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TiVo HD Platform Wild Spec Thread

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

  1. rodalpho

    rodalpho New Member

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    From the initial reviews, performance is significantly worse, although that's probably 8.1 vs 8.3 software.

    Where did the rumor start that SD content could be freely shared regardless of the ccx code?
     
  2. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    Where is this 'significantly worse' coming from? I have the TiVo HD sitting next to a Series3 and a Pioneer DVR-810H, and a Toshiba RS-TX20 upstairs.

    The TiVo HD blows the doors off the Toshiba, no question.

    The S3 is a bit faster, but in normal use I can't say it is *significantly* faster.

    And with the Pioneer, one of the fastest S2 platforms, it seems fairly comparable to the TiVo HD over all. I think each one has an edge in different areas.
     
  3. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    SATA controller. A commenter on TiVoLovers spotted a chip hiding under the SATA cables which appears to be a Silicon Image SiI5723 storage processor.

    I notice something interesting - there are traces from the BCM7401, which has a SATA interface, to the unpopulated SATA header. Then those *same* connections continue to the 5723. Could that header be a left-over debug connection? They could've populated it during development to test the 7401's SATA connection and monitor the signals. Maybe that's the connection to the 5723, and then that chip provides the two connections. The unpopulated header could be a red herring.
     
  4. rodalpho

    rodalpho New Member

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    The cnet review and a couple others mentioned that it had the old 8.0 slowly refreshing menus. I found them incredibly annoying, way back when. Is that not the case?
     
  5. scustin

    scustin New Member

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    Any thoughts on what's coming next?

    There's a $150 rebate to clear out the remaining stocks of S2.

    I assume there will shortly be a rebate to get rid of remaining S3s.

    Apparently informed speculation has the "official" eSATA drive coming out before Christmas.

    It would seem to make sense to add a second model to the TiVo HD line with a larger hard disc (500gb?) and maybe a few of the other bells and whistles missing in the HD (THX, lighted remote). I would be willing to pay an extra $100-$150 for the extra capacity. (HD program files are a lot bigger than SD and think it's silly to have to throw away a working drive to increase capacity.)

    It would probably add an additional $100-$200 TiVo to add more tuners and support for satellite boxes to allow multiple sets to tap into a central media server.

    There are two USB ports but the only known use is for a single wireless network adapter. Maybe the other could be used for a keyboard and mouse and implement a web browser. Keying in program names from the remote is a pain. If content companies are cooperative, TiVo could become a gateway to the expanding world of web-distributed programming. Most people don't want to watch TV on their PC.

    A lot of really nifty things are constrained by restrictions imposed by copyright owners. If TiVo can demonstrate bulletproof DRM they might be given access to content not "regular" media players. TiVo is, after all, already a "closed" system. TiVo + Netflix. Now that would be awesome . . .
     
  6. rodalpho

    rodalpho New Member

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    I expect the S3 will be unavailable very shortly. It has no reason to exist. I wouldn't be surprised if they release a HD SKU with a 500GB internal drive selling for $500.

    Longer term, when economy of scale and component price drops kick in and HDTV penetration is higher, those traces on the HD could be filled with encoder chips, the price dropped to $200 with rebate, and the old S2 and DT models could be retired also.
     
  7. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    I'm a bit lost. Which chips are doing the mpeg compression of the analog video signals?

    Edit:

    I also found this about the 7401:

    http://www.broadcom.com/collateral/pb/7401-PB04-R.pdf which says it has an HD analog video encoder.

    I can't copy from the pdf, but the product page also says

     
  8. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Sounds right.

    The 7401 only provides one eSATA connection, so that appears to be the link to the SiI5723.

    The VIXS XCode does the encoding / transcoding of the uncompressed digital bitstream to MPEG-2 or MPEG-4. That uncompressed digital bitstream is supplied by either the Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL or ATI depending on the source. As far as which part supplies the VIXS XCode with the uncompressed digital bitstream encoded from analog channels input via coax...I am not entirely certain, but after looking at the specs again, the Philips/NXT is the more probable candidate.

    The Broadcom BCM7401 does not do MPEG-2 encoding. As far as I can tell, it won't even accept an analog input. It does do digital -> analog conversion to produce the output for the component, s-video, composite, etc connections on the TivoHD.
     
  9. deltatahoe

    deltatahoe New Member

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    Jul 24, 2007
    first off, i'm a noob here....as a noob, i realize i should probably go read 500 posts, and report back with a more refined line of questioning. however, my question is a relatively simple one, so i figured i would jump right in with my noob-licious question:

    -the tivo website indicates that "expandable storage" is "coming late 2007"; any speculation on what this will look like?

    for example, will it likely be a tivo-specific hard drive to expand storage, or is it possible that you will be able to use just use any old external hard drive? any reason to wait until late 2007 to purchase the tivoHD when "expandable storage" becomes available?

    any other thoughts or things i'm missing here?

    deltatahoe

    ps, if this question has been answered 100 times elsewhere, you can just respond with something like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Could you break this down for me according to source (ATSC/NTSC/Coax (Analog vs Digital)); A/D converter (in case of analog source); MPEG encoder (in case of analog source) so I can understand and then summarize where each thing comes from and how it flows eventually to the hard drive?

    The 7401 is listed as 450DMIPS. The 7400 version is listed at 1000 DMIPS and shows a connection to a DVD R/W drive in addition to the SATA interface.

    The 7400 has dual ITU-R-656 inputs, the 7401 a single.
     
  11. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    .worcester.m...
    Not that I've noticed. On a scale of 1-5, I'd say it is about a 4, 3 at worst depending. (5 being fastest.) Whereas the S3 is more like a 4.5, varying between 4 and 5 depending.

    It probably varies too, as we've seen with other units where some people report slow menus while others don't see it.
     
  12. ticktockman

    ticktockman New Member

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    Silicon Valley
    What I know:

    ATI314 is a digital demod, so it is doing your QAM/ATSC/Cablecard Out of band demodulation (analog in, digital bit stream out). This stuff is already MPEG. No encoding needed.

    Under that metal can there must be analog tuners (analog in, NTSC out). Either there are separate tuners for digital, or the same tuners can send their info down to digital or analog parts. Someone who knows more about tuners? Anyone have pics under the metal can lid?

    NXP part does NTSC to digitized analog video

    What I guess:

    Vixs takes digitized analog and MPEG encodes it. Possibly can do lots of other stuff, I haven't seen the spec, just other people's descriptions.

    FPGA? Can anyone tell what it is connected to? The pictures have the card mechanism blocking a lot of it. It is pretty near the Vixs part. Maybe it assists with transcoding? Tivo hasn't "rolled their own" for a while, though. Seems strange.
     
  13. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    I'm surprised that the SiI5723 chip is used. It can do hardware virtualization, which doesn't seem like what TiVo needs. If TiVo can really use it as a partial RAID1 set (with an external drive) to reduce system downtime, that would be very interesting. If it's just used as a simple port multiplier, the best SiI5723 features are wasted.
     
  14. SullyND

    SullyND L:45-21 TCF Club

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    Any reason this device could/could not run a version of the ComcastTiVo OS (OCAP-lite)?
     
  15. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    STFU n00B! ;)

    Seriously, there isn't any reason to wait on the THD purchase, the boxes aren't going to be any different. The "expandable storage" will just be an external hard drive that you plug into the esata port and go with. Go read the stickied "S3 esata" thread at the top of the forum if you're interested in rolling your own solution before this comes out, as it really isn't that hard.
     
  16. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    If the hardware doesn't have the same upstream communication capability as the comcast box for PPV, why would you want to?
     
  17. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Tivo need a "port multiplier" of some kind since the BCM7401 only supports a single SATA channel on its own. That's the one area where the BCM7401 is a downgrade over the BCM7038 -- the BCM7038 in the Tivo Series3 had a dual-channel SATA controller.

    In the past, Tivo responsiveness was always highly dependent on disk I/O, so splitting the single 1.5Gbps channel into two separate channels doesn't sound like a good thing. Presumably, things are just going to get worse when they enable the second eSATA drive.

    If Tivo does implement the SAFE33 or SAFE50 RAID modes with eSATA support, it will be interesting to see what impact that has on performance and responsiveness. RAID can improve random I/O in some circumstances.

    NTSC Recording
    1. Diplexor to combine cable and off-air inputs into single coax ->
    2. Coax ->
    3. Coax Splitter ->
    4. Tuner 1 ->
    5. Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL w/ NTSC decoder decodes analog channels and digitizes output ->
    6. Digital output sent to VIXS XCode 2115 ->
    7. VIXS XCode encodes video into MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 ->
    8. MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream sent from VIXS XCode to Broadcom BCM7401 CPU ->
    9. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU sends MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream to integrated SATA controller ->
    10. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller sends datastream to Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multiplier ->
    11. Silicon Image SiI5723 saves datastream to hard drive.

    Digital SD/HD Recording
    1. Diplexor to combine cable and off-air inputs into single coax ->
    2. Coax ->
    3. Coax Splitter ->
    4. Tuner 1 ->
    5. ATI Theater 314 demodulates QAM and VSB output to separate and output original MPEG-2 bitstream ->
    6. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU sends MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream to integrated SATA controller ->
    7. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller sends datastream to Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multiplier ->
    8. Silicon Image SiI5723 saves datastream to hard drive

    The same repeats for tuner 2 using the other pair of chips. When playing a recording, it works like this:

    DVR Playback
    1. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller requests data ->
    2. Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multipler requests data
    3. Hard drive retrieves data ->
    4. Broadcom BCM7401 decodes MPEG stream for output to TV

    MRV Playback to Tivo Series2 (future software)
    1. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller requests data ->
    2. Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multipler requests data ->
    3. Hard drive retrieves data ->
    4. Broadcom BCM7401 sends MPEG-2 bitstream to VIXS XCode 2115 ->
    5. VIXS XCode 2115 transcodes 480i/480p/720p/1080i MPEG-2 bitstream to compatible (i.e. 720x480) MPEG-2 bitstream ->
    6. New compatible (i.e. 720x480) MPEG-2 bitstream sent back to Broadcom BCM7401 CPU
    7. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU applies and encryption and sends data to built-in 10/100Mbps ethernet controller

    For future Tivos with composite, s-video, and component inputs:

    Analog Input (future Tivo)
    1. Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL digitizes 480i/480p analog input ->
    2. Digital output sent to VIXS XCode 2115 ->
    3. VIXS XCode encodes video into MPEG-2/MPEG-4 @ up to 720x480p ->
    4. MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream sent from VIXS XCode to Broadcom BCM7401 CPU ->
    5. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU sends MPEG-2/MPEG-4 datastream to integrated SATA controller ->
    6. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller sends datastream to Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multiplier ->
    7. Silicon Image SiI5723 saves datastream to hard drive.
    The BCM7038 in the Tivo Series3 was previously announced at 420MIPS.

    The BCM7400 is Broadcom's high-end DVR solution. The BCM7401 is the low-cost solution with comparable performance to the chip in the Series3. It sacrifices the faster CPU, superior memory controller, secondary AVC/MPEG-2/VC-1 decoder (for true PIP), the dual-channel SATA-2 controller, and an extra ITU-R-656 input.

    Tivo evidently choose to use the BCM7401 + SiI5723 combo rather than spending ~$15 more on the 65nm BCM7400 with dual-channel, SATA2 3.0Gbps and a much faster CPU. The 65nm version of the BCM7400 just recently became available, so it is possible that it was not an option during Tivo's design phase. The old 90nm version was massive and dissipated significantly more heat.

    Does anyone know whether the Tivo Series3 uses the Broadcom's integrated dual-channel SATA controller or a separate SATA controller?
     
  18. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    In another thread you mentioned that the 7401 was essentially a combination of the 7038 and another model. What was the other model?

    If BOM is $15 extra, it gets tempting to speculate on a model next year that includes a DVD burner that would make SD DVDs out of both HD and SD programs (as/when permitted by copyright. :thumbsdown: )
     
  19. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    BCM7411

    Tivo cannot support eSATA storage and a DVD (or Blu-ray) recorder with the BCM7401.

    I don't know what the relative die sizes are of those two chips. I doubt if the BCM7400 is drop-in replacement for the BCM7401, but that is possible. If those chips are pin-compatible, then the BCM7400 would give Tivo a second SATA channel to use with the third SATA header on the motherboard for a second hard drive, DVD recorder, or Blu-ray recorder. The first SATA channel would still run to the Silicon Image SiI5723, just as it does now.

    The Broadcom BCM7401 in the TivoHD cannot support Blu-ray profile 1.1, required on all Blu-ray players after October 31. The BCM7400 does. If Tivo wants to add a Blu-ray recorder with Blu-ray playback on a future product, they'll have to use the BCM7400.
     
  20. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    so are you saying that as it stands now the TiVo has the hardware and most likely the firmware to take a component output from a DBS or cable box and record it to the drive in a playbale format? (excluding the input on the TiVo itself of ocurse)


    One of the features I alwasy wanted to see was HME able to display overtop of the current video for something like fantasy sports stats or weather alerts or caller id, etc.. Sounds like cost concerns ditched the hardware that could be a part of such a feature
     

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