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TiVo prepping nex generation DVRs

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by bradleys, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Jun 25, 2013 #141 of 1049
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    So does anyone want to speculate on what tuners/demodulators these new DVRs might be using? Any difference between what is available for OTA versus cable?
     
  2. Jun 25, 2013 #142 of 1049
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Comcast (in CT) is going all scramble all channels starting in July, I would expect most cable co will do the same over time, so my question can a TiVo tuner be made less expensive if it will only work with a M cable card?
     
  3. Jun 25, 2013 #143 of 1049
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    Possibly, I suppose it will depend on how much the OTA tuners add to the base costs of the unit. I suspect they are going to want to keep a entry level unit at $200... That seems to be a sweet spot for TiVo.

    If they can get OTA into a 4 tuner box @ that price point then you may be correct. If they cannot, then I see a market for separating the products.

    I do think the prospect of only including the Stream functionality in the XL version makes sense. (even though it is likely only a software update)
     
  4. Jun 25, 2013 #144 of 1049
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    Help me out on this Lessd...

    How does that differ from today? My TiVo currently works with an M Cable Card...
     
  5. Jun 25, 2013 #145 of 1049
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    John's...
    I seriously doubt it.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2013 #146 of 1049
    Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

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    He's talking about removing ClearQAM. I would say the possibility of such a removal is slim-to-none. The perceived cost savings would be offset by losing functionality that a large swath of the country can still use.
     
  7. Jun 25, 2013 #147 of 1049
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I'm not sure if they'll limit that functionality to just the XL unit. I think that the very least it will be supported by all 6 tuner units, and maybe all units. If the chipset they're using supports it then I don't think they would disable it via software just to bolster the features of the more expensive XL unit. Although there are a few variants of the Broadcom chipset in the same family, some that have transcoding and some that don't, so I could see them using a cheaper one, that doesn't do transocding, for the 4 tuner and a more expensive one that does for the 6 tuner. So it could be a 6 tuner only feature.

    If it is supported by all units then the standalone Stream is going to be short lived. They might keep it around for a little while to support older units, but if all new units have the capability built in then sales of the standalone unit are going to fall off a cliff.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2013 #148 of 1049
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    QAM is QAM. The only difference between ClearQAM and encrypted QAM is a flag in the stream that marks it as encrypted. It's not like they use separate chips or anything. The only way they could "remove" ClearQAM is via some sort of software patch, which would cost them money not save them any. Plus it's not like they really support ClearQAM now. The tuner can pick it up but they don't assign any guide data to it. So unless you have a CableCARD it's basically useless anyway.
     
  9. Jun 25, 2013 #149 of 1049
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    In this same vane aren't digital OTA and digital Cable tuners the same? With the difference being the demodulator? I thought the Premiere only had 2 tuners that were the same but 2 different demodulators. Anyone want to explain this a little more?
     
  10. Jun 25, 2013 #150 of 1049
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    John's...
    While I doubt there would be any cost savings, I also doubt there are many people actually utilizing clear QAM on TiVo. The lack of guide data sorta puts a damper on the whole experience.
     
  11. Jun 25, 2013 #151 of 1049
    Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

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    Makes sense.

    No, Digital OTA is ATSC and Digital Cable is QAM. Totally different tuning technologies. Although some of the newer chips integrate some of the shared pieces, but for the most part they remain independent.

    You may be right in that the physical tuner is independent of the intended signal, but in the TiVo they are hardwired to go to specific chips for demodulation and decoding. Or in the case of Analog NTSC, encoding to MPEG 2.

    The original Premiere had 4 physical tuners (2 QAM and 2 ATSC/NTSC) but 6 logical ones, 2 NTSC, 2 ATSC, 2 QAM. They could be used in any combination of two max.

    The digital cable only Premieres that came later got rid of the 4 OTA tuners (ATSC/NTSC) and bumped up the QAM tuners to 4 with the possibility of tuning those 4 simultaneously.

    Disclaimer: I am not an hardware or broadcast engineer, my knowledge on the chip layout in tuning configurations is not authoritative.
     
  12. Jun 25, 2013 #152 of 1049
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Whatever they call it they will probably change the name six months later.:D
     
  13. Jun 25, 2013 #153 of 1049
    Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

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    The only way this all works if they discontinue all existing DVR models, introduce the new models and name them something new. If they release new models in drips and drabs along with existing hardware, they are doing it wrong.

    Also, if they name it the TiVo One, I will boycott TiVo out of principle. :)
     
  14. Jun 25, 2013 #154 of 1049
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Most of what you said is what I would have thought logically until I started looking around for info. This thread lists the Premiere specs:


    and has this chart:
    [​IMG]

    Which does not show what you are saying, plus when I looked at this article:

    Which lists:
    1. the tuners as 2x Microtune MT2131
    2. the demodulators as Micronas DRX 3946A and DRX 3944J
    3. and the NTSC decoder as NXP SAA7164CE
    which leads me to my questions because there does not appear to be different tuners for digital OTA and digital cable, plus if you look at the specs for the Microtune MT2131 tuners it is pretty clear they can do both OTA and cable.

    Again can anyone else explain all of this?
     
  15. Jun 25, 2013 #155 of 1049
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    I don't like it, but I suspect the name is going to be:

    TiVo Premier Series 5
     
  16. Jun 25, 2013 #156 of 1049
    Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

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    A tuner in a generic sense (As we use it on the forums) are a combination of several things, the physical coax input, the chip that pulls the raw signal out coax input and assign it to the appropriate demodulation chips, demodulation and encoding/decoding chips, along with any other amps, memory and filters.

    The 2x Microtune MT2131 tuners can handle ATSC, QAM, and NTSC, so it doesn't matter what signal comes into them. However, due to the way the TiVo Premiere was designed, the Analog/Digital OTA input is hardwired to the Micronas DRX 3946J and the Cable input is hardwired the Micronas DRX 3944J. Both demodulators support all three modulation techniques:

    • Digital OTA: 8VSB
    • Digital Cable: QAM 64/256
    • Analog OTA/Analog Cable: NTSC
    The only difference between the two demodulators is that the 3944J supports the POD interface to communicate with the CableCard.

    FYI: There's nothing wrong with how TiVo designed it, it just happened to be the way they decided to do it.
     
  17. Jun 25, 2013 #157 of 1049
    Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

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    I should also clarify that each of the two Microtune MT2131 tuners can internally tune two things at once. That's why you can record two OTA channels or two Cable channels from one input, it is being split internally inside the tuner and the modulation chips are doing double duty.

    That's why we simply say it had 6 tuners but only 2 can be used at a time.
     
  18. Jun 25, 2013 #158 of 1049
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    Back to my original question about tuners anyone have any idea what TiVo might be using in the next boxes? The ones in the Premiere are listed as a Legacy/EOL product so I am fairly sure they will be using something else.
     
  19. Jun 25, 2013 #159 of 1049
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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  20. Jun 25, 2013 #160 of 1049
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    A "tuner" is really nothing more then a piece of electronics which can focus on a specific frequency in the spectrum. In that sense all "tuners" can do NTSC, ATSC or QAM. The real magic behind ATSC and QAM is their modulation. The modulation allows digital data to be encoded into an analog stream. The demodulator is what converts that analog stream back into digital data.

    If TiVo really wanted to save money then what they could do is make a unit that is either cable or OTA, but not both. That way they could use a single tuner/demodulator and decide via software which mode to use. As Philmatic pointed out there are already tuners and demodulators available that can support both standards, so it seems like this type of design should be possible. Although I'm not a hardware engineer, so I could be wrong.
     

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