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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by morac, May 30, 2008.
Actually it sounds more like they are working on something similar to Motorola's QIP6416 Multi-room DVR with one main DVR and a bunch of satellites (that don't have tuners or large hard drives).
The satellite boxes would interface with the master TiVo (maybe any TiVo) in the house to bring up the TiVo's main menu allowing for full functionality (scheduling recordings, playlist management, etc). The only difference would be that playback is then streamed/downloaded to the box instead of playing directly.
The only problem I see with the above, is that you couldn't have multiple users manipulating things on the TiVo at the same time. For example the remote user tries to play a video another (local or remote) user deletes the video. A work around to this would be a locking mechanism to prevent more than one remote user from making changes to the TiVo for resources that are in use.
It would probably be functionality that could be added to existing TiVos if they wanted to do so.
I also started a link on this over at the HDTV Forum Thread, where I raised this point back in Oct-07!!! They should already have a proto-type out on something like this by now closely resembling the features/approach I suggested....
Suggestion Link (Oct-07)
if the toilet backs up can we go back 30 mins?
I think that's where the external plumbing attachment for additional storage will come into play.
My fairly unrealistic hopes for what this means. Due to hardware restrictions most of this is likely impossible currently, so would have to go in a next-gen TiVo:
1) The ability to play essentially all videofiles from SMB mounts and uPNP shares with no conversion or transcoding necessary, including divx/xvid, h.264, WMV, mpeg-2, etc, like the popcornhour and XBMC.
2) Built-in slingplayer functionality with windows, OSX, linux, iphone, windows portable, and blackberry clients. Ideally this would actually be in partnership with slingmedia.
3) Cooperative scheduling between multiple DVRs.
4) Low-cost HD-capable extenders with built-in wifi.
5) Streaming MRV via both uPNP and SMB rather than TiVo's proprietary protocols.
Any more pie in the sky "predictions"?
Cool. very early stages so let the speculation have fun.
It sounds to me like a main media collector somewhere and then hubs off that. The ycan easily make the current DVRs we all have as hub "capable" and protect our investment in them while allowing us to not have to buy and put a TiVo full fledged DVR on each TV in the house.
Questions I have are around how the main collector looks and works. 6 tuners? RAID of hard drives? do we get to put our onw media on it like songs and pictures and home moviews and make use of its storgae, etc?
I would love to have one of these babies. One of my biggest annoyances today is having to record all the same shows on 3 DVR's because with wife and kids I never know which TV I will get to watch.
I think Directv has been talking about the same thing for a while now too.
Along with FIOS I think.
I think TiVo is just looking to take MRV to the next level and make it more integrated and hopefully will integrate scheduling of recordings as well.
We currently do not care so much what time and channel a show is on - hopefully with this we will also not have to know, worry about what TiVo it is on or scheduled by either.
Why doesn't MRV solve this? Slow transfer times? The real key is being able to use the disk space of all DVRs to record regardless of which Tivo you have it scheduled on.
Of course, having some additional unit that could accept the streaming without being a full-fleged tivo would be great.
in other words copy protection flags on digital cable channels which block tivo's current incarnation of MRV.
tivo could get around this like MS and others have by streaming content (MRV currently copies it).
So a whole house dvr could have a big monster dvr (I'm guessing maybe 6 tuners as a cable M-Card can decode up to 6 streams) and then that box could stream to think clients.
I'd have to go back and read some old posts- but if I recall tivo (or at least it's founders) even at the very beginning said they thought that a master box with cheap think client slaves was the best plan but the hardware availible back when they started just couldn't handle it.
Don't hurt yourself patting yourself on the back. MANY of us have came up with the same idea (and I wouldn't doubt I posted about it *years* before that date).
The logical idea is "big tivo with lots of storage space as the server, and 'client' Tivos with small hard drives [to deal with network slowness or outages] that would then copy the files to the main server for everyone to see", along with cooperative scheduling.
not sure you even need a hardrive with current wifi technology.
I recently replaced my G router with an N as the G died and I already had N built into my laptop. And I can't believe the strength and stability of the Standard. If you just built N into all the boxes you could probably get by without the hard drive. (unless N gets messy with many devices on the same network?)
Back patting wasn't the intent of my original post, but rather the point with why Tivo is taking this long to speak openly about the development of their next gen platform - this should have been in play quite some time ago.....
I doubt even N can handle multiple HD streams perfectly. G can't even handle 1 full HD stream (MPEG2/ATSC) without dropping any frames if even one other wifi device is active. wifi has a critical limitation, it can only allow one station to talk at a time. Wired ethernet can allow for simultaneous bi-directional streams.
This isn't as big a problem with MPEG4/h264. But HD MPEG2 can easily saturate the real capacity of a wireless G network. The radios might link up at 54Mbps, but you simply can't get that kind of speed out of them because of the overhead. You might get 2-3 streams on an N network, but that would be pushing it for MPEG2 HD. Gigabit Ethernet could do it without breaking a sweat. The hard drives are needed to buffer some data to make sure wireless can keep up. Even then, I can see a lot of problems with the thin client approach with wireless.
People give wifi WAY too much credit. For huge HD video files (or even large SD video files) it sucks hard compared to even 100Mbps wired ethernet. Throw in multiple client machines, or a neighbor with wifi, and wifi quickly becomes useless. Don't even get into going from a wifi box to another wifi box (you're now 1/2 speed). It's great for surfing the net or copying smallish files around. But for unbuffered multi-GB video files in real time? Hell no. With local buffering, it could probably be done reasonably well, but I can see pauses if the network gets busy.
Unless the main box is beefy enough to transcode for slow networks.........
The problem is that to be a significant central unit you would need something like six fully parallel tuners, a terabyte of storage and easy home networking (ie MoCA or Powerline) which would make this a pretty expensive unit. Then you'd need to buy client boxes. Certainly a market for this in the serious home theater user segment but not likely a high volume BestBuy type of thing. Also you need to solve the copy protection issues.
I hope that after a TiVo business case review they decide to proceed with the project.
I disagree, I don't think this will be aimed at serious home theater users, but more towards families, or anyone with more than one TV in the house.
It's something that differentiates TiVo from the current cable offerings (no reason why the cable companies can't do this, and maybe they are, which is why TiVo has to follow)
The challenge will be setting the price such that TiVo makes money from this and "families" can afford to buy it.
Nah. You wouldn't do it that way, because the market isn't large enough. All you need is two SKUs, a TiVO HD and a TiVO HD Extender. If you want more tuners, buy another TiVo HD.
Copy protection is simple to work around, just stream the video instead of copying it.
I guess they could just add a few gig of memory though and skip the hard drive and still make it a single board?
Didn't know wifi had those limits- Not sure of the real world throughput (as I dont know how to test- i hard wired all 3 tivos and hte PC that does TTG to them) but I get 300Mbs link on my wireless N network at home. it's pretty amazing in my mind- but maybe that's normal- I live in a townhouse and have 3-5 other wifi networks all around me that I can see if i search. (I'm actually kind of puzzled- I set the router to "auto" to pick it's channel and it picks 6 just like 2 of my other neighbors are doing. Why wouldn't it aim for a "clean" channel? and how does it max out if there's other networks on the same channel). But again- no idea what it really is moving.