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Old 10-15-2007, 07:24 AM   #481
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I agree with Mike on this one. If it wasn't for government regulations on this one there wouldn't be a HD TiVo. The bottom line is that cable co's like STBs and if they had there way they'd control everything in our home.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:21 AM   #482
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Time Warner Hilton Head SC has just gone to SDV and I am seriously considering recommending that my dad switch over to Directv and sell his S3, not just because of that, but because TW is horrible, only offers one broadcast network (CBS) in HD and charges extra for ESPN HD
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:14 AM   #483
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Originally Posted by tivoknucklehead
Time Warner Hilton Head SC has just gone to SDV and I am seriously considering recommending that my dad switch over to Directv and sell his S3, not just because of that, but because TW is horrible, only offers one broadcast network (CBS) in HD and charges extra for ESPN HD
That's interesting. The whole TWCSC system is run out of Columbia. In Myrtle Beach we get the Columbia NBC station in HD, although the local NBC station is Wilmington. There's some wording in the CFR about using stations closest to the head end. IF TWCSC's head end is in Columbia, the entire state could end up receiving Columbia channels.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:27 PM   #484
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I dug up this letter Albany TWC sent to Cable Card users in August 2006:
Quote:
August 21, 2006

Dear Valued Customer,

We would like to thank you for choosing Time Warner Cable to provide your cable services as we are proud to bring you cutting edge, state-of-the-art video as well as voice and data products.

As you are aware, the current CableCARD technology enables access only to our "one-way" programming services. In order to receive "two-way" programming services such as On Demand programming, the Interactive Program Guide, and more, you must have a digital set-top box. For your review, we have enclosed a brochure that describes the differences in the capabilities of CableCARD-enabled devices and digital cable boxes.

As part of our ongoing upgrade to digital programming, Time Warner Cable will be moving "alternate time zone" channels of our premium feeds to a two-way, switched digital technology. Premium programming services like HBO, Showtime and Starz often offer multiple channels that show the same programming in different time zones. In the future, those alternative time zone channels will be available only to customers with two-way digital boxes.

Please note that as early as September 15, 2006, the following channels will no longer be available:

Channel # Channel Name
115 Disney West
708 HBO West
709 HBO Premium West
710 HBO Signature West
711 HBO Family West
712 HBO Comedy West
713 HBO Zone West
714 HBO Latino West
725 Cinemax West
726 MoreMax West
727 ActionMax West
728 ThrillerMax West
746 Showtime West
747 Showtime 2 West
748 Showtime 3 West
749 Showtime Extreme West
750 Showtime Beyond West
754 Showtime Next West
755 Showtime Family West
756 Showtime Women West
763 The Movie Channel West
764 The Movie Channel 2 West
776 Starz West
777 Starz 5 Cinema West
788 Encore West

If you would like to continue to receive alternative time zone or any of the other digital "two-way" channels or services we offer after September 15, 2006, please contact us at 1.866.321.CABLE. We will be able to provide you with a digital cable box that will give you access to all of Time Warner Cable's programming and features.

We thank you again for choosing Time Warner Cable.
I have verified the following channels are currently SDV on Albany TWC:
001 TWC information
746 Showtime West
747 Showtime 2 West
748 Showtime 3 West
749 Showtime Extreme West
750 Showtime Beyond West
754 Showtime Next West
755 Showtime Family Zone West
756 Showtime Women West
763 The Movie Channel West
764 The Movie Channel 2 West

I haven't checked the HBO, Cinemax, or Disney channels and I don't have Starz or Encore.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:27 PM   #485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skaggs
I dug up this letter Albany TWC sent to Cable Card users in August 2006:
I have verified the following channels are currently SDV on Albany TWC:
001 TWC information
746 Showtime West
747 Showtime 2 West
748 Showtime 3 West
749 Showtime Extreme West
750 Showtime Beyond West
754 Showtime Next West
755 Showtime Family Zone West
756 Showtime Women West
763 The Movie Channel West
764 The Movie Channel 2 West

I haven't checked the HBO, Cinemax, or Disney channels and I don't have Starz or Encore.
That's a pretty considerate cable provider. Though they can be occasionally handy, you don't really need the other-time-zone feeds of those channels. Presenting those channels as SDV first is awfully nice of them.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:38 PM   #486
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Comcast in my area dropped all the West Coast feeds. Their reasoning was that people can either watch the East Coast feeds or use OnDemand.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:59 PM   #487
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Comcast in my area dropped all the West Coast feeds. Their reasoning was that people can either watch the East Coast feeds or use OnDemand.
or TiVo it!
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:22 PM   #488
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Originally Posted by ah30k
or TiVo it!
What a brilliant idea!
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:48 PM   #489
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I went through all the pay channels I receive.

Here's the complete list of SDV channels for Albany TWC (as of 10/19/07):
001 TWC information
708 HBO West
713 HBO Zone West
746 Showtime West
747 Showtime 2 West
748 Showtime 3 West
749 Showtime Extreme West
750 Showtime Beyond West
754 Showtime Next West
755 Showtime Family Zone West
756 Showtime Women West
763 The Movie Channel West
764 The Movie Channel 2 West
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:00 PM   #490
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assuming the tuning resolver shows up at some point. Would it also likely enable PPV and VOD? Or just SDV?

I guess it's not likely as then cable would somehow need to get guide info to tivo for ppv and vod selections that tribune currently doesn't have? Would that be the only hangup or are their other technical issues?
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:04 PM   #491
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
assuming the tuning resolver shows up at some point. Would it also likely enable PPV and VOD? Or just SDV?

I guess it's not likely as then cable would somehow need to get guide info to tivo for ppv and vod selections that tribune currently doesn't have? Would that be the only hangup or are their other technical issues?
For PPV or VOD it would have to interact with the billing system to verify credit/ablity to charge for the service purchased.
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:09 PM   #492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cableguy763
For PPV or VOD it would have to interact with the billing system to verify credit/ablity to charge for the service purchased.
The tuning resolver / "dongle" wouldn't have to interact with the billing system; it would only have to be able to allow a request transaction to be sent back to the headend so that the proper decryption keys get sent to your cable cards to allow you to watch the show. If you are in arrears, your request would get denied and you wouldn't get the keys.
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #493
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Originally Posted by cableguy763
For PPV or VOD it would have to interact with the billing system to verify credit/ablity to charge for the service purchased.
Technically once you have 2-way communication anything is possible. I don't see why the resolver would have to interact directly with the billing system since the resolver could send info on what device it's plugged into, which presumably the cable provider knows is tied to a specific account (like how it knows your cable box is tied to your account).

I'm assuming that they'd want the resolver to send the cableCARD pairing information since otherwise the user could tune to (though not receive) an unauthorized channel. I suppose the cable industry could just have the resolver send nothing but tuning requests and make it with no smarts at all, but that seems kind of stupid since it would send requests for channels the user isn't allowed to receive, which would be a waste of bandwidth.

At that point all they'd need is some kind of standard PPV/VOD interface protocol that the TiVo could use to talk to the cable companies' servers and TiVo would have to code something up on their end to display to the end user. I highly doubt that will happen (knowing the industry), but there's nothing physically preventing it from working.
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:29 PM   #494
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Technically once you have 2-way communication anything is possible. I don't see why the resolver would have to interact directly with the billing system since the resolver could send info on what device it's plugged into, which presumably the cable provider knows is tied to a specific account (like how it knows your cable box is tied to your account).

I'm assuming that they'd want the resolver to send the cableCARD pairing information since otherwise the user could tune to (though not receive) an unauthorized channel. I suppose the cable industry could just have the resolver send nothing but tuning requests and make it with no smarts at all, but that seems kind of stupid since it would send requests for channels the user isn't allowed to receive, which would be a waste of bandwidth.

At that point all they'd need is some kind of standard PPV/VOD interface protocol that the TiVo could use to talk to the cable companies' servers and TiVo would have to code something up on their end to display to the end user. I highly doubt that will happen (knowing the industry), but there's nothing physically preventing it from working.
The real question is, does anyone even use PPV or VOD???
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:37 PM   #495
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The real question is, does anyone even use PPV or VOD???

Not with a Tivo...
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:14 PM   #496
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Yes, lets add more complexity to the device so it would take even longer to get to market.
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:01 PM   #497
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Yes, lets add more complexity to the device so it would take even longer to get to market.
Technically it could be added after the device is in the marketplace (though it will probably only be available for rent) since all the resolver does is allow upstream communication. It's up to TiVo (and other CE manufacturers) and the cable companies to decide how it is used.

The data that runs over the resolver should be independent of the resolver itself (if it's designed correctly), the same way that you didn't need to buy a new network adapter for the TiVo when HME apps came out.
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:09 PM   #498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
assuming the tuning resolver shows up at some point. Would it also likely enable PPV and VOD? Or just SDV?

I guess it's not likely as then cable would somehow need to get guide info to tivo for ppv and vod selections that tribune currently doesn't have? Would that be the only hangup or are their other technical issues?
I've thought about this and conceptually it wouldn't require much more for basic IPPV and VOD menu support.

The original V1 CableCARD spec contained an API running in the CableCARD for fixed versions of Interactive Program Guide, Video On Demand and Impulse Pay-Per-View applications, based on HTML. The cable providers rejected it on the grounds that it was too inflexible, holding out for development of OCAP, which has taken an additional 5 years to come to fruition (a year or two of which was mostly politicking).
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:43 PM   #499
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morac
The data that runs over the resolver should be independent of the resolver itself (if it's designed correctly), the same way that you didn't need to buy a new network adapter for the TiVo when HME apps came out.
Given that the resolver will be provided by the cable company, I am assuming that it will have the system-specific logic on how to talk to the SDV server, so the TiVo can talk to it over USB using a generic protocol. One of the issues with SDV is that there are several SDV protocols out there, and the question was where the system-specific logic would live (in the host device or in the "resolver"). So I suspect that the "resolver" is more than just a stripped-down cable modem.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:48 AM   #500
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Originally Posted by CharlesH
Given that the resolver will be provided by the cable company, I am assuming that it will have the system-specific logic on how to talk to the SDV server, so the TiVo can talk to it over USB using a generic protocol. One of the issues with SDV is that there are several SDV protocols out there, and the question was where the system-specific logic would live (in the host device or in the "resolver"). So I suspect that the "resolver" is more than just a stripped-down cable modem.
The Tivo would probably have an option like the Network Option (phone vs Ethernet) with selectable options concerning cable plant hardware and possibly the cable company itself. From a hardware standpoint I assume a cable box communicates upstream via its DOCSIS cable modem (just an assumption, I really don't know anything about this), so I'm not sure why a "resolver" would need more than that.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:14 AM   #501
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Originally Posted by Joybob
The real question is, does anyone even use PPV or VOD???
Personally I think in the past 10 years Iíve ordered maybe 20 pay per views (if you include amazon unbox)- Probably half were free from coupons or whatnot Iíve had but I guess maybe I purchased 10).

VOD on the other hand I would probably use more often. Honestly Iím not all that aware of what my cable company has since I had directv for like 8 years and only went to cable to use the S3ís last year, but from what I gather thereís tons of free stuff on many providers. I might use that. For example just recently I made one of my amazon unbox purchases to get an episode of My name is earl that both my s3ís missed because Thursday nights are busy and the baseball playoffs wound up pushing my tuners over the edge. So I spent 1.99 getting it from unbox. Iím not certain as I never really had vod, but I think some providers have some ďnormalĒ tv for free so perhaps I could have just gotten earl later on for free via VOD.

Itís no deal breaker for sure but since they are going through the hassle to do SDV it would be nice to get VOD and PPV too and actually have a device that offers all the 2-way programming features that cable offers now without having to ditch tivo.

My opinions aside- a HUGE number of people use PPV. It's insane. I dont have the numbers at my finger tips but I remember once seeing directv's PPV take rate. And it was like so high that it meant many people order SEVERAL PPV's a week to make up for those of us that never use it. So some people do really like PPV. (and since much of VOD is free I assume it gets used piles too by a certain segment of the population)
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:38 AM   #502
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The real question is, does anyone even use PPV or VOD???
Are you serious? Places like LA and NYC see over 1 million VOD session setups on any given weekend. VOD is extremely popular and only getting more popular. More and more HD is being delivered via VOD and with new services like TWCs Start Over the seeds of true network PVR are being planted.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:42 AM   #503
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The real question is, does anyone even use PPV or VOD???
I use PPV all the time. With two children it is far cheaper to pay $4 for a movie and watch it in my living room. I can't get VOD with Directv yet, but when I was at my brother's house I thought it was way cool.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:55 PM   #504
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VOD especially can be handy. Most providers have Subscription VOD channels for HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, etc. I've caught the odd episode of a recent series mid-season and used the VOD channel ("Showtime On Demand", etc) to catch up by watching the series from the beginning. To date, the VOD service that I've used has left much to be desired, performance-wise, with very slow response to commands and only one way-too-fast speed of FF and REW, but it's been marginally usable.

I've also used HD PPV and VOD a few times. Generally uninspired quality, though better than the standard definition stuff. The online movies I've been most satisfied with, though not a service of the cable providers, is high-definition downloads from Xbox Live Video Marketplace. If the cable providers could acheive that picture quality with the same level of command response they'd have something.
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Old 10-22-2007, 01:38 PM   #505
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I use PPV all the time. With two children it is far cheaper to pay $4 for a movie and watch it in my living room. I can't get VOD with Directv yet, but when I was at my brother's house I thought it was way cool.
As long as you have either an HR20 or the new HR20 D* receiver, you will have VOD available in the near future.

It is currently being testing and looks like it getting close to be ready for National Release. At this time the programs available for testing are mostly SD, but there are two HD ones, so HD should also be available before long.

The requested VOD programs are sent to your box over the internet, so you should get your box connected to be ready.

At this time, D* has to make a manual change to your account before you can receive VOD, but I suspect this will change before the NR.

Also at this time the VOD portion of the guide data seems to take up to 24 hours before it shows the available VOD shows after your box is connected and your account has been activated for VOD, but I suspect this may change before national release as well.

Unlike most cable company VOD, you need to wait a few minutes after you request a show before you can start watching it.

Of course this is better than Tivo's first Amazon Unbox implementation, where the show needed to be completely downloaded before you could start to watch it. I don't remember whether this has changed yet in either 9.1 or 9.2.

If you want to check out VOD on D*, look in the Cutting Edge portion of the dbstalk.com forum.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:38 PM   #506
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Of course this is better than Tivo's first Amazon Unbox implementation, where the show needed to be completely downloaded before you could start to watch it. I don't remember whether this has changed yet in either 9.1 or 9.2.
9.2 supposedly supports playback of a program while it's downloading. I'm sure that it requires some minutes of buffering before you can start playing, but I haven't got 9.2 yet, so I'm unable to test it.
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:37 PM   #507
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The real question is, does anyone even use PPV or VOD???
I've watched maybe 5 things in the last 3 years or so on VOD. Since I got my HDTiVo in Sept, I've watched quite a bit from Amazon Unboxed. If I wasn't such a sports nut and needed Espn, I'd drop Comcast like a bad habit, go 100% over the air, and buy from Amazon anything else I couldn't get.
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:13 AM   #508
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9.2 supposedly supports playback of a program while it's downloading. I'm sure that it requires some minutes of buffering before you can start playing, but I haven't got 9.2 yet, so I'm unable to test it.
Just got 9.2--I've tried Unbox and can verify that you can start playback immediately after downloading begins. Also, downloading begins almost immediately after ordering (within a minute of requesting it--the upgrade message says that it's been speeded up). As soon as the blue light came on, I found the listing in Now Playing for the download and pressed PLAY; I was warned that it was in the middle of downloading it and that, depending upon my download speed there might be pauses. There were no pauses and it finished downloading before I'd watched half of it, but I'm using a wired connection to my router and have seen my cable modem link hit 18 Mbps to my PC from some sites.

Progressive download is a pretty big improvement.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:12 AM   #509
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Is there a posting, by region of the Comcast Stations going to SDV?

We are in the Suburban Chicago area, and I went back through the thread to August and did not find anything about the Chicago area.

Our ESPN2 HD has begun to experience occasional outages, and the Encore channels show a cable card message referencing the fact this is a one way RF device, and to contact the Cable Company. Issue is on both the THD w/MCard and the Cable card TV. Smells like SDV, but we have experienced tons of other issues going to Digital service and HD with Comcast. Most involve sending a tech out when it is a headend problem.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:37 AM   #510
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Is there a posting, by region of the Comcast Stations going to SDV?
You mean, in the future? No.
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