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Old 04-08-2014, 04:14 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
...Unless Comcast deploys TiVo's UI and setup.
Comcast might deploy something roughly as good as Tivo. They are working with Apple Inc on it. The main problem will be that the remote control will only have one button. :/
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:20 PM   #62
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sbiller, why are the cable MSOs so hostile to Tivo? How is that in their business interest? Do they make so much from leasing us equipment?

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Old 04-08-2014, 06:04 PM   #63
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sbiller, why are the cable MSOs so hostile to Tivo? How is that in their business interest? Do they make so much from leasing us equipment?
Good question. I think there are multiple facets to the answer.

Many cable MSOs might feel that TiVo is costing them money quarter over quarter because of their previous litigation history and the fact that TiVo is the main reason that they are forced to use separable security in the form of CableCARD. At least the position of the cable industry's trade association, the NCTA, is that TiVo is forcing a technology that costs their members more than a billion dollars.

As far as how much they make leasing equipment, you can do the math. For example, my cable operator charges me $4.00 per month to lease a $60 Modem. It probably costs them closer to $50. So after one year its pure profit for the cable operator other than the occasional replacement after the useful life of the equipment. So yes, they make A LOT of money on equipment rentals. The profit on set-top boxes and DVRs probably contributes even more to the bottom line at $15 to $20 per month for the leased box.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:49 PM   #64
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As far as how much they make leasing equipment, you can do the math. For example, my cable operator charges me $4.00 per month to lease a $60 Modem. It probably costs them closer to $50. So after one year its pure profit for the cable operator other than the occasional replacement after the useful life of the equipment. So yes, they make A LOT of money on equipment rentals. The profit on set-top boxes and DVRs probably contributes even more to the bottom line at $15 to $20 per month for the leased box.[/quote]

I ended up buying my own modem and gave BH back theirs, only to make the decision to switch to Verizon. Its okay though as I bought my new Verizon modem outright so I don't loose money there.
Then we come to the STB's. I never realized until about 6 mo ago that I was paying 20.00 for each HD DVR from BH Tampabay. From there I bought three premieres on craigs list cheap and was paying the 12.99 to TiVo and the 4.00 to BH. Since then have sold 2 of the premieres (keeping one just in case) and have moved to the Roamio Plus with 3 Minis. Major significant savings. 9.99 per month on my Roamio, 5.99 on the minis and 1 cable card at 4.00. Total 32.00 per month for all equipment verses 80.00. That's why the cable company doesn't want us using our own equipment. It may not hit BH hard with just me doing it this way but the more and more people that switch, the worse it affects their bottom line
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:06 PM   #65
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Good question. I think there are multiple facets to the answer.

Many cable MSOs might feel that TiVo is costing them money quarter over quarter because of their previous litigation history and the fact that TiVo is the main reason that they are forced to use separable security in the form of CableCARD. At least the position of the cable industry's trade association, the NCTA, is that TiVo is forcing a technology that costs their members more than a billion dollars.
Sam, why didn't the cable/sat MSOs just licences the right to use the TiVo interface and let TiVo provide updates/improvements to the UI and avoid the CableCARD/TA crap. Just add a TiVo "service charge" to the bill.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:11 PM   #66
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What's surprising to me is that, despite being the largest MSO, Comcast has turned out to be one of the most CableCARD friendly companies out there:

Self installs, dedicated CableCARD hotline, proper CCI byte settings, and a full rollout of VoD across all its markets.

I've certainly been guilty of ripping on Comcast in the past, but I have to admit that it's a great time to be a Comcast/TiVo customer.

My experience was the opposite. I had two Verizon FIOS cards that took no effort at all. I just plugged it in.

Now I live in Comcast HELL and I spent about 14 hours on the phone installing two different cards at two different times. In the end, both required a truck roll. Neither tech had ever installed a CC before and had to call support to walk them through it.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:30 PM   #67
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But that's not the law. The content producers get some control of what you do with their content. The DMCA, for instance, guarantees that. If you want to argue that the law should be changed, that's fine. But arguing that other folks should break the law because you don't like it seems unhelpful.
Yeah but some of the content providers have gone way overboard "protecting" content. I haven't seen anyone complain about this in a while but some prohibit copying on EVERY channel (except broadcast). Nobody is asking them to do this. They are just doing it because it makes them feel good.

South Park was right on with the whole nipple rubbing thing. It's exactly what these companies do.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:07 PM   #68
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The CableCARD mandate came along way before TiVo even existed. It was included in a law passed in 1996. The cable companies drug their feet and resisted it until 2006. I think they think that at this point the whole "experiment" has failed and the only reason they're forced to keep supporting CableCARDs is because of TiVo.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:24 PM   #69
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Why the MSOs, especially the large ones, don't like TiVo is simply a matter of cost. It's obvious that TiVo's services for MSOs are more expensive. Plus, you outsource your customer experience--a key way that the companies plan to differentiate, plus TiVo owns a lot of the data, not the MSO.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:53 PM   #70
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It seems to me that if I invest $1,000+ in Tivo hardware and subscriptions that I would be even more committed to staying with my cable co rather than switching to DirecTV or Dish. If everybody leases equipment, then it's easier to keep switching out every year when the introductory price expires.

BTW, I wish Fios were an option here, then I would have a real alternative to cable.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:59 PM   #71
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The CableCARD mandate came along way before TiVo even existed. It was included in a law passed in 1996. The cable companies drug their feet and resisted it until 2006. I think they think that at this point the whole "experiment" has failed and the only reason they're forced to keep supporting CableCARDs is because of TiVo.
I remember the debate at the time was all about being able to buy a tv with a slot and not need to add an ugly box on top of it. It had nothing to do with Tivo, but I'm not sure that it was "way before Tivo even existed."

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Old 04-09-2014, 05:50 PM   #72
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My experience was the opposite. I had two Verizon FIOS cards that took no effort at all. I just plugged it in.

Now I live in Comcast HELL and I spent about 14 hours on the phone installing two different cards at two different times. In the end, both required a truck roll. Neither tech had ever installed a CC before and had to call support to walk them through it.
This is what it used to be like for me with my S3's back in the early days of CableCARDs. It was a total nightmare getting the cards paired, and nobody knew what they were doing. In fact, there was only one guy at the head end who had any clue, and I had his name memorized. When the guys came for the truck roll, I would just tell them to call Phil.

This hasn't been the case for me at all the last couple years, though. All of my Minis and Roamios were paired easily with a single five minute phone call to the CableCARD hotline. I wonder why your experience is so different than mine. Perhaps the infrastructure in your area is different. I believe the CableCARD hotline is national, so we should be talking to the same department when we call.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:51 AM   #73
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sbiller, why are the cable MSOs so hostile to Tivo? How is that in their business interest? Do they make so much from leasing us equipment?
It's not just the money that they make leasing equipment. They want to keep their position as the gatekeeper for all of your video services. They want to control your experience so they can feed you their ads, their premium content, etc, etc.

On the topic of DLNA I think people are getting their hopes up a little too much that it might be a viable alternative to the Allvid proposal. I don't see anyone in the cable industry thinking of this as a "gateway". This is a recordable output from their cable box. So first you have to have their cable box. Then, unless the FCC requires strict compliance with specific DLNA specifications and actually enforces it, this interface will be half working on some boxes and half broken on the rest. TiVo may as well contemplate going back to IR blasters.

On the industry filings, they love to natter on about their Roku partnerships, iPad apps, and their proprietary downloadable security innovations when they know full well that none of those things are even close to addressing the intent of the Communications Act. The intent is really clear: any CE company should be able to build a TV or box that can be hooked up to any cable or satellite system and receive every channel without that CE company having to negotiate an agreement with each provider.

It's amazing that this FCC, which seemed prepared to aggressively push first for CableCard reform and then for a legitimate CableCard successor technology, has shifted so quickly to being under the Cable industry's thumb. It seems likely that after that initial shot across the bow from the FCC a full force effort with lobbiests and campaign contributions was applied to get the agency into a more friendly mood.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:54 AM   #74
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Bloomberg: TiVo Tries to Keep Remote Interest Over Cable Lobbying

As chief U.S. communications regulator in 2003, Michael Powell called TiVo Inc. (TIVO)’s pioneering video recorder “God’s machine.”

Now Powell, leading a lobbying campaign for cable providers led by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), is pushing for legislation that TiVo says could threaten its reign as the cult favorite for fast forwarding past commercials.

TiVo, outspent more than 60-to-1 by the cable industry on lobbying for all issues, says the change would make it impossible for its users to view some programs. Anxiety levels rose as cable won a preliminary vote in the House last month....

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-0...-lobbying.html
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:35 AM   #75
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Interesting Thanks and .... arrrghh!

The cable industry may succeed in stomping Tivo in the short term but in the long run they're just hastening the end of cable TV as we know it. Unfortunately the same operators also have local monopolies on HSI in most localities.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:06 PM   #76
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On the topic of DLNA I think people are getting their hopes up a little too much that it might be a viable alternative to the Allvid proposal. I don't see anyone in the cable industry thinking of this as a "gateway". This is a recordable output from their cable box. So first you have to have their cable box. Then, unless the FCC requires strict compliance with specific DLNA specifications and actually enforces it, this interface will be half working on some boxes and half broken on the rest. TiVo may as well contemplate going back to IR blasters.
Based on what I've read about DLNA CVP-2 it isn't an alternative to AllVid, it IS AllVid. At least technologically it has all the big features that were part of the original AllVid purposal.

The only difference is the mandate. Right now the whole IP mandate is very vague and allows MSOs to use any "open standard". Also DSS providers continue to be exempt from the mandate which kills some of the interoperability of the AllVid purposal. The only reason I have my hopes up is because as of right now DLNA is the only "open standard" currently approved by the FCC so there is still a chance the MSOs will migrate to it out of convenience. Although you're probably right that it will be half baked on a lot of devices which will still make it difficult for TiVo to function properly. But really that's true even of CableCARDs after nearly a decade in the field, so I wouldn't expect any better even if AllVid was a forced mandate.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:16 PM   #77
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Based on what I've read about DLNA CVP-2 it isn't an alternative to AllVid, it IS AllVid. At least technologically it has all the big features that were part of the original AllVid purposal.

The only difference is the mandate. Right now the whole IP mandate is very vague and allows MSOs to use any "open standard".
This is why I think that considering this interface as a means of creating a "gateway" is mostly wishful thinking. Without a very specific mandate for exactly what standards are required and some credible threat of enforcement, this interface will be broken for anything but the most trivial uses. You may as well contemplate going back to IR blasters.

I think Tivo's interest in this is to drive home the point that no progress is being made. Progress has stalled and the gains of the last few years are starting to erode.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:44 PM   #78
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You may as well contemplate going back to IR blasters.

I think Tivo's interest in this is to drive home the point that no progress is being made. Progress has stalled and the gains of the last few years are starting to erode.
I though that under all cases the IR blaster was good for only SD TV at best, no way for anybody to take in a HDMI input and record that signal with any DVR and output that DVR program with a HDMI output.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:19 AM   #79
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I though that under all cases the IR blaster was good for only SD TV at best, no way for anybody to take in a HDMI input and record that signal with any DVR and output that DVR program with a HDMI output.
That was intended to be tongue-in-cheek since I think using this broadly defined interface would have set-up and reliability problems similar to the old IR blasters.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:08 PM   #80
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This is why I think that considering this interface as a means of creating a "gateway" is mostly wishful thinking. Without a very specific mandate for exactly what standards are required and some credible threat of enforcement, this interface will be broken for anything but the most trivial uses. You may as well contemplate going back to IR blasters.

I think Tivo's interest in this is to drive home the point that no progress is being made. Progress has stalled and the gains of the last few years are starting to erode.
I get your point, but for TiVo to use this only the most basic part, the tuner part, would need to function. All the other stuff is great, and maybe we'll see it someday, but if the tuner part works then TiVo will have the ability to record which is all we really need. And that's the part that is being mandated by the FCC. So there is still hope that something will arise from this. And if it does maybe it'll evolve until they are actually using the full standard and we can get all the benefits of the full spec.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:48 PM   #81
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“You cannot sell a consumer a retail device that doesn't get all the cable channels, no matter how good the device is,” Matthew Zinn, general counsel of San Jose, California-based TiVo, said in an interview. “We would have to adjust. We might go into other businesses.”

So, what "other businesses"could TiVo go into?
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:09 PM   #82
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“You cannot sell a consumer a retail device that doesn't get all the cable channels, no matter how good the device is,” Matthew Zinn, general counsel of San Jose, California-based TiVo, said in an interview. “We would have to adjust. We might go into other businesses.”

So, what "other businesses"could TiVo go into?
The MSO support business.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:15 PM   #83
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The MSO support business.
My thoughts as well. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Actually, it kind of seems like it's already going that direction anyway...

The Roamio could be the last retail DVR TiVo ever releases, if this cablecard mess, and all the waivers to not comply, doesn't change for the better.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:22 PM   #84
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Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Video Programming

Yesterday, I filed a letter on the FCC's Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Delivery of Video Programming. I urged the Commission to reinstate the CableCARD rules and move forward with a successor to CableCARD.

My letter can be read here --> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521098093

Reading through many of the posts, the comments of the AllVid Tech Company Alliance, CCIA, Consumer Action, National Consumers League and Public Knowledge are excellent and should be reviewed by anyone interested in continued access to cable video programming via 3rd party devices.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521094796

TiVo's comments can be viewed here --> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521094783
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:51 PM   #85
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Very nice work. If you had asked for co-signers, I would have put my name on that letter.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:57 PM   #86
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Very nice work. If you had asked for co-signers, I would have put my name on that letter.
+1 on that.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:18 PM   #87
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Yesterday, I filed a letter on the FCC's Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Delivery of Video Programming. I urged the Commission to reinstate the CableCARD rules and move forward with a successor to CableCARD.

My letter can be read here --> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521098093

Reading through many of the posts, the comments of the AllVid Tech Company Alliance, CCIA, Consumer Action, National Consumers League and Public Knowledge are excellent and should be reviewed by anyone interested in continued access to cable video programming via 3rd party devices.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521094796

TiVo's comments can be viewed here --> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521094783
That's very well written. You have an interesting point about SDV. It's interesting to note that if Comcast chose to roll out SDV, only MCE machines would need TAs, as TiVos could be handled through software/IP.

However, I'm not convinced that IP is going anywhere outside of systems like U-Verse or FTTH systems. FIOS may start putting some channels on IP, but my bet is that a decade or two down the road, Comcast is still running linear QAMs, just with MPEG-4 and HEVC encoding.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:42 PM   #88
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[quote=sbiller;10074951]Yesterday, I filed a letter on the FCC's Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Delivery of Video Programming. I urged the Commission to reinstate the CableCARD rules and move forward with a successor to CableCARD.

My letter can be read here --> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521098093[quote]

Great paper, very well put. count me in for support Sam and hey, if you hear of anything and need beta testers for the new system - hint hint - lol.

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Old 04-15-2014, 09:47 AM   #89
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Great paper, very well put. count me in for support Sam and hey, if you hear of anything and need beta testers for the new system - hint hint - lol.

Truman861
Thanks... I'm guessing that we are a long way from any sort of beta test on a replacement for CableCARD. If the industry wanted to support a new nationally portable standard, we could have had a software-based system years ago.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:34 AM   #90
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Nice letter, Sam.

The cable industry folks keep pointing to their apps as proof of competition, and I keep wanting to shake someone silly for that misrepresentation and point out that their blessed, controlled expansion (and retraction) of their walled garden is not a substitute for real competition.

I'm glad you referred to it in your letter.

Edit: I recall Verizon also yanked their Fios app from certain LG products (blu-ray players).

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