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Old 04-15-2014, 10:47 AM   #91
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Agreed, great letter Sam. I think your example of how the Xbox disappeared as a supported U-Verse 'app' is a perfect example of what can and will happen if the MSOs get to go their own way with IP-based apps.

I'm concerned at this point that as with AllVid, the FCC foot-dragging on compelling them to come up with a standards-based IP access method will lead to nothing more than MSO-specific fragmentation of the market, which is exactly what they want. Third-party DVRs will eventually go away for lack of common access and everything will go back into the control of whatever MSO you subscribe to, which means cloud-based content subject to come and go at their whims. And oh by the way, no more commskip etc.

One other thing that you may not know or might want to mention in a future FCC followup - usage of the Xfinity Xbox app is not subject to Comcast's HSI data caps, which IMO is a direct violation of the Comcast/NBCU merger agreement (which prohibits them from favoring their own content over the net). Comcast claims that the Xbox is just another STB in this context and that since the data doesn't leave their servers it's not 'Internet' data, but the app doesn't have all the linear programming that an STB would get. It's essentially VOD that Comcast is pushing via their own content provider agreements and it has a direct impact on Netflix et al which are subject to the caps.

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Old 04-15-2014, 02:20 PM   #92
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Where do these apps from the channels stand in all this? I mentioned it earlier but no one really addressed it. It seems to me, that apps like HBO Go or ESPN3 are a step towards turning the cable co into a dump pipe. And that makes some of the concerns here seem like a moot point. Hell even some specific shows have their own app. I can go watch 48 hrs and much if not all its archive for a fairly cheap sum of $5/yr.


My feeling is the cable cos can't keep the inevitable from happening. They are already allowing (if that's the right word even) content available via your subscription to be viewable in apps/UIs that they have nothing to do with. Sure much of this is seen as a value add for now. But ....what happens when your value add has a better UI and features than your main product and starts being used more and more. Something has to give.

Content creators have power here and if more and more of their customers like the apps better.....then...

Plus we have all the content available on devices like ATVs without a cable subscription that you purchase per show or season.

IN the long run I don't see how cable cos can keep the floodgates closed.

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Old 04-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #93
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Then they just make the caps and fees for overages make up for the lost cable TV subs (this is already happening on Comcast). It's pretty simple to do when your government is looking the other way about the sad state of wired HSI access in this country.

There's no way that Comcast et al are going to accept being dumb pipes, either by consumer choice or the government making them common carriers. They will get their money no matter what and fight like hell to avoid losing control because they know HSI is where it will all end up.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:41 PM   #94
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OH and the thing is I don't think Tivo wants an app based or an IP based video services world either...do they?

IF things move to IP based video in the long run that leaves Tivo stuck making a box to compete against a Roku or ATV or Amazon Firebox or whatever its called or even competing against TVs in the long run.

CAblecard is good for Tivo in some f'd up way.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:49 PM   #95
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You're kind of confusing two different types of IP. OTT apps, Like Netflix, are IP but they also employ a pure VOD model. The MSOs can still be IP based while retaining their "live TV" model. Services like UVerse are already IP based and yet still use the "live TV" model. As long as there are services that use the "live TV" model there will be a place for TiVo and DVRs. If we switch to a pure VOD system then TiVo is toast.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:59 PM   #96
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You're kind of confusing two different types of IP. OTT apps, Like Netflix, are IP but they also employ a pure VOD model. The MSOs can still be IP based while retaining their "live TV" model. Services like UVerse are already IP based and yet still use the "live TV" model. As long as there are services that use the "live TV" model there will be a place for TiVo and DVRs. If we switch to a pure VOD system then TiVo is toast.
Yeah I'm talking about delivering video over the internets like Netflix or HBOGo or ESPN3.

Not U-Verse.

U-Verse isn't where things are headed from what I can see at least from a consumer point of view because it would mean less to consumers than the switch from analog to digital. Now maybe cable cos switch to IP cable model for technical/financial reasons. Maybe as more content will be distributed via IP to mobile and other devices a move to IP based traditional cable delivery would bring synergies between the two.

But I think things are going to the "VoD" model. TV guides as they are now will be passe. Why wouldn't this be where things are headed? Even if the cable co ultimately was in control of it. The cable co could maintain control here if they got out in front of it, but they seem to be behind it. And they just don't have the talent/culture to pull it off.

Cable companies have had VoD testbeds in their labs for 15 years if not more. Yet somehow a Netflix can rise up from nothing and put them to shame.

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Old 04-15-2014, 05:12 PM   #97
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Yeah I'm talking about delivering video over the internets like Netflix or HBOGo or ESPN3.

Not U-Verse.

U-Verse isn't where things are headed from what I can see.
Most of the cable operators are moving to IP and are considering network DVRs. For example, here is a tweet from RCN's Jason Nealis today,

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Putting together a plan to Transition Video distribution to all IP with Network DVR is a #struggle, given it changes every week!
The transition to IP a la AT&T U-Verse is happening although it will require a hybrid (i.e., QAM/IP) network to be in place for a very long time since a complete transition to IP is extremely capital intensive on the CPE (consumer premises equipment) side. While I think VOD will continue to grow, I don't see it completely eliminating linear/scheduled television over QAM or IP.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:47 PM   #98
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Most of the cable operators are moving to IP and are considering network DVRs. For example, here is a tweet from RCN's Jason Nealis today,
Yeah I clarified what I meant when I said it isn't where things are headed.

I'm talking from a consumer point of view. From a user experience point of view.

An IP-based traditional cable model is really just a technicality. LIke the switch from analog to digital. Same difference to consumers. And I don't think it changes that we're headed to a "VoD" model as Dan called it.

IF anything ......doesn't a move to traditional video services IP-based bring synergy for the cable co with delivering content to mobile and other devices?

I don't see why scheduled tv wouldn't be completely eliminated as we know it. Live events are one thing. But tv guides as they are now? Passe. No point in them.

And what are live events? Sports. Awards shows. Saturday Night Live. News events like live reporting, presidential speeches etc. ....What am I missing? That's your linear tv guide of tomorrow. It will be called the Live Events guide. With those categories.


Cable company is just in the way of this happening. Like the BCS was in the way of college football playoffs.

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Old 04-15-2014, 05:47 PM   #99
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But I think things are going to the "VoD model." TV guides as they are now will be passe. Why wouldn't this be where things are headed?
Because this is not where the content owners want it to go. Content owners don't like the "all you can eat" VOD model like Netflix. They're OK selling you episodes for $3/ea on iTunes but there is a reason shows on Netflix/Amazon are typically a season, or more, behind. They still make a LOT of money from advertising. If we do end up with an all VOD model then there are going to be forced commercials, in which case people will still seek out DVRs to try and skip them.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:33 PM   #100
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Because this is not where the content owners want it to go. Content owners don't like the "all you can eat" VOD model like Netflix. They're OK selling you episodes for $3/ea on iTunes but there is a reason shows on Netflix/Amazon are typically a season, or more, behind. They still make a LOT of money from advertising. If we do end up with an all VOD model then there are going to be forced commercials, in which case people will still seek out DVRs to try and skip them.
I think content owners like this direction actually. They don't like DVRs afaik. And I don't see why they wouldn't mind if the cable company was a dumb pipe. Just think of all the disagreements between content creators and cable/satellite cos.

Content creators are already creating their own apps that offer up their content too.

They just don't want to give it away for nothing that's why you don't see new tv shows on Netflix and why much of this so far is restricted to mobile where it is viewed as a value add just like Netflix was not too long ago when it was on the pc only. Content owners want to get paid. VoD doesn't preclude getting paid.


Yes a new breed of DVR might emerge from all of this. Although one major reason for the DVR - time shifting - would no longer be a reason to get one. VoD already provides that. Also I am thinking the new breed of DVR might not exist except on the black market.

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Old 04-15-2014, 06:45 PM   #101
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Because this is not where the content owners want it to go. Content owners don't like the "all you can eat" VOD model like Netflix. They're OK selling you episodes for $3/ea on iTunes but there is a reason shows on Netflix/Amazon are typically a season, or more, behind. They still make a LOT of money from advertising. If we do end up with an all VOD model then there are going to be forced commercials, in which case people will still seek out DVRs to try and skip them.
So basically kind of like TWC and FIOS do with some of their on demand shows from fox or cbs where they remove fast forwarding capabilities so you have no choice but to watch the commercials ?
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:45 PM   #102
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Yes a new breed of DVR might emerge from all of this. Although one major reason for the DVR - time shifting - would no longer be a reason to get one. VoD already provides that. Also I am thinking the new breed of DVR might not exist except on the black market.
The biggest benefit for me of a DVR is the ability to skip commercials. Unless VoD is commercial free, I'm not interested.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:53 PM   #103
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So basically kind of like TWC and FIOS do with some of their on demand shows from fox or cbs where they remove fast forwarding capabilities so you have no choice but to watch the commercials ?
Yes. That's what I'm worried will happen in an all VOD world. You can either watch with commercials for free or pay $2-3/episode for commercial free. In the eyes of the content creators DVR users are moochers. They put no weight in the fact that we typically pay $100+ a month for cable just to get access to their content.

Maybe someday we'll have a pure internet based model where you subscribe to individual channels for an all you can eat model, ala HBO, but the cable companies are going to fight tooth and nail to prevent that. They like being the middle man between us and content.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:53 PM   #104
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The biggest benefit for me of a DVR is the ability to skip commercials. Unless VoD is commercial free, I'm not interested.
Hey I want things to remain the same too because I like paying ad-subsidized prices for my ad-free content.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:55 PM   #105
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Because this is not where the content owners want it to go. Content owners don't like the "all you can eat" VOD model like Netflix. They're OK selling you episodes for $3/ea on iTunes but there is a reason shows on Netflix/Amazon are typically a season, or more, behind. They still make a LOT of money from advertising. If we do end up with an all VOD model then there are going to be forced commercials, in which case people will still seek out DVRs to try and skip them.
And because 80%+ of TV viewing is still live (!!!). Even though DVR adoption is above half (only just above half?!?!?), apparently people either are still stuck in 1998 before TiVo and the watch whatever you want whenever you want model, or they have, in many cases, totally leapfrogged the local DVR model, going to On Demand streaming, either through their MSO, or through Netflix/OTT services. It's weird because I embraced the DVR model, now I feel like I'm old school for not streaming stuff, and using the DVR as much as possible, since I have total control over it once it's on my TiVo's hard drive...
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:43 PM   #106
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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.
Thank you for your effort, well done. I'm flattered to be quoted.

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Very nice work. If you had asked for co-signers, I would have put my name on that letter.
Perhaps we could put together a simple filing expressing our support and agreement with sbiller, Tivo, et al, and urging the Commission take action on a legitimate successor to CableCard and then gather "signatures" of those who agree.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:39 AM   #107
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Thank you for your effort, well done. I'm flattered to be quoted.



Perhaps we could put together a simple filing expressing our support and agreement with sbiller, Tivo, et al, and urging the Commission take action on a legitimate successor to CableCard and then gather "signatures" of those who agree.
Thank you for contributing to the thread and raising your concern!

Regarding a filing or filings, I think it is a great idea. Here is a link to a Google Drive version of my filing which could be used as a template for format, etc.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

Thanks to everyone,
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:41 AM   #108
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What The CVP-2 Guidelines Provide For Whole-Home Media Sharing

http://www.v-net.tv/what-the-cvp-2-g...-media-sharing

The video clearly points to a conclusion of some in this thread that the HTML5 Remote User Interface technology may be leveraged by operators to essentially "lock-down" 3rd party devices.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:09 PM   #109
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Thank you for contributing to the thread and raising your concern!

Regarding a filing or filings, I think it is a great idea. Here is a link to a Google Drive version of my filing which could be used as a template for format, etc.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

Thanks to everyone,
S
Hey Sam, Sorry - cant get the page to load with the docs, :-( can we double check the link is up please. many thanks
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:31 PM   #110
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Hey Sam, Sorry - cant get the page to load with the docs, :-( can we double check the link is up please. many thanks
Link seems to work for me using an incognito browser... anyone else having issues accessing?
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:42 PM   #111
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Link works for me. Thanks for sharing. That may be helpful.
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:06 PM   #112
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More than anything else, we're protected by the fact that there are tens of millions of CableCard set tops from the MSOs themselves in use, and there's no way that they would be shut off overnight.
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The transition to IP a la AT&T U-Verse is happening although it will require a hybrid (i.e., QAM/IP) network to be in place for a very long time since a complete transition to IP is extremely capital intensive on the CPE (consumer premises equipment) side. While I think VOD will continue to grow, I don't see it completely eliminating linear/scheduled television over QAM or IP.
I'm unconvinced of either of these arguments will slow or protect us from IP delivery of content. Sam, as we recently experienced on BHN, many of the deployed cable boxes had their DSG (DOCSIS Set-top Gateway) modems enabled with the last ODN deployment. The enablement of DSG has allowed BHN to deploy advanced guide content (such as art work and search capabilities) via IP delivery today.

I see this as a significant advancement toward obtaining content without the use of the STB internal QAM tuner. While ODN may or may not have the ability to stream video content via IP at this time, it clearly allows for the migration without the whole-sale replacement of leased customer equipment. Unlike U-Verse, the most important aspect of DSG is the coax stays hooked up to the STB; which means no rewiring or Ethernet is required. If anything the cost of back-office enhancements and newer STB middleware being the main capital investment by the cable operator.

I do believe the migration would occur slowly, much like the move to MPEG4 (e.g. BHN Starz HD), as new channels are added they'll be via IP delivery. In the cases where older equipment miss the necessary equipment to access them, the MSO will replace the box on an as needed basis. If you have customer provided equipment, e.g. TiVo, you may have access to existing Cablecard channels, but miss out on newer IP based additions.

We may hope that existing MSO deployments of Cablecard enabled boxes will keep the status quo / de facto support; unfortunately, that is not accurate portrayal by Mr. Powell on lifting the integration ban. We could easily find our purchased-at-retail Roamios losing access to content and eventually becoming obsolete without the FCC enforcing current rules and mandating a national Cablecard successor.
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:54 PM   #113
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http://www.v-net.tv/what-the-cvp-2-g...-media-sharing

The video clearly points to a conclusion of some in this thread that the HTML5 Remote User Interface technology may be leveraged by operators to essentially "lock-down" 3rd party devices.
I didn't hear that. He said it allows them to use RUI to maintain branding, but he didn't say the receiver is required to use it.

I think in most cases the receiving device will use RUI because why develop your own UI when the host is providing one for free? But in special cases like TiVo there seems to be other protocols they can use to manually tune the gateway device without using the RUI.

Now they may be required to display the full RUI to allow access to things like VOD, but for basic tuning and streaming they should be able to bypass the RUI using the other protcols. Although I don't have access to the full spec, so it's possible there is a way for the gateway device to disable basic tuning/streaming unless initiated by the RUI. In which case this would be useless to TiVo.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:46 PM   #114
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I'm unconvinced of either of these arguments will slow or protect us from IP delivery of content. Sam, as we recently experienced on BHN, many of the deployed cable boxes had their DSG (DOCSIS Set-top Gateway) modems enabled with the last ODN deployment. The enablement of DSG has allowed BHN to deploy advanced guide content (such as art work and search capabilities) via IP delivery today.

I see this as a significant advancement toward obtaining content without the use of the STB internal QAM tuner. While ODN may or may not have the ability to stream video content via IP at this time, it clearly allows for the migration without the whole-sale replacement of leased customer equipment. Unlike U-Verse, the most important aspect of DSG is the coax stays hooked up to the STB; which means no rewiring or Ethernet is required. If anything the cost of back-office enhancements and newer STB middleware being the main capital investment by the cable operator.

I do believe the migration would occur slowly, much like the move to MPEG4 (e.g. BHN Starz HD), as new channels are added they'll be via IP delivery. In the cases where older equipment miss the necessary equipment to access them, the MSO will replace the box on an as needed basis. If you have customer provided equipment, e.g. TiVo, you may have access to existing Cablecard channels, but miss out on newer IP based additions.

We may hope that existing MSO deployments of Cablecard enabled boxes will keep the status quo / de facto support; unfortunately, that is not accurate portrayal by Mr. Powell on lifting the integration ban. We could easily find our purchased-at-retail Roamios losing access to content and eventually becoming obsolete without the FCC enforcing current rules and mandating a national Cablecard successor.
I just don't see this whole IP thing being the case within the next couple of decades. QAM is so entrenched, that the only thing I forsee happening in the near future is switching to MPEG-4. Maybe some new adds or really specialized stuff will be IP-only, but at that point, they may as well just use SDV, and MPEG-4 on a 860mhz or 1ghz system has a ton of capacity in the first place.

The CPE costs to going IP would be astronomical for anyone other than Verizon, who already has IP boxes out there. MPEG-4 wouldn't be too bad, as there aren't that many MPEG-2 only HD boxes left.

IP can be used to deliver a lot of cool guide content, but the bandwidth requirements for that are several orders of magnitude smaller than for actually delivering video content over IP.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:02 PM   #115
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I just don't see this whole IP thing being the case within the next couple of decades. QAM is so entrenched, that the only thing I forsee happening in the near future is switching to MPEG-4. Maybe some new adds or really specialized stuff will be IP-only, but at that point, they may as well just use SDV, and MPEG-4 on a 860mhz or 1ghz system has a ton of capacity in the first place.

The CPE costs to going IP would be astronomical for anyone other than Verizon, who already has IP boxes out there. MPEG-4 wouldn't be too bad, as there aren't that many MPEG-2 only HD boxes left.

IP can be used to deliver a lot of cool guide content, but the bandwidth requirements for that are several orders of magnitude smaller than for actually delivering video content over IP.
I don't argue its a ways off. I just don't see as much equipment needing replaced since even early set-top boxes like the SA 8300HDC have DSG (internal modem) on board. That's not to say there wouldn't be impact; for example, BHN in Orlando is going digital-only. They began issuing a number of digital adapters that are cheap UDCP boxes that only support digital-only QAM tuning. Those would become obsolete with an IP transition for the basic digital tier.

As for bandwidth, it would only make sense for IP delivery to be multicast; otherwise they're worse off than today. However, even with today's technology, MPEG4 would provide much greater bang for the buck.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:32 PM   #116
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I just don't see this whole IP thing being the case within the next couple of decades. QAM is so entrenched, that the only thing I forsee happening in the near future is switching to MPEG-4. Maybe some new adds or really specialized stuff will be IP-only, but at that point, they may as well just use SDV, and MPEG-4 on a 860mhz or 1ghz system has a ton of capacity in the first place.

The CPE costs to going IP would be astronomical for anyone other than Verizon, who already has IP boxes out there. MPEG-4 wouldn't be too bad, as there aren't that many MPEG-2 only HD boxes left.

IP can be used to deliver a lot of cool guide content, but the bandwidth requirements for that are several orders of magnitude smaller than for actually delivering video content over IP.
So help me out here, Im trying to follow along but i'm no techie (not insulting anyone).
So if Verizon is an ip based service through fiber optics as opposed to co-axial, is it because the capabilities of the cable card itself that they cant offer customers VOD ?
I think i understand, just clarifying. Also if this is the case, how is comcast doing it upcoming in June and already been doing it with their xfinity - ?

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Old 04-16-2014, 08:11 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Bigg View Post
I just don't see this whole IP thing being the case within the next couple of decades. QAM is so entrenched, that the only thing I forsee happening in the near future is switching to MPEG-4. Maybe some new adds or really specialized stuff will be IP-only, but at that point, they may as well just use SDV, and MPEG-4 on a 860mhz or 1ghz system has a ton of capacity in the first place.

The CPE costs to going IP would be astronomical for anyone other than Verizon, who already has IP boxes out there. MPEG-4 wouldn't be too bad, as there aren't that many MPEG-2 only HD boxes left.

IP can be used to deliver a lot of cool guide content, but the bandwidth requirements for that are several orders of magnitude smaller than for actually delivering video content over IP.
I don't think they're going to switch to a pure IP system. But I do think that they will eventually transition to a pure SDV solution which sorta encompasses the best of both worlds. SDV offers the same dynamic bandwidth allocation of IP while also allowing multiple users on a node to share a stream that they are both watching simultaneously.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:52 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by truman861 View Post
So help me out here, Im trying to follow along but i'm no techie (not insulting anyone).
So if Verizon is an ip based service through fiber optics as opposed to co-axial, is it because the capabilities of the cable card itself that they cant offer customers VOD ?
I think i understand, just clarifying. Also if this is the case, how is comcast doing it upcoming in June and already been doing it with their xfinity - ?
The video side of FiOS is not IP based. It's QAM-encoded video just like Comcast or Time Warner Cable or Charter. All of those cable companies distribute via fiber optics as well. The only difference is the conversion to coax happens at your house on Verizon, and with any other cable company the conversion from fiber optics to coax happens further away from your house--up to a few miles away.

Now, there are some other implementation differences such as the fact that the data side does not use QAM, whereas on cable internet service it does but that doesn't really matter. Verizon could offer VoD on TiVo if they wanted to make a deal happen. No technical reason it couldn't work today.

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Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
I don't think they're going to switch to a pure IP system. But I do think that they will eventually transition to a pure SDV solution which sorta encompasses the best of both worlds. SDV offers the same dynamic bandwidth allocation of IP while also allowing multiple users on a node to share a stream that they are both watching simultaneously.
I think they'll go all IP eventually, but it will be a private IP network and use multicast like U-Verse does. I don't see linear video channels going away completely, pure VoD is simply too inefficient. But, eventually MUXes of MPEG packets on QAM carriers will turn into IP frames on QAM carriers. It just makes too much sense. It'll be how they applied VoIP to MSO voice service. Instead of it going over the public internet and using your "internet" connection like Vonage, they'll apply the PacketCable architecture to it and keep it off the public internet and provision video IP bandwidth separately from your internet bandwidth.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:11 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by jwbelcher View Post
As for bandwidth, it would only make sense for IP delivery to be multicast; otherwise they're worse off than today. However, even with today's technology, MPEG4 would provide much greater bang for the buck.
Yeah, it would have to be multicast. And unless you move to DOCSIS 3.1, there is no bandwidth advantage to that over just doing SDV.

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Originally Posted by truman861 View Post
So help me out here, Im trying to follow along but i'm no techie (not insulting anyone).
So if Verizon is an ip based service through fiber optics as opposed to co-axial, is it because the capabilities of the cable card itself that they cant offer customers VOD ?
I think i understand, just clarifying. Also if this is the case, how is comcast doing it upcoming in June and already been doing it with their xfinity - ?
FIOS is QAM256, but they have IP capabilities because of their IP-VOD system. They could theoretically put linear IP-only channels out tomorrow if they wanted to.

Comcast does VOD on TiVo through CableCard and has for a while. XFinity IS Comcast. Verizon's VOD system is IP not QAM, so if they supported TiVo, they would have to do it in software, working with TiVo.

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Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
I don't think they're going to switch to a pure IP system. But I do think that they will eventually transition to a pure SDV solution which sorta encompasses the best of both worlds. SDV offers the same dynamic bandwidth allocation of IP while also allowing multiple users on a node to share a stream that they are both watching simultaneously.
Maybe. What I could see is all the locals being linear in HD and SD, expanded basic in SD being linear (for the DTAs), and then everything else being SDV. However, SDV really screws a company like Comcast over, who likes to goof around with compression, as you can no longer compress as much, since you never know what channel is going to be paired up with what other channel in a given QAM, so you may not really gain that much, unless you have really small nodes and ton of rarely-watched channels. OTOH, it does allow a ton of those channels.

However, I don't think there is even a need for SDV. Let's say Comcast went all MPEG-4 on their HD. They are currently running 860mhz systems with about 100mhz empty. Their current offering of 110 HD's takes up about 230-240mhz, or about 38 QAM's. Say they go to MPEG-4 and move from 2 or 3 HD's per QAM to 5. Now 40 QAM's can get them over the 200 HD mark. So now there's still close to 100mhz left. They could move some lesser watched SD stuff to MPEG-4 or just compress the living crap of any SD channel that has an HD version, since the users who are still on SD don't care anyways. So say you end up with 90mhz left over. That's an addition 15 DOCSIS 3 QAMs, which is only one QAM short of going to 24 downstream DOCSIS 3 channels. Now you're looking at offering 300+mbps internet and 200 HD's in better quality than today with exactly zero SDV channels.

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Originally Posted by JosephB View Post
The video side of FiOS is not IP based. It's QAM-encoded video just like Comcast or Time Warner Cable or Charter. All of those cable companies distribute via fiber optics as well. The only difference is the conversion to coax happens at your house on Verizon, and with any other cable company the conversion from fiber optics to coax happens further away from your house--up to a few miles away.

Now, there are some other implementation differences such as the fact that the data side does not use QAM, whereas on cable internet service it does but that doesn't really matter. Verizon could offer VoD on TiVo if they wanted to make a deal happen. No technical reason it couldn't work today.

I think they'll go all IP eventually, but it will be a private IP network and use multicast like U-Verse does. I don't see linear video channels going away completely, pure VoD is simply too inefficient. But, eventually MUXes of MPEG packets on QAM carriers will turn into IP frames on QAM carriers. It just makes too much sense. It'll be how they applied VoIP to MSO voice service. Instead of it going over the public internet and using your "internet" connection like Vonage, they'll apply the PacketCable architecture to it and keep it off the public internet and provision video IP bandwidth separately from your internet bandwidth.
They would have to write some interesting software to get VOD onto TiVo, but yes, it should work in theory. I doubt QAM is going anywhere for them. Why would they just give up their 870mhz QAM system? They have an advantage with it already over the cable providers, as they have no VOD, no internet, no phone, and no home security/automation sharing bandwidth with their linear TV channels, and they are ahead of the curve on the MPEG-4 transition.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:05 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Bigg View Post
Maybe. What I could see is all the locals being linear in HD and SD, expanded basic in SD being linear (for the DTAs), and then everything else being SDV. However, SDV really screws a company like Comcast over, who likes to goof around with compression, as you can no longer compress as much, since you never know what channel is going to be paired up with what other channel in a given QAM, so you may not really gain that much, unless you have really small nodes and ton of rarely-watched channels. OTOH, it does allow a ton of those channels.

However, I don't think there is even a need for SDV. Let's say Comcast went all MPEG-4 on their HD. They are currently running 860mhz systems with about 100mhz empty. Their current offering of 110 HD's takes up about 230-240mhz, or about 38 QAM's. Say they go to MPEG-4 and move from 2 or 3 HD's per QAM to 5. Now 40 QAM's can get them over the 200 HD mark. So now there's still close to 100mhz left. They could move some lesser watched SD stuff to MPEG-4 or just compress the living crap of any SD channel that has an HD version, since the users who are still on SD don't care anyways. So say you end up with 90mhz left over. That's an addition 15 DOCSIS 3 QAMs, which is only one QAM short of going to 24 downstream DOCSIS 3 channels. Now you're looking at offering 300+mbps internet and 200 HD's in better quality than today with exactly zero SDV channels.
But SDV is already out there and works with all the STBs out there. I don't have a problem with SDV if it's implemented competently. So far, so good on my Charter system. If they can use SDV, make it work, and it allows us to have additional internet bandwidth? I'm OK with that tradeoff.
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