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Supreme Court decsion may effect Tivo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by eboydog, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Yeah right. Channels aren't going to give up their linear slots. If they prevent FF through ads, the whole idea is dead on arrival. DISH and TiVo already have access to recordings on any device. Not that hard to bake into the DVR hardware that the end-user has.

    ESPN has just about everything on their channel. It's nearly impossible to avoid ESPN at some point, no matter what sport you're following. NBA, NCAA basketball, and NFL covers just about everyone. It's a smart strategy for ESPN, as so many people have to have ESPN.
     
  2. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    You keep thinking about it in terms of how the world is today. In 15 years, the industry will be completely different and TiVo as we know it won't exist.
     
  3. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    The question is what is ESPN attached to. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney insisted on packaging some subset of ESPN, Disney (Disney Jr., Disney XD), ABC Family, Lifetime, A&E, History, Biography, H2, Military, and/or C&I. Folks from four or five constituencies are going to pay $7-$9 for "their" channel, and get the other channels included.
     
  4. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It is the first step towards all IP delivery. Today most cable companies deliver between 1.5 and 2 gigabits per second of data (assuming around 100 HD, 150 SD channels and some PPV/VOD) just for A/V, plus some broadband internet. The vast majority of households rarely watch more than one channel at a time (unless they are recording as well, but a cloud DVR eliminates that). If we went to all IP based transport then the only linear video data that needs run across the cable are the channels actually being watched at any moment in time. With a few routers it would be quite easy to reduce the bandwidth consumed by linear video on any given segment to 500 megabits/second. That leaves 1 to 1.5 megabits for cloud DVR playback and VOD - and/or faster broadband. All with existing cable plant (replacing cable is THE most expensive upgrade a system can undertake).

    And you base that on what? Our Roku works very well. In an all IP world, your entire cable set top box is nothing more than a Roku type device. That will reduce hardware costs to a fraction of what they are today. More savings.

    What will most people do if the only way to get the content is to sit through the ads? Simple: they will sit through the ads. We all did that all the time until the DVR was invented. Once you can't skip commercials advertising rates will rise again. More revenue.

    So, to recap, despite the need to have servers to run the cloud DVR software and store the recordings, cloud DVRs and IP based transport allows the cable companies to reduce costs (very cheap STBs), increase revenue (higher ad rates) and stretch the existing cable plant to deliver more services (which will open up new revenue streams).

    Who is being idiotic?
     
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I started time shifting my TV watching in the mid 80's with a VCR. I used the VCR to skip over commercials. It didn't take a DVR to enable commercial skipping. But it did make it easier.
     
  6. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    To be fair, you're outlining realities that many folks simply don't want to be true. They don't want the industry to run like an industry. They don't want to have to pay what things are truly worth, but rather want to get everything at very high quality for very low prices. It's human nature to rail against the reality you're putting forward.
     
  7. rexreed

    rexreed New Member

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    That has NOT been the case for many years. Many folks, especially after the digital switch, rely on cable to receive their broadcast channels. The cable companies rely on local broadcasters for a percentage of their customers so they negotiate fees with the local provider.
     
  8. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    Comcast sent me an email about a "Video Bill" the other day. They created a whole video to explain how to read their bill. :rolleyes:
     
  9. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    I agree. I use my Roku everyday and it works perfect. I even use Aereo and it's flawless 100% of the time. How many people can say that about their Comcast boxes?
     
  10. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    The expectations on the different devices are quite different, so it isn't an apples to apples comparison. Furthermore, there is no way around it - an IP-only video distribution model will be far more costly - 1000 streams instead of 250 - and you know who's going to pay for that, right? It'll only make sense to do it if customer see the worth in being expected to pay for it.
     
  11. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    That would only be true of an all VOD IP model. Linear broadcasting would use multicast (a one to many session protocol) so 250 channels are 250 streams, no more. In addition, the digital content can be more efficiently transmitted over IP, and so would use the same or less bandwidth currently used for the QAM based system today. Even further, every router on the network works like a switched video junction, only passing the multicast traffic for channels actually being consumed downstream. So most "final mile" segments will only have a few dozen channels on the cable, instead of ALWAYS carrying 250.

    The savings in hardware are huge. Furthermore, if the cable industry settles on a standard, the IP client could be built into TVs. Use an embedded Web browser and UI built in HTML5 and the cable operator has a zero footprint solution, totally under their control, with nothing beyond a cable modem on the customer premises.
     
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    In the 15 years since TiVo came out, we have gone from some small percentage of TV viewing being taped with VCRs to 15% being DVR'ed and 85% being watched live, and that's with over 50% adoption of DVRs among pay-TV customers. So maybe in another 15 years, we'll have 20 or 25% of TV usage being DVR'ed. Doesn't sound like doom and gloom for linear TV.

    Well actually, they deliver just over 5gbps on a modern 860mhz plant, with non-video usages being a relatively small percentage of that. Many households watch multiple things at once. We often have 2 or 3 streams going at once, whether they are running through TiVo Premiere or Netflix/HBO Go.

    Actually, by far the most expensive upgrade is going to be replacing every single box on the system, including the DTAs. Today's cloud DVR systems run on top of a linear QAM system, meaning that in addition to linear channels, you have to have that much MORE bandwidth for these stupid cloud DVR systems. They just make no sense. What makes sense is what Comcast started to do, and then stopped doing, which is to rebuild all the plants to 860mhz and then run all linear channels. The part that they are missing is the conversion to MPEG-4, which, when combined with an 860mhz plant, would give them incredible capacity.

    Not only are they relatively slow and unresponsive compared to a DVR, the cable company doesn't control the whole path, so people's crappy networks could screw everything up. Hence, they really need to be tied to coax so that the cable company controls the whole thing.

    They will either pay more for a local DVR, and the network DVR will be underutilized, or if they can't do that, they will switch to whoever offers a DVR that actually works, like DirecTV. Cable wouldn't risk losing millions of subs because they wouldn't offer a real DVR that actually works.

    The switch to IP would be ungodly expensive. Considering they don't want to spend the relatively small amount of money for plant rebuilds and MPEG-4 conversion, there's NO WAY they are going to spend the money to convert to IP in the foreseeable future.

    The cable plants already can deliver more. The companies who are still in the dark ages with analog can kill that bandwidth waste off, and Comcast can move to an all-860mhz system with MPEG-4 HD. There's no need for spending hundreds of millions on IP delivery.

    LOL. Their bills are totally unintelligible. I've never been able to balance one out with the various credits and charges that they use.

    You think they would give up the control that boxes give them? HAHAHA. They love having control over the hardware (except for TiVo and MCE users anyways, but customers are customers).
     
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    FiOS had planned to go to IP delivery by now. But instead they are adding more and more H.264 channels. The only reason they can't add a lot more is because a large percentage of boxes only handle MPEG2 and not H.264. So it would be very expensive to replace all those boxes.
     
  14. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Which is the most common manner with which Roku is used, today.
     
  15. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I think you are so focused on the trees, you are not seeing the forest. Conversion to IP distribution doesn't require MPEG-4 - actually, the more efficient distribution more than makes up for the difference between MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. Conversion to MPEG-4 is a separate issue from IP delivery.

    As far as the cost of replacing STBs, the vast majority of the STBs are fully depreciated, so they are already less profitable than they were. A hardware refresh with a box that costs them around $10 or so, but which they can continue to rent to the viewer at the current rates, resets the depreciation clock.

    Nothing about IP distribution and/or "no STB" configurations causes a loss of control. Even with the UI coming from the cable company servers in HTML5 and a browser and app built into a TV, the cable company will still be able to control authorization and will still charge an "outlet fee" (just as DirecTV does with RVU enabled TVs).

    Just because a company hasn't done "X" does not mean that they will never do "Y" (or "X" for that matter). To say that because cable companies have not yet converted to MPEG-4 means they won't convert to IP distribution is an invalid assumption. The cable companies are no more sure of the future (technologically, financially or regulatorily) than we are. The Cablecard rulings have been set aside, and the FCC is reviewing the options. If and when they issue a new set of rules, I think you'll see action. We are also not yet finished with the shake out in this industry. If Comcast/TWC is approved, you will probably see more mergers (e.g. AT&T/DirecTV). In this climate, I'm not surprised companies are holding off on major investments. They are all trying to stretch their current environments to last until the future is more clear. Eventually, the future will be here...and it won't take decades.
     
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    If they issue new boxes and build a new architecture (which they aren't any time soon), it will support at least MPEG-4, and probably HEVC by then. Running everything in HEVC would be a huge bandwidth savings, and for a given codec, and the bandwidth of a QAM-based system with SDV and an IP-based system is about the same, unless you move to a newer modulation scheme with DOCSIS 3.1, but that would be a nightmare in and of itself.

    That makes sense for older boxes, like today's MPEG-2-only boxes to switch to QAM-based MPEG-4, but that doesn't work for the newer MPEG-4 capable boxes.

    If they don't own the hardware that decodes the video, they lose control. They lose a lot of control over us because we have TiVos, but that's mandated by federal law.

    My point is that Comcast and the others rarely ever upgrade ANYTHING unless they are dragged kicking and screaming into it. DirecTV finally dragged Comcast into upgrading their HD lineup, which required all-digital (they wanted to get rid of analog anyways, as people could steal it), and some plant upgrades (although they stopped halfway through that project). The benefits of MPEG-4 and rebuilding plants to 860mhz are known, clear, and proven in the field, and yet they are partially done or not done at all. This mythical future IP over coax system would be enormously expensive, and offer no benefit whatsoever to Comcast. MEPG-4 and 860mhz offer huge benefits to their ability to compete with other providers, offer more bandwidth, more channels, more pay packages, etc.

    The only thing coming in the next decade is DOCSIS 3.1, and even that is going to be extremely slow, as it's not backwards compatible with the massive install base of DOCSIS 2 and 3 equipment that's out there now. DOCSIS 3 can be scaled up to 24 channels downstream on a single modem, and with limited competition in most areas, and FIOS showing no signs of going past 80mbps with a reasonably priced package, I think the 105/150mbps packages are pretty much the end of the line for speed upgrades. The two proven upgrades that they have available to invest in are MPEG-4 and 860mhz for the systems that aren't 860mhz yet.

    The architecture is there, the big innovations in the coming years are going to be software, services, authentication, the boxes, etc. Look at X1, TV anywhere streaming, their new Wifi gateways. All of that stuff runs on the existing QAM infrastructure yet looks and feels new and innovative (and in some ways is) to the end user. And all that new equipment they are rolling out now is DOCSIS 3 and MPEG-2 or 4 over QAM, so that's what they will be using for many years to come.
     
  17. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I give up...I and others point to industry trends, market developments and technology alliances and you respond with opinion with no factual support. Believe what you want.
     
  18. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    First of all, any new system will NOT be MPEG-2. We know that. But secondly, no one has given any reason that Comcast would switch to IP over QAM. MPEG-4 is obvious, that's a capacity issue. But no one has provided the reason that Comcast would just go and replace most of the equipment out in the field to support IP distribution, spending hundreds of millions to do so...
     
  19. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Comcast has! On multiple occasions! That's all that ever comes out of the mouths of CEOs and CTOs of cable companies, that IP distribution is coming and that is is what they are planning to move to.

    You have obviously, over the course of this thread and others that you simply do not understand where the industry is going. You seem to be constantly viewing the state of things as if mobile devices don't exist, as if it is the year 2004.
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Whether any provider switches to H.264 or Ip delivery it will be a slow process. It just isn't possible to replace all the STBs quickly without incurring a huge cost. SO it would be done over many years. WHy replace a box that is still bringing in revenue if you don't need to?
     

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