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SDV FAQ

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

  1. Jun 8, 2008 #1661 of 2401
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    My assumption was that they are able to switch at the node level, so the 80 dedicated channels are at the node level not the system level (i.e. serving ~400 homes or so which seems like plenty).
     
  2. Jun 8, 2008 #1662 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I can attest to that.
     
  3. Jun 8, 2008 #1663 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    As described to the FCC by TiVo, the proposed "Series4" box would only have access to VOD and IPPV when running the cable providers' full downloaded IPGs. The cable company's OCAP IPG would see the TiVo as a non-DVR platform, and would not have access to its HDDs or be able to implement any DVR functions. The only OCAP function that TiVo would have direct access to would be downloaded SDV APIs, for tuning switched broadcasts:
    Using "TiVo Series4" in "cable mode" would be largely indistinguishable from using a leased cable box and would provide access to IPPV, VOD and any future interactive services that they can concoct within the framework of OCAP.

    This is highly reminiscent of mobile phone handsets that I've worked on. Most of those have closed environments for running portable applications--games and utilities and such. These are written for either a Java profile (like OCAP) called J2ME or for Qualcomm's BREW platform. These environments are quite different from the native phone GUI and when the phone is running those apps, the screen is given over completely to the foreign UI. There is an interface through which the outside apps can communicate with the phone and vice-versa. For instance, I wrote portions of the native phonebook app which a BREW media browser to select ID photos and ringtones. In turn, the BREW media browser could assign an image being browsed to a phonebook entry by making a call back into the native code.
     
  4. Jun 9, 2008 #1664 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    As opposed to where? There is no digital component beyond the modulator until the signal reaches the customer premise. Defining a switch boundary at any point prior to the modulator (which directly feeds the node through up to several kilometers of fiber) would be far less effective.

    That makes no sense at all. If a path is dedicated, it is dedicated. If it is switched, it is switched. Dedicating 80 paths to one node and a diffeent set of 80 paths to another node gains one nothing whatsoever, and indeed any channels on one node and not the other lose that channel on the second node, with a corresponding channel being lost on the first node. You need to think through your logic some more. It's flawed. What you've described is as impossible to produce as a reasonable result as an Escher drawing.
     
  5. Jun 9, 2008 #1665 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    That is correct. This doesn't mean it is able to control the native TiVo UI, beyond adding folders and menus, which any HMO or HME app can do right now.

    Correct again, except that I am not quite certain about its access to the drives. In order to be OCAP, the CATV system has to be ableto load its software onto the device. TiVo could hypotehtically limit such downloads to a section of non-volatile RAM, but I would think they would load it into the hard drive. I've only glanced at TiVo's proposition, but if I were TiVo's engineers, it is how I would manage it. It's true the CATV system couldn't load content to the program partitions.

    'Correct again, at least in terms of what has been proposed. The TiVo UI, however, will remain essentially untouched. People seem to think that when they hook up the Tivo to the CATV plant, all the features they have come to expect in the TiVo will all evaporate or get turned topsy-turvy. They won't, at all.

    The IPPV, VOD, and other 2-way functions will be controlled and will no doubt look and feel much different than the TiVo's familiar interface, but that should be no surprise at all, since the TiVo's UI isn't designed to handle 2-way services.
     
  6. Jun 9, 2008 #1666 of 2401
    mklitt

    mklitt New Member

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    Well it is all subjective, isn't it? I would counsel against any TW customer in San Antonio getting Tivo if they have HD. Almost ALL of the stations I watched in HD are "embargoed" and yes I will be writing the FCC.

    No one is a bigger Tivo fan. I got it in Chicago when it came out and set it up in minutes.

    Now I have an expensive Tivo paperweight (as far as my HD preference is concerned), a basket of remotes, the biggest HD plasma made and a set top box. Bottom line? I end up missing programs because Tivo tries to tape them on the HD channels I USED to get. (Been through the channel list more than once to fix that.) Basically I use the Tivo because it is too difficult to remember which ones I want to tape in HD on the set top box and which ones I want on Tivo. I do the Deadliest Catch, best show on TV but not available with Tivo HD as compromised by Time Warner, on the set top. All those Animal Planet programs that Tivo snags for me I watch as regular broadcasts.

    I am disappointed in Tivo, Time Warner & the FCC.

    This seems like bait and switch on the part of TW to me. They took away my channels without warning in San Antionio. I had no notice that I would be getting significantly diminished service for the same price. Even the three tech guys who were at my house were not told. They were trying to fix my cable cards. But they forgot to lower the bill! Sure I griped and what did they say? They won't charge me for six months for the set top box which I now need. BFD.:(:(:(:(

    So if you don't watch the same HD I do and you are happy with TW SAT, I am glad for you. But believe me, I think I am in the majority here. There are a lot of people who bought HD to watch nature programs and sports (college basketball & WNBA). Just walk in any Best Buy and see what is on the HD TVs. And that is what I am not getting.
     
  7. Jun 9, 2008 #1667 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Bait and switch doesn't apply. An ongoing service can change the service monthly; it is only bait and switch if you were promised something explicit and you cannot cancel.
     
  8. Jun 9, 2008 #1668 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    while i dont think the OP got baited and switched (becasue I dont think it was intended on the cable company's part)-

    how does the inability to cancel have anything to do with bait and switch?

    from dictionary.com

    there's no mention of being unable to cancel. In fact I think the classic bait and switch (such that there are laws specifically against it in many places) is a really low priced car from a newspaper ad- the victem gets to the dealer and the dealer says that car is sold but i have this one over here that's "better" for X$ more. no one forces the victem to buy the more expensive item, no one keeps him from cancelling, it's a mind game. It's about a deception purposely played out to make more money off the victem.

    I dont think cable is purposely using sdv to make more from individual cablecard subs. It's just something they have to do to compete. And cable, ce people, and the fcc never resolved the whole 2-way mess in the first place so now it's a problem for some early adopters.
     
  9. Jun 9, 2008 #1669 of 2401
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    The terms of service are almost always changeable by the provider. You can't claim bait and switch just because the terms and/or service change after you joined unless they changed the service during a contract period where you cannot bail-out on the service.
     
  10. Jun 9, 2008 #1670 of 2401
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Because the promise made is to provide one month's worth of service for a price, subject to a service spec. They provide that month. Then there is another month. And another. Then they change the spec. At that point, IF you can cancel, then it isn't bait and switch, because you haven't purchased the service for the month yet.

    On the other hand, if you cannot cancel, and they promised something to you for that period of time, and then they don't provide it anymore, THAT would be bait and switch.

    You're welcome to remain incorrect.

    Indeed (that is unless the contract included provisions that let them make such changes, in which case not even that would be bait and switch).
     
  11. Jun 9, 2008 #1671 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I'm doubting that it will even be able to add folders and menus (other than some kind of OCAP diags, like the CableCARD ones).
    Where and how an OCAP compliant device store downloaded apps is up to them--any persistent store will do, and if TiVo wants to put them on its HDD, I'm sure that it can. What I'm referring to is access to the drive by applications running in the OCAP environment. I'm sure that there's some kind of feature data block that can be read by OCAP applications (like VESA's E-EDID block for video device attributes) and that "TiVo Series4" will report that it doesn't have permanent disk storage, whereas the Explorer 8300HDC running an OCAP platform (like SA's Axiom product) would disclose that it does have a disk drive and that the applications can use some OCAP API for manipulating DVR functions. I'd imagine that any OCAP-compliant device is required to provide a certain amount of persistent storage for configuration recording and state checkpointing purposes, but that requirement is probably only for a few MB at most.

    I know that many TiVo users, on hearing this idea, panic with the thought that TiVo is turning over control of the box to the cable company and forcing them to use the generally inferior GUIs, but that's not true. You'd only have to use the crappy cable-provider box GUI when accessing their interactive services, like IPPV and VOD. If you don't use that stuff, you never have to deal with the cable provider's interface.
     
  12. Jun 9, 2008 #1672 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    The fact the apellation contained the term "good" made it entirely so from the outset.

    Almost none of the SDV channels are legacy channels. Virtually all of them have been added since SDV was put in place. You can't get them unless you have SDV capability, but then you couldn't get them before SDV was deployed, wither.

    San Antonio is not required to provide the same channels you were able to get in Chicago.

    What do you suggest TiVo should have done differently? Bear in mind they are in business to make a profit, not to enter into ruinous ventures just to please mklitt. Given that paradigm, what should they have done differently? Waited 3 - 4 more years before delivering the S3?

    What do you suggest Time Warner shuold have done differently? Stayed with 120 or so channels so no one could receive the new channels and services they have added?

    I can't say I'm disappointed with the FCC. They are performing exactly to my expectiations and how I would have predicted. Near useless waste of taxpayers money is what government bureacracies do.

    Name 10 channels formerly available to a TiVo in HD that are not available to the TiVo in HD now. Name 10 channels formerly available in SD that are not available to the TiVo in any format now. Adding unavailable new channels or unavailable HD versions of old channels that were not available to you in the first place is not taking something away from you. It does constitue giving someone else somethng you can't get for the same price, but that is not the same thing.

    Happy? Surely not. I'm not happy I have to pay for CATV service at all. I'm even far more unhappy that I am forced to pay far, far more for things like sports programs, soap operas, sitcoms, and "reality" television on Network broadcasts. At least with cable I have a choice, and it's far less expensive. I am also unhappy I don't have access to all the HD programming I would like. Not being happy and being unreasonable in my expectations are two different thngs. Note that reasonability requires understanding and taking into account the limitations under which all the involved parties are placed.

    The cable company is not responsible for your choice of purchases, and are in no way bound ethically, morally, or legally to acquiesce to any demands based solely on the amount of money you paid to someone else. If anyone thinks the amount of money they are spending on what they DO receive is exhorbitant, then that individual is a fool to continue to purchase the service, no matter what the volume of content might be. If, on the other hand, the cost of the services is acceptable, then how much content someone else gets for the same price is irrelevant to that decision. That such being the case may represent an unfair advantage to some customers does not diminish the value of the services provided. In case you hadn't noticed, life is not fair. There are plenty of people who work much harder than you (or I) who do not receive as much compensation in a year as was paid for your TV setup, so don't whine to me about being fair, either.
     
  13. Jun 9, 2008 #1673 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Check out the "TWC Hawaii moving all HD to SDV" thread--unlike San Antonio, those people actually did lose all of the good stuff 9 or 10 months ago and the FCC isn't interested in hearing their woes. TWC Oceanic took every HD channel except the local OTA DTV rebroadcasts and presented them as SDV, acing TiVo Series3 owners and all other CableCARD users out of cable HDTV. (None of the local DTV channels was actually broadcasting any HD at the time, though that may have since changed).

    The fact is that using SDV to provide a giant increase in broadcast channels (by and by) doesn't break any rules, and is the cheapest and quickest route that cable had to stepping up to compete with DirecTV's "up to 150 HD channels" challenge. The use of SDV affects a tiny minority of their users, and the industry's willing and speedy (for cable) deployment of the Tuning Adapter solution for TiVo is a miracle of cooperation which will protect them from FCC reprisal (if any were forthcoming). Anything that the FCC does to block the use of SDV would effectively constitute restraint of trade, despite the fact that SDV breaks unidirectional CableCARD.
     
  14. Jun 9, 2008 #1674 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Which means they can, even if only in strictly limited fashion, but the main point is they won't be able to willy-nilly dump the TiVo UI for standard TiVo operation.

    Which is pretty much what I believed you were suggesting, but I thought it best to make the point clear. The software, even if it contains truly insidious code, will be uploaded to some part of the Tivo and could potentially do various harm at all sorts of levels - one might presume not deliberately on the part of the CATV company, and not necessarily one of which the user might ever be aware. Of course, this is the chance any user takes when software is loaded onto their device, but in this case the user has no choice. That's a big difference.

    A virus or trojan may only require a few bytes. Code which accidentally locks up the OS on a regular basis doesn't take any more room than pristine code, either. Pathetically crafted code... well, there's nothing that prevents garbage from being compact.

    Exactly. It is not true, and for some reason it is difficult to get people to understand the fact. OCAP / tru2way has some serious drawbacks, but engendering requisite damage to the UI is not one of them.

    Or other features. The problem I have, other than the fact the CATV company gets to unilaterally decide what software and "features" they load on my equipment, is that the CATV company can choose to prevent us from using 3rd party applications to provide interactive services. Those who displike TiVo Desktop, for example, can use Galleon or pyTivo, or write their own HME / HMO scripts. If OCAP / tru2way allowed me to refuse to load any specific apps I chose or to load my own apps, it would be OK. I have no problem with a requirtement the code pass a publicly published spec verification, either, as long as the user has control over what the CATV company does on our own equipment and the right to put whatever we want on that equipment ourselves, provided of course it does not damage the CATV company's resources.
     
  15. Jun 9, 2008 #1675 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yes, while I am not overjoyed not to be able to receive a number of additional HD and SD offerrings, other poster's comments notwithstanding, and while there are many things about the TWC San Antonio operation I despise, I think their approach to this issue has been relatively even handed and deliberately crafted to provide somewhat of a minimum of impact to customers all around. They could have said, "If it's digital and not local, you're not getting it without some of our STBs / DVRs."
     
  16. vstone

    vstone New Member

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    TWC could just as easily added those hundreds of cable channels that are rarely watched in significant numbers to SDV instead of adding a bunch of HD channels. They did not. No laws broken. That doesn't make it right.
     
  17. morac

    morac Cat God

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  18. Dr_Zoidberg

    Dr_Zoidberg Member

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    Is Cablevision making the transition to SDV in NJ? I haven't seen any announcements about it, however, slowly but surely, I'm seeing the specialized interest HD channels disappearing from my TiVo, but are available on my S2 w/box.
     
  19. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    That's probably what's happening. Apparently Cablevision in NYC has been using SDV for the past year. Eventually I expect every provider to use it, with Cox probably making the transition last, since they converted just about all of their systems to 1GHz capacity last year, giving them the most leeway.
     
  20. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I don't know about that. Cox has already deployed SDV in Virginia and Phoenix and here in Orange County they sent out letters to all cablecard subscribers back in March saying SDV would go live sometime in April (though I think they are late on deployment as I can still tune with my Tivos channels they listed as going SDV in the letter). The node upgrades to 1GHz are completed in many cities in Orange County and they are already using up to 850MHz for some of the newer HD channels deployed recently. It's likely most of their headend video equipment is only good to 850MHz and I'm pretty sure even the most recent set top boxes can only tune to 850MHz, so they can't use bandwidth above 850MHz for video services. Also they have announced intent to keep analog channels at least until 2012, so don't believe they will be cutting many of those any time soon to free up space. Finally, Cox corporate announced intent to provide up to 100 HD channels by end of 2009 which keeps the pressure on SDV deployment as one of the tools needed to accomplish that goal.
     

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