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Old 08-25-2007, 11:24 AM   #1
20TIL6
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SDV solution for S3, TiVo HD

http://ibc.broadcastnewsroom.com/art....jsp?id=175784

Looks like those here that envisioned a USB dongle get the cookie.

Can we put the SDV FUD to bed now?
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
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... Instead, the CEA wants cable to provide a way for devices to support "basic" interactive services, including VOD, SDV, EPGs and pay-per-view, in the way that low-end digital cable set-top boxes do today.

In its comments to the FCC Friday, the NCTA opposed the CEA's proposal, saying it would "strip away the most exciting interactive services and features that distinguishes [sic] cable from its competitors."
So NTCA is admitting that OCAP's purpose is to lock out services that would compete with those the cable company wants to sell through the device. If there is an OCAP alternative, then the consumer could only be enticed to an OCAP device by offering the best value for those services (which would no longer be exclusive).

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Old 08-25-2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20TIL6
http://ibc.broadcastnewsroom.com/art....jsp?id=175784

Looks like those here that envisioned a USB dongle get the cookie.

Can we put the SDV FUD to bed now?
Wow, great find! Thanks for posting. I will post a pointer in the SDV FAQ thread over to here.
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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This is huge isn't it????
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dolfer
This is huge isn't it????
All it talks about is 'offer to develop' some a 'tuner resolver' for SDV, sounds kind of nebulous at this point.

If you're using the cable companies broadband service, you have an upstream communication path already and shouldn't need additional hardware (just support for a new protocol).
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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Yes, but...

>>>Cable Offers to Develop 'Tuning Resolver' for CE Devices to Receive Switched Linear Channels

How long did it take for cable to develop CableCards? Wasn't it something like 8 years?

How much are they going to rent it for? Is the sky the limit?

Al
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 20TIL6
When
checklist is complete...

[/]Announce concept of it
[ ]Developer designs it
[ ]TiVo approves it
[ ]Somebody manufacturers it
[ ]Cable Labs approves it
[ ]Comcast supports it
[ ]Braver than I, forum members test it
[ ]I can easily get it


Hmmmmm, not a single check below announce concept, this has a way to go before it arrives at my house.

So far, no checked boxes. FUD is certainly keeping me from buying a TiVoHD despite this report there is no official annoncement by TiVo to support this technology. Right now a way to map unencrypted QAM channels to the OTA broadcast data might get me to switch a bit faster without a SDV commitment...
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:37 PM   #8
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An easy solution would be cable companies offering TIVO as an alternative, like Directv did for years. We would be able to rent the boxes , pay a lower fee to Tivo since the volume would be much higher and no longer deal with the crappy Motorola or SA boxes.

I also have a strong feeling that after November, when Directv changes ownership again, some kind of agreement will be announced between Tivo and D*. Why is this important to S3 users ? Because we are very picky and love HD . D* will have MUCH more HD than any cable very soon and chances are many S3 users will be D* customers.

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Old 08-25-2007, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acvthree
Yes, but...

>>>Cable Offers to Develop 'Tuning Resolver' for CE Devices to Receive Switched Linear Channels

How long did it take for cable to develop CableCards? Wasn't it something like 8 years?

How much are they going to rent it for? Is the sky the limit?

Al
Considering the rate at which Time Warner is rolling out new HD channels, I probably won't need to worry about it for 8 years! I just rec'd the new channel lineup announcement and was greeted with 2 spanking new HD channels - ESPN2HD and a new local channel.

There's no point in using SDV if you don't have the HD channels to begin with. Right?
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimoli
An easy solution would be cable companies offering TIVO as an alternative, like Directv did for years. We would be able to rent the boxes , pay a lower fee to Tivo since the volume would be much higher and no longer deal with the crappy Motorola or SA boxes.

I also have a strong feeling that after November, when Directv changes ownership again, some kind of agreement will be announced between Tivo and D*. Why is this important to S3 users ? Because we are very picky and love HD . D* will have MUCH more HD than any cable very soon and chances are many S3 users will be D* customers.

Sergio
Cox and comcast are already working with Tivo for a software update to the dvrs to add tivo software.

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Old 08-25-2007, 03:22 PM   #11
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Cool, so is this another $1.79 fee we'll need to pay in addition to the additional outlet fees and HiDef equipment fees some areas are forcing on people? Do we need to upgrade to "Digital Cable" to get the dongle?
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Old 08-25-2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub
Cool, so is this another $1.79 fee we'll need to pay in addition to the additional outlet fees and HiDef equipment fees some areas are forcing on people? Do we need to upgrade to "Digital Cable" to get the dongle?
It could be.

It could just as easily be considered a premium service and priced at $10.79.

Al
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Old 08-25-2007, 05:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sfhub
Cool, so is this another $1.79 fee we'll need to pay in addition to the additional outlet fees and HiDef equipment fees some areas are forcing on people? Do we need to upgrade to "Digital Cable" to get the dongle?

I think it would be included with the tivo (CE) cardboard box and not not from the cable companies just my opinion.

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Old 08-25-2007, 05:52 PM   #14
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I think it should (vs would) be included also but I guess the devil is in the details. If they do it standardized and generic like cablemodems, then it would be better for consumers, but if how SDV is implemented requires different implementations of this dongle for different vendors we'll just have another piece of equipment we need to get from the cable company.

Personally I would hope this is just a low level QPSK or DOCSIS modem and everything else can be handled in software on the TiVo so we can get this thing on our own, plug it in, and expect it to work.

If we have to get the equipment from the cable company, schedule a truck roll, activate the thing, etc., that would compound the existing problems with CableCARD.
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Old 08-25-2007, 06:26 PM   #15
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Well, it's baby steps at least. Now we can start harassing TiVo about when it will be ready. I think I'll go and check to make sure my beta application is up to date.

Here's my favorite part though:

Quote:
Besides OpenCable and the switched-channel resolver, the NCTA had a third suggestion: a standard for interactive services that would work across all multichannel video providers -- not just cable, but also on satellite and telephone companies' networks. "The cable industry could work on such a solution should the commission bring those networks into meaningful regulation," the association said.
Nice gentle reminder that the satellite folks have been exempt from the telcom law to date. I would actually love to see just such a device someday. I'd love to be able to buy my TiVo and then decide one which carrier (satellite or cable) I want to get content. And it would be easy to switch back and forth then as well. Maybe before I die. Maybe.
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:44 PM   #16
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Besides OpenCable and the switched-channel resolver, the NCTA had a third suggestion: a standard for interactive services that would work across all multichannel video providers -- not just cable, but also on satellite and telephone companies' networks. "The cable industry could work on such a solution should the commission bring those networks into meaningful regulation," the association said.
Isn't that a variation of the fox guarding the chicken coop? Maybe they should involve the satellite and telephone industries?
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:21 PM   #17
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This is great news. At least it's an official start to this. I know nothing about this area, but it doesn't seem like it should be that complex a task to develop something like this. Could we hope for before 2009?
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:50 PM   #18
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*?

Quote:
Originally Posted by acvthree
How long did it take for cable to develop CableCards? Wasn't it something like 8 years?
'More like 20 years. The CATV and consumer electronics industries have been trying to come to agreements on a security device since the early 1980s. It literally took congressional legislation to get them off their butts, and they are all still dragging their feet.
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:52 PM   #19
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Not Huge

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolfer
This is huge isn't it????
No, not really.
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeS
This is great news. At least it's an official start to this. I know nothing about this area, but it doesn't seem like it should be that complex a task to develop something like this. Could we hope for before 2009?
While a USB dongle is certainly possible, a software solution using the Ethernet port is a much better solution. Replacing the CATV receiver in the TiVo with a transciever is even better.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer
While a USB dongle is certainly possible, a software solution using the Ethernet port is a much better solution. Replacing the CATV receiver in the TiVo with a transciever is even better.
From a user's perspective, maybe. Allowing the back channel communications to come in over the network opens up the cable modes to try and be hacked into via the internet. Using the existing cable for upstream comms is much more secure. Any replacement of internal parts is a non starter for those of us that already own a THD/S3 - it stands to reason that once this device is developed it can be incorporated into future designs.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:55 AM   #22
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It sounds to me like TiVo desiigners are working with cable on how this works. It will come with the TiVo. This is what TiVo exec was talking about when he said in the Congressional hearing that cable companies were showing good faith in wroking to resolve SDV issue. Cable company actions are starting to show they think someone buying a 3 year contract on a cable only device is really a good thing.


ETA - oops smeeked PKscout but a big +1 on the idea of SAT finally getting on board
what really caught my eye in the article is where they want to go next after SDV issue and how the cable companies dangled a carrot out there if the FCC would finally end the stupid waiver the Sat companies got. Emphasis mine

Quote:
Originally Posted by from article linked in first post
Besides OpenCable and the switched-channel resolver, the NCTA had a third suggestion: a standard for interactive services that would work across all multichannel video providers -- not just cable, but also on satellite and telephone companies' networks. "The cable industry could work on such a solution should the commission bring those networks into meaningful regulation," the association said.

question? could this be used to easily resolve QAM mapping as well?
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Old 08-26-2007, 08:24 AM   #23
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what really caught my eye in the article is where they want to go next after SDV issue and how the cable companies dangled a carrot out there if the FCC would finally end the stupid waiver the Sat companies got.
Really. That seems familiar to me.
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Old 08-26-2007, 08:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by GoHokies!
Allowing the back channel communications to come in over the network opens up the cable modes to try and be hacked into via the internet. Using the existing cable for upstream comms is much more secure.
Having an Internet-based SDV gateway allows for different types of attacks but how do you know that is less secure than the existing upstream? Are there any studies or white papers on attacks of the internal upstream system? It really depends on the design and implementation of the systems whether something is more or less secure and you can have a good or bad implementation with either. From experience if you don't have 3rd party white/black hats attacking the system, it is harder to design a secure system. There is almost always something you don't anticipate when you need to design something secure but also relatively easy to install.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:19 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by acvthree
Yes, but...How much are they going to rent it for? Is the sky the limit?
Who cares? This is TIVO we're talking about!
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:38 AM   #26
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Is it sad that I'm so happy that they've finally admitted that there needs to a solution?
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:49 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub
Having an Internet-based SDV gateway allows for different types of attacks but how do you know that is less secure than the existing upstream? Are there any studies or white papers on attacks of the internal upstream system? It really depends on the design and implementation of the systems whether something is more or less secure and you can have a good or bad implementation with either. From experience if you don't have 3rd party white/black hats attacking the system, it is harder to design a secure system. There is almost always something you don't anticipate when you need to design something secure but also relatively easy to install.
Any piece of equipment that is connected to the internet is going to be significantly less secure than then a piece of equipment that can only be connected to by connecting to cable TV wiring from one of the houses served by that node, as the piece of equipment that is internet connected will be exposed to any joker in the world with an internet connection (as opposed to only the handful of people that are connected to the same node as you are).
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:46 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoHokies!
Any piece of equipment that is connected to the internet is going to be significantly less secure than then a piece of equipment that can only be connected to by connecting to cable TV wiring from one of the houses served by that node, as the piece of equipment that is internet connected will be exposed to any joker in the world with an internet connection (as opposed to only the handful of people that are connected to the same node as you are).
How secure does this device really need to be? Basically it will say I want to be able to tune to channel X which is not currently being broadcast so it will send channel X on whatever frequency it chooses and tell the dongle. Even if someone hacked the request, they would still need a CableCARD tied to your account to decode the channel.

Basically the cableCARD would handle the security and this dongle would just handle the 2-way communication. If it used SSH or HTTPS encryption then it wouldn't be any less secure than making an online banking transaction.
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:50 AM   #29
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Should I presume that encrypted IP packets, with each Tivo provided with a unique key delievered via an ecrypted video stream, are not considered secure, even though we use similar technology to buy stuff over the Internet?
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:06 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoHokies!
Any piece of equipment that is connected to the internet is going to be significantly less secure than then a piece of equipment that can only be connected to by connecting to cable TV wiring from one of the houses served by that node, as the piece of equipment that is internet connected will be exposed to any joker in the world with an internet connection (as opposed to only the handful of people that are connected to the same node as you are).
You are talking about exposure to potential people poking at it, which is quite a different thing than being secure.

The exposure for the QPSK or DOCSIS modem is any person connected to the cable line, not just a node.

Further once you connect the USB device to TiVo which has an ethernet port and is always on, TiVo can then serve as a gateway to the Internet with sufficient buffer overflow exploitation.

Really, how different is a server running linux with one end connected to the Internet and the other end connected to a QPSK or DOCSIS modem vs 10,000 TiVos running linux with one end connected to the Internet and the other end connected to a QPSK or DOCSIS modem.

You may claim then that TiVo introduces a level of complexity and therefore it is more secure but really that is no different than the SDV Internet gateway which presumably would be set up by someone who knows how to plug the holes.

Getting the RF channel associated with a channel # is a very well defined operation and the designers can concentrate on making that airtight. It becomes harder to secure something when you have lots of legacy apps that you need to support, each with their own exploits, but if you keep it simple it isn't that difficult. This is mainly a directory lookup read operation, like DNS. No need to delete or write. Again, keep it simple. Further this data is not even very valuable to anybody besides the folks who want to watch TV so the incentive to hack is not high.

If TiVo et al can build Amazon unbox, I'm confident TiVo+Cable can build an SDV gateway if they had a desire to do so.

The reason I think they are doing it this way is because it is probably the least amount of work for the cable company. I don't know if it is more or less work for TiVo either way. Clearly for the customer an Internet solution would be most painless.

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