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SDV FAQ

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

  1. jcaudle

    jcaudle Member

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    Aug 16, 2004
    Fairfax, Va
    and I have seen on Gizmolovers where Cox Phoenix area has sent out Email to customers about the tuning resolver. Here in Northern Virginia they proclaim ignorance if you ask them, like their corporate offices haven't told them anything out here in the backwoods of fairfax county. We haven't gotten any of the new HD channels added since last spring since they deployed SDV here. FiOs is tantalizingly close to my neighborhood....but not here yet.
     
  2. Aug 3, 2008 #1782 of 2401
    Timber

    Timber Active Member

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    NoVA
    My street was dug up last week in preparation for FIOS. I've been a Cox NoVA customer for the past 10 years. We'll see what the coming weeks brings but competition is a wonderful thing.

    -=Tim=-
     
  3. Aug 5, 2008 #1783 of 2401
    jmfirestone

    jmfirestone New Member

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    I am in Greensboro, NC and plagued by the SDV thing. I am missing a ton of channels and it stinks.

    One thing I had a question about, is that sometimes some channels work and other times they don't. When someone else in my neighborhood is using the channel, does it become available to me as well, and likewise, if nobody is using the channel I can't watch it?
     
  4. Aug 5, 2008 #1784 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Well, it will be on the wire, but (in the absence of the Tuning Adapter) there's no way of telling on what frequency it might be placed or as what program in the MPEG Transport Stream on that frequency. I don't have an explanation for why you can get some channels sometimes and sometimes not.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2008 #1785 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    perhaps they are still deciding what to do SDV and what to leave linear? So sometimes they switch what is sdv and what is not?
     
  6. Aug 5, 2008 #1786 of 2401
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    Could it be that the CableCard channel map has a fixed frequency still for some or all of the SDV channels (instead of being absent completely) and so once in a while the frequency matches up to one of the switched frequencies? For my headend when I tune an SDV channel and look at Tivo diagnostics it shows tuning failure and no frequency for that channel indicating there is no mapping for that channel at all.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2008 #1787 of 2401
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I just noticed that in the CableLabs certification list of devices, there is now an additional column entitled Tuning Adapter Capable and only the Tivo THD & S3 devices have Yes in that column. I guess that means the Tivo devices now are officially certified as Tuning Adapter Capable thus clearing another milestone for general release.
    http://www.cablelabs.com/udcp/downloads/OC_PNP.pdf
     
  8. Aug 5, 2008 #1788 of 2401
    TiVolunteer

    TiVolunteer lotta lurk rare post

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    Jul 10, 2001
    Cary, NC
    The VP of Engineering for Time Warner Raleigh region explained to me a few months back that the SDV solution they are rolling out will allow them to dynamically adjust what is SDV and what is not. At that time, they hadn't decided what to map where but he pointed out that it could be decided on a node by node basis using viewing statistics. It would not be "real-time" but could be adjusted fairly regularly. One of the examples he mentioned was the Olympics could drive viewing patterns that varied by node.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2008 #1789 of 2401
    jmfirestone

    jmfirestone New Member

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    Dec 31, 2007
    Colfax, NC...
    Ahhh.. so, I guess maybe it switches on and off from time to time. It seems to be very frequent, but then again I don't pay that close of attention to it.
     
  10. Aug 7, 2008 #1790 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    If the stream is unencrypted, then the TiVo user can receive it if he happens to run across the stream. There have been other reports of some CATV systems sending out SDV content unencrypted.
     
  11. Aug 7, 2008 #1791 of 2401
    JimWall

    JimWall Member

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    Oct 19, 2002
    Time Warner Cable of Southwest Ohio just sent a letter saying it will switch a large number of "little used" channels to SDV on Aug 15th. The reason is to fee up bandwidth for more HD channels. Letter lists the channels and says the tuning resolver for TIVO will be available at an undetermined time after the switch. The current plan is to not charge for it TR.
     
  12. Aug 7, 2008 #1792 of 2401
    jmfirestone

    jmfirestone New Member

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    Dec 31, 2007
    Colfax, NC...
    Really? They are suggesting that the dongle we need to deal with the SDV issue is going to be free? That's pretty exciting news, but I am not sure I believe it either.
     
  13. Aug 7, 2008 #1793 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    search a bit-

    this is not the first mention from a major cable company that they plan to be free.

    (of course who knows if that "PLAN" plays out- but for now it sounds like we might get lucky and they'll be free....)

    Thinking about it- Do they even get authorized? Or are the adapters/resolvers just a translator? I’d assume all the authorization is still handled in the cablecard.

    If so and they don’t need to authorize them, it might just not be worth the effort of messing around with billing systems. Likely if they tried to charge anything significant- the fcc would get bent (as I am under the impression the FCC hinted that cablecards need to be kept ‘affordable’ so as not to be a barrier to 3rd party entry). There’s not all that many tivo’s in the world- so if there’s only a handful in each head end then is it worth the effort to have to change and update the billing system to charge 1 dollar a month?

    Maybe they will just hand them out like amplifiers and splitters. You need one- here take it. I think technically they can charge for those but I don’t think they do regularly. Granted the tuning adapter might cost 100 and a splitter 2 bucks. But you hand out 50 splitters or 1 adapter and it’s still 100.

    So maybe free is logical too…..

    (although I just thought some more and I guess it needs to be authorized some how so it send the signal back to turn on SDV channel X to node Y?)
     
  14. Aug 7, 2008 #1794 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I think that the Tuning Adapter is probably pretty damn inexpensive. The typical cable modem has all the necessary hardware and you can buy those retail for about $30.

    Right now, the demand for them is going to be pretty low--if every CableCARD-using TiVo owner wanted one, they'd only need some 100,000-200,000 or so, nationwide--peanuts for the MSOs. However, the cable industry has offered them up as a solution for engineering low-end television products capable of tuning switched broadcast; if the FCC and CE OEMs take the bait, there could be a ton of out-of-the-box Tuning Adapter-compatible devices on the market soon.
     
  15. Aug 7, 2008 #1795 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Will be interesting if the low end tv's bother with the usb ports and required computing power for cablecards and tuning adapters.

    I was under the impression they wouldnt, but i guess there's no other way to make a sort of cable ready tv really for cheap.

    I think the adapters will cost like 60-70 bucks since i think in moto's case they seem to have taken much of a low end box (dct7000?) that they used to sell for around that price range. I'm sure they stripped out some of the unneeded stuff but then had to put in the usb controller and other chips. And they'll be selling them in 10's or 100's quantities instead of 1,000's like the digital box it's based on used to be done in. I believe in their waiver filings cable or moto told the fcc those dct7000 boxes cost 60 or 70.


    but all just guesses on my part.
     
  16. Aug 7, 2008 #1796 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    They will probabaly have to cooperate in obtaining a network address so switching can be implemented (essentialy an ARP), but otherwise, perhaps not. Depending on the implementation, the TA itself may not obtain and retain any info itself from the transaction. All that could be stored in the Tivo.

    It's more of an intelligent modulator.

    If you mean the de-encryption, then yes, it is, but the tuning request is created by the TiVo and then passed to the TA.

    'Depends on the provider. Some do, some don't.
     
  17. Aug 7, 2008 #1797 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    There is no "required computing power" for tuning adapters--it's a protocol involving the exchange of very small amounts of information and basically no computation. I could be wrong, but I don't believe that CableCARD interface is that big of a deal, particularly since they can use the Unidirectional CableCARD host interface, tens of millions of which have been put into Digital Cable Ready televisions and STBs over the past few years. The cost is negligible in comparison to the cost of implementing <tru2way> in a usable fashion, which requires bi-directional CableCARD Host Interface 2.0, a pretty fast processor, lots of memory and a license for an execution environment for a Java profile.
    I'm guessing too, but I think that what both Moto and Cisco did was take the closest thing that they were already making and reduce the internals, keeping the same enclosures, since they were buying a ton of them for another product. I doubt that the board inside bears a lot of resemblance to the DCT700 and half the electronics of a cable tuning STB has no use in the application whatsoever: the MPEG decoder, the sound processor, the graphics processor and any graphics memory, the IR receiver, display LEDs, etc, etc. I'm sure that they ripped all of that off of the boards for the Tuning Adapter, as well as all the headers for A/V output.

    You can see a picture of the back of Motorola's DCT700 STB here and one of the back of the MTR700 Tuning Adapter here--though they're in the same little plastic box, it's pretty clear that the board inside is very much different. I'm sure that something very similar was done by Cisco for the STA1520, which is stuffed into the enclosure for the RNG 100 STB. The price of manufacture for the two will be fairly unrelated.

    Designing a custom enclosure and board of the smallest possible size would have required a lot of time and cost a lot of money, and I feel certain that they were ordered to keep the development time and manufacturing cost of the product at a minimum, since the cable providers were planning to charge nothing (or very little) for the devices.
     
  18. Aug 8, 2008 #1798 of 2401
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Ontario Canada.
    The low end TV set manufacturers won't even have Cablecard at all, let alone bothering to support the SDV adapter.

    For the sets that do have Cablecard and a USB connector, the manufacturers likely won't bother to support SDV. They would have to write and test code, and likely get it certified by CableLabs, as well as distribute it to sets, and the infrastructure isn't really there, except for a thumb drive upgrade.
     
  19. Aug 8, 2008 #1799 of 2401
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    NJ


    thats what i was trying to say-
    classicsat said it much better.

    a couple years ago you could buy an analog tv in a supermarket. THey were all over and cheap. SOme for like 50 bucks. THere's no point in making a 50 dollar tv into a 100 dollar tv for cable's sake I'm guessing. The cheapo manufacturers will leave it on people to rent cable/sat boxes i think.
     
  20. Aug 8, 2008 #1800 of 2401
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    At the end of 2006, the CE OEMs (through the CEA) complained to the FCC that implementation of <tru2way> was too expensive specifically for inclusion in low-end products. They asked for the a cheap-to-implement, inflexible set of protocols for SDV, IPPV and VOD as an alternative, which they called "Digital Cable Ready Plus". That was actually going to have to include support for new bidirectional CableCARD interface.
    For this article on the controversy:
    Apparently they don't even like the price of implementing <tru2way> in the mid-range. Since that was published the NCTA got Sony to agree to support <tru2way> and abandon DCR+.
     

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