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View Full Version : Any chance HD movies will be downloaded to S3?


KurtONeill
06-19-2007, 11:20 PM
Is there any talk of movies being directly downloaded to TIVO S3's directly? Like from Amazon unbox?

HDTiVo
06-19-2007, 11:28 PM
I'd bet that will happen at some point, but there's nothing beyond the gosh I wish it were so now kind of talk around here.

litkaj
06-20-2007, 10:01 AM
Probably, but the thing with HD movies is that they'll have to be huge in order to maintain any reasonable quality and I don't think that most people will want to download 15-20GB of data in order to watch a movie.

classicX
06-20-2007, 10:24 AM
In the US, most residential homes (read: those without fiber) do not have the bandwidth to be able to stream HD movies, so that leaves you with the only other option - overnight downloads. An intriguing idea (one which I would gladly pay for, with say, a dedicated set-top box from Netflix), but I think your ISP may decide that too many people are downloading massive amounts of information and start to throttle accounts.

This is why net neutrality is/was being debated so furiously.

Anyway, I don't see HD downloads being mainstream for at least three to five years.

larrs
06-20-2007, 10:43 AM
I agree with everyone, but I, for one, would LOVE the option of an MPeg4 version of movies (even in DVD quality) in OAR on Amazon Unbox.

I have saved a few DVDs that I recorded from my HD Tivo to my DVD recorder and then recoded them on my PC via Nero Recode. They look great on all of my Tivos. An average movie (OAR 480i, stereo) takes up only 1.8G.

This may be the transition product for some time to come.

sbessel
06-20-2007, 10:53 AM
I posted the same question directly to Amazon unbox support last week, as I was hoping to get HD quality, not to mention better than 2 channel sound.

Here is the response:

Greetings from the Amazon Unbox team.

I am sorry to hear that you feel disappointed with the current lack of
High Definition videos and the lack of multiple channel sound. I
understand that some features of Amazon Unbox on TiVo do not function
as you expected or would like, but I assure you that our development
team is constantly working to improve the features and service we provide.

I am not aware of any specific development plans, but I can pass this
feedback along to the appropriate team for further consideration.

While we would like to offer High Definition videos, this is not
something we are able to do at this time. The availability of content
through our Amazon Unbox service depends on our agreements and
arrangements with various content owners. We are constantly working to
establish and improve these agreements so we can offer the largest
range of content possible.

Although it may not be wholly positive, we do appreciate the feedback
we receive about our features or offerings. Comments like yours are
taken into consideration and go toward helping Amazon.com provide a
more complete experience for all our customers. We appreciate that you
took the time to write to us.

While we currently do not offer a service that completely meets your
expectations, we hope to be able to better serve you in the future.

Thank you for contacting Amazon Unbox with your concerns.


The 3 programs/movies I purchasd and downloaded were of very poor quality. I got the season fianale of Jeicho, an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, and some chick flick movie that was on sale for $.99

I love the speed, and the fact that with a single click I had a move waiting for me in my now playing list. I just wish the quality was up to that of my Series3.

Amnesia
06-20-2007, 10:56 AM
(...) I don't think that most people will want to download 15-20GB of data in order to watch a movie.Why not? If I record a HD movie from HBO it takes about 15GB of disk space. If I'm willing to do that, I'm willing to have a 15GB movie downloaded to my machine. Yes, it will take some time, but you can schedule it a little in advance.

MickeS
06-20-2007, 11:16 AM
Why not? If I record a HD movie from HBO it takes about 15GB of disk space. If I'm willing to do that, I'm willing to have a 15GB movie downloaded to my machine. Yes, it will take some time, but you can schedule it a little in advance.
And if they use mpeg4 compression, it will not take up that much space in the first place, but it would be limited to Series 3 models. I hope to see HD in the near future - if content providers allow it.

HDTiVo
06-20-2007, 11:37 AM
Why not? If I record a HD movie from HBO it takes about 15GB of disk space. If I'm willing to do that, I'm willing to have a 15GB movie downloaded to my machine. Yes, it will take some time, but you can schedule it a little in advance.
Its been a long time since I have thought about it as recording conceptually. I model the cable as this huge fire hose with content flooding through it that I can pick off and "download" as it comes around.

AbMagFab
06-20-2007, 12:38 PM
The big scary thing in their response is the agreements with content providers. So even if technically they were ready, they couldn't do it.

Bummer.

Even so, with a good TV, the SD Unbox downloads aren't bad. They should do anamorphic 16x9 though, as opposed to letterboxing.

Saxion
06-20-2007, 04:16 PM
The big scary thing in their response is the agreements with content providers. So even if technically they were ready, they couldn't do it.I can't believe this is really an issue, nor is broadband speed an issue. XBox Live provides HD movie downloads to the Xbox 360, and they work just fine. I see no reason (technical, legal or otherwise) that TiVo/Amazon cannot do the same, other than that they are lazy and behind the curve w.r.t. Microsoft.

iamnotmad
06-20-2007, 04:35 PM
the XBox 360 does this right now, and has for a while - full downloadable HD movie rentals. I'd like to see it on my s3 though.

KurtONeill
06-20-2007, 05:28 PM
To me if they did this is would eliminate the "format wars" We wouldn't have to decide between Blu Ray and HD DVD. It may sell many more S3 units as well.

mike_camden
06-20-2007, 07:23 PM
To me if they did this is would eliminate the "format wars" We wouldn't have to decide between Blu Ray and HD DVD. It may sell many more S3 units as well.
I'm not too sure about that. I don't have the best or biggest TV in the world, and I am by no means an audiophile or picture freak; however, there is a significant and easily noticeable difference in the same movie on an HD optical format and downloaded in HD via Xbox Live (at least there has been to me). The stats for the formats bear this out. An HD movie from the Xbox Live marketplace (encoded in VC-1) is encoded at 6.8 Mbps (720p even though you may be seeing it upscaled to 1080i or p depending on your connection) and averages 4-5 GB in size. A BluRay or HD-DVD movie encoded in VC-1 at 1080p averages between 20 - 30 Mbps and averages between 15 - 25 GB in size. The HD programming that I've downloaded on my Xbox 360 from the Live marketplace has been fine, but it is noticeably inferior (both the audio and the picture) to the HD optical formats.

cramer
06-20-2007, 10:47 PM
(read: those without fiber)Even those with fiber connections don't have the bandwidth -- 10-15Mb/s. Full rate HD will be in the range of 25Mb/s. The "32hr" figure for a S3 assumes a rate of ~17Mb/s. (which is a good estimate given the amount of simulcasting going on.) From the ISP perspective, there's no way they can handle more than a dozen people, network wide. They'll need some sort of authenticated multicast (transmit once to many receivers) with local caching (think akamai.)

Yes, it will take some time, but you can schedule it a little in advance.... where "a little in advance" means WAY in advance -- like several hours to days. If unbox is handled like tivocast, you cannot watch it until it's completed downloading.

It'd be neat if Tivo/Amazon could swing a cable delivered HD Unboxed. But I bet Cable Labs would call it "Video on Demand" and veto it. (violation of the UDCP licensing.) It'd function a lot like the DTV "service data download."

But, as Amazon said, it's up to the content providers to give the OK. And face it, Amazon+Tivo doesn't have the negotiating power of Microsoft.

HDTiVo
06-20-2007, 11:38 PM
Even those with fiber connections don't have the bandwidth -- 10-15Mb/s. Full rate HD will be in the range of 25Mb/s. The "32hr" figure for a S3 assumes a rate of ~17Mb/s. (which is a good estimate given the amount of simulcasting going on.) From the ISP perspective, there's no way they can handle more than a dozen people, network wide. They'll need some sort of authenticated multicast (transmit once to many receivers) with local caching (think akamai.)

... where "a little in advance" means WAY in advance -- like several hours to days. If unbox is handled like tivocast, you cannot watch it until it's completed downloading.

It'd be neat if Tivo/Amazon could swing a cable delivered HD Unboxed. But I bet Cable Labs would call it "Video on Demand" and veto it. (violation of the UDCP licensing.) It'd function a lot like the DTV "service data download."

But, as Amazon said, it's up to the content providers to give the OK. And face it, Amazon+Tivo doesn't have the negotiating power of Microsoft.
That is complete and utter FUD.

wierdo
06-20-2007, 11:41 PM
Probably, but the thing with HD movies is that they'll have to be huge in order to maintain any reasonable quality and I don't think that most people will want to download 15-20GB of data in order to watch a movie.
S3 supports MPEG-4. Half res HD in MPEG-4 looks much better than SD and is only a couple of gigabytes per film.

Granted, full resolution HD would be nice, but there's still no need for a 20Mbps stream if you do it in MPEG-4. 10GB would be far more than enough.

gweempose
06-20-2007, 11:51 PM
In the US, most residential homes (read: those without fiber) do not have the bandwidth to be able to stream HD movies ...This is not true. Most cable companies offer at least some VOD titles in HD these days. Yes, it may not look nearly as good as BluRay due to the compression, but it's HD nonetheless.

HDTiVo
06-21-2007, 12:12 AM
I don't get why people are talking MPEG2. Everything Amazon has now in SD is MPEG-4 based, and specially transcoded to mpeg2 for TiVo S2 compatibility.

Nobody is downloading 25mb/sec MPEG2 videos to their S2 (can you guess why? ;) ) S2 compatibility is not an issue, so its pretty nuts to think about anything other than mpeg4 HD downloads to the S3.

Laserfan
06-21-2007, 11:49 AM
I'd lost interest in Tivo when my HDTV made my S1 look terrible, but now have a shiny new S3 and am surprised to find that while there apparently are options for music & photos over the home network, there is NO option for viewing videos at all from elsewhere on the network e.g. obviously a PC w/videos on it?

Am I right--no way to use the S3 to play other videos? Gotta download from Amazon directly to the Tivo?

I can't do this, at least not directly, because my Tivo doesn't seem to talk over my hughesnet satellite service.

BruceShultes
06-21-2007, 01:11 PM
Why is everyone arguing about the transmission rate?

The last time I checked, you could only start to watch something on your S3 from Unbox after the download was completed.

Other then the time it might take to download and how much band-width you use over a given time from your network provider, transmission rate should not come into it at all.

HDTiVo
06-21-2007, 01:27 PM
Why is everyone arguing about the transmission rate?

The last time I checked, you could only start to watch something on your S3 from Unbox after the download was completed.

Other then the time it might take to download and how much band-width you use over a given time from your network provider, transmission rate should not come into it at all.
Yup.

But is that a good thing?

sommerfeld
06-21-2007, 02:07 PM
I can't believe this is really an issue, nor is broadband speed an issue. XBox Live provides HD movie downloads to the Xbox 360, and they work just fine. I see no reason (technical, legal or otherwise) that TiVo/Amazon cannot do the same, other than that they are lazy and behind the curve w.r.t. Microsoft.
You forgot "financial". They don't have a pile of cash the size of M$'s. Moreover, for all we know, M$ might have tossed in extra $$ and negotiated an exclusive arrangement.

iamnotmad
06-21-2007, 07:00 PM
Why is everyone arguing about the transmission rate?

The last time I checked, you could only start to watch something on your S3 from Unbox after the download was completed.

Other then the time it might take to download and how much band-width you use over a given time from your network provider, transmission rate should not come into it at all.

You can start watching before it is done. I got some episodes of The Shield and was able to start watching before the show was fully downloaded.

GoHokies!
06-21-2007, 08:39 PM
I'd lost interest in Tivo when my HDTV made my S1 look terrible, but now have a shiny new S3 and am surprised to find that while there apparently are options for music & photos over the home network, there is NO option for viewing videos at all from elsewhere on the network e.g. obviously a PC w/videos on it?

Am I right--no way to use the S3 to play other videos? Gotta download from Amazon directly to the Tivo?

I can't do this, at least not directly, because my Tivo doesn't seem to talk over my hughesnet satellite service.
Tivo To Come Back (TTCB, the transfer of video from you computer to your S3) should be a part of the forthcoming update that Tivo talked about at CES. The general consensus is that we won't see that until later this year, though. (I remain hopeful for maybe this summer, but even I'll admit that is a little misplaced).

MickeS
06-21-2007, 08:45 PM
You forgot "financial". They don't have a pile of cash the size of M$'s.

That's quite an understatement. Microsoft has about $35 billion in cash. I don't think TiVo has a pile of cash even the size of MS' change jar. ;)

HDTiVo
06-21-2007, 09:05 PM
You forgot "financial". They don't have a pile of cash the size of M$'s. Moreover, for all we know, M$ might have tossed in extra $$ and negotiated an exclusive arrangement.
I don't think there is much to any of that. MSFT has gotten out in front because they have the stature (size of user base) to create a standard and they had the strategic vision.

Laserfan
06-21-2007, 10:07 PM
Tivo To Come Back (TTCB, the transfer of video from you computer to your S3) should be a part of the forthcoming update...Thanks for that, I've been so far out-of-the-Tivo loop that I wasn't sure if I'd missed something obvious (Example: the docs say nothing of the 2-tuner capability--I tripped-over it by accident, hidden in the 'LiveTV' button! Oops, no wonder I missed this--it's on Page 3!!! :o ).

Saxion
06-21-2007, 11:16 PM
You forgot "financial". They don't have a pile of cash the size of M$'s. Moreover, for all we know, M$ might have tossed in extra $$ and negotiated an exclusive arrangement.Fair enough! But, we are talking more about Amazon here than TiVo (after all, Unbox is not TiVo-exclusive). Amazon could be providing HD downloads for everyone (TiVo included). Now, Amazon does have a lot of cash and a lot of market power, certainly enough to launch an HD service for Unbox. So, the question becomes...why is Amazon behind the curve here?

litkaj
06-22-2007, 10:16 AM
I don't get why people are talking MPEG2. Everything Amazon has now in SD is MPEG-4 based, and specially transcoded to mpeg2 for TiVo S2 compatibility.

Nobody is downloading 25mb/sec MPEG2 videos to their S2 (can you guess why? ;) ) S2 compatibility is not an issue, so its pretty nuts to think about anything other than mpeg4 HD downloads to the S3.

I wasn't talking about MPEG-2, I was talking about MPEG-4. Even so, for me to pay to download an HD movie, it's got to be comparable to one of the HD optical formats. For that to happen, it's going to have to be 15-20GB. Since that won't occur any time soon (even for those of us with fiber), I'll stick to HD rentals from NetFlix.

Amnesia
06-22-2007, 01:01 PM
Even so, for me to pay to download an HD movie, it's got to be comparable to one of the HD optical formats. Really?

What if it's a movie not available on BR or HD-DVD? What if the quality were, say, comparable to HD movies broadcast by HBO, etc? Are you saying there's no price at which you'd be willing to pay?