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Old 04-17-2014, 07:39 PM   #121
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Yeah SDV can potentially free up way more bandwidth then H.264. Plus almost all legacy settops can use SDV with nothing more then a firmware update, since it's basically the same technology as VOD. With H.264 a big chunk of settops would need to be replaced which is expensive.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:54 PM   #122
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http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...5#post10080145

hey guys, had a very tech savvy installer for my fios yesterday who provided info about verizon going ip based with dlna. The link is above for more info.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:30 PM   #123
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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.
But why bother when the technology is out there to run 200 HDs and 200mbps internet without using SDV? It's also been extremely buggy to date. And you've got idiotic stuff out there like systems that still have ancient analog channels on them and then SDV because they squandered so much bandwidth on analog that they have to use SDV to make up for it. How about doing it right in the first place with no analog and then not needing SDV? There's a zillion different combinations of technology out there, but it looks like the basic order of transition is:

1. System upgrade to 860mhz or higher
2. Eliminate analog
3. MPEG-4
4. SDV
5. IP

4 and 5 shouldn't be needed to this point in the game. Most systems have finished 2 and haven't gotten to 3 yet. Verizon FIOS supposedly just started doing 3, but hasn't gotten very far into it yet. FIOS also started with 1 done, since they built a brand new system in the mid-2000's with 870mhz of bandwidth.

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Yeah SDV can potentially free up way more bandwidth then H.264. Plus almost all legacy settops can use SDV with nothing more then a firmware update, since it's basically the same technology as VOD. With H.264 a big chunk of settops would need to be replaced which is expensive.
How many DCTs and DCHs are still out there? Not many. Most are DCXs or newer, which are all MPEG-4 (or the equivalent for those oddball Sci Atlanta systems out there). And besides, if for some crazy reason they didn't just scrap them, they could re-use the DCTs and DCHs as SD DVR boxes for all 5 people who don't have HD yet.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:55 PM   #124
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There are still a LOT of DCTs in this area. We recently went through a digital transition and I had to go to the office to pick up a box. There was a big line and they were asking people whether their TVs were SD or HD. If they said SD they got an old DCT box. I saw at least 8 go out the door in the brief time I was there. And both my Mom and Sister ended up with one for secondary TVs.
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:28 AM   #125
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1. System upgrade to 860mhz or higher
2. Eliminate analog
3. MPEG-4
4. SDV
5. IP

4 and 5 shouldn't be needed to this point in the game. Most systems have finished 2 and haven't gotten to 3 yet. Verizon FIOS supposedly just started doing 3, but hasn't gotten very far into it yet. FIOS also started with 1 done, since they built a brand new system in the mid-2000's with 870mhz of bandwidth.
Yep, I'm on a full 1GHz Cox RF network, still supporting analog, using SDV, with some MPEG-4 channels, and they did experiment with IP backchannels on their own equipment, prior to SDV.

On top of all that, they double (sometimes less than, or more than, double) internet speeds for most tiers, yearly. Just recently, my DOCSIS 3 CM started running on all 8 downstream bonded channels, and all four upstream bonded channels, plus 12+ downstream bonded channels in the works. I hear the top tier internet hits Gigabit speeds, and they don't plan on stopping there.

How many people can say that they have multiple TV channels on frequencies just under 1GHz? It's a real PITA even finding 1GHz rated splitters that will let those channels pass. I even had to exchange a Roamio what worked fine, other than not tuning those 900+ MHz channels.

The net result is a very finicky RF network, which any little thing can wreak havoc on. It's definitely not very TiVo friendly...
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:26 PM   #126
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But why bother when the technology is out there to run 200 HDs and 200mbps internet without using SDV? It's also been extremely buggy to date. And you've got idiotic stuff out there like systems that still have ancient analog channels on them and then SDV because they squandered so much bandwidth on analog that they have to use SDV to make up for it. How about doing it right in the first place with no analog and then not needing SDV? There's a zillion different combinations of technology out there, but it looks like the basic order of transition is:

1. System upgrade to 860mhz or higher
2. Eliminate analog
3. MPEG-4
4. SDV
5. IP

4 and 5 shouldn't be needed to this point in the game. Most systems have finished 2 and haven't gotten to 3 yet. Verizon FIOS supposedly just started doing 3, but hasn't gotten very far into it yet. FIOS also started with 1 done, since they built a brand new system in the mid-2000's with 870mhz of bandwidth.



How many DCTs and DCHs are still out there? Not many. Most are DCXs or newer, which are all MPEG-4 (or the equivalent for those oddball Sci Atlanta systems out there). And besides, if for some crazy reason they didn't just scrap them, they could re-use the DCTs and DCHs as SD DVR boxes for all 5 people who don't have HD yet.
Maybe we're talking about two different things. You seem to be talking about a specific company, and I'm referring to the industry as a whole. My local Charter system has been doing SDV for a while (as has TWC and BHN) and is just now going all digital. There's no MPEG-4 on my local Charter system, and I'm not aware of Charter, TWC, or BHN using MPEG-4 at all yet. I have no idea of the bandwidth of my local system, but they haven't been ripping out amps and nodes and replacing coax, and some of the areas of town are very, very old systems so I highly, highly doubt they are anywhere close to 1ghz systems. Plus, they are still distributing old STBs (Cisco in my area, so the DCT/DCX stuff doesn't apply) so MPEG-4 isn't really ready yet.

Charter has said that part of the reason they are going all digital is to get rid of SDV, which is great. I hope that happens, but I haven't had any trouble out of my tuning adapters.

MPEG-4 I'm sure will happen eventually but it will be slow. Not even the satellite companies who control every single piece of the chain are 100% MPEG-4.

And finally, IP video doesn't really have as much to do with bandwidth savings as it does flexibility. By moving to IP video to your TV, they can standardize on the same distribution for both apps on your phone or tablet or xbox as well as their set top boxes. IP-encapsulated video will take the same bandwidth (actually a tiny amount more) than raw MPEG packets over a QAM carrier, if the video is encoded at the same bitrate.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:07 PM   #127
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There are still a LOT of DCTs in this area. We recently went through a digital transition and I had to go to the office to pick up a box. There was a big line and they were asking people whether their TVs were SD or HD. If they said SD they got an old DCT box. I saw at least 8 go out the door in the brief time I was there. And both my Mom and Sister ended up with one for secondary TVs.
SD likely wouldn't be affected by an MPEG-4 transition, as the goal is to migrate HD over to MPEG-4. That being said, that's pretty bad that they're still giving those ancient things out.

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Yep, I'm on a full 1GHz Cox RF network, still supporting analog, using SDV, with some MPEG-4 channels, and they did experiment with IP backchannels on their own equipment, prior to SDV.
That sucks that they're forcing SDV down people's throats while squanding bandwidth on useless analog channels.

Quote:
On top of all that, they double (sometimes less than, or more than, double) internet speeds for most tiers, yearly. Just recently, my DOCSIS 3 CM started running on all 8 downstream bonded channels, and all four upstream bonded channels, plus 12+ downstream bonded channels in the works. I hear the top tier internet hits Gigabit speeds, and they don't plan on stopping there.
Gigabit would be fiber.

Quote:
How many people can say that they have multiple TV channels on frequencies just under 1GHz? It's a real PITA even finding 1GHz rated splitters that will let those channels pass. I even had to exchange a Roamio what worked fine, other than not tuning those 900+ MHz channels.

The net result is a very finicky RF network, which any little thing can wreak havoc on. It's definitely not very TiVo friendly...
Wow, that sucks. Sounds like 860mhz may really be the end of the line for QAM plants...

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Maybe we're talking about two different things. You seem to be talking about a specific company, and I'm referring to the industry as a whole. My local Charter system has been doing SDV for a while (as has TWC and BHN) and is just now going all digital. There's no MPEG-4 on my local Charter system, and I'm not aware of Charter, TWC, or BHN using MPEG-4 at all yet. I have no idea of the bandwidth of my local system, but they haven't been ripping out amps and nodes and replacing coax, and some of the areas of town are very, very old systems so I highly, highly doubt they are anywhere close to 1ghz systems. Plus, they are still distributing old STBs (Cisco in my area, so the DCT/DCX stuff doesn't apply) so MPEG-4 isn't really ready yet.

Charter has said that part of the reason they are going all digital is to get rid of SDV, which is great. I hope that happens, but I haven't had any trouble out of my tuning adapters.

MPEG-4 I'm sure will happen eventually but it will be slow. Not even the satellite companies who control every single piece of the chain are 100% MPEG-4.

And finally, IP video doesn't really have as much to do with bandwidth savings as it does flexibility. By moving to IP video to your TV, they can standardize on the same distribution for both apps on your phone or tablet or xbox as well as their set top boxes. IP-encapsulated video will take the same bandwidth (actually a tiny amount more) than raw MPEG packets over a QAM carrier, if the video is encoded at the same bitrate.
I'm talking about the whole industry. Some companies have done things better than others. Comcast, although known for some pretty ridiculous compression, has finally done things right, by just killing analog, and not using SDV. They haven't gotten to MPEG-4, however.

Satellite is all MPEG-4 for HD, and DISH's EA is all MPEG-4 period. They may still be getting feeds in MPEG-2 from the content providers, but they are using MPEG-4 on their entire systems.

I doubt that the same IPTV streams used for STBs could be used for tablets and other wireless devices. Plus, if that was a big deal, they could always just have a gateway or STB that tunes a QAM channel, re-compresses it, and sends it to a wireless device, or do what they do now, and have two totally different systems. I just don't see much upside to IPTV over QAM.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:21 PM   #128
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I doubt that the same IPTV streams used for STBs could be used for tablets and other wireless devices. Plus, if that was a big deal, they could always just have a gateway or STB that tunes a QAM channel, re-compresses it, and sends it to a wireless device, or do what they do now, and have two totally different systems. I just don't see much upside to IPTV over QAM.
Why couldn't the same IP stream destined for a STB be used for a tablet or phone? Or, more importantly, why couldn't it be used for a Roku or Xbox or other retail device running the MSO's app? For the transition to IP, you have to keep in mind they'd probably replace all CPE, so new set tops for everyone. That's why it will be a slow transition, but it's also why you should forget all the other existing problems that exist today.

And putting an IP gateway that converts from QAM to IP totally misses the point. The point is to eliminate the QAM infrastructure. The advantage to moving to IP on the delivery-to-TV side is that you can consolidate that with the infrastructure (encoders, modulators, IP distribution, etc) for the delivery-to-mobile/apps world. The whole point is to NOT have two totally different systems.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:11 PM   #129
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Why couldn't the same IP stream destined for a STB be used for a tablet or phone? Or, more importantly, why couldn't it be used for a Roku or Xbox or other retail device running the MSO's app? For the transition to IP, you have to keep in mind they'd probably replace all CPE, so new set tops for everyone. That's why it will be a slow transition, but it's also why you should forget all the other existing problems that exist today.

And putting an IP gateway that converts from QAM to IP totally misses the point. The point is to eliminate the QAM infrastructure. The advantage to moving to IP on the delivery-to-TV side is that you can consolidate that with the infrastructure (encoders, modulators, IP distribution, etc) for the delivery-to-mobile/apps world. The whole point is to NOT have two totally different systems.
It will be consolidated infrastructure in the fact that your DOCSIS modem and STB will both use IP over QAM (your comment about QAM carriers). However, your cable modem will have filters that prevent the TV Multicast to your STB from flooding your wireless networks. While the two will share technology, they will be largely segmented by the type of box able to receive them (STB vs CM). In many ways they will still be two networks such that your Roku or TiVo wont be able to access them w/o a gateway device.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:03 PM   #130
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It will be consolidated infrastructure in the fact that your DOCSIS modem and STB will both use IP over QAM (your comment about QAM carriers). However, your cable modem will have filters that prevent the TV Multicast to your STB from flooding your wireless networks. While the two will share technology, they will be largely segmented by the type of box able to receive them (STB vs CM). In many ways they will still be two networks such that your Roku or TiVo wont be able to access them w/o a gateway device.
At the point that it is IP, the fact that DOCSIS uses QAM carriers is irrelevant. Yes, you'll need different CPE on the internet side if they move to all IP, but you'd need different CPE anyway for the TV set top. I wouldn't be surprised to see a gateway that joined multicast streams on the WAN side and then unicast that IP stream back out on the LAN side. However, that would still allow them to decommission all of the old QAM-based video stuff for a single IP infrastructure on the backend.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:40 AM   #131
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At the point that it is IP, the fact that DOCSIS uses QAM carriers is irrelevant. Yes, you'll need different CPE on the internet side if they move to all IP, but you'd need different CPE anyway for the TV set top. I wouldn't be surprised to see a gateway that joined multicast streams on the WAN side and then unicast that IP stream back out on the LAN side. However, that would still allow them to decommission all of the old QAM-based video stuff for a single IP infrastructure on the backend.
I'd disagree that QAM is irrelevant, but rather it makes it more so. The difference being, these packets once encoded as QAM are no longer routable -- meaning they become frequency. In a large IPTV network, I don't see that you would route (encode) TV traffic with general internet traffic being sent to a single CM. You need dedicated / shared QAM frequencies for broadcast streams so these are available to other premises simultaneously. For this reason, I still see the need to architect how the downward streams are bonded to available frequencies. For broadcast channels I fully expect static multicast meaning the downward streams will be grouped and bonded to a dedicated RF. The CM in the STB will then will tune the necessary frequency for the requested IP stream. In some ways, it will look like a traditional broadcast network. Its hard to see the upside, since the same bandwidth hurdles will still exist, this could be why FiOS is still using MPEG encoding. I don't see going to IP making anything easier on the network side because of the network topology. However, all that should be transparent on the residence side and make for cheaper CPE.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:57 AM   #132
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That FCC filing was well written.

I don't mean to take away from it, but it reminds me when I get into reading through a lot of the FCC documents, I start questioning is the whole thing hopeless. Because I feel there's a huge disconnect between the state of affairs as reported in the commission documents and what I get in the real world when I talk to virtually any cable company employee.

Most my disagreements would inevitably degrade into me citing FCC requirements but so far that has never worked in making any Comcast employee do anything differently.

Is this just me misinterpreting, or is it well understood the cable companies will just ignore and break the rules (until?) ?
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #133
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That FCC filing was well written.

I don't mean to take away from it, but it reminds me when I get into reading through a lot of the FCC documents, I start questioning is the whole thing hopeless. Because I feel there's a huge disconnect between the state of affairs as reported in the commission documents and what I get in the real world when I talk to virtually any cable company employee.

Most my disagreements would inevitably degrade into me citing FCC requirements but so far that has never worked in making any Comcast employee do anything differently.

Is this just me misinterpreting, or is it well understood the cable companies will just ignore and break the rules (until?) ?
If it wasn't for the Congress and the FCC, we wouldn't have retail access to cable signals, albeit crippled, today. Just look internationally and you'll see a market where a consumers only choice is to lease a box from the operator or look at AT&T U-Verse, DIRECTV or Dish for examples of MVPDs today where consumers don't have a choice. I'm hopeful that the Tom Wheeler Commission will see the light that the cable operators are attempting to mislead and move towards a crippled app-centric world where our capabilities to consume cable content is limited and controlled by the operator. The current Media Bureau Chief, Bill Lake, extolled the virtue of "common reliance" (i.e., a nationally portable security standard) during recent testimony to a Senate Committee. As a huge fan of "House of Cards", I'm hoping that the cable lobbying efforts led by the NCTA will not be successful.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:35 AM   #134
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That FCC filing was well written.

I don't mean to take away from it, but it reminds me when I get into reading through a lot of the FCC documents, I start questioning is the whole thing hopeless. Because I feel there's a huge disconnect between the state of affairs as reported in the commission documents and what I get in the real world when I talk to virtually any cable company employee.

Most my disagreements would inevitably degrade into me citing FCC requirements but so far that has never worked in making any Comcast employee do anything differently.

Is this just me misinterpreting, or is it well understood the cable companies will just ignore and break the rules (until?) ?
Human nature 101. As a child did you always obey every rule your parents set when they weren't around to enforce them? There is no business incentive for support of TiVo's as required by FCC regs. And the enforcement mechanism is puny at best. (Write a letter to the FCC and they might write a letter to the Cable Co. -- wow!) Meanwhile the cable executives and their lawyers are having dinner meetings with FCC officials and contributing to campaigns. And they create glowing reports "documenting" compliance so everyone has a clean record to stand on.

But it could be worse. We could spend $billions on a cable police force. This would put us that much further in debt and its primary result would be providing employment for a few thousand cable police. Because the paycheck is the highest priority, trumping performance by a large margin in government agencies. (Human nature 101 again).
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:45 AM   #135
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Regarding cable companies and CableCards.

I recently came across a Comcast cable box for sale in a thrift store. (I know. Not supposed to see that.)

Anyway, I could clearly see a CableCard thru the air vents. I checked later at home on the model number and indeed it does use a standard M-card for authorization. Other cable companies also used this box.

So cable companies themselves saw the advantage of CableCards and used them. But that is the past.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:33 PM   #136
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Cable comanies are required to use CableCARDs. That's the "common reliance" portion of the law. The reason their boxes don't have trouble while many TiVos do is because they preauthorize those CableCARDs through a completely different system then the one used for retail devices. So while they are technically using the same technology the experience from the user perspective is rarely the same.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:46 PM   #137
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Cable comanies are required to use CableCARDs. That's the "common reliance" portion of the law. The reason their boxes don't have trouble while many TiVos do is because they preauthorize those CableCARDs through a completely different system then the one used for retail devices. So while they are technically using the same technology the experience from the user perspective is rarely the same.
I've never heard how they get by with the digital adapters - like the Cisco DTA 170HD - not having a CableCard for conditional access. Any ideas why they're allowed w/o cablecards vs a traditional set-top box?
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:53 PM   #138
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There is probably a CableCARD inside. As far as I know there are no waivers that allow them to deploy a box without a CableCARD.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:17 PM   #139
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There is probably a CableCARD inside. As far as I know there are no waivers that allow them to deploy a box without a CableCARD.
I actually have two of these and there's definitely not one inside. You have to look through the grates, but its just a circuit board + tuner. The thing is tiny too. I'd really doubt that a PCMCIA interface and CableCard could fit without increasing its footprint.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:13 PM   #140
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I just meant that there are prior FCC rules that are "wins" but on the streets it's murkier. So I wanted hear your wise perspectives if that was a bigger problem. Obviously, during rule making and comment periods is the best time to lobby for proper policy in the first place. Thanks to all for continuing the fight.

Ya, I saw such a cablebox in a recycling pile. I suspect a number of the ebay CableCards must be pulls from retired or dead boxes. Which makes me question the NCTA. The CableCard encryption mandate should have saved them significant money in development costs over the years, but they're just harping about increased costs. The only way I can think it could increase costs is if chip integration has gotten to the point that the newest DTA's are single chip boards. Yet even if they are, at least for Comcast they lowered the grade of encryption to be able to support it.

I think the mpeg4 transition is going to occur faster than people realize. The chip differences between an mpeg2 and mpeg4 decoder is small, and it's cheaper to license just one of them. That will cover the CPE cost issue in a generation or two. Phones, Tablets, Streamers already skipped mpeg2. That just leaves some TV's that are mpeg2 only. TV's that can't effectively decode cable already.

What we're doing now, putting a transcoder chip in every household to support mobile, is technically cool, but complicated and encoders will always cost more than decoders.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:17 PM   #141
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There is a waiver, let me find it.

Maybe it's this one?
http://www.lightreading.com/fcc-appr.../d/d-id/670159

Comcast always insisted these can't get the higher channels, but I eventually figured out what they're talking about. These boxes use an alternate DES encryption called Privacy Mode, so they must not be broadcasting all the channels that way. Maybe even doing it twice, once for cablecards and again for DTA's.

Interesting perspective/predictions from 2008 about it:
http://www.heavyreading.com/document...63600&site=cdn
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:10 PM   #142
jwbelcher
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Originally Posted by telemark View Post
There is a waiver, let me find it.

Maybe it's this one?
http://www.lightreading.com/fcc-appr.../d/d-id/670159

Comcast always insisted these can't get the higher channels, but I eventually figured out what they're talking about. These boxes use an alternate DES encryption called Privacy Mode, so they must not be broadcasting all the channels that way. Maybe even doing it twice, once for cablecards and again for DTA's.
I think Comcast is being a bit misleading. My DTAs "cant" receive premium content, but its really b/c they want you to rent a digital box. The first day I plugged in the DTA it was receiving SD HBO, but as soon as it received a firmware update, those went away. BHN rep explained they "hot" / unconfigured out of the box, but once they receive their updates will only support basic digital tier. However, I am receiving the higher channels, including channels previously unavailable over analog, including HD versions.


Edit, it could be that processors for conditional access has improved since Comcast started their digital rollout such that newer DTA models are able to support the same encryption. On the Cisco DTA, I think the only limitation is receiving any SDV content.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:56 PM   #143
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I've never heard how they get by with the digital adapters - like the Cisco DTA 170HD - not having a CableCard for conditional access. Any ideas why they're allowed w/o cablecards vs a traditional set-top box?
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There is probably a CableCARD inside. As far as I know there are no waivers that allow them to deploy a box without a CableCARD.
There are no CableCards within Tuning Adapters. They do receive authorization and tiers and whatnot from the Conditional Access system, but I would assume they're exempt from requiring CableCards since they're used exclusively to support UDCPs and that there are no retail Tuning Adapters on the market. I think if you are going to complain that TAs don't have separable security you're starting to be unreasonable.

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I'd disagree that QAM is irrelevant, but rather it makes it more so. The difference being, these packets once encoded as QAM are no longer routable -- meaning they become frequency. In a large IPTV network, I don't see that you would route (encode) TV traffic with general internet traffic being sent to a single CM. You need dedicated / shared QAM frequencies for broadcast streams so these are available to other premises simultaneously. For this reason, I still see the need to architect how the downward streams are bonded to available frequencies. For broadcast channels I fully expect static multicast meaning the downward streams will be grouped and bonded to a dedicated RF. The CM in the STB will then will tune the necessary frequency for the requested IP stream. In some ways, it will look like a traditional broadcast network. Its hard to see the upside, since the same bandwidth hurdles will still exist, this could be why FiOS is still using MPEG encoding. I don't see going to IP making anything easier on the network side because of the network topology. However, all that should be transparent on the residence side and make for cheaper CPE.
I'm saying this in as respectful a way as possible, but it's obvious you have little to know knowledge as to how IP networks actually work. U-Verse is 100% IP based. Read up on multicast and you'll figure out how IP video distribution would work without using more bandwidth than QAM based video distribution. As a matter of fact, if the system is build appropriately, it could use drastically less bandwidth.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:36 PM   #144
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I'm saying this in as respectful a way as possible, but it's obvious you have little to know knowledge as to how IP networks actually work. U-Verse is 100% IP based. Read up on multicast and you'll figure out how IP video distribution would work without using more bandwidth than QAM based video distribution. As a matter of fact, if the system is build appropriately, it could use drastically less bandwidth.
I don't think you understand or realize the difference in how data transmits on a cable networks. You should spend a bit time reading about cable networks and multicast over QAM before making such an assertion. There's a load of info out there that explains exactly how multicast on DOCSIS works. DOCSIS is not the same as TCP/IP; you certainly should spend some time researching before posting based on your assumptions.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:50 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by JosephB View Post
There are no CableCards within Tuning Adapters. They do receive authorization and tiers and whatnot from the Conditional Access system, but I would assume they're exempt from requiring CableCards since they're used exclusively to support UDCPs and that there are no retail Tuning Adapters on the market. I think if you are going to complain that TAs don't have separable security you're starting to be unreasonable.
Before we start arguing about 2 different devices...

DTA's are not Tuning Adapters. DTA's are the new "cheapest" conceivable convertor box, Comcast for example, are giving out (they promised the FCC for free for a year or so) when they go all digital, and encrypt everything at the same time.

The people on this thread know a lot about a lot of technology but I guess since everyone has TIvo's many were insulated from this migration debacle.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:57 PM   #146
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I don't think you understand or realize the difference in how data transmits on a cable networks. You should spend a bit time reading about cable networks and multicast over QAM before making such an assertion. There's a load of info out there that explains exactly how multicast on DOCSIS works. DOCSIS is not the same as TCP/IP; you certainly should spend some time researching before posting based on your assumptions.
I totally understand that DOCSIS isn't TCP/IP, because those are two different layers of the network stack. I really didn't mean to offend you, but it still seems like you don't know what you're talking about. I'm not a cable TV network engineer, but I do work in computer networking as a career.

The entire reason an MSO would switch to IP-based video delivery would be to eliminate the old baseband/QAM encoded video distribution equipment. If they're going to build out the IP infrastructure to serve apps on devices such as iPads, Xboxes, and Rokus, why would they also maintain the old legacy equipment? What would be the advantage to a QAM-to-IP gateway that was mentioned before?

Of course multicast on DOCSIS is different than multicast on Ethernet (which would be the appropriate level of comparison to DOCSIS, not TCP/IP, which are two distinct protocols at different levels of the network stack themselves), but the theory behind it would be the same. Implementation details aren't really important because they are not insurmountable problems. There's no reason that a DOCSIS-compliant cable modem couldn't join a multicast session upon the request of a network device in the home. AT&T has already solved this problem, the point at which it "splits" off into a dedicated line is just further up the chain at the DSLAM instead of at your modem.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:00 PM   #147
jwbelcher
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Originally Posted by JosephB View Post
I'm saying this in as respectful a way as possible, but it's obvious you have little to know knowledge as to how IP networks actually work. U-Verse is 100% IP based. Read up on multicast and you'll figure out how IP video distribution would work without using more bandwidth than QAM based video distribution. As a matter of fact, if the system is build appropriately, it could use drastically less bandwidth.
My main point before the personal attack was to call out the difference in managing multicast traffic on the wire for iptv. There is plenty enough public info on this from Cisco with regard to static channel bonding for high value iptv streams. IPTV traffic will have dedicated channels bonded for pushing out multicast to the CM / STB. More specifically, most operators would not set it up to travel in or with the same channels used for high-speed data (for QoS) to your PC even though they are both talking "IP". In this way, IPTV is distinguishable from HSD traffic.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:02 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by jwbelcher View Post
I think Comcast is being a bit misleading. My DTAs "cant" receive premium content, but its really b/c they want you to rent a digital box. The first day I plugged in the DTA it was receiving SD HBO, but as soon as it received a firmware update, those went away. BHN rep explained they "hot" / unconfigured out of the box, but once they receive their updates will only support basic digital tier. However, I am receiving the higher channels, including channels previously unavailable over analog, including HD versions.


Edit, it could be that processors for conditional access has improved since Comcast started their digital rollout such that newer DTA models are able to support the same encryption. On the Cisco DTA, I think the only limitation is receiving any SDV content.
Quote:
Originally Posted by telemark View Post
There is a waiver, let me find it.

Maybe it's this one?
http://www.lightreading.com/fcc-appr.../d/d-id/670159

Comcast always insisted these can't get the higher channels, but I eventually figured out what they're talking about. These boxes use an alternate DES encryption called Privacy Mode, so they must not be broadcasting all the channels that way. Maybe even doing it twice, once for cablecards and again for DTA's.

Interesting perspective/predictions from 2008 about it:
http://www.heavyreading.com/document...63600&site=cdn
It may partially be the encryption mode, but another big reason is that the DTAs are one-way devices. They cannot view any switched channels, so I would imagine to keep it simple they just don't authorize any tiers on those devices that contain channels that aren't viewable on those devices.


Quote:
Originally Posted by telemark View Post
Before we start arguing about 2 different devices...

DTA's are not Tuning Adapters. DTA's are the new "cheapest" conceivable convertor box, Comcast for example, are giving out (they promised the FCC for free for a year or so) when they go all digital, and encrypt everything at the same time.

The people on this thread know a lot about a lot of technology but I guess since everyone has TIvo's many were insulated from this migration debacle.
You're right, I misread one post and thought the discussion was about Tuning Adapters, not the Digital Transport Adapters. Ignore my previous post.

I imagine the fact that they're designed for analog only customers, are one way devices, and most MSOs have committed to providing them for super cheap or free to customers is why the FCC let them get by with integrated security.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:08 PM   #149
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My main point before the personal attack was to call out the difference in managing multicast traffic on the wire for iptv. There is plenty enough public info on this from Cisco with regard to static channel bonding for high value iptv streams. IPTV traffic will have dedicated channels bonded for pushing out multicast to the CM / STB. More specifically, most operators would not set it up to travel in or with the same channels used for high-speed data (for QoS) to your PC even though they are both talking "IP". In this way, IPTV is distinguishable from HSD traffic.
Again, it was not a personal attack. I know it sounded that way, but there are plenty of things that I am ignorant of. Maybe I was misinterpreting what you were trying to say but it wasn't making any sense.

Also, of course it would be segregated traffic. Cable company provided telephone service is Voice over IP, but it is segregated from your commodity internet traffic that goes over your home network. It would be completely expected for them to handle video service over IP just like they handle PacketCable provided telephone service. On the other hand, it's also likely that there would be a way for "public" devices such as your Xbox to join those multicast sessions. How they handle that problem would be interesting. It could entirely be a gateway device, like a set top box, that is on both networks, or it could be logic in the modem that passes that traffic into your home LAN.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #150
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Interesting, how I keep seeing reports (not just on TCF) about scrapped cable boxes that contain cablecards.

I was watching "how to reclaim gold from electronics" type YouTube videos, and kept seeing cable boxes being featured, and they had CABLECARDs inside. Many of them do specify that you shouldn't be scrapping a cable box, unless it was part of legitimate scrap.

Cox, in my market, deploys old boxes without cablecards, claiming that the rules don't apply to anything they can re-issue, or refurbish, only new boxes.

What sucks about this, is it's near impossible to get a STB w/HDMI, as those had the cablecards, while the older ones w/o the card have DVI, at best.

For a short time, right after the integration-ban, the cablecard w/HDMI boxes were all they were issuing. Now, I keep hearing "Yeah, those are hard to come by, so this is what you get". I keep asking for a STB, then refuse to accept, when they try to give me the old ones.

I bring this up, when I see the topic come up, and nobody ever says whether this is them breaking the rules, exploiting a loophole, or acceptable. It sure would be nice to know if I'm wasting my time documenting every occasion I'm denied a non-integrated STB.

It sure seems like I am, if there are so many non-integrated (separable cablecard) boxes being scrapped, including the cablecards inside...
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