money in their pockets.

    With the hundreds of models of TVs now out their, the only possible models that MAY allow me to live without a cable box are some Samsung models that were/are available and I don't even know if they will work with SDV.

    Practical lesson: Two years ago My brothers & I wanted to buy out 86 year mother a new TV. I was adament about not her not having to deal with a cable box. Now my mother is a smart lady - double major in English & Math at Duke circa 1942 - worked in cryptography in communications in the Navy building during WWII. But she had never had a cable box and never used the VCR we got for her. One of my brothers said he didn't think it would be a problem. The next year he got the cable company's SA8300HD DVR. They showed how to use it. I showed his wife how to use. But every time I'm there, they are watching analog channels, even when HD is available.

    Ijust think the consumer should have reasonable options to replace what he has and enough information to know what the cable companies have planned. With SDV hanging up there as a big unknown, the federal government has let its citizens down.

    End of rant. We now return you to your well reasoned programming.
     
  5. Jul 31, 2007 #145 of 2401
    txagfan

    txagfan New Member

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    Jul 30, 2007
    Texas
    DCFirths, you make very good arguments. I hate to see the analog go away on one side, but would love for it to go away for all of the benefits that would come out of it. Good point. I think the cable co's are finally coming around with SOME good support for CC, at least in my area. The new stb's don't count, because all of those are staged just like any other box.
     
  6. Jul 31, 2007 #146 of 2401
    yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

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    Mar 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    CC is one extreme end, and analog is the other extreme end. Cable co can provide more bandwidth if they screw either or both of these extremes. I have both an S3 and a S2DT, so I'm impacted on both ends. CC should be the future, and analog is the past. So if I had to pick an end to lose to get more HD, I'd lose my S2DT.
     
  7. Jul 31, 2007 #147 of 2401
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    And your point is??? Every company that answers to share holders does this.
    I don't recall anyone talking about lower prices. The talk is of offering more services which SDV will certainly do.
     
  8. Jul 31, 2007 #148 of 2401
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    Actually I consider SDV quite an elegant solution. I just wish that the FCC had made cablelabs comply with the intent of the 1996 law.

    In the beginning, local cable here in Martinsville had OTA stations from our SoVA market and the adjacent market in NC (or 7 stations total, including PBS). When the ABC station in NC went Fox, it was dropped. The OTA HD channels are from our market; none from NC. SDV is a technical way of weeding out extraneous stations.

    It's fine for us with outr fancy electronics to complain about our brand new obsolete equipment, but the limited income folk will likely be forced to rent a cable box if all analog stations go away. The FCC doesn't seem to be allowing cable companies to have a cheap cablecardless box for those folk.
     
  9. Jul 31, 2007 #149 of 2401
    CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    Aug 29, 2002
    Sacramento...
    They won't allow the cable company to provide a cheap clear-QAM(no cablecard) -> NTSC converter? Not that the cable companies would want to do this, since it excludes the $$ extras.
     
  10. Jul 31, 2007 #150 of 2401
    txMonkey

    txMonkey New Member

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    Jul 31, 2007
    Hi.

    Never having owned a TiVo, I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new HD model and it's lower cost. Imagine my horror of learning about SDV while researching from the comforts of home in... Austin, TX (argh!).

    I have a couple of questions that are probably pretty simple but ones which I haven't seen clear answers to:
    1. The listing of SDV channels for Austin shows some w/ multiple numbers for digital and analog. If this is the case will the TivoHD be able to view those in analog mode via the CC? (The wife's addicted to E!.)

    2. According to TWC-Austin's site, they are introducing 'Open Cable CableCARD' by 1Q08 which allow viewing of SDV channels. Does anyone know whether TiVoHD will be able to utilize these cards (a) out of the box?; (b) with a firmware update?; or (c) nope--outta luck?​

    Thanks for all the great info! :)

    _Todd
     
  11. Jul 31, 2007 #151 of 2401
    txagfan

    txagfan New Member

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    Jul 30, 2007
    Texas
    Your tivohd with cablecards will get the channels with multiple numbers in analog form (my S3 does). Your TivoHD will never be able to do SDV. I know, someone will mention something about a possible usb addon, but I am certainly not holding my breath.
     
  12. Jul 31, 2007 #152 of 2401
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    IF the digital simulcast goes to SDV and an analogue version is available you should still be able to TiVo that. That is the intent anyway, no guarantees.

    Current CableCARDs allow viewing of SDV. This is how the July 1st deadline is being met by the cable operators who must now ship CableCARD set top boxes. There is much discussion about how CE devices such as TiVo may or may not be able to take advantage of the two-way features. Open Cable and OCAP are at the heart of this discussion. Just try to separate out the capabilities of the CableCARD itself from the host devices that will accept the card. It sounds like they may be referring to the infrastructure required to support OCAP host devices.
     
  13. Jul 31, 2007 #153 of 2401
    GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    I think that a mandated "analog shutdown" on the cable side of things just like OTA would have been a perfect chance. Just like you can't sell a TV with an OTA analog tuner without also including the digital tuner, force the inclusion of a digital cable tuner and cablecard (or whatever security device decided upon) to be included in all new TV sets.

    Yes, it would have impacted a lot more people, but sometimes, that's the price of progress.

    I'm not real sympathetic to cable in this situation, because the problem is of their own making. If they had put in a fraction of the effort they have expended in trying to get waivers and push back on CC into developing a solution that gave them the bandwidth they need we wouldn't be in this situation. The insistence on bi-directional products being OCAP-certified has one intent: to keep the power on the side of the cable company. Remove that requirement and publish a 2 way cable card standard that allows the OS of a users choice to be run, and all these problems go away.
     
  14. Jul 31, 2007 #154 of 2401
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

    465
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    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    The least they could do is require a QAM tuner and then the cable co's could continue to offer a basic tier like they have for years, of just clear QAM channels. A stb that works for both OTA and QAM could be purchased with grama's $40 voucher and she'd be covered both way.

    But instead most TVs don't include QAM even though they have ATSC, and retailers don't even know to tell customers they can just plug it in and get basic digital cable.
     
  15. Jul 31, 2007 #155 of 2401
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    I think the cable companies wanted to deploy a very cheap barebones digital box to all of the analog TVs in the kitchen & bedroom. I don't know the particulars, but presume one could be a digital tuner with coax output, etc.
     
  16. Jul 31, 2007 #156 of 2401
    vstone

    vstone New Member

    1,235
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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    Actually I think clear QAM is starting to show up in new TV sets for which its not even in the listed specs. I think its included in newer chip sets, but nobody wants to talk about them because of all of the problems folks have had.

    I would be happy if clear QAM channels would approach the equivalent of today's basic cable tier, but I fear it will actually end up being the equivalent of the FCC's mandated basic tier, which is the unadvertised, but universally available broadcast tier. This tier usually has local broadcast channels, local govt and access channels, and maybe ESPN. ESPN will probably go bye-bye, as well as local broadcast channels from adjacent markets.

    Additionally cable companies are making it hard to find channels on clear QAM tuners. For instance local analog channel 7 transmits 7.1 and 7.2 on the freq for channel 18. These channels show up on the cable box as 7, 707, and 185. Without a cablebox or cablecards they show up as something like 7, 116-1 and 116-2, and the cable company won't provide a clear QAM channel listing to help you figure it out.
     
  17. Jul 31, 2007 #157 of 2401
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    I'm no lawyer, and I don't know about your other points, but the municipal franchise agreements do not grant exclusive rights to one cable company. I was involved in negotiating our community's agreement, and assisted on several others. There was nothing that made it exclusive, except the high cost of a new company coming into the municipality. There are two communities in PA that have actually negotiated an agreement with a second cable company. Unfortunately I can't remember which ones.
     
  18. Jul 31, 2007 #158 of 2401
    txMonkey

    txMonkey New Member

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    Jul 31, 2007
    @txagfan & ah30k,

    Thanks for the quick replies. Sounds encouraging enough to give the TiVoHD a shot, even if it's not the solution for the next ten years. Anything to get away from that 8300 box.

    Cheers,
    _Todd
     
  19. Aug 1, 2007 #159 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    I feel the same way about discussing it with you. My only solace is that the way I'm describing things is actually they way they work. If you want to go though life continually disappointed because you refuse to acknowledge reality, that's your business. How about, instead of polluting thread-after-thread with squabbling, you just have your say, and you let me have mine?
     
  20. Aug 1, 2007 #160 of 2401
    TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Just keep in mind. A friend of mine that works for TWC here in the DFW area, recently informed me of a plan that 98% of the cable companies here in the USA have plans to DROP all ANALOG service by 2012. Some cable companies even sooner than that.

    So those people who are using analog cable ready TV's (without the cabel card) will so no longer be able to receive Cable TV unless they get a Cable Card ready TV &/or a STB/DVR that is cable card ready as well, or one from the Cable company.

    He further informed me, that one of the MAIN reasons that MOST of the cable companies are considering dropping analog service is to allow more bandwidth for more HD channels and other services. At this time TWC in DFW has no current plans to switch to SDV. That could change though.

    Here in the DFW area, TWC is upgrading it's system to 1ghz. Some areas of DFW are allready on the 1ghz system. (I am getting 15mbs on my cable modem now). Other areas are still on 750mhz and a few older areas on the older 550mhz.

    SDV as much as I hate the concept, Is a inexpensive work around to issues that the cable co is having. It is all about their bottom line. They are in buisness to make money for themselves & their STOCK holders. For example, as much as I hate TWC, I also own TIME WARNER Stock. (Keep in mind all the companies Time Warner owns!)

    The truth is it's all a catch 22 situation for everyone. Everything could easily be done if we all wanted to sink 250 Billion dollars into the system. However.... Most of us are cheap Bast**ds and don't want to spend more money on services, or pay more tax dollars for government help or support.

    Where the solution is? I have no idea. Whatever the solution is will require some sacrafice of some sort from someone. Thats the real truth.

    TexasGrillChef
     

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