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Old 07-24-2007, 10:36 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodalpho
The cnet review and a couple others mentioned that it had the old 8.0 slowly refreshing menus. I found them incredibly annoying, way back when. Is that not the case?
Not that I've noticed. On a scale of 1-5, I'd say it is about a 4, 3 at worst depending. (5 being fastest.) Whereas the S3 is more like a 4.5, varying between 4 and 5 depending.

It probably varies too, as we've seen with other units where some people report slow menus while others don't see it.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:05 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTiVo
Could you break this down for me according to source (ATSC/NTSC/Coax (Analog vs Digital)); A/D converter (in case of analog source); MPEG encoder (in case of analog source) so I can understand and then summarize where each thing comes from and how it flows eventually to the hard drive?
What I know:

ATI314 is a digital demod, so it is doing your QAM/ATSC/Cablecard Out of band demodulation (analog in, digital bit stream out). This stuff is already MPEG. No encoding needed.

Under that metal can there must be analog tuners (analog in, NTSC out). Either there are separate tuners for digital, or the same tuners can send their info down to digital or analog parts. Someone who knows more about tuners? Anyone have pics under the metal can lid?

NXP part does NTSC to digitized analog video

What I guess:

Vixs takes digitized analog and MPEG encodes it. Possibly can do lots of other stuff, I haven't seen the spec, just other people's descriptions.

FPGA? Can anyone tell what it is connected to? The pictures have the card mechanism blocking a lot of it. It is pretty near the Vixs part. Maybe it assists with transcoding? Tivo hasn't "rolled their own" for a while, though. Seems strange.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:22 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megazone
SATA controller. A commenter on TiVoLovers spotted a chip hiding under the SATA cables which appears to be a Silicon Image SiI5723 storage processor.
I'm surprised that the SiI5723 chip is used. It can do hardware virtualization, which doesn't seem like what TiVo needs. If TiVo can really use it as a partial RAID1 set (with an external drive) to reduce system downtime, that would be very interesting. If it's just used as a simple port multiplier, the best SiI5723 features are wasted.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:36 AM   #34
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Any reason this device could/could not run a version of the ComcastTiVo OS (OCAP-lite)?
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:56 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltatahoe
first off, i'm a noob here....as a noob, i realize i should probably go read 500 posts, and report back with a more refined line of questioning. however, my question is a relatively simple one, so i figured i would jump right in with my noob-licious question:

-the tivo website indicates that "expandable storage" is "coming late 2007"; any speculation on what this will look like?

for example, will it likely be a tivo-specific hard drive to expand storage, or is it possible that you will be able to use just use any old external hard drive? any reason to wait until late 2007 to purchase the tivoHD when "expandable storage" becomes available?

any other thoughts or things i'm missing here?

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Seriously, there isn't any reason to wait on the THD purchase, the boxes aren't going to be any different. The "expandable storage" will just be an external hard drive that you plug into the esata port and go with. Go read the stickied "S3 esata" thread at the top of the forum if you're interested in rolling your own solution before this comes out, as it really isn't that hard.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:15 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SullyND
Any reason this device could/could not run a version of the ComcastTiVo OS (OCAP-lite)?
If the hardware doesn't have the same upstream communication capability as the comcast box for PPV, why would you want to?
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:20 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3
I'm surprised that the SiI5723 chip is used. It can do hardware virtualization, which doesn't seem like what TiVo needs. If TiVo can really use it as a partial RAID1 set (with an external drive) to reduce system downtime, that would be very interesting. If it's just used as a simple port multiplier, the best SiI5723 features are wasted.
Tivo need a "port multiplier" of some kind since the BCM7401 only supports a single SATA channel on its own. That's the one area where the BCM7401 is a downgrade over the BCM7038 -- the BCM7038 in the Tivo Series3 had a dual-channel SATA controller.

In the past, Tivo responsiveness was always highly dependent on disk I/O, so splitting the single 1.5Gbps channel into two separate channels doesn't sound like a good thing. Presumably, things are just going to get worse when they enable the second eSATA drive.

If Tivo does implement the SAFE33 or SAFE50 RAID modes with eSATA support, it will be interesting to see what impact that has on performance and responsiveness. RAID can improve random I/O in some circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTiVo
Could you break this down for me according to source (ATSC/NTSC/Coax (Analog vs Digital)); A/D converter (in case of analog source); MPEG encoder (in case of analog source) so I can understand and then summarize where each thing comes from and how it flows eventually to the hard drive?
NTSC tuner ->
NTSC Recording
  1. Diplexor to combine cable and off-air inputs into single coax ->
  2. Coax ->
  3. Coax Splitter ->
  4. Tuner 1 ->
  5. Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL w/ NTSC decoder decodes analog channels and digitizes output ->
  6. Digital output sent to VIXS XCode 2115 ->
  7. VIXS XCode encodes video into MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 ->
  8. MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream sent from VIXS XCode to Broadcom BCM7401 CPU ->
  9. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU sends MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream to integrated SATA controller ->
  10. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller sends datastream to Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multiplier ->
  11. Silicon Image SiI5723 saves datastream to hard drive.

Digital SD/HD Recording
  1. Diplexor to combine cable and off-air inputs into single coax ->
  2. Coax ->
  3. Coax Splitter ->
  4. Tuner 1 ->
  5. ATI Theater 314 demodulates QAM and VSB output to separate and output original MPEG-2 bitstream ->
  6. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU sends MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream to integrated SATA controller ->
  7. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller sends datastream to Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multiplier ->
  8. Silicon Image SiI5723 saves datastream to hard drive

The same repeats for tuner 2 using the other pair of chips. When playing a recording, it works like this:

DVR Playback
  1. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller requests data ->
  2. Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multipler requests data
  3. Hard drive retrieves data ->
  4. Broadcom BCM7401 decodes MPEG stream for output to TV

MRV Playback to Tivo Series2 (future software)
  1. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller requests data ->
  2. Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multipler requests data ->
  3. Hard drive retrieves data ->
  4. Broadcom BCM7401 sends MPEG-2 bitstream to VIXS XCode 2115 ->
  5. VIXS XCode 2115 transcodes 480i/480p/720p/1080i MPEG-2 bitstream to compatible (i.e. 720x480) MPEG-2 bitstream ->
  6. New compatible (i.e. 720x480) MPEG-2 bitstream sent back to Broadcom BCM7401 CPU
  7. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU applies and encryption and sends data to built-in 10/100Mbps ethernet controller

For future Tivos with composite, s-video, and component inputs:

Analog Input (future Tivo)
  1. Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL digitizes 480i/480p analog input ->
  2. Digital output sent to VIXS XCode 2115 ->
  3. VIXS XCode encodes video into MPEG-2/MPEG-4 @ up to 720x480p ->
  4. MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream sent from VIXS XCode to Broadcom BCM7401 CPU ->
  5. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU sends MPEG-2/MPEG-4 datastream to integrated SATA controller ->
  6. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller sends datastream to Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multiplier ->
  7. Silicon Image SiI5723 saves datastream to hard drive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTiVo
The 7401 is listed as 450DMIPS. The 7400 version is listed at 1000 DMIPS and shows a connection to a DVD R/W drive in addition to the SATA interface.

The 7400 has dual ITU-R-656 inputs, the 7401 a single.
The BCM7038 in the Tivo Series3 was previously announced at 420MIPS.

The BCM7400 is Broadcom's high-end DVR solution. The BCM7401 is the low-cost solution with comparable performance to the chip in the Series3. It sacrifices the faster CPU, superior memory controller, secondary AVC/MPEG-2/VC-1 decoder (for true PIP), the dual-channel SATA-2 controller, and an extra ITU-R-656 input.

Tivo evidently choose to use the BCM7401 + SiI5723 combo rather than spending ~$15 more on the 65nm BCM7400 with dual-channel, SATA2 3.0Gbps and a much faster CPU. The 65nm version of the BCM7400 just recently became available, so it is possible that it was not an option during Tivo's design phase. The old 90nm version was massive and dissipated significantly more heat.

Does anyone know whether the Tivo Series3 uses the Broadcom's integrated dual-channel SATA controller or a separate SATA controller?

Last edited by bkdtv : 07-26-2007 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:20 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv
The BCM7038 in the Tivo Series3 was previously announced at 420MIPS.

The BCM7400 is Broadcom's high-end DVR solution. The BCM7401 is the low-cost solution with comparable performance to the chip in the Series3. It sacrifices the faster CPU, superior memory controller, secondary AVC/MPEG-2/VC-1 decoder (for true PIP), the dual-channel SATA-2 controller, and an extra ITU-R-656 input.

Tivo evidently choose to use the BCM7401 + SiI5723 combo rather than spending ~$15 more on the 65nm BCM7400 with dual-channel, SATA2 3.0Gbps and a much faster CPU. The 65nm version of the BCM7400 just recently became available, so it is possible that it was not an option during Tivo's design phase. The old 90nm version was massive and dissipated significantly more heat.

Does anyone know whether the Tivo Series3 uses the Broadcom's integrated dual-channel SATA controller or a separate SATA controller?
In another thread you mentioned that the 7401 was essentially a combination of the 7038 and another model. What was the other model?

If BOM is $15 extra, it gets tempting to speculate on a model next year that includes a DVD burner that would make SD DVDs out of both HD and SD programs (as/when permitted by copyright. )
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:45 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTiVo
In another thread you mentioned that the 7401 was essentially a combination of the 7038 and another model. What was the other model?
BCM7411

Quote:
If BOM is $15 extra, it gets tempting to speculate on a model next year that includes a DVD burner that would make SD DVDs out of both HD and SD programs (as/when permitted by copyright. )
Tivo cannot support eSATA storage and a DVD (or Blu-ray) recorder with the BCM7401.

I don't know what the relative die sizes are of those two chips. I doubt if the BCM7400 is drop-in replacement for the BCM7401, but that is possible. If those chips are pin-compatible, then the BCM7400 would give Tivo a second SATA channel to use with the third SATA header on the motherboard for a second hard drive, DVD recorder, or Blu-ray recorder. The first SATA channel would still run to the Silicon Image SiI5723, just as it does now.

The Broadcom BCM7401 in the TivoHD cannot support Blu-ray profile 1.1, required on all Blu-ray players after October 31. The BCM7400 does. If Tivo wants to add a Blu-ray recorder with Blu-ray playback on a future product, they'll have to use the BCM7400.

Last edited by bkdtv : 07-25-2007 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:01 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv
For future Tivos with composite, s-video, and component inputs:

Analog Input (future Tivo)
  1. Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL digitizes 480i/480p/720p/1080i analog input ->
  2. Digital output sent to VIXS XCode 2115 ->
  3. VIXS XCode encodes video into MPEG-2/MPEG-4 @ up to 720x576p ->
  4. MPEG-2/MPEG-4 bitstream sent from VIXS XCode to Broadcom BCM7401 CPU ->
  5. Broadcom BCM7401 CPU sends MPEG-2/MPEG-4 datastream to integrated SATA controller ->
  6. Broadcom BCM7401 SATA controller sends datastream to Silicon Image SiI5723 SATA port multiplier ->
  7. Silicon Image SiI5723 saves datastream to hard drive.
The BCM7038 in the Tivo Series3 was previously announced at 420MIPS.
so are you saying that as it stands now the TiVo has the hardware and most likely the firmware to take a component output from a DBS or cable box and record it to the drive in a playbale format? (excluding the input on the TiVo itself of ocurse)


Quote:
The BCM7400 is Broadcom's high-end DVR solution. The BCM7401 is the low-cost solution with comparable performance to the chip in the Series3. It sacrifices the faster CPU, superior memory controller, secondary AVC/MPEG-2/VC-1 decoder (for true PIP), the dual-channel SATA-2 controller, and an extra ITU-R-656 input.
One of the features I alwasy wanted to see was HME able to display overtop of the current video for something like fantasy sports stats or weather alerts or caller id, etc.. Sounds like cost concerns ditched the hardware that could be a part of such a feature
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:04 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltatahoe
-the tivo website indicates that "expandable storage" is "coming late 2007"; any speculation on what this will look like?
not really speculation but straight from jim denny a TiVo rep in one of the many interviews he did to talk up the release.

he stated it would be a eSata enclosure with striped raid inside for better reliability. I am looking forward to that and would for now just increase the size of the hard drive in the TiVo HD if/when I get one
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:10 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
so are you saying that as it stands now the TiVo has the hardware and most likely the firmware to take a component output from a DBS or cable box and record it to the drive in a playbale format? (excluding the input on the TiVo itself of ocurse)
I doubt it has the firmware, but yes it has the hardware.

Quote:
One of the features I alwasy wanted to see was HME able to display overtop of the current video for something like fantasy sports stats or weather alerts or caller id, etc.. Sounds like cost concerns ditched the hardware that could be a part of such a feature
The TivoHD can still overlay all sorts of menus and graphics. It just can't decode two video streams at once.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:23 AM   #43
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bktv:

The above is awesome, thanks!

I've put the link to the post in the OP.

Notes:

Quote:
For digitally modulated input signals (QAM or 8VSB), Theater 314 outputs a parallel or serial MPEG compliant transport stream
http://ati.amd.com/products/theater314/index.html
Not sure the ViXS handles two SD encodes at once (?)

Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL does not take HD compnent in, but several other models do.
http://www.nxp.com/acrobat_download/...7/75015903.pdf

The ATI 314 does not pass analog video transmissions to the Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL, that split happens earlier in the chain (?)

Quote:
MRV Playback to Tivo Series2 (future software)

VIXS XCode 2115 transcodes 480i/480p/720p/1080i MPEG-2 bitstream to compatible (i.e. 720x480) MPEG-2 bitstream
... Presumably as necessary depending on original recording format (?)
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:24 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
he stated it would be a eSata enclosure with striped raid inside for better reliability. I am looking forward to that and would for now just increase the size of the hard drive in the TiVo HD if/when I get one
Striped RAID doesn't increase reliability, it's done to improve performance. Mirrored RAID give you better reliability. How many drives will be in this enclosure? 4 500 GB drives would give you a terabyte of striped, redundant storage (RAID 0+1), but would cost more than the TiVo itself.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:27 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vman41
Striped RAID doesn't increase reliability,.
Versus just a drive with no raid at all I meant. Yes it is not mirrored raid and a hard rive failure is still a failure but bad sectors can be dealt with better and that is the reliability I was referring too.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:28 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
so are you saying that as it stands now the TiVo has the hardware and most likely the firmware to take a component output from a DBS or cable box and record it to the drive in a playbale format? (excluding the input on the TiVo itself of ocurse)
I don't think Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL model handles component HD in; see notes I made above.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:33 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
Versus just a drive with no raid at all I meant. Yes it is not mirrored raid and a hard rive failure is still a failure but bad sectors can be dealt with better and that is the reliability I was referring too.
A striped (RAID0) volume has (less than) half the MTBF of a single drive. Striping (without parity) reduces reliability over a bare single drive. Striping with parity (RAID3 or 5) is another matter. Perhaps that is what you/he meant.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:35 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTiVo
Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL does not take HD compnent in, but several other models do.
http://www.nxp.com/acrobat_download/...7/75015903.pdf
You're right. When I looked at that last night, I looked at the wrong field.

Quote:
The ATI 314 does not pass analog video transmissions to the Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL, that split happens earlier in the chain (?)
The ATI 314 does not have an NTSC decoder, so it cannot produce digital output from an analog video signal.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:37 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieP
A striped (RAID0) volume has (less than) half the MTBF of a single drive. Striping (without parity) reduces reliability over a bare single drive. Striping with parity (RAID3 or 5) is another matter. Perhaps that is what you/he meant.
yes, I had just not gone and studied the raid specs that I have not looked at in a year or more

PS - I guess this all came out of the lame "raid" feature in Windows XP that does not do parity unless you have the hardware in palce for it anyway
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:40 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv
You're right. When I looked at that last night, I looked at the wrong field.

The ATI 314 does not have an NTSC decoder, so it cannot produce digital output from an analog video signal.
so this means that the TiVo HD as is could not record HD from a component or HDMI gived the input is added?
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:40 AM   #51
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I'm sure he didn't actually mean it would be striped, because that would be crazy.

Actually, since the internal disk has no redundancy at all, I see no reason why the eSATA addon drive would be any different.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:46 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
so this means that the TiVo HD as is could not record HD from a component or HDMI gived the input is added?
That's correct. The most the SAA7138 in the TivoHD can accept is component 480p.

However, Tivo could replace the SAA7138 with the SAA7137 to add 720p/1080i component input support. Those parts are not pin-compatible, however.
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:01 PM   #53
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Updated OP with the following:

Based on comments from TiVoPony, it is unlikely the TiVo version of the ViXS chip has any transcoding ability.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:17 AM   #54
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I know we've talked about possible use of the TiVo HD design for other models...

On the back panel of the TiVo HD, looking from inside, there are several unused holes in the sheet metal. The holes are of two sizes, large looks like for an RCA plug, small like for a mini plug like IR blaster.

There is one large hole above the HDMI port.

Next to Ethernet, there is a column of two small holes.

Next to that is a column of three large holes. midway between the top two holes, and just to their side, is a very small hole.

Finally, before the eSata, there is another single large hole.

These holes are all fully covered by the sticker that affixes to the outside of the back panel. But they are physically there for some reason.

From a perspective two plus months further down the road, what might this be about?

Perhaps a combo DT/TiVo HD unit that takes an input from a cable box. But, while there are enough holes for s-video and composite w/RCA audio, I don't see enough for component w/audio.

Perhaps another set of composite/s/audio outputs...but their position away from the other outputs suggests otherwise, ie. inputs.

-------

Looking back at the Philips A/V decoder, it does not take an HD component input, thus pehaps limiting it to the DT style use of a single SD (S or Composite) input from a cable box.

However, there are other chips in the same family that do handle HD component in. Maybe not such a big leap to something more then?

I recall that one of the slingboxes takes an HD component in and encodes at something like 640x480. Could a true consumer level HD component source device be not so far away?

Last edited by HDTiVo : 10-30-2007 at 10:31 AM.
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