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Verizon FiOS Network "Enhancements"

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by caughey, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    Oct 30, 2003
    Whoa. Too hard to quote, so I'll just go through it without.


    Systems being upgraded today, like most of Comcast's systems are 860mhz. It's sort of the standard. There's no reason that it's that much harder to do a 1000mhz system, it's just that some older boxes can't handle 1000mhz, and D2 modems can't handle it, so what goes up there has to be carefully picked and managed. Everything handles up to 860mhz (135 channels).

    If you remove internet and VOD, you get FIOS, since it doesn't have internet or VOD on the 256 QAM system.

    U-Verse has nothing to do with SDV. It's already running IPTV, so it has unlimited channel capacity, as it only sends the channels in use down from the VRAD. The issue with U-Verse is how limited the bandwidth to each sub is, which is why it is a crippled system. That's why U-Verse has a ridiculous amount of HD's, and they all look like crap. IPTV already delivers all the benefits of a 100% SDV system, just in a totally different architecture.

    It's a problem that the TA's are losing ANYTHING. A system like that should be running at a consistent 100% reliability. What's actually going on? Are the signals not getting to the headend? Does the headend not have enough QAMs to put the channels on?

    Yes, below 50mhz is for upstream. So an 860mhz system has 810mhz of downstream. Most systems that I'm familiar with are 860mhz, as are most Comcast systems. FIOS uses an 860mhz system. I don't know if the ONTs are limited to that, I am guessing they are as otherwise that would be an easy target to crank it up to 1ghz. There is nothing wrong with 1ghz, and especially with a small local system like FIOS, it would be even easier to make work properly.

    SDV is a kludge that shouldn't be implemented until AFTER all analogs are gone, and MPEG-4 is in place. You can push an absolute crapload of MPEG-4 HD's on an 860mhz or 1000mhz system without the need for SDV.

    They shouldn't have used SDV in the first place. An all-digital 860mhz plant with MPEG-4 has so much capacity, that SDV shouldn't be needed. They're totally different. Running IP traffic over a QAM and actively swapping out linear feeds on QAMs are two totally different things. I guess you could argue VOD and SDV are the same thing, but they are radically different to the end user in that you now need more hardware to utilize regular linear channels.

    You have to let the old go and move on. No other provider is catering to people who are stuck in 2004 and won't move on, and the cable companies shouldn't either. Comcast has served the technology impaired with DTA's, which work fine and save plenty of bandwidth. Apparently you think Comcast made the wrong decision to serve the profitable, up to date customers with more HD content, more VOD, and more internet bandwidth instead of letting the technology impaired continue to use their TV's internal tuner when they can just as well use a DTA to support their archaic technology? Keeping analog is idiotic and backwards. It's a dying technology. Just kill it. Comcast even did it here, where we have another cable company that still offers analog. It will get interesting when the other cable company, who currently has a similar HD lineup to Comcast (I'm assuming they have an 860mhz plant as opposed to Comcast's 650mhz planet) wakes up and kills analog, as they will then own in terms of HD content.

    U-Verse might work for the immediate future, but when cable cranks up the bandwidth, which Comcast is already doing, U-Verse can't keep pace. Nor can it keep pace with even Comcast's bad picture quality, which is a rather low standard.

    Verizon was quoting $2k/house to build FIOS a few years back. It's a bit of a different story when you can put 32 subs on one fiber cable, and your infrastructure serves dozens of customers on a block, not just one.

    You can get On Demand through the STB.

    How do you not use a guide? You have to if you want to find something, especially finding sports.

    It is THX certified, as an XL4. I think what was killing me on MCE was Windows doing the scaling to 1080p, not my video processor, as well as having weird color reproduction, where TiVo seems to be a lot more normal. I actually undid some of the eyeballed calibration tweaks I had done on my TV to make up for MCE's weird color.
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    FIOS doesn't use QAM for internet traffic or VOD. They use a separate part of their fiber connection. So essentially they have the full bandwidth of the QAM network just for TV channels. Unlike a traditional cable company that has to use part of their QAM bandwidth for internet and VOD.
  3. nycityuser

    nycityuser Member

    Dec 30, 2004
    New York, NY
    I didn't read every post in this thread but the 1st page seemed to say that TiVo HDs would not get the channels mentioned in the first post after April 15.

    FWIW, today is April 18 and my TiVo HD is getting the channels.
  4. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    Aug 2, 2003
    You could lose them at any time now.
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    They are still using MPEG2 on those channels. When they switch to H.264, you will need an S4 TiVo to tune them.
  6. BrooklynBlueEyes

    BrooklynBlueEyes New Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    Anyone here in the Brooklyn area know about FIOS being rolled out in Brooklyn and freeing us from the Time Warner Cable monopoly?
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    That is lrhorer, if you please, not irhorer.

    I am sorry, but you are simply completely wrong. I don't really have the time or inclination to go into a detailed discussion, but increasing the bandwidth of a CATV system presents a huge number of challenges, many of them extremely expensive. Believe me. I used to be a CATV engineer. Just a few of the more obvious ones:

    1. Cable preparation on systems above 500 MHz gets progressively more difficult. Trunk and feeder cable installations that work just fine at 600 MHz may fail miserably at 800 MHz.

    2. Amplifier costs. Not only is a 1000 MHz amplifier much more expensive (several thousand dollars more expensive), many more of them are required. Typical amplifier spacing is about 22 dB (limited by the noise figure of the amplifier gain stages), irrespective of the bandwidth. At 1000MHz, the trunk spacing is about 70% of that at 500MHz, requiring about 1.4 times as many amplifiers. More than 2 - 3 times as many line extenders are required.

    3. Distortion. Third order distortion and composite second order distortion soar above 600 MHz, and digital signals are generally more sensitive to distortion above a certain level than analog signals.

    4. Return loss is an ever increasing issue as frequencies climb.

    5. Connectors and passive devices that handle 1000 MHz are more expensive.

    6. The changing path loss requires different passive values. This also severely impacts amp spacing. (See above.)

    No, "everything" does not handle 860 MHz. The cost of terminal devices is definitely a significant fraction of the total equipment cost, but it is not by a wide margin even the largest single one, let alone being the majority of the cost.

    But then you are comparing apples and oranges. FIOS which does have interactive services to CATV which has had it removed. In order to talk about the relative capabilities of systems which do and do not have SDV, one must compare systems with the same features.

    I never said it does. It would have been singularly strange to do so. They both employ switched protocols, but the similarity pretty much ends there.

    I am well aware of that. I never said anything to the contrary.

    That is absolutely true, but it is not a very practical solution for a CATV system. SDV, OTOH, offers the benefits of IPTV, and is practical on a CATV architecture.

    It is also a problem that the internet service goes down, like mine did yesterday in the middle of the day. It is a problem that hard drives fail. It is a problem that the schedule is often wrong. There are all sorts of problems, but no device affordable by a consumer is going to be completely reliable.

    That is just nonsense. A TiVo on a pure linear system is not 100% reliable. Without the TA, an S3+ TiVo is very reliable. With a TA, it is still very reliable, and certainly more reliable than an S1 TiVo paired with a leased STB, with which I was quite happy for 6 years. All three solutions are vastly more reliable than the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR with which I was forced to live for 9 months.

    Mostly, the TA's simply lock up and / or fail to communicate over the USB port. Occasionally it causes the entire channel map on the TiVo to be lost.

    Well, that can happen, of course, and I have seen that on rare occasions even on CATV owned terminals. Given the amount of noise and interference on the upstream path I have frequently seen in the CATV headend, it all but amazes me 2-way works on a CATV system, at all - including internet access.

    On a properly engineered system, that should not be a problem - at least not any significant number of times. Tuning request failures due to there being no available timeslots can of course happen any time the system over-subscribes the nodes, but as long as the system has enough nodes and the nodes are distributed properly, no user should ever see a request denial more than once or twice a year, and then only briefly, and that only on a relatively unpopular channel. The TWC San Antonio system, for example, has nearly 5000 nodes. The odds any one of those nodes may have more unique active requests than can be handled by the number of SDV QAMs are extremely low.

    FIOS is a completely different matter. SingeMode fiber can easily handle many, many THZ of bandwidth with no changes to the passive systems at all, and while active components with higher bandwidth capabilities are more expensive than ones with more limited bandwidth, increasing the bandwidth only requires replacing the active components, not increasing their number.

    It is not a kludge, any more than TCPIP is. Indeed, it is less so than h.264, since every piece of terminal equipment in existence ( TVs, STBs, DVRs, you name it) can receive MPEG-II, but only a small fraction of them can can decode h.264. In most cases, retrofitting for SDV can be trivial (far more so than the CATV companies have allowed), while a native retrofit for h.264 is impossible.

    That is just nonsense. I don't know the exact number, but I suspect to deliver the service TWC delivers today, it would require well over 2000 MHz of bandwidth, even if they eliminated their analog offering.

    In detail, yes, but they still require a QAM, and they are both switched. Without some means of switching, the available content is limited by the bandwidth, period.

    That is not highly relevant to the question at hand. The primary question is, "Which system can deliver more services and more channels to their customers, one which implements linear h.264 QAMs, or one which implements SDV?" The answer is, "SDV, hands-down." The next question is, "Which one will have to spend more to deliver additional services and channels as time goes by, ultimately costing their subscribers more money?" The answer is, "H.264."

    You apparently have no idea what I think, but I do think, and I do know what is involved with running a business.

    When it involves almost zero cost to the CATV company and virtually zero impact to the business to keep the old technology around, it is neither idiotic nor backwards to do so, your pontifications notwithstanding.

    There is no question of that. Nonetheless, many millions of subs still use analog sets. Heck, even I still have one, although it has no tuner.

    I certainly personally have no issue with the loss of analog carriers on the CATV system. Indeed, I would welcome it on my provider's system since their lack of SDV while retaining analog forces a much more limited HD offering than would otherwise be the case. If they would implement SDV, then the analog carriers would be a moot point.

    NOt for me. Not by a long shot.

    Someone was blowing smoke, unless they were only talking about the cost of running aerial fiber, not underground, no splicing and no electronics. Running aerial fiber, without splicing or active devices, runs right around $14,500 per Km per cable sheath plus the cost of the fibers. Underground runs about $25,000 per Km per sheath plus fibers. Fibers cost about $30 per Km each. The highest count generally available sheaths contain 288 fibers. Higher count sheaths can be custom ordered, but at a premium, and fiber enclosures capable of terminating more than 576 fibers (288 in and 288 out) are expensive and difficult to handle. Splicing costs per fiber also rise as one has to deal with more than 288 colors. I know, I have to sign off on these invoices every single day.

    If we assume an average sub is 10Km from the headend, and each sub is allocated 3 fibers, that comes to about $1820 plus the cost of splicing and electronics for overhead fiber.

    Where do you get that number? CATV systems usually put about 400 - 800 subs on a pair of fibers.

    First of all, I don't watch sports, but if I did using the guide would be even more ridiculous. Secondly, no matter what I watch, I don't find it. The TiVo does. It would be a total waste of time for me to try and find things. I let the TiVo do that. I have far, far better things to do (like watching TV, for one thing), and the TiVo is far, far better at that sort of thing than any human.
  8. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    I'm well aware, thanks.

    That was my point. Talking about the bandwidth needs of a CATV system without including internet, VOD, and other interactive services results in a specious argument.
  9. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    Oct 30, 2003
    1ghz systems are out there and working, and DOCSIS 3.1 will allow operation up to 1.2ghz. I am aware that you get more loss at higher frequencies, but that doesn't magically put a hard ceiling at 860mhz. 860mhz systems are widely used, so clearly, the equipment is good enough to handle the higher frequency signals.

    When you're looking at FIOS, you don't count VOD or internet, since they aren't on the QAM system. That's the primary reason that FIOS has so much more QAM bandwidth, there's no internet and VOD eating it up.

    Comcast is planning to eventually go to all-IP delivery over coax, but that's a long, long way off. SDV does give some benefits in terms of capacity, but what we're seeing it used for is as a band-aid to avoid doing the fundamental upgrades to all-digital, 1ghz, MPEG-4 systems, which would negate the need for SDV in the first place, as it would have more bandwidth than anyone knows what to do with.

    If SDV can't be made 100% reliable, then don't use it. None of the cable companies that are using it have done the other, more fundamental upgrades first, and they should go back and do those, and then they wouldn't need SDV at all.

    FIOS is limited by the bandwidth on the coax cable coming into the house. I guess because they don't have an actual coax plant, they could run up to 2200mhz, but then they would be using equipment that's so far nonstandard that it would be all custom built and extremely expensive. However, with the coming MPEG-4 upgrades, they will probably already have space for more HD channels than actually exist.

    Most boxes out there support MPEG-4, and the ones that don't are way beyond EOL anyways. MPEG-4 is the next logical upgrade step, whereas SDV is a giant kludge. Heck, Comcast isn't using either, and they have free QAM's on their 860mhz plants in addition to running 110 HD's (albeit heavily compressed). MPEG-4 would allow them to really crank the bandwidth up on certain channels, and all the channels would look better, while consuming 40-50% less bandwidth than MPEG-2.

    What the heck is TWC delivering? There aren't that many channels the world over. With MPEG-4, you're looking at 5 HD's per QAM. If there are 150 HD's out there, that's 30 QAM's and you're done with HD's, and you can move to SD's, internet, VOD, and phone, and you'll still have a good chunk of the 135 QAM's left over.

    And anyone running a cable business is an idiot if they think that analog is a reasonable part of any business plan. It is a vestigial component that needs to die as quickly as possible, and Comcast has done just that. They freed up 300mhz of bandwidth, eliminated cable theft, and improved picture quality all in one fell swoop.

    The opportunity cost of 300mhz of bandwidth is ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE. Comcast was so far behind in the HD race, then they went 860mhz, and got kind of sort of halfway there, and then when they dropped analog, they put on a ton more HD channels. Their 860mhz systems have a very competitive HD lineup, and my system, a 650mhz system even has a decent lineup. We'd have almost NOTHING if this system was squandering 300mhz of good bandwidth on useless, fuzzy analog service. Comcast saw this, and made a plan, as slow and painful as it was waiting for upgrades, to get rid of analog, and finally did it. There is competition out there in the internet (sort of), and definitely in the HD businesses. In most places (i.e. everywhere that's not here), there is no competition in the analog business, because it's a dying business. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain by going all-digital, and a lot to lose and nothing to gain by keeping analog.

    U-Verse might work. Hence might. It's already too crippled for many users, and it will only get worse as time goes on.

    10km? WTF? If the CO is in the center of town, most users will be within a few km, if that. Plus in places like NYC, it's a matter of a few blocks, although those installations pose their own challenges and costs.

    FIOS does a 32:1 multiplex with passive optical splitters, and then the 1 runs back to the CO, and they all share 2.4gbps of bandwidth.

    HUH? You still have to find certain things that are live or special events/whatever you want to record, even if regular shows are all SP'ed and Wishlisted.
  10. dbaps

    dbaps Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    I have a question about this issue. Verizon's schedule had the tennis channel at the top of the list to go to Mpeg-4. For me, they just moved it to a different channel that I still get with my Tivo-HD. Is this a temporary move until they drop Mpeg-2?
  11. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    This specific bulk conversion plan was most likely ditched. They never went through with it, except for possibly a few of them through package shuffling to minimize impact.
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    Oct 30, 2003
    A channel number move is totally separate from moving to MPEG-4, since everything is virtually mapped anyways.

    My guess is that they are waiting for more of the MPEG-4 capable boxes to come back from VMS installs, like Comcast is with X1, and then both companies will switch entirely to MPEG-4. However, Comcast's conversion will be a lot more drawn out than Verizon's since they have all their little fiefdoms that run separately from each other, unlike the VHO system that Verizon uses.
  13. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    I would agree; there are always supply issues for newer boxes, so they don't have too many other options anyway. The vast majority of Verizon's mpeg4s are in optional sports and language packages as well as low-traffic channels in their most expensive tier. I'm sure that keeps the demand for replacement equipment reasonably managed until they can reach whatever milestone they've set to move on to the next step.

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