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TiVo HD Platform Wild Spec Thread

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by HDTiVo, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Nov 27, 2002
    Like we need another thread. :rolleyes:

    Well, this one is specifically to consolidate what we know and will learn about the TiVo HD design and its potential capabilities, which seem to be significant over the S3, and to speculate from there. :cool:

    Things like:

    the transcoder chip 2115
    the 3rd Sata connection
    the analog input traces
    etc.​

    There will necessarily be lots of dreaming and fantasizing, but let's also have a dose of practicality like cost and strategic business issues also.


    _________________________________________________________

    The Transcoder Chip

    ViXS 2115

    No specs on it, but it may be between the 2111 (product sheet) and 2121 (product sheet)

    Technology and Applications Links

    Series 2100 Overview

    Based on comments from TiVoPony, it is unlikely the TiVo version of the ViXS chip has any transcoding ability.
    _________________________________________________________

    The MPU & MPEG Decoder/Encoder (?)

    Broadcom 7401

    Broadcom Cable Solutions

    The 7401 is listed as having an "HD analog encoder with simultaneous SD outputs" and "a dual stream analog video encoder..."

    The 7401 is listed as 450DMIPS. The 7400 version is listed at 1000 DMIPS and shows a connection to a DVD-R/W drive.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Encoders (?)

    2x Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL ADCs

    Can handle Analog RGB/YPbPr Component Video Input Including 480p/576p/
    (note other chips models can handle 720p/1080i also)

    http://www.nxp.com/acrobat_download/literature/9397/75015903.pdf

    ___________________________________________________________

    Xilinx Spartan-? FPGA

    Weak peculation:
    two-way signaling; DOCSIS;
    MOCA

    ____________________________________________________________

    Details of content flow through the hardware by bkdtv

    ____________________________________________________________

    Helpful sources: Megazone, bkdtv
     
  2. doormat

    doormat New Member

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    Analog inputs: A TiVo box for satellite a la S2DT, 1080i component inputs.

    I've already seen other ideas, 3rd sata port for HD-DVD/Bluray (managed copy), burner, etc.
     
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I think a TiVo with built in HD-DVD is probably the most likely scenario. The TiVo/Toshiba partnership has already produced a couple of S2/DVD combo units (one player, one recorder), seems plausible that the two might hook up again for a S3/HD-DVD unit. The big question would be whether the unit would allow playback only, or if it would also record HD-DVDs. I think the transcoder chip and hidden inputs would indicate that it would allow recording of HD-DVDs. However Cable Labs might not allow that, so we'll have to wait and see. (don't expect to hear anything else before CES 2008)

    Dan
     
  4. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Nov 27, 2002
    The Broadcom 7401 lists letterbox detection as a feature. If that refers to something like automatically zooming LB material, I would love that. Its a nuisance dealing with 4x3 letterbox.

    2100 Series lists MSDRM and Real DRM support. Hopefully a sign of protected WMV content availability - including HD!!! :D :up:
     
  5. ping

    ping New Member

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    That transcoder chip is really interesting. Believe it or not some people (like me) may be seriously considering this box despite the lack of an HD display. In fact, even those with an HD display in their primary location may want something like this for their bedroom (where they may still have a SD display). Looks like that chip is capable of a realtime HD->SD conversion, which would save disc space for anyone not interested in HD but who want to use ATSC to get their locals. And of course it would in theory allow multiroom viewing with a Series2, even with an HD recording.
     
  6. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    DC Metro Area
    Repost from this morning...

    Official TivoHD Specifications (TCD652160)
    • Broadcom BCM7401 DVR CPU w/ integrated MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 decoders
    • 256MB DDR400 SDRAM (4x NANYA NT5DS32M16BS-5U)
    • 160GB Western Digital WD1600AVBS SATA hard drive
    • 2x ATI Theater 314 QAM/VSB demodulators (for tuners)
    • 2x Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL ADCs
    • 1x VIXS XCode 2115 IC w/ dedicated 32MB DDR400 SDRAM (2x NANYA NT5DS8M16FS-5T)
      • CableCard interface
      • MP@ML encoders
    • Silicon Image SiI5723 Dual SATA controller
    • Xilinx Spartan-3 XC3S200 FPGA
    • 10/100Mbps Ethernet
    • Standard Tivo remote
    • $299 MSRP

    TivoHD Advantages
    • MSRP is $500 less ($299 vs $799) thanks to newer, more integrated components
    • TivoHD has ~7% faster CPU (450 MIPS vs 420 MIPS)
    • TivoHD has twice the usable system memory (256MB vs 128MB)
    • Supports MCARDs out of the box.
    • Consumes less power.

    TivoHD Disadvantages
    • TTG and MRV throughput is less than Tivo Series3 (as of 9.2 software).
    • The "plug and play" eSATA drive expansion only works with "Tivo Verified" eSATA drives, while the Tivo Series3 works with any eSATA drive.
    • Smaller hard drive (160GB vs 250GB).
    • No THX certification.
    • No piano black enclosure with OLED display.
    • No slick, learning remote (sold separately for $50).
    • No bundled HDMI cable.
    • Drivers for new components potentially less mature / optimized.
    • Potentially slower disk I/O, which may hurt responsiveness.
      The Broadcom BCM7401 in the TivoHD has a single 1.5Gbps SATA channel that is "split" for the internal SATA and eSATA connections using the Silicon Image SiI5723. In contrast, the BCM7038 in the Series3 had a dual-channel SATA controller, so no "splitting" was required. This may negatively impact disk I/O when both internal and eSATA drives are used, and Tivo responsiveness is highly dependent on disk I/O. The SiI5723 does support several RAID modes that could potentially improve random I/O.
     
  7. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    How 'bout plugging your iZuneZen into the usb port and taking your shows with you in minutes @8X realtime transcode? :cool:

    Or seconds if the transcodes are pre-staged. :up:
     
  8. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I just thought of another possible use for the transcoder chip... MRV from S3 to S2 units! With this chip it would be possible to transcode from HD to SD on the fly, thus allowing MRV transfers of HD programs to non-HD capable TiVos. This would make the whole process of MRV completely seamless regardless of which TiVo combination you have.

    It could also be used to transcode HD to SD on the fly for TTG, thus eliminating the need for Cable Labs approval. I think most people use TTG for playback of programs on laptops or portable devices anyway, and HD quality is not really necessary in those situations.

    Dan
     
  9. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    This is what some others speculated in the "New Tivo Coming" thread. Of course, then...how will the Series3 accomplish that feat?
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It wont! When you attempt to access an HD recording on a S3 from a S2 it will simply have a red cross circle, like what you get now when a program is copy protected.

    Although if you have a S3 and a TiVo HD then it might be possible to transfer from S3 to TiVo HD, then from TiVo HD to S2 or PC.

    Dan
     
  11. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Yeah, I had this crazy thought last night about the TiVo HD being used as a transcode hub. :cool:
     
  12. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I'm betting that this is one of the intended uses for the transcoder chip. Whether or not it ever actually gets used that way is another story, but I bet that was the idea behind throwing it in there.

    Dan
     
  13. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    I just looked at the excellent, high-resolution PCB shots posted by Megazone.

    The two NANYA 16MB DDR400 parts aren't connected to the Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL ADCs at all. That memory is used exclusively by the VIXS XCode 2115 IC. Moreover, the Broadcom BCM7401 clearly has access to the full 256Mb DDR400 -- twice as much memory as the Series3.

    It's looking more and more like the old Series3 is the real "Lite" version.
     
  14. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Shhhhhh.... TiVo wouldn't want anyone to know that just yet. ;)

    Are you sure the memory is double what Megazone thinks it is?
     
  15. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Yes.

    There are four 32M16 parts. Anyone can tell you that is 32x16=512 Mbit. Four of those gives you 2048 Mbits, or 256 Megabytes. If you don't trust your multiplication skills, you can check NANYA's site.

    http://www.nanya.com/PageEdition3.aspx?Menu_ID=57&def=210&lan=en-us

    Scroll down to the bottom and find the NT5DS32M16BS shown in Megazone's picture.

    Before I saw that I thought the 256MB might be divided in half, but the motherboard traces clearly show that the full amount is linked to the BCM7401 CPU.
     
  16. Bill McNeal

    Bill McNeal Member

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    May 31, 2002
    Does anyone know if there is hardware in place in the THD for two-way communication in the future? My understanding is that the S3 does not.
     
  17. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    Yeah, I think bkdtv is right. I blame sleep-dep and juggling a lot of stuff during the review for mis-understanding the part numbers.

    Here's another thought on the XCode chip - built in place-shifting. (aka Slingbox)
     
  18. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    If that product spec means it can do 3 SD transcodes simultaneously, it may be juggling a lot.

    I am interested in your unified platform theory but I need to understand how we get from what's on this TiVo HD down to the price space of an S2, and compare to further reducing the S2 design in cost.

    That sounds likely to give far more than 7% overall performance boost. Maybe some of those really slow S3 operations stimulated the extra memory too.
     
  19. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Here's something interesting:

    So there are actually chips that could handle HD component in? Wonder about cost.

    The encoders were listed as sampling on the data sheet, so they are pretty new I guess.
     
  20. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Yes.

    That said, the Tivo has no means to actually record high-definition analog signals. It must downconvert (transcode) the signal to a maximum of 720x576p, and 720x480p is more likely.

    Keep in mind that we don't know anything about the CPU requirements of the new parts in the TivoHD. For all we know, the drivers for the ATI Theater 314s and the VIXS XCode may require more CPU and/or memory.

    From the initial reviews of the TivoHD, it doesn't sound like there is any noticeable performance improvement over the Series3 with the current software.
     

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