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Old 08-29-2007, 07:28 PM   #241
JoeSchueller
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SDV just went in to effect here in Cincinnati today. They introduced ESPN2HD and placed a lovely asterisk next to it indicating that it was "Not available on one-way cable cards." I'm about to file my FCC comment now.

Others concerned about this may want to consider contacting their local cable franchise authority.

Here's the complaint I'm filing
Quote:
Time Warner Cable of Cincinnati recently implemented a switched-
digital-video (SDV) scheme to limit consumer choice and abuse their
monopoly position afforded them by the local franchise agreement.

Time Warner Cable's decision to make ESPN2HD available ONLY to two-
way cable devices (of which they are the SOLE supplier) is in violation
of both the spirit and the letter of the CableCard mandate
and the 1996 Telecommunications act. This is a clear move to force
customers to pay higher rates for their STB and DVR rentals in
addition to maintaining their primary advertising vehicle for PPV
and VOD services.

As a consumer, I have no interest in these services, simply open
access to the cable service provided on public rights-of-way on
franchise rights handed out by my government. I have no interest
in Time Warner's inferior DVR nor their higher rental fees. I only
want them to comply with the CableCard ruling and stop this end-
run around consumer choice by holding channels "hostage" on SDV
schemes.

Please do not allow this anti-consumer, anti-competition,
monopolistic behavior to continue. Please force Time Warner Cable
of Cincinnati to open ESPN2HD to ALL CableCard customers, not only
to those willing to subject themselves to their proprietary
technology and advertising stream.

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Old 08-29-2007, 07:35 PM   #242
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I'm one of the bummed Tivo 3 owners in Hawaii ( http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=364085 )
So unless the USB Dongle comes out before sept 24th (unlikely) I will need to get a piece of junk SA8300 HD box to watch HD.
My question is about the Cablecards, If I return them on the 24th(they cost me $24.00 a month) will I need them back whenever the USB Dongle comes out?? TWC says they are phazing the CableCards out, so I am worried down the road they may not re issue them.
Anyone out there have any suggestions? Thanks
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:37 PM   #243
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"Phazing the CableCards out" is illegal. Write to the FCC.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:46 PM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcady
"Phazing the CableCards out" is illegal. Write to the FCC.
'Phazing out' may have been the wrong term. they told me that they won't be issuing them after the 24th. A fellow hawaii forum member wrote to the local fcc regulator and they responded to contact the local regulatory commission or something because the fcc no longer deals with cable issues.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:18 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by pashasurf7873
'Phazing out' may have been the wrong term. they told me that they won't be issuing them after the 24th.
I'm sure that the cable-card support group at TiVo would like to hear about this. The FCC may not deal with prices anymore, but the cable card rules are certainly still in effect.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:31 PM   #246
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I feel like I just lost on a horrible $600 bet. I come to find that ESPN2HD is SDV in Cincinnati on the day AFTER my 30 day window expires. I honestly feel sick over this and just how helpless we really are. All this comes after we must have invested like 20+ hours in getting our signal right (still isn't) and cable cards installed.

Between this and the pixelation, I think I'm done. I don't have the energy to fight the monopoly. I think it may cost me my marriage after how much time my wife put in getting the CC's working, but this feels like a slippery slope where TiVo and the CableCo's play cat & mouse, and we're caught in the middle.

Last edited by JoeSchueller : 08-29-2007 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:33 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchueller
SDV just went in to effect here in Cincinnati today. They introduced ESPN2HD and placed a lovely asterisk next to it indicating that it was "Not available on one-way cable cards." I'm about to file my FCC comment now.

Others concerned about this may want to consider contacting their local cable franchise authority.

Here's the complaint I'm filing
So, are you also going to complain about the sat. co's having a waiver and not opening up their network? Are you going to complain when the cable co says "ok, you can have ESPN2 HD, but you will NEVER get another new HD channel because we are out of bandwidth?'' Quit your crying, SDV is the future, it is the only way cable has to compete with D*. You are part of a very small minority, like .001% of cable co's customer base. The rest of the customers want more HD channels.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:44 PM   #248
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Quit your crying, SDV is the future, it is the only way cable has to compete with D*.
amen, more channels is all i have to say.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:45 PM   #249
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I feel like I just lost on a horrible $600 bet
ebay?
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:19 AM   #250
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More channels sounds good to me.

Let me ask a question: ESPN HD is a linear channel? Only ESPN2HD is SDV? If so, then I'm not disappointed yet. As long as they only put the less important channels on SDV, I'll be content.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:05 AM   #251
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Sighs, well. I was just searching the web to see what the status of Comcast and SDV in this are is. Now, I didn't find anything that said if any channels were in SDV yet, but found way to many articles stating 400 hd channels by years end, 800 hd channels by the end of 2008 and hints at massive roll outs of SDV in nearly all comcast markets in the coming months to support this=\

I really hope that this does not happen. I would much prefer to see comcast use another option they will be testing in Chicago this fall. They plan to turn off all analog cable channels except local networks and providing 1 free set top box to every house hold to compensate for the loss of analog channels to the digital teer. That sounds like a much better solution then SDV to me.


Also when searching comcast and sdv I found this article on satelliteguys.us which really ticks me off. They must really not like Tivo. But some of the points they bring up about tivo support would not be good if they hold any truth. Does anyone know if their points could warrent anytruth?

Quote:
I have read that article and have also talked with many Comcast people. Both the article and my contacts have said they would offer 800 HD "choices" not channels. The choices will be mixed between 24x7 linear HD channels (ESPN2 HD etc) and HD Video On Demand content. I have been told by a few people that a massive push is underway to upgrade many of the big markets quite fast and come very very close to matching the upcoming DirecTV HD offerings. Now with that said don't expect this to happen as I'm not sure how I feel about what I was told. I'm also not sure if they can upgrade the markets that fast either. I've also been told from a very high and I mean high person within Comcast that they have crossed the "T"s and dotted the "I"s and feel they are fully covered on the legal front for what I'm going to say below. This was left on my answering machine less than 24 hours ago so its very new.

Comcast will be rolling out switched digital video in nearly all of their markets and sadly they won't bother working with Tivo for support with their Series 3 HD Tivo. Also Comcast can win in court and win any complaints that may reach the FCC as well.

The way they will win this is because Tivo didn't build their device within the specs for a two-way cable card device. Its not Comcast's fault if the Series 3 HD Tivo cannot receive the new HD channels on SDV when Tivo refused to support hardware wise the two-way cablelabs specs. I'm also told that if Tivo included the hardware for two-way communication all customers would need is an M-Card. I'm also told that if Tivo would have done this Comcast would work with them to make sure everything worked on Comcast's end.

So I've also talked to many people at one of my local Boston law firms and they all say that Comcast is in the right as they are supporting all of the cable card specs and they cannot help it when other companies don't follow the specs and leave out a crucial feature such as two-way communication.

So I guess this is a big big blow to Series 3 HD Tivo users but I also say that many of you should have known better than to buy an expensive box knowing full well it wasn't a two-way device. I'm also getting hints that the FCC will soon require that all cable card client devices such as the HD Tivo will need to place a big sticker on each box telling customers what the device doesn't support within the cable card specs. So they would need to say on the box that this device doesn't support two-way communication and this may hamper your ability to receive current and/or future channels on your cable company.

So in simple terms the law and courts would decide that Comcast followed all the cable card specs and that Tivo on their own accord decided to build a one way device when they could have built a two-way device instead. Comcast cannot be held liable for another company willingly not supporting two-way communication period.

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Old 08-30-2007, 09:12 AM   #252
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There isn't anything technically wrong about the article, it just leaves out the crucial fact that including the 2 way bits would have forced them to be OCAP compliant, which means that the cable company would be able to download their own OS onto the box and overwrite the Tivo OS.

The link that needs to be broken is the 2-way=OCAP bundling crap that exists today.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:20 AM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoHokies!
There isn't anything technically wrong about the article, it just leaves out the crucial fact that including the 2 way bits would have forced them to be OCAP compliant, which means that the cable company would be able to download their own OS onto the box and overwrite the Tivo OS.

The link that needs to be broken is the 2-way=OCAP bundling crap that exists today.

I didn't know that issue. And that is a crucial issue. What is a Tivo Box with a cable companies OS? Just another paper weight useless box with a crappy interface, lack of features and add banners.

Why is that OCAP thing a requirement of 2-Way? With that there can be no real third party competition, doesn't that alone warrent a fcc complaint or possible legal action that can stand ground. It's not that Tivo is not in compliance its the fact, they need to be one way to have a box that differs from the cable companies.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:23 AM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txagfan
So, are you also going to complain about the sat. co's having a waiver and not opening up their network? Are you going to complain when the cable co says "ok, you can have ESPN2 HD, but you will NEVER get another new HD channel because we are out of bandwidth?'' Quit your crying, SDV is the future, it is the only way cable has to compete with D*. You are part of a very small minority, like .001% of cable co's customer base. The rest of the customers want more HD channels.
Quit crying? There's a much easier solution to the problem - turn off analog! SDV is not the only way to add HD, it is just the most convenient way to continue to collect STB rental and pimp PPV to me. The sat-co's are subject to competition - thus they have consumer choice. Sat-co's also do not use public right-of-way's and public infrastructure. They are inherently private enterprises. Cable companies are granted monopoly status by gov't franchise authorities, and thus should be held to a higher standard of openness and consumer choice.

I see your point, but I respectfully disagree.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:42 AM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
Why is that OCAP thing a requirement of 2-Way? With that there can be no real third party competition, doesn't that alone warrent a fcc complaint or possible legal action that can stand ground. It's not that Tivo is not in compliance its the fact, they need to be one way to have a box that differs from the cable companies.
Because the cable companies do not want to give over control of the boxes. The CEA is lobbying against it and so far as I know the FCC hasn't gotten involved yet. That's where my heartburn with the FCC's half-implementation of the '96 telecom act that was supposed to fix all this crap.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:36 PM   #256
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Re the often made statement "SDV makes more channels available."

I fail to see the logic here. If the cable company says they have, say, 10 HD capable delivery channels, but they offer 30 HD channels available, then they can only deliver 10 HD channels at a time. If the 10 HD capable delivery channels are already in use, and you want to watch one of the 20 HD channels not being transmitted, you are out of luck.

It makes no difference how many HD channels they say are available, 30, 50, 1000. Eventually the 10 HD capable delivery channels will be in use with the 10 most popular HD channels, and the other 20, 40, or 990 HD channels are unavailable to you.

They still can only deliver only 10 HD channels at a time. SDV does not allow them to increase the number of deliverable HD channels.

Now, if you want to watch unpopular channel 29, at, say, 8:00PM Wed evening, you might be able to get up at 4:00AM Wed morning, tune your STB to channel 29, and leave it there until 8:00PM Wed evening, and channel 29 will still be being delivered. But good luck in being able to tune in unpopular channel 29 at 7:55PM Wed evening! Unpopular channel 29 will be essentially unavailable for prime time viewing!
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:43 PM   #257
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Tip for those in the SDV nightmare.

Get your friends and neighbors to tune their STBs to the most unpopular channels they can imagine. Lock the SDV system into delivering all the unpopular channels. Then let the cable companies start getting the complaints from customers who find that the popular channels are "Not Available".
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:45 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by wbertram
Get your friends and neighbors to tune their STBs to the most unpopular channels they can imagine.
Like I want to set my TV to some unpopular channel? Who in their right mind would agree to this?
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:45 PM   #259
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Question.

If all the delivery channels are in use, and somebody wants to watch a PPV movie, will the cable company knock off one of the free channels being delivered, and replace that programming with the PPV movie in order to reap the PPV fee?
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:47 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by wbertram
Re the often made statement "SDV makes more channels available."
Yes, you scenario is correct, but if they size the SDV pool of channels properly as well as the node sizes the chance that a user will want a channel and no slots will be available should be a six-sigma event (well maybe not that rare, but rare).

Also, future systems will be able to re-claim bandwidth by increasing the compression on the lesser watched channels to squeeze in the new request.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:50 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by wbertram
Now, if you want to watch unpopular channel 29, at, say, 8:00PM Wed evening, you might be able to get up at 4:00AM Wed morning, tune your STB to channel 29, and leave it there until 8:00PM Wed evening, and channel 29 will still be being delivered.
Any channel with inactivity for a period of time is able to be polled to see if the watcher is still there. "Please hit the enter button if you still want this channel". If no response is received the channel will be reclaimed and the STB will be sent to a safe channel.


oh, and getting up at 4:00 to set a channels seems like an awful lot of work.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:52 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by wbertram
Question.

If all the delivery channels are in use, and somebody wants to watch a PPV movie, will the cable company knock off one of the free channels being delivered, and replace that programming with the PPV movie in order to reap the PPV fee?
Current systems usually have PPV and linear channels separate. Future systems will mix and match for greater efficiency.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:54 PM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ah30k
Yes, you scenario is correct, but if they size the SDV pool of channels properly as well as the node sizes the chance that a user will want a channel and no slots will be available should be a six-sigma event (well maybe not that rare, but rare).

Also, future systems will be able to re-claim bandwidth by increasing the compression on the lesser watched channels to squeeze in the new request.
If they do as you suggest, then the "SDV pool of channels" would have to be essential the same as the advertised number of available channels. So, what has SDV bought them? Nothing!

With regards to the "compression fix". You would be happy watching highly compressed channels? ala the HD Lite used by the satellite companies?
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:57 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by wbertram
I fail to see the logic here. If the cable company says they have, say, 10 HD capable delivery channels, but they offer 30 HD channels available, then they can only deliver 10 HD channels at a time. If the 10 HD capable delivery channels are already in use, and you want to watch one of the 20 HD channels not being transmitted, you are out of luck.

It makes no difference how many HD channels they say are available, 30, 50, 1000. Eventually the 10 HD capable delivery channels will be in use with the 10 most popular HD channels, and the other 20, 40, or 990 HD channels are unavailable to you.
If the buildout of the fiber is deep enough to have just 10 outlets in a switch group, you'd be the 10th person so could always get what you want.

The number I seem to be seeing is 400-500 subscribers being served by a hub, and I guess 300 or so Mhz of SDV bandwidth (both SD and HD). If all HD, that would be 100-150 channels.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:57 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by ah30k
Any channel with inactivity for a period of time is able to be polled to see if the watcher is still there. "Please hit the enter button if you still want this channel". If no response is received the channel will be reclaimed and the STB will be sent to a safe channel.


oh, and getting up at 4:00 to set a channels seems like an awful lot of work.
If I get up to get a beer during a commercial, I might get "polled", and when I come back, I will have lost the channel in the middle of a show? That will make customers very happy!
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:58 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by wbertram
If they do as you suggest, then the "SDV pool of channels" would have to be essential the same as the advertised number of available channels. So, what has SDV bought them? Nothing!
Statistical analysis shows that if you offer an x channel pool for y offerings with a node size of z you will be able to satisfy all of the users 99.9% of the time. The x can be much less than y. You can choose not to believe it if you want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbertram
With regards to the "compression fix". You would be happy watching highly compressed channels? ala the HD Lite used by the satellite companies?
Most users would never notice the difference and it would rarely happen anyway. Once again, you can choose to disagree if you want.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:02 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by wbertram
If I get up to get a beer during a commercial, I might get "polled", and when I come back, I will have lost the channel in the middle of a show? That will make customers very happy!
The timeout for the response is configurable and will surely be tuned to allow people to take a piss. Again, this message will only pop up if you have done nothing with the STB for a long period of time. So if you are in the corner case of someone who has done 'nothing' with your remote for a long time, and you are still watching a show, and you get up for a beer at just the right time and you take a very long time to get back THEN your worry might be valid.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:03 PM   #268
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Some people seem to think that those designing these SDV systems are total buffoons.

They are spending a lot of time engineering it.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:04 PM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbertram
If I get up to get a beer during a commercial, I might get "polled", and when I come back, I will have lost the channel in the middle of a show? That will make customers very happy!
Kind of like when you are watching something in the middle of the 30-minute "live" buffer, and your TiVo prompts you to change channels to record something, and discards the rest of the buffer if you don't respond in time.

Last edited by CharlesH : 08-30-2007 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:07 PM   #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ah30k
Statistical analysis shows that if you offer an x channel pool for y offerings with a node size of z you will be able to satisfy all of the users 99.9% of the time. The x can be much less than y. You can choose not to believe it if you want.
Most users would never notice the difference and it would rarely happen anyway. Once again, you can choose to disagree if you want.
Put some realistic numbers for x, y, and z in the appropriate formulas, and let us see what the probability is that I will not be able to receive a random channel selection when I want to. Try it with the appropriate numbers for, say, TWC in Austin.

Poll the SDV users in Austin and see how often they are getting the "Channel Not Available" screen.
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