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SDV solution for S3, TiVo HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by 20TIL6, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    I'd say there is an advantage if the device hosting the dongle already has an IP stack since the programing interfaces will be there and the programmers will be using a paradigm they are used to. I'd hope any IP-based protocol would be closer to DHCP than SIP, though.
     
  2. zalusky

    zalusky Active Member TCF Club

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    So is the dongle just extra logic or will we have to have a splitter and send the cable both to the dongle and the tivo unit.

    I hope not.
     
  3. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Let's not get picky about it now. 1st step is to have a solution that works and is reasonably priced - then worry about other details...
     
  4. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

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    Well, the thought of having to split the cable line at every TiVo that needs a dongle ( :p ) is a problem for many people as their signals are marginal - at best. If it won't work with a signal amp, then it really would be a problem. With that said...

    Let's hope for the best, and be glad that a solution is in the works.

    My prediction for dongle availability ( :p ) is within six months.
     
  5. nathanziarek

    nathanziarek New Member

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    I love the hope. I disagree with it, but I love it.
     
  6. nathanziarek

    nathanziarek New Member

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    I don't know about the technology of it all, but I'd guess it would sit "inline." At least, in terms of user interaction and setting the thing up, that'd be the easiest way to go.

    Code:
    ----cable----{}----SDV thingy----{}----TiVo
                            |               |
                            -------USB-------
    
    Of course, I am thinking this device can be as small as a signal amplifier, and it may be as big as a cable modem, for all I know.

    Anyway, I guess that is nitpicking. Just get it to us and then work on making it svelte.
     
  7. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    Reasonably priced? From something that comes from your cable company? Or Tivo? :D
     
  8. mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

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    I agree. Based on multiple posts here, it appears that the Tivo HD's (and maybe the S3) RF front end is very sensitive to signal quality issues and may not even handle signals at the far end of the spec range (that is based on a post I read yesterday in this forum, but I can't remember by whom). Who know what effect adding in a device that serves as a splitter that further attenuates the signal will have.

    Seeing as how SDV willl probably prove to be a significant make or break issue for Tivo, I'm hopeful that they will test this device with marginal signals and come up with a solution before it's released (unlike the cable card pixelation issue).
     
  9. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    The compelling reason is an SDV Internet Gateway, if designed and implemented properly, would allow TiVo to use the existing ethernet port and broadband connection to tune the SDV channels with no additional hardware, no need to dig through the cables in the back of your media center and install a coax splitter (dealing with 50% loss of signal) and USB dongle, or install a small shunt coax from the USB dongle to existing S3/HD coax connection, possibly dealing with the USB dongle getting dislodged like some eSATA connections we've seen, avoid an added piece to purchase or lease possibly from the cable company, etc. etc.

    In short it would be a pure software solution which does not require the user to do anything and would support all users with broadband connections.
     
  10. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    Sacramento...
    Not to throw a kink into the works, but aren't there different SDV implementations? So that a solution would require either (1) a single protocol at the TiVo<->USB interface talking to a dongle that is configured for a specific cable system, or (2) cable-system-specific software in the TiVo talking to a single type of dongle(!), or (3) TiVo/dongle talking a new protocol for which all cable systems would have to implement support (not in this decade).
     
  11. zalusky

    zalusky Active Member TCF Club

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    As people have mentioned its important to talk about this now because they haven't started to mass produce them yet.

    Signal sensitivity is a big thing. I installed a structured wiring system(containing RG6QS coax) and a channel vision splitter and I still have problems with some channels like TNTHD.

    A lot of people had problems with Enet connectivity and had to replace their hub or use a USB dongle.

    Its important they get this right and not low bid the components. I will pay extra dollars for a quality dongle so I dont have to replace amplifiers and everything else later.
     
  12. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    No reason for the splitter if Nathan's excellent suggestion is implemented, and USB doesn't have the same type I/type II issues that esata has.

    The one time install may be a bit of a pain, but if it comes down to work for you to install or work for the cable company to try and secure an SDV internet gateway, which do you think that cable would choose? ;) (not to mention Charles' issues may mean there needs to be dongle<->SDV equipment pairing at the hardware level)
     
  13. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    That's a complete separate point you are making which I've already stated I agree with.

    My response was addressing the statement that there wasn't a compelling reason to do this over IP. If you wanted to qualify that statement by saying there wasn't a compelling reason for the cable company to do this by IP, I would agree.
    Charles issues have to do with the dongles and whether you can have one single dongle that works with all cable systems with the complexities of different systems hidden in TiVo software or if you need different dongles tailored to different SDV implementations.

    An SDV Internet Gateway, if properly designed and implemented, could hide the complexity of underlying implementations with a software interface.
     
  14. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    I'm cool with that - with the cable companies making the decision and all, I kinda had that framework in my head but could have been more precise in my wording. :) I think that we're pretty much in violent agreement here. :)
     
  15. morac

    morac Cat God

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    This would make the most sense and cause the least amount of signal loss (though it would still cause some). It could even be powered by the USB slot (assuming it doesn't use much power).

    The only issue I see with something so tiny is it might have trouble talking back to the head-end if there is a lot of noise on the line. My cable modem frequently has to shout pretty loud (high upstream dBmV) and I'm not sure a tiny little device like that would be powerful enough.
     
  16. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    If it does need quite significant power then it probably would need it's own power adapter and could not draw power from USB interface, which would add quite significantly to it's size and inconvenience for hooking it up. So based on speculation so far this device may potentially need an RF input and output, a USB interface and potentially it's own power source.
     
  17. pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

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    Size is unimportant, it's just a question of if the 5V and 500mA provided by a USB host is enough... it should be.
     
  18. d_anders

    d_anders Sr Legacy Member

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    Sorry to break the bubble, but nothing is sold retail or available in most distribution channels in a Christmas season if it hasn't already been produced and shipped to major Distribution Centers by September that year.

    Unless this "dongle" has already been actually developed and prototyped, we will be lucky to have one by Christmas 2008. To be available this Christmas, it would have already been designed, prototyped, tested, and then sent to manufacturing by September.

    Also, don't assume it will be sold via retail. Even though I hate the model, the cablecard distribution/mgmt model is likely the one that the cable companies will use...that said, I would like nothing more than the dongles to come from the CE manufacturers alongside and already tested with the unit in question. Unless SDV is implemented identically in all cable systems, this dongle will likely have to come from the cable company to insure that it works with the appropriate head-end (...thus the cable card scenario).

    This all said, this thread is certainly an interesting academic excercise, but no one should discern the discussion of the technical feasbility of a dongle in this thread from the actual process it will take to actually make the dongle a reality.

    So unless something is actually in development now (which I hope), the idea of having something available in the coming 12 months is very weak. Something in the 12-18 month timeframe is possible...assuming they've started the design and development sometime around...oh say, now.
     
  19. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    I ain't no engineer, actually know very little about the hardware side (30 years in software development), but this doesn't sound like something that would require 12-18 months of development and launch.

    I'm the optomist who believes that this has already been designed and ready for manufacture and testing and was only awaiting approval. I'm sticking with the expectation of a launch by Comcast in the first quarter of 2008.
     
  20. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    You're right: You're an optimist. This was just a bunch of discussions until that last week or so. The next step after discussions is to convert the technical requirements into design specifications. We have no reason to believe that that work has not yet started, but we also have no reason to believe that that work is even close to completion yet.
     

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