TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-14-2008, 10:47 PM   #1171
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
The List

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayd8tor View Post
Bummer. Just got my new TivoHD today, and TWC was coming to install the cards tomorrow evening. I thought only 2 channels I subscribe to were on SDV, but according to your list most of them are. That sucks royally.
That depends on how many you actually want. As I said, there are maybe half a dozen or so I'd like to get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayd8tor View Post
I just get the tivo and now more than like will be stuck with the POS SA8300. Argh. I can't win here.
Trust me, the loss of a few HD channels pales compared with the releif at not having to use the 8300HD. POS is an understatement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayd8tor View Post
I'm assuming you tested this list against what you actually get on your box which means that the TWC web page is WAY WRONG on their SDV channel listing.
Well, I can't test the PPV / VOD channels one way or the other, and I might have made a mistake or two, but I think the list is pretty accurate, or was when it was posted. Several channels have been added, deleted, and moved since then. Some might have been moved from linear to SDV.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 12:27 AM   #1172
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
Wording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
That may be, but until fairly recently there was no HD TiVo offering
I wouldn't really call a year and a half ago "fairly recently". It was announced at CES more than 2 years ago, and development began long before that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
Whether the FCC intended to benefit consumers or not is really beside the question when cable companies are violating the spirit (and sometimes the letter) of the law. Even if, as you claim, the separable security mandate were directed solely to benefit consumer electronics makers
Whatever the letter or the wording, the intent was to benefit consumers, electronics makers, and CATV providers. As I've mentioned again and again, a lack of separable security has been a major pain to all three. That the FCC botched the attempt has nothing to do with the fact everyone wanted it. They all just wanted different versions of it, and couldn't agree on one version despite over 15 years of negotiations. That's when and why the FCC finally stepped in, and then blew it. Rather than developing (or forcing CableLabs to develop) a broadly based standard based upon superior engineering without undue regard for what CATV vendors, consumer electronics manufacturers, Hollywood, or consumers wanted, they tried to soft-pedal their interference and acquiesce to everyone's desires. The result: a huge hole into which no 3rd party manufacturer wants to step - for excellent reasons, and both consumers and CATV providers left virtually where they started. The only one really benefiting in the least from this mess is the CATV equipment manufacturers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
I'm fairly certain that TiVo is EXACTLY one of those consumer electronics makers that shouldn't be strong-armed out of the market by the cable companies, replaced with their own proprietary, drastically inferior hardware.
It's not the cable companies who are actively attempting this, despite the fact their actions are indeed having that result. They really have no choice, certainly not in the long term. After allowing for theft, loss, and breakage they make very little or no net profit on delivering STBs, and their margins are thin on DVRs. Add to that the massive headache of trying to keep track of hundreds of thousands of boxes sitting in environments and locations which are completely out of their control, and the large payments they make to customers who claim the STB caused a fire in their house or electrocuted them, and it is a revenue stream (or lack thereof) with which on the whole they would just as soon not deal. If every customer were to purchase a 2-way receiver with separable security, the CATV companies would be very happy indeed never to have to purchase another single STB. It's the revenue stream the STB allows them to produce they want, not the minuscule revenue from the STB itself. That and the fact the additional services allow them to compete more successfully (at least from a marketing and PR perspective) with satellite services.

If the CATV equipment manufacturers had been forced to a single standard from the outset, we wouldn't have this problem. The only ones who actively want the TiVo and other 2-way devices strong-armed out of the business is the CATV equipment manufacturers. They want to sell their own STBs and DVRs to the CATV companies. It's true CableLabs obstinance is allowing them to do just that because of a very different agenda of their very own, but that's a different matter. Believe me, the CATV companies would love to be able to buy equipment from more than 1 manufacturer, rather than being locked into a single proprietary system. They would not necessarily do so, but the fact they had the option would allow them to bring purchasing pressures to bear against their equipment provider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
The FCC, as usual, has done a terrible job of protecting the consumer, We The People they're supposed to be serving watching out for in the first place, and arguments that they've provided a competitive market by artificially bolstering the satellite providers is neither relevant to the discussion and the problem nor even accurate in the first place.
They've done a terrible job, period, to the detriment of everyone including the CATV providers, the 3rd party manufacturers, and consumers. Even the CATV equipment manufacturers are very likely going to be negatively impacted by this mess, although as of yet they have not been to any significant extent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
the only cable service provider is TWC
You need to look around. TWC is not the only cable service provider. There are more than 50 CATV companies in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Forty-eight are members of CableLabs. There are two of them here in San Antonio (TWC and Grande Communications), competing directly with one another. It's true most consumers only have a choice of one, even though I and many others in San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Austin, and surrounding areas have a choice of two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
which has of course hamstrung the use of TiVo and such by a) making it a tremendous pain in the rear to use CableCARDS
It's not even a tiny fraction of the pain in the rear it is to use the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
and even charging for their use (a fairly small amount, sure, but the use of their set-top box is free
I don't know what market you are in, but here in San Antonio under TWC the STB is most certainly not free. Each STB costs $7.95 a month. What's more, comparing their STB with the TiVo is comparing apples and oranges. The SA 8300HD DVR rents for $17.90 a month, plus $9.94 for each additional DVR.
For me, that would be over $45 a month just for the DVRs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
and we're saving them even that) and b) switching to a different technology that prevents CableCARDS from being able to receive all the channels we as consumers pay to receive, and they've yet to provide any remedy or relief.
This is not usually the case. Most if not all CATV providers have not reduced the number of channels - including HD channels - the Series III class DVRs were able to receive at the time they were released (except for those which have been removed entirely, of course). The new channels are almost all going on to SDV, but most providers are keeping the older channels on linear QAMs. Of course, your local CATV provider might choose their lineup differently, but the fact is for the most part at this point in time the older channels are also the most popular and as such derive the least benefit (or none at all) for the CATV provider if delivered via SDV. It's very low market share channels and things like VOD and IPPV which benefit most from SDV.

The largest number of SDV channels are VOD and IPPV. VOD is made almost totally moot by having a DVR (especially a TiVo) in the first place. IPPV by definition is not charged to the consumer until they watch the ordered event, so by definition, you aren't paying for them. The point everyone seems to be missing, however, is that if the providers weren't deploying SDV, the consumer would still be paying the same amount (or more) for their cable service and yet still would not be getting those channels. For the most part, SDV hasn't lost most consumers anything. Yes, in SDV systems those of us who have TiVos are getting somewhat fewer channels than those who do not, but we're also usually paying less. My CATV bill dropped nearly $40 a month by going with TiVos, and the service I am getting is worth a great deal more than what I had with CATV provided DVRs and STBs. Balance that against the 6 or 7 channels I don't get but would like to get, and it's not a bad deal.

Oh, and yet once again, CableCards have always been able to receive SDV. CableCards are not, not, NOT!!! the issue, and neither is SDV itself. The issue in its entirely is the lack of any single standard (or the existence of multiple standards, if you will) for bidirectional hosts. If there were a unified standard for bidirectional hosts, then Tivo and anyone else on the planet who wanted to could manufacture a 2-way host compatible with over 98% of the CATV systems in America - including SDV and every other 2-way protocol, barring only those few grandfathered under exclusions for CC 1.0. As it is now, while every box produced by the CATV equipment manufacturers is 100% compatible with every single one of their customers' systems, no consumer electronics equipment manufacturer can produce a 2-way box which is compatible with more than 40% of their customers' systems, and that is just not an acceptable situation for the 3rd party manufacturers, including TiVo. The CATV equipment manufacturers' customer is also not going to pick up their equipment and move to another city with an incompatible system, but the 3rd party manufacturer's customer is not unlikely to do just that.

If anyone wants the CATV systems to get behind an effort rather than attempting to block it, then they need to push for a unified standard for bidirectional hosts, not try to get SDV shut down. Writing to the FCC complaining about SDV (or complaining about it in this forum) isn't going to help in the least. Of course, pushing for a unified standard may not help, either, but it has a vastly greater chance of suceeding and accomplishing the same effective goal.

Last edited by lrhorer : 03-15-2008 at 12:57 AM.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 01:28 AM   #1173
mikeyts
Wireless Wiseguy
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 2,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
No, but they can refuse to give you the CableCard if you don't get the HD tier, in which case the user won't receive the HD local channel.
Only if you're a TiVo user, and only because you need the channel map downloaded to the CableCARDs in order to use the TiVo guide data. The user should be receiving the channel, and can tune it with any clear-QAM-capable receiver, including TiVo; I have used the "raw" channel and subchannel number to manually tune local DTV channels on my TiVo while waiting to get service set up. Even in places where TWC advertises themselves as "the home of free local HDTV", I don't think that they'll give you CableCARDs for free.

Again, this is only a problem for TiVo users, so far as I know. It's really TiVo's problem--they should develop a way to keep track of channel mappings on various cable system (actually, the cable providers are required by regulations to keep valid PSIP loops running in QAMs containing local DTV rebroadcasts, but I get the impression that few of them are compliant with that requirement).
__________________
Mike Scott

"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" -- hookbill
mikeyts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 07:54 AM   #1174
bicker
Gruff
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 9,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
I think it's more like where a significant portion are SDV- significant being in the eye of any one particular consumer.
You said, "It makes any separable security mandate almost moot in regions where SDV is deployed." The mandate isn't moot in a region because one particular customer perceives it to be. Individual perception only affect individual experience.

I will grant that we can say that SDV nullifies the effect of the separable security mandate in areas where the majority of the most popular 20 cable channels are on SDV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
Agreed it hasn't done what they wanted it to but mostly that's because it was too little too late and so was behind the curve
Sorry, but that sounds like nothing more than empty euphemisms. Let's stick to hard, cold fact for this: CE manufacturers offered it, and enough people simply didn't want to pay extra for it. What we in this thread might think is important Average Joe simply might not care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
My #1 guess it that without a guarantee of the 2 way services running on the box they would need to disable all those features or deal with a torrent of returns and worse from customers who live or move into areas with SA or other headends that wouldn't permit the 2 way features to work.
I doubt two way features would be the #1 reason: Ask the folks at TiVo how they like handling calls from customers having trouble getting CableCards working, and/or keeping them working as time goes on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
not really sure what you are saying.
I was saying that since CE manufacturers have given up on separable security, for market-driven reasons, there is no reason for the FCC to continue to ban integrated security. JMHO.
bicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 08:03 AM   #1175
bicker
Gruff
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 9,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
They've done a terrible job, period, to the detriment of everyone including the CATV providers, the 3rd party manufacturers, and consumers.
And I believe that was deliberate. We have a divided country. While we've been trending in one direction for thirty years, towards a pro-business environment, there is still enough consumerist mojo out there that entities like the FCC still need to project the appearance of placating consumers on occasion. However, when they do so, they do so in a practically inoperable manner, i.e., the separable security ban.
bicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:12 AM   #1176
mike_camden
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 162
I'm on Comcast and have received the music channels without problem on a TivoHD. Even when they messed up the channel mapping and I was unable to receive the vast majority of digital channels, I still received the music channels. The first time they tried to fix my channel mapping, I lost a bunch of channels (including the music channels) for a couple of hours, but they eventually fixed it all, and I have had all of my subscribed channels including music choice channels since late August.
mike_camden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 01:36 PM   #1177
MichaelK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,299
bicker-

while i would agree the ban on integrated security has done nothing positive at this stage- i dont think the availability of separable security should be a problem for anyone. That wasn't exactly a surprise and they had years and years and extension after extension to implement.

In my mind it should have been a ban on any proprietary systems (2-way, ppv, vod, sdv, whatever)- see irhorer's post. As he put it so well- why would moto want to sell their dch boxes when at best it would only work in 40% of the markets because the 2 ways standards dont exist?

For example - it's hard to argue that europe's consumers, telco's, and handset manufacturers haven't benefited with the single GSM system they have for their cell networks.

But even assuming the ban is silly- I dont think the rules forcing separable security (cablecards) to be available is a problem at all. At some point it is just more efficient for the cable company's and the consumers and the CE people all to have one system they can gravitate to (see gsm). For example- they will use M-cards for tru2way- right? Panasonic and comcast at least seem to be heavily into that and I think it just might wind up being an end game (or at least a significant stop towards the end game for this time period).
MichaelK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #1178
mikeyts
Wireless Wiseguy
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 2,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
while i would agree the ban on integrated security has done nothing positive at this stage
How can you, presumably a TiVo S3 or TiVo HD user, possibly say that? Without the ban on separable security, neither product would exist (nor would this subforum of TiVo Community).
__________________
Mike Scott

"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" -- hookbill
mikeyts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 09:50 PM   #1179
MichaelK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
How can you, presumably a TiVo S3 or TiVo HD user, possibly say that? Without the ban on separable security, neither product would exist (nor would this subforum of TiVo Community).
I think you are wrong.

tivo s3's existed well before the integration ban came along- and at a point when it wasn't even clear the integration ban would actually be implemented widely.

there where 2 stages to the regulations

the first stage some years ago required all cable companies to provide cablecards to all that asked. THAT helped make the tivo S3 possible and in my mind was a great thing.

the next stage was last July the FCC basically said that cable MUST use cable cards themselves. To me I haven't seen a single benefit to that. There used to be other cablecard devices to be bought. Now you can essentially buy tivo or a closeout of some sort. I have to agree with bicker on this one- there has been no positive change to the market between when cable had to provide cards and when cable had to use cards themselves. In my head forcing cable into using cards themselves does nothing without forcing them to also use some universal open standard for 2-way.

Perhaps one could argue that forcing cable to use cards too made M-cards actually show up. That might be a positive difference I suppose. But OCAP/true2way would have forced that and that's not an FCC regulation (yet). Also the FCC was already riding cable about M-cards independantly of the ban.

look at cablevision for example- they are one of the big 4/5 cable company's. They have a ban exemption (or at least a cablecard exemption) They do not need to use cablecards in their own devices. Yet the rule requiring them to rent people a cablecard does apply. So people can use their S3's or THD's in cablevision areas.

Thinking some more I guess one could argue that the cable company's using cablecards themselves got them to figure out how to use cablecards themselves. But that seems unclear.

1) just reading the comcast thread regularly seems they still don't know how to set up cablecards in tivo well.
2) it seems that once tivo came on the scene with a viable cablecard product many cable company's quickly worked out the major kinks in their systems.
3) Third cable still treats tivo's different from their own cablecard installs- there seems to be plenty of headends that you can pick up a rental box (which might have a cablecard preinstalled) but still can't pick up a cablecard to self install- mines one of them.
4) if there was an improvement in any particular area maybe the ocap/true2way would have made it occur anyway in a few months...

that's just how I see it. I'm willing to listen if you have some thoughts as to how the integration ban (not the initial order requiring cards to all that want them) has had a positive effect.


actually- by my current thinking I think I have to give Bicker an attaboy. He said all along beforehand that the ban was stupid and wasteful. I disagreed- looks like at this point he was correct. i thought that forcing cable card would have made the cable people learn to install them in tivos and made it so tivo's were treated the same. That never came to be universally.

to be clear- the original rule requiring cards to all who want has had a HUGE positive effect,
MichaelK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 10:37 PM   #1180
DaveDFW
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 522
I just read that the 11 new HD channels for Time-Warner in Dallas are going to be SDV.

Time for FiOS!

TTYL
David
DaveDFW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:09 PM   #1181
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
Only if you're a TiVo user, and only because you need the channel map downloaded to the CableCARDs in order to use the TiVo guide data.
You're right, I should have qualified that statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
Again, this is only a problem for TiVo users, so far as I know. It's really TiVo's problem--they should develop a way to keep track of channel mappings on various cable system
Yeah, there's a thread somewhere on this forum about this.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:33 PM   #1182
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
Unqualified opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker View Post
And I believe that was deliberate. We have a divided country. While we've been trending in one direction for thirty years, towards a pro-business environment, there is still enough consumerist mojo out there that entities like the FCC still need to project the appearance of placating consumers on occasion.
Of course both of our opinions on this matter are completely unsupported, so I don't suppose it really matters, but I think you're wrong on this. First of all, had that been their agenda, they could easily have taken steps which would have been much less painful for everyone but the consumer and no more so for the consumer. There's a favorite old expression of mine: "Never attribute to malice that which may be adequately explained by stupidity." It often applies in every day life and it almost always applies when a government agency is involved. I think it definitely does in this case.

More significantly, however, the fact is most of the business interests in this matter have been served at least as badly or worse than consumers by the FCC's actions - or lack thereof. Only the smallest business interests in this mess - the CATV equipment manufacturers - are benefitting from it or would reasonably be predicted to benefit from it. Of course it's entirely possible someone at Scientific Atlanta or Motorola managed to bribe a few people at the FCC. I certainly wouldn't put it past any of them. I don't think, however, that's the case.

No matter what, we only have a very tiny window where the technological entrenchment can be reversed before the investments and / or potential costs to the CATV providers and the CATV equipment manufacturers for migrating the technology becomes unreasonably large.

As to the consumerist mojo, I suspect they couldn't care less. What are the consumers going to do? Fire them? When was the last time you ever even heard - let alone had hard data - about a bureaucrat being fired for not giving a damn about the public? Other than the bureau chiefs, a bureaucrat has to work really hard at delibertely being fired in order to get fired for any reason.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #1183
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
Integrated security

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
How can you, presumably a TiVo S3 or TiVo HD user, possibly say that? Without the ban on separable security, neither product would exist (nor would this subforum of TiVo Community).
You mean integrated security? Assuming so, it's not necessarily true. Integrated security and separable security are not fundamentally incompatible. As long as the CATV equipment's protocols and hardware are compatible with devices hosting separable security, an STB manufacturer could develop a device for a single platform without much impact on the situation, or at least hypothetically so. Of course, banning integreated security altogether guarantees the proliferation of separable security, which was the putative reason for implementing the ban.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 12:09 AM   #1184
mikeyts
Wireless Wiseguy
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 2,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
You mean integrated security? Assuming so, it's not necessarily true. Integrated security and separable security are not fundamentally incompatible. As long as the CATV equipment's protocols and hardware are compatible with devices hosting separable security, an STB manufacturer could develop a device for a single platform without much impact on the situation, or at least hypothetically so. Of course, banning integreated security altogether guarantees the proliferation of separable security, which was the putative reason for implementing the ban.
Yeah, I meant integrated security. I guess that the ban on integrated security could be considered a separate matter from the mandate to support separable security. It's probably more correct to state that without support for separable security, TiVo S3 and TiVo HD would never have been brought to market. I can't see TiVo creating different versions of their product for different networks--it'd be a marketing nightmare if nothing else, particularly in markets like the one that I live in, where networks involving both S-A's PowerKey and Moto's Digicipher serve the various communities. The FCC could have continued to allow the cable providers to purchase and deploy devices with integrated security; the ban is intended to make them dependent on properly functioning separable security. Pre-ban, their support for separable security was so deplorably poor that it can only get better. If nothing else, if they get it working reliably with the equipment that they use, manufacturers can obtain that equipment and study it to make sure that their own products work the same way with CableCARDs.
__________________
Mike Scott

"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" -- hookbill
mikeyts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 12:20 AM   #1185
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
Integrated Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
tivo s3's existed well before the integration ban came along- and at a point when it wasn't even clear the integration ban would actually be implemented widely.
That's not quite the salient issue. The rule requiring a band on integration was established in 1998. The deadline was extended several times, but when the TiVo was in development, it was clear the ban would be enforced at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
there where 2 stages to the regulations

the first stage some years ago required all cable companies to provide cablecards to all that asked. THAT helped make the tivo S3 possible and in my mind was a great thing.
The first stage was to force all CATV systems to begin deploying CableCard compatible systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
the next stage was last July the FCC basically said that cable MUST use cable cards themselves. To me I haven't seen a single benefit to that.
It enforces the move to separable security systems. The CATV companies had to deploy CableCard services in their markets, but could continue to purchase and deploy compatible STBs which didn't use CableCards as well as incompatible STBs. Now they can purchase and deploy neither.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
There used to be other cablecard devices to be bought.
If you mean other UDCPs, such as TVs, wich employ CableCards, there still are. If you mean other DVRs, then not. If you mean CC 1.0 compatible consumer devices which did not employ CableCards, then also not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
Now you can essentially buy tivo or a closeout of some sort.
I haven't the faintest clue what you mean by this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
I have to agree with bicker on this one- there has been no positive change to the market between when cable had to provide cards and when cable had to use cards themselves. In my head forcing cable into using cards themselves does nothing without forcing them to also use some universal open standard for 2-way.
This would not have been true if it were not for the development of SDV. For some CATV systems it is still true. A number of CATV providers obtained waivers to the 7/1/2007 deadline and are continuing to deploy STBs which are not compatible with CC 1.0. With the widespread development of SDV, however, most MSOs are eagerly switching to CC 1.0 equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
Perhaps one could argue that forcing cable to use cards too made M-cards actually show up. That might be a positive difference I suppose. But OCAP/true2way would have forced that
Not particularly. S-Cards are every bit as compatible with OCAP and true2way as M-Cards.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 12:46 AM   #1186
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
To clarify the issue

I'd like to clarify what I think the real issue is, here. You have several different groups each with a different agenda, and they are all adding fuel to different parts of the fire:

1. The Public: Hates STBs. Wants to be able to purchase a TV which will eliminate the need for an STB. The proliferation of leased DVRs has clouded this issue, because the DVR replaces the STB.

2. Consumer Electronics Manufacturers: Doesn't really care about STBs one way or the other. Would like to be able to provide a model which meets the consumers' demands for no STBs as a marketing tool, but it is not their priority agenda.

3. CATV providers: Want security. Mostly Hate the ban on integrated security. Would like to get rid of the headaches associated with STBs, but since they don't lose any money by delivering STBs, it is also not their priority agenda. Would love to be able to purchase compatible DVRs (and STBs, if they must) from more than 1 vendor in order to keep costs down. Want OCAP becasue it allows them to control the consumer's equipment and decide unilaterally what software will be in use by the consumer. Some may be salivating over the prospect of being able to spy on consumers in their homes.

4. Hollywood: Demands Security. Wishes DVRs didn't exist. Holds significant financial interest in many CATV providers.

5. CATV Equipment Manufacturers: Love the ban on integrated security because they get to sell tons of new STBs and DVRs. Love the fact they have been able to develop proprietary systems which effectively prevent their current customers from buying devices from anyone else, allowing them to severely inflate their prices once a customer has bought their CATV equipment for initial deployment.

6. The FCC: wants people to think they're doing their jobs so they can collect pay without actually having to do anything. Mostly incompetent. 'Typical government agency.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 01:32 AM   #1187
Firekite
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
No, but they can refuse to give you the CableCard if you don't get the HD tier, in which case the user won't receive the HD local channel.
I was under the impression that the CableCARD was to decrypt encrypted digital cable signals, which would be required for digital cable regardless of whether you opted for an HD package.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
I wouldn't really call a year and a half ago "fairly recently".
Yeah, it's been on shelves for a little over a year, now, and introduced at extraordinarily exorbitant prices. Jay Leno was broadcast in HD in the spring of '99, and with TiVo's HD solutions being on the shelf for only a little over a year, early 2007 or late 2006, yeah I would still consider it "fairly recently." In fact, that's why I said so.

Quote:
Whatever the letter or the wording, the intent was to benefit consumers, electronics makers, and CATV providers. As I've mentioned again and again, a lack of separable security has been a major pain to all three. That the FCC botched the attempt has nothing to do with the fact everyone wanted it.
You seem to imply that the CATV industry wanted to support this third-party hardware. I'm not sure I agree. They've only abided by the minimum regulatory requirements while often actively discouraging it, even if grudgingly making it available.

Quote:
The only one really benefiting in the least from this mess is the CATV equipment manufacturers.
...but not CATV providers, who get paid monthly by their customers for the abominably bad hardware?

Quote:
It's not the cable companies who are actively attempting this, despite the fact their actions are indeed having that result. They really have no choice, certainly not in the long term. After allowing for theft, loss, and breakage they make very little or no net profit on delivering STBs, and their margins are thin on DVRs.
I would love your source on that. The reality is that you may be right, or you may not, I don't know, but offering a DVR is a great marketing tool even if you only break even otherwise.

Quote:
Add to that the massive headache of trying to keep track of hundreds of thousands of boxes sitting in environments and locations which are completely out of their control
What are you talking about? It's possibly the most basic asset management task ever, and if you fail to come up with the hardware, they just charge you an arm and a leg for it (on top of what you've paid monthly up to that point). Anything not recovered is sold off to debt collectors and the difference is written off. Little energy is wasted.

Quote:
and the large payments they make to customers who claim the STB caused a fire in their house or electrocuted them, and it is a revenue stream (or lack thereof) with which on the whole they would just as soon not deal.
They have insurance, and their attitudes and the both subtle and overt discouragement of using 3rd party devices as well as their total lack of respect for them in their designs suggest that your assertions are exactly backwards.

Quote:
Believe me, the CATV companies would love to be able to buy equipment from more than 1 manufacturer, rather than being locked into a single proprietary system.
What are you talking about? There's more than one company that can and does manufacture cable boxes, regardless of who's won which contract.

Quote:
You need to look around. TWC is not the only cable service provider.
Yes, they are. They are here in most of the San Antonio area, at least. The only competition is Grande Cable, which is available only in limited spots, and AT&T's U-verse, which also has limited availability and doesn't seem to support S3 or TiVo HD at all. Many apartment complex contract to allow only one or the other, so if you're an apartment renter, you've got no choice at all in the matter.

Quote:
I don't know what market you are in, but here in San Antonio under TWC the STB is most certainly not free. Each STB costs $7.95 a month.
Yet you insist they're a loss-leader.

Quote:
The SA 8300HD DVR rents for $17.90 a month, plus $9.94 for each additional DVR.
No, it's $9.95 for the DVR, and I only have one so I don't know what additional charges may be (as far as I know it's $9.95 for each).

Quote:
It's very low market share channels and things like VOD and IPPV which benefit most from SDV.
Then why are they switching channels to it and making all new channels set up for it? Discovery Channel is "very low market share"? Really? Who here doesn't watch Mythbusters if nothing else? And all the HGTV channels and Food Channel and such that so many people seem to tune into, especially if they're homemakers? Come on. I have no interest in VOD and IPPV. All I care about are my HD channels, and they're mostly not available to me via CableCARD here in San Antonio.

Quote:
Yes, in SDV systems those of us who have TiVos are getting somewhat fewer channels than those who do not, but we're also usually paying less.
Care to explain that? We're still paying for the same channels and yet aren't getting them. You're exchanging $9.95 a month for a TWC DVR for $12.95 a month just for the TiVo service. And you can only get that after you've spent hundreds on the TiVo hardware itself. And in the end, while you have superior hardware, your viewing options have been cut off at the knees. SDV is doing us no favors.

Quote:
Oh, and yet once again, CableCards have always been able to receive SDV. CableCards are not, not, NOT!!! the issue, and neither is SDV itself.
What? What are you talking about? So our TiVos can indeed receive SDV channels? Really?

Quote:
If anyone wants the CATV systems to get behind an effort rather than attempting to block it, then they need to push for a unified standard for bidirectional hosts, not try to get SDV shut down.
I was unaware that there was a call for the latter.
Firekite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 01:48 AM   #1188
Firekite
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker View Post
Let's stick to hard, cold fact for this: CE manufacturers offered it, and enough people simply didn't want to pay extra for it. What we in this thread might think is important Average Joe simply might not care about.
What are you talking about? With CableCARDS, the only thing you get are channels. Nothing else, not even the program guide. As a result, nobody really wanted the CableCARD systems in their TV's, which is the only place they were generally available since about four years back until a little over a year ago when the REAL reason to have such a standard (TiVo) finally came out, at which point it was too little, too late. It would've been fine, but switching to SDV has killed TiVo off (or at least made it a very difficult decision) for many of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
1. The Public: Hates STBs. Wants to be able to purchase a TV which will eliminate the need for an STB. The proliferation of leased DVRs has clouded this issue, because the DVR replaces the STB.
That's quite the assertion. I'm not convinced the public hates STBs, but either way DVRs have become the new STB, and everyone wants one and hates living without it after getting used to it.

Quote:
3. CATV providers: Want security. Mostly Hate the ban on integrated security. Would like to get rid of the headaches associated with STBs
You seem to have some sort of unique inside information into the cable industry. What's your source? Do you work for one, which would explain the insight, or what? I've not heard these assertions from anyone else, whether friends who actually work for TWC or anyone here or elsewhere on the net.

Quote:
Would love to be able to purchase compatible DVRs (and STBs, if they must) from more than 1 vendor in order to keep costs down.
There's absolutely nothing to stop them from doing so now. Scientific Atlanta holds no special permit from the FCC that grants them government-protected monopoly status or something, and other manufacturers make these boxes (Motorola not the least of which). Regardless, a whole slew of different boxes wouldn't be as efficient to deal with as one. They only thing more competition gets them is more leverage to lower acquisition costs and therefore increase their margin on the DVRs.

Quote:
Want OCAP becasue it allows them to control the consumer's equipment and decide unilaterally what software will be in use by the consumer. Some may be salivating over the prospect of being able to spy on consumers in their homes.
Neither one of those things sound very good.
Firekite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 10:05 AM   #1189
MichaelK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,299
lots of things to reply to-

but a few points-

- cable doenst need to buy TONS of new boxes just becasue of the integration ban. I'm farily certain they are permitted to continue to deploy their old integrated boxes as long as they want- it's just that any NEW boxes need to have cablecard (unless of course they have waivers). So it's not some huge windfall to SA and moto. They will now get to sell a shiny new cable card with each box. So that might be. BUT becasue everyone now has to go to a cablecard box anyway- SA and moto now have a disadvantage- 3rd party's can now get in. See Panasonics dealings with comcast. Comcast is no longer a slave to moto or SA for STB's- now with cablecards and OCAP they are buying panasonic boxes.

-SA and Moto dont have govenerment dont have govermnet issued permits but they do possess control of the security systems to connect their boxes to thier head end systems. Until cablecard you basically couldn't connect anything but a moto box to a moto head end or a SA box to an SA head end. So once Moto or SA got their foot in the door selling the head end then the cable people were looked for life to that company untill they tossed out the head end and built a new one. So while legally there is no monopoly or duopoly- there is quite a barrier to entry for any new comers.

and yes the reason cablecard slots are being dropped from current generation devices is becasue of SDV- hence the discussion in the sdv thread. Once the SDV thing is squared away with a 2-way standard (OCAP, TRU2WAy, or whatever) then probably you will see them go back in- at least panasonic sounds like it plans to add them to back in.
MichaelK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 03:12 PM   #1190
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
CableCards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
I was under the impression that the CableCARD was to decrypt encrypted digital cable signals, which would be required for digital cable regardless of whether you opted for an HD package.
Not at all. First of all, every locally broadcast network channel by law must be delivered free of encryption. Any digital receiver can receive them. The CATV company is also free to deliver any other digital content it likes unencrypted should it so choose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
You seem to imply that the CATV industry wanted to support this third-party hardware.
You bet. One of the greatest headeaches they had to endure was constantly trying to explain to customers why their "Cable Ready" TVs needed an external box. Since the late 1970s, the #2 customer complaint, right behind cost, was the requirement for an STB. Hundreds of calls a day come in, and installers continue to be constantly harrased when they tell new customers they need to have STBs inststalled - at $7.95 a pop, no less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
I'm not sure I agree. They've only abided by the minimum regulatory requirements while often actively discouraging it, even if grudgingly making it available.
There's a difference between wanting a feature to be available and liking the version of the feature which rolls out the door. There's also a differecne between wanting to deliver something on one timeline and being forced to deliver it on a much shorter one than one desires. Most of them wanted to get downloadable conditional access systems working, but few if any were able to do so by the 2007 deadline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
...but not CATV providers, who get paid monthly by their customers for the abominably bad hardware?
There is a diferecne between revenue and profit. CATV providers barely make a profit on STBs, if at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
I would love your source on that.
I am the source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
The reality is that you may be right, or you may not, I don't know, but offering a DVR is a great marketing tool even if you only break even otherwise.
Absolutely. An STB is a different matter, although even then their margins on DVRs are not that high. Once again there is a big difference between offering something to consumers and being required to force something on consumers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
What are you talking about? It's possibly the most basic asset management task ever,
No, managing the materials in a limited number of sites controlled exclusively by the company itself is the most basic asset management tqsk ever, and even that can be xtremely difficult. Some years ago, Worldcom misplaced 35,000 muxes valued at $60,000 each. They were never found. They had fewer than 1000 facilities, at the time. Imagine trying to keep track of equipment in over 20 million facilities, none of which are controlled by the company. I've been living in my current house for over 7 years, now, and during that entire time TWC has not for any period more than 3 months long had a proper inventory of what equipment of theirs is in my house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
and if you fail to come up with the hardware, they just charge you an arm and a leg for it (on top of what you've paid monthly up to that point). Anything not recovered is sold off to debt collectors and the difference is written off. Little energy is wasted.
Quite to the contrary, it's a major resource drain. First of all, writing something off does not count as profit. Secondly, since by definition the person who has incurred the bad debt usually no longer resides at the former place of residence nor has the same phone number, debt collection is more often than not ineffective, and it does cost money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
They have insurance
No, they don't. Most MSOs are self insured. Even if not, the premiums for ththe equipment - if they botherted to insure it, would be exhorbitant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
What are you talking about? There's more than one company that can and does manufacture cable boxes, regardless of who's won which contract.
At one time that was the case. It is no longer so. No other equipment in the world will work with Motorola's headend SDV equipment other than Motorola unless they license Moto's protocols. Ditto Cisco.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
Yes, they are. They are here in most of the San Antonio area, at least.
That's not what you said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
Yet you insist they're a loss-leader.
Well, not quite. They do usualy make a small profit. Not much, though. Given the unusually short average lifetime of a leased STB, they don't do much better than break even. Compare that to the average $40 a month they make off IPPV. Some customers regularly have IPPV bills of over $150 a month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
No, it's $9.95 for the DVR, and I only have one so I don't know what additional charges may be (as far as I know it's $9.95 for each).
You said you're in San Antonio. Go to the web site and you'll see it. It's $9.95 for the service plus $7.95 for each DVR, or at least that's what it used to be and how much I saved by switching back in 2006. The proce structure could be different, now, but not how I read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
Then why are they switching channels to it and making all new channels set up for it? Discovery Channel is "very low market share"?
Discovery is not SDV. Even Discovery HD theater is not SDV. Only Discovery in HD is SDV, and yes, the number of people who have HD sets is still fairly low. Multiply that fraction by the market share, adn you wind up withe a very low subscription target indeed. Assuming roughly 1000 receivers per node, the odds any single node is not requesting Discovery in HD is pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
Really? Who here doesn't watch Mythbusters if nothing else?
This is the Series III forum, so everyone here probably watches HD, and I suspect the percentage who watch Discovery is also somewhat higher than the citywide norm. If every single node in the city has the channel on at least 1 receiver 24 hours a day, then SDV does nothing at all. SDV starts to pay off if the market shre for the specific stream in question is deployed to something less than 1 receiver in 1000 for at least 1 hour out of 24.

Of course, there is another paradigm, as well. If the CATV company's roster is full, and they have to purchase a new QAM, putting even a popular new channel on an SDV QAM may make sense. They don't get the benefits for the new channel, but they do for the other channels sharing the QAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
All I care about are my HD channels, and they're mostly not available to me via CableCARD here in San Antonio.
Like it or not, you are not the averrage consumer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
Care to explain that? We're still paying for the same channels and yet aren't getting them.
Name 5 channels you used to receive in September 2006 that you can no longer receive on your S3 / TiVo HD today. HD versions of the channels you can still receive in SD do not qualify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
You're exchanging $9.95 a month for a TWC DVR for $12.95 a month just for the TiVo service.
I have lifetime service on two TiVos and pay $7.31 a month on the other. Those three TiVos replace 4 STBs and a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD. My service fees dropped $40 (after accounting for 5 CableCards), as I said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
And you can only get that after you've spent hundreds on the TiVo hardware itself.
Are you suggesting Tivo should give them to you free?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
And in the end, while you have superior hardware, your viewing options have been cut off at the knees. SDV is doing us no favors.
It's a massive mess, but the mess has nothing to do with SDV and everything to do with the lack of a unified standard for 2-way hosts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
What? What are you talking about? So our TiVos can indeed receive SDV channels? Really?
No, because the TiVo is not a 2-way host. 'Take those very same CableCards, stick them into a Scientific Atlanta or Motorola STB or DVR,a dn they work just fine with SDV. Fix the !@#$$% regulations so it will be practical for TiVo to build a 2-way host, and if they decide building one is profitable, they can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
I was unaware that there was a call for the latter.
Consumers, CATV providers, and Consumer Electronics Manufacturers have all been screaming for it since the early 1980s. None of them want to compromise on a solution, however.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 05:30 PM   #1191
MichaelK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,299
point
counter point

reminded me of
"jane you ignorant sl##)

:-)
MichaelK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 06:29 PM   #1192
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,893
Cable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
What are you talking about? With CableCARDS, the only thing you get are channels. Nothing else, not even the program guide.
'Not true. First of all, the CableCards are a security device, not a content device, but they allow for a broad array of one and two way servies. Oh, and my Mitsubishi TV derives a TV guide through its CableCards, BTW. It's only available when the CableCards are inserted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
As a result, nobody really wanted the CableCARD systems in their TV's
Not at all. Customers were mightily pi$$ed off when they paid a pretty fair chunk of extra dollars for "Cable-Ready" TVs in the early 80's only to be told they could not get any pay channels unless they rented an STB. Believe me, I got an earful on a regular basis, and so did the GM and the CEO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
That's quite the assertion. I'm not convinced the public hates STBs, but either way DVRs have become the new STB, and everyone wants one and hates living without it after getting used to it.
1. They are indeed popular, but saying everyone wants one is an overstatement. Even if they were free, there would no doubt be some people who didn't want one. As it is, many choose not to get one.

2. The really operate word is one. Most people want one DVR, but most people have more than 1 TV. Most would rather not have a second DVR or an STB on their additional sets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
You seem to have some sort of unique inside information into the cable industry. What's your source? Do you work for one, which would explain the insight, or what?
I used to work as an engineer for one, and I still have close unofficial ties to a number of people working for several different companies in the industry. I would never divulge confidential information, but this isn't confidential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
There's absolutely nothing to stop them from doing so now. Scientific Atlanta holds no special permit from the FCC that grants them government-protected monopoly status or something
Yeah they do, actually. It's called a patent (patents - plural, actually), although they're issued by the patent offiice, not the FCC. Still, it represents a permit to prevent anyone else from manufacturing and distributing the covered devices under penalty of law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
and other manufacturers make these boxes (Motorola not the least of which).
No Motorola STB or DVR will work in a Scientific Atlanta system or vice-versa. If they did, we wouldn't be in this mess, because TiVo, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, etc could all manufacture devices which could be taken to virtually any city and used to receive SDV servces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
They only thing more competition gets them is more leverage to lower acquisition costs and therefore increase their margin on the DVRs.
Exactly (although it counts for STBs, as well). Some MSOs purchase in excess of 100,000 STBs/ DVRs a month. If they can save even $1 each, that's $1.2 million in reduced expenses a year.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 07:56 PM   #1193
Firekite
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
Hundreds of calls a day come in, and installers continue to be constantly harrased when they tell new customers they need to have STBs inststalled - at $7.95 a pop, no less.
Here in SA, TWC does not charge $7.95 a month or any other fee for STBs (at least for the initial unit). If they do, it's buried (not a line item in the bill) in the general cost for cable service. I'm not sure how many people are just now being introduced to the concept of digital cable, but I would be honestly surprised if there were a significant number of people who were shocked and angry when the tech installed their STB for them.

Quote:
There's a difference between wanting a feature to be available and liking the version of the feature which rolls out the door.
So they didn't like it. Boo hoo. I'm sorry, but it's difficult for me to feel a tremendous amount of sympathy in this case, especially when they had, what, at least 5 or 6 years to get their preferred system working?

Quote:
There is a diferecne between revenue and profit. CATV providers barely make a profit on STBs, if at all.
I don't expect that they do, at least directly, but if it weren't beneficial to them, why would they decide to do use them?

Quote:
I am the source.
That's not very helpful, nor is it exactly accurate. Your other, later answer was at least more informative, that you used to be an engineer (of some sort) in the industry and still have contacts that clue you in from their perspective, which is helpful information when evaluating the credibility these sweeping, authoritative statements you're making.

Quote:
Once again there is a big difference between offering something to consumers and being required to force something on consumers.
So they're required to force systems on consumers that break the CableCARD standard, rendering them useless for every channel on that incompatible standard?

Quote:
Imagine trying to keep track of equipment in over 20 million facilities, none of which are controlled by the company. I've been living in my current house for over 7 years, now, and during that entire time TWC has not for any period more than 3 months long had a proper inventory of what equipment of theirs is in my house.
To me that's much more a scathing indictment of TWC than an argument that it isn't easy. And while there aren't 20 million facilities in San Antonio, I've never had a problem with phone support (including call centers in Canada) being able to look up my equipment, ping it, reset it, etc, whenever necessary. I will point out that of the three TWC people (granted not an exhaustive survey) I've spoken with about the change-over, including one in person, they've all told me I'm making a mistake and that it's much better to stick with TWC's hardware and rolled their eyes and generally tried to discourage me from switching. If they're so eager to get out of the DVR business like you claim, why would they have that attitude?

Quote:
debt collection is more often than not ineffective, and it does cost money.
Debts are fairly quickly sold off to collectors and losses written off as such.

Quote:
No other equipment in the world will work with Motorola's headend SDV equipment other than Motorola unless they license Moto's protocols. Ditto Cisco.
It's not legislated that way. CATV providers have chosen to paint themselves in a corner that way rather than insisting on an open standard or just inventing one themselves. Nobody forced them to do so.

Quote:
That's not what you said.
You're right. I guess I should've clarified "in the area" to avoid giving the impression I meant "in the entire known universe."

Quote:
Discovery is not SDV. Even Discovery HD theater is not SDV. Only Discovery in HD is SDV
Which is exactly what I said. This whole freaking discussion has been about HD and the lack of channels available to subscribers due to the implementation of SDV. I said Discovery Channel, not HD Theater, and yes, I mean in HD. When I pay for HD service and someone tells me to be happy because it's still available in SD, they might as well serve me week-old salisbury steak instead of the Kobe beef I paid for and tell me to be happy because it's still cow.

Quote:
the number of people who have HD sets is still fairly low.
Across the nation? Perhaps. In my neighborhood, though, I have very strong doubts that there's no HD TV in the house, and if you're going to assume 1000 receivers per node in my area, you're talking about 1000 fairly affluent households, people with both HDTVs and the education to interest themselves and/or their children in something like the Discovery Channel, especially considering the popularity of shows like Mythbusters with pretty much everyone under 40. I'd say the odds are a little higher than you're arguing that someone might be watching Discovery at any given time.

Quote:
If every single node in the city has the channel on at least 1 receiver 24 hours a day, then SDV does nothing at all. SDV starts to pay off if the market shre for the specific stream in question is deployed to something less than 1 receiver in 1000 for at least 1 hour out of 24.
Yes, exactly, which is the reason they're moving to it. Even if the savings are minuscule, it appears to be worth brushing off CableCARD-using subscribers.

Quote:
Of course, there is another paradigm, as well. If the CATV company's roster is full, and they have to purchase a new QAM, putting even a popular new channel on an SDV QAM may make sense. They don't get the benefits for the new channel, but they do for the other channels sharing the QAM.
This is supposed to make me feel better or lessen ill will toward the CATV company, especially when noting that telling CableCARD users "tough luck now pay me my money" doesn't even offer any direct benefit for that popular new channel?

Quote:
Like it or not, you are not the averrage consumer.
Really. So my HDTV-equipped neighbors don't care about HD? That they wouldn't rather be watching the same program in HD? Or is that just because I've attempted to get a TiVo and am not necessarily perfectly happy with whatever junk TWC sticks me with and tells me to like it?

Quote:
Name 5 channels you used to receive in September 2006 that you can no longer receive on your S3 / TiVo HD today. HD versions of the channels you can still receive in SD do not qualify.
I don't even know how to respond to that properly without insults and bad words. I'm at a loss to figure out your point. You've gone from being frustrating to not making any sense. The issue at hand is the number of HD channels I'm paying to receive that I cannot unless I pay TWC for their proprietary and vastly inferior DVR, specifically due to their implementation of SDV without any remedy in place for those subscribers who use the standard CableCARDs.

Quote:
I have lifetime service on two TiVos and pay $7.31 a month on the other. Those three TiVos replace 4 STBs and a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD. My service fees dropped $40 (after accounting for 5 CableCards), as I said.
Do you really have a point? Or are you trying a politician-like game of semantics? If I pay off my truck tomorrow, I can claim that my monthly bills have dropped, but my bank account balance has dropped considerably as well. You're implying that switching from a monthly service fee to a bevy of TiVos has saved you money, and it may well in the long term, but you neglect to mention the vastly higher amount of money you shelled out for those TiVos and lifetime service plans. And I'm still unsure as to what any of this has to do with SDV and getting shut out and brushed off by TWC due to their SDV implementation.

Quote:
Are you suggesting Tivo should give them to you free?
Are you suggesting you sincerely believe that's what I said?

Quote:
It's a massive mess, but the mess has nothing to do with SDV and everything to do with the lack of a unified standard for 2-way hosts.
I honestly don't know what to think when you say something like that. If the mess has nothing to do with SDV, then why is it that SDV breaks compatibility with CableCARDS? SDV is specifically what's keeping me from being able to receive the full range of channels I pay for every month. Its root cause may be the cable industry's inability to pull their head out long enough to come up with a solution, but that's not my problem. Instead, the cable industry makes it my problem by forcing me to pay them for their own proprietary hardware in order to receive the service I pay for. And what is the technology that forces that on me? SDV. The topic of this thread. The part of the "massive mess" that's been dumped on our heads.


Quote:
Fix the !@#$$% regulations so it will be practical for TiVo to build a 2-way host, and if they decide building one is profitable, they can.
It's amazing how the entertainment industry managed to settle on the DVD standard without the federal government having to make them. While I'm no fan of the government in general or the FCC in particular, saying it's the government's fault rather than the industry's when the government hasn't done anything to prevent them from hashing out a standard doesn't really make sense.

Quote:
None of them want to compromise on a solution, however.
And yet I'm supposed to be yelling at the government?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
What are you talking about? With CableCARDS, the only thing you get are channels. Nothing else, not even the program guide.
'Not true.
OK, so every single TWC I've ever spoken to about them (including before my recent TiVo purchase) has been lying to me. I will get TWC's program guide in my CableCARD-equipped TV with no STB just like I would with the STB. Awesome news. Obviously someone needs to educate the entire industry, or perhaps they're all just that dishonest in order to discourage people from saving the company money and time.

Quote:
1. They are indeed popular, but saying everyone wants one is an overstatement. Even if they were free, there would no doubt be some people who didn't want one. As it is, many choose not to get one.
Really. You're really going to say that. Someone's going to choose to decline a DVR for an STB when there's no price difference. Someone's going to insist that they get an STB without the DVR's capabilities. Perhaps you can explain why?

Quote:
2. The really operate word is one. Most people want one DVR, but most people have more than 1 TV. Most would rather not have a second DVR or an STB on their additional sets.
So? Due to the implementation of SDV, they HAVE to have an STB in order to receive the full range of channels they pay for. Now they have no choice. And to act as though it's the number of DVR's at issue is seriously going beyond the call of duty. It's like you're reaching so hard, going so far out of your way to try to pick apart and contradict anything I say that you've abandoned any pretense of an effort to maintain relevance or even just to make sense.

Quote:
Yeah they do, actually. It's called a patent (patents - plural, actually), although they're issued by the patent offiice, not the FCC. Still, it represents a permit to prevent anyone else from manufacturing and distributing the covered devices under penalty of law.
And who exactly holds the patent that prevents TWC from going with a different supplier, that prevents the industry from crafting and agreeing on an open standard, or any other action that would cause this to be a moot point? No patent says they have to award a contract to one company or another.

Quote:
No Motorola STB or DVR will work in a Scientific Atlanta system or vice-versa. If they did, we wouldn't be in this mess, because TiVo, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, etc could all manufacture devices which could be taken to virtually any city and used to receive SDV servces.
Obviously. You're not really winning any points for SDV, there, though.

Quote:
Some MSOs purchase in excess of 100,000 STBs/ DVRs a month. If they can save even $1 each, that's $1.2 million in reduced expenses a year.
And yet they don't seem too intent on making that happen. They could save ALL of the money EVERY year if they'd get out of the STB/DVR business altogether, something you insist the CATV providers are all too eager to do. Except that apparently that's not a good enough motivator, and it's become quite clear that customer satisfaction doesn't exactly rank high on the priority list.

So let's recap. According to you, consumers hate STBs. CATV providers really hate STBs. CATV providers make little to no money whatsoever on STBs and are saddled with the massive burden of keeping track of all these units. CATV providers burn through huge amounts of cash in purchasing and generally being involved with STBs. And yet the CATV provider's solution, rather than to come up with an open standard, is to buy into a proprietary system (that at best skirts the letter of the law) where they're paying untold sums of cash to saddle themselves with the very thing they hate and their customers hate and everyone hates and nobody benefits from except for the specific vendor of the chosen proprietary system.

Either every CATV provider is functionally retarded or your assertions are inaccurate. I've left out other options because for now I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you're not intentionally misleading people or so heavily biased that you don't which way is up anymore.
Firekite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 08:16 PM   #1194
Eccles
Mostly harmless
 
Eccles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 349
*pulls up a chair and breaks out the popcorn*
__________________
Sony SVR-2000 + 80GB B drive (Lifetime, sold)
80-hour Series2 (Lifetime)
20-hour TiVo HD with 1TB drive, 142 HD hours (Lifetime, sold)
150-hour Premiere XL (Lifetime)
Eccles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 08:43 PM   #1195
sfhub
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
Yeah they do, actually. It's called a patent (patents - plural, actually), although they're issued by the patent offiice, not the FCC. Still, it represents a permit to prevent anyone else from manufacturing and distributing the covered devices under penalty of law.
A patent, by itself, doesn't prevent anyone else from manufacturing. It forces other manufacturers to do so under your terms. Only if the company has no intention of licensing does it prevent.

Pace Micro has both SA and Motorola compatible STBs. TW and Comcast wanted less expensive alternatives for STBs and Pace was there to satisfy the demand. They license the CA technology from SA and Motorola.
sfhub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #1196
MichaelK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,299
While I donít disagree with much of lrhorerís points.

I am sick of this cable propaganda line that HD is a fringe.

http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv...ion_hdtv_0318/

Quote:
More than 47 million households in the United States will pay for some type of HDTV service by the end of 2008 ó an increase of 17 million homes from the level at the end of 2007, according to a new forecast from Pike & Fischer in Silver Spring, MD.
If I understand correctly then there are about 85 million pay tv homes in the US. That means by year end more people then not will be PAYING for HDTV.

Never mind the people that donít pay extra for HDTV but still want it- like everyone on cablevision since they include HD for free (so their ads say), like the small but vocal minority here that connects their S3ís to cable but doesnít want a cablecard, and lots of other people who are happy with the FREE parts of HDTV on cable (I have 24 free HD channels on my cable system, 4 movie channels that are free if you buy the corresponding multiplex, and if you really insist on paying itís 1.99 for hdnet/hdmet movies/wealthhd)- so myself maybe I decide the 1.99 isnít worth those 3 channels and stop paying for any HD yet still I'd be getting 24-28 channels which are a large reason I'm with the local cable company.

Even now implying that 17+million out of the 85 million homes is not worth serving is silly. Thatís 20% and most likely contains the top tier of disposable income and the top tier of most profitable customers since they have that extra cash.

So if cable really believes and continues to believe HD is a fringe not worth serving then DBS and FIOS are going to hand them a strong kick in the pants over the coming months.

Cable needs to upgrade it's canned responses and PR machine to get rid of the "you are fringe" response. And instead say "we're working as best we can as quick as we can to worth through this transition" The you are fringe response almost comes off to me as blaming the HD customer like there are some kind of problem or annoying segment.
MichaelK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 10:55 AM   #1197
MichaelK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub View Post
A patent, by itself, doesn't prevent anyone else from manufacturing. It forces other manufacturers to do so under your terms. Only if the company has no intention of licensing does it prevent.

Pace Micro has both SA and Motorola compatible STBs. TW and Comcast wanted less expensive alternatives for STBs and Pace was there to satisfy the demand. They license the CA technology from SA and Motorola.
while I dont disagree with any of those facts. I think it's clear that competition in the STB space is minimal- the 1996 law pretty much says as much and that was the point of separable securty. The fact that basically pace is the only 3rd party manufacturer in a market space with millions of millions of units beling sold a year kind of points to that. SA and moto's terms might be ugly and that wouldn't be cable's fault. Sa and moto hold all the cards.

So I think cable is more then happy to get an open standard- problem is as has been said above that they want it the way they want it without compromise so that anyone else gets anything from it (which is probably to be expected) . Look at comcast's dealings with panasonic to make OCAP/True2way a reality. For whatever reason panasonic wasn't making boxes when they had to deal with Moto and SA for licenses- now they dont need to deal with the duopoly and they are jumping right in with 2 feet. They are making piles of lease boxes for comcast and a line of 2-way products for retail. So in the end it does benefit cable to get an open standard. The only problem is the lack of compromise.
MichaelK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 11:32 AM   #1198
classicsat
Astute User
 
classicsat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Ontario Canada.
Posts: 17,877
On STBs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
I don't expect that they do, at least directly, but if it weren't beneficial to them, why would they decide to do use them?
They need them to be able to sell their interactive services.

Currently, nobody except their security providers and their licensees, makes a fully two-way solution, so they need to issue their own STBs.

Quote:
So they're required to force systems on consumers that break the CableCARD standard, rendering them useless for every channel on that incompatible standard?
To remain competitive, yes.


If the mess has nothing to do with SDV, then why is it that SDV breaks compatibility with CableCARDS?
[/quote]
It has everything to do with SDV, SDV being a two way service.
Quote:
It's amazing how the entertainment industry managed to settle on the DVD standard without the federal government having to make them. While I'm no fan of the government in general or the FCC in particular, saying it's the government's fault rather than the industry's when the government hasn't done anything to prevent them from hashing out a standard doesn't really make sense.
The one DVD "Standard" could happen because there was no real standard to begin with. Cable on the other hand, is built on two (or more) hardware platforms, with a number of software providers, which is the legacy the providers have to work with.

Quote:
And yet I'm supposed to be yelling at the government?
Quote:
And who exactly holds the patent that prevents TWC from going with a different supplier, that prevents the industry from crafting and agreeing on an open standard, or any other action that would cause this to be a moot point? No patent says they have to award a contract to one company or another.
In the context of that statement, it is purely contractual and/or economic reasons to stay with one hardware platform.

Supposing there were one headend hardware standard, an on software interface for interactive services, they'd have to change out a number of existing STBs and headend equipment to meet the new standard, or at least dispose the ones they have.
__________________
Series 2 234 Hr Lifetime.
Window XP and Ubuntu Linux on my PCs.
Watching more and more in HD direct now.
classicsat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 01:15 PM   #1199
bxojr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsboro, NC
Posts: 51
Cablevision's move to SDV

I thought this story was interesting. Not that Cablevision is deploying SDV (I don't suppose that's a surprise), but the fact that they're offering CableCARD subscribers a free STB for a year as compensation.

From what I hear, we haven't seen anything like that kind of conciliatory attitude from TWC. I'm lucky enough that TWC in my area hasn't deployed SDV yet, but it could happen at any time. If they offered me a free STB to get me through until the tuning resolver is out (especially if it's a DVR), I think I'd be reasonably satisfied.
bxojr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 01:36 PM   #1200
mikeyts
Wireless Wiseguy
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 2,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
'Not true. First of all, the CableCards are a security device, not a content device, but they allow for a broad array of one and two way servies. Oh, and my Mitsubishi TV derives a TV guide through its CableCards, BTW. It's only available when the CableCards are inserted.
I have a Mitsubishi LT-46231 46" 1080p LCD panel and it's not getting that listing from the CableCARD. It's the Gemstar "TV Guide On Screen" product (see this), which is generally loaded from information carried in the VBI of some local channels, probably gradually transitioning to datacast subchannels of local DTV broadcasters. It did used to not seem to work without a CableCARD installed, but now I notice that it's working just fine (I haven't used the TV directly in months) with just a split of the cable on the antenna 1 input, no CC. (Of course, I moved recently and it's unaware that I've changed cable provider, so it has some channel numbers wrong; I've corrected my ZIP code on the TV's menu, so I presume it'll determine the available channel line-ups for my area and fix that over night).
__________________
Mike Scott

"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" -- hookbill
mikeyts is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVoģ is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:07 PM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |