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Old 03-27-2008, 01:04 AM   #1261
toy4two
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please explain- I have never heard of this.

what standard is being used between the head end the the tv to enable that? Is it an open standard or just something that maybe Mitsu worked out with Moto in private?
What he is refering to is TV Guide On Screen data. Its a closed standard, the protocol was written by GEMSTAR and SONY, Mitsubishi, and others licensed it, while GEMSTAR gave tv stations the equipment to install at their stations, pretty much one station in each market, thats all you need for complete coverage. It is passed through to TVs and DVRs (non-TIVOs) through analog and digital tv stations, right along side closed caption data. All major markets have free guide data being transmitted via over the air analog or now digital on some CBS and PBS stations which includes all the data going out 14 days for all the tv stations, THIS IS SEPERATE FROM PSIP DATA AND NOT MANDATORY, but its so widespread it may as well be a standard, it takes about 1 week to get enough data to have a complete guide, unlike say TIVO or your cable company which take seconds, when you turn off your device at night it switches over to the channel in your market that contains that data and starts downloading, the protocol is very good though, even on a OTA station with lots of static, the data manages to get through. Gemstar owns the patent, all the major markets have it and non-TIVO DVRs rely on it for their program guides, it has NOTHING to do with Cable Cards, that guide data, different from PSIP is free and available in the clear and even over the air, here are all the details:

http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/S-...me/tvgos2.html

If you ever wondered how SONY and LG DVRs get their guide data without have to be hooked up to the internet, or dial some phone number, now you know. Its actually pretty decent, its not Tivo good, but you also don't have to pay for it. Its not like PSIP data which FCC regulates, it just happens to be very widespread, if you don't have a TV Guide On Screen compatible device you prob never heard of it.

Its got some neat features, like if you record an analog tv station to VCR, then play it back you can still extract the TVGOS data, just like you can play back the Closed Caption (CC) data on a VCR, there are some advantages to this like capturing a firmware update on VCR tape and giving your buddy the tape, ok Im getting way too indepth, go check out the SONY HD DVR thread at AVS those guys are masters of TVGOS data hacks.

Last edited by toy4two : 03-27-2008 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:29 PM   #1262
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I bet we (especially for SA systems) won't see anything until the very end of 2008, and even that will be a slim chance.
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:12 PM   #1263
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I bet we (especially for SA systems) won't see anything until the very end of 2008, and even that will be a slim chance.
If you're right, I'll bet that the FCC will order cable to work with the CE OEMs on DCR Plus and that we won't ever see the tuning resolver. If they don't get it into the field before the FCC can make a ruling on the CEA's DCR Plus proposal, then it will not serve the purpose that it was created for, which is to minimize the need for DCR Plus and I'm betting that they'll drop any support for it.

Obviously, it'd be useful for a couple hundred thousand TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD owners (an optomistic guesstimate), but I really don't think that they care much about us. Businesswise, I don't blame 'em--we're small potatoes. If we all stopped using cable en masse (which ain't gonna happen), they'd hardly notice it on their bottom line.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:24 PM   #1264
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Add time warner in the dallas, tx area using the sdv as they added 11 new hd channels today, all on sdv.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:35 PM   #1265
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Add time warner in the dallas, tx area using the sdv as they added 11 new hd channels today, all on sdv.
The new channels in Dallas, Richardson, Plano and Mesquite are not SDV--I'm getting them right now.

Of course, they could take them away later, but for now they're plain old linear broadcasts.

TTYL
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:42 PM   #1266
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The new channels in Dallas, Richardson, Plano and Mesquite are not SDV--I'm getting them right now.

Of course, they could take them away later, but for now they're plain old linear broadcasts.

TTYL
David
All the news articles say they are. Hopefully they still wont be by the time they are turned on in Irving.
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:49 PM   #1267
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All the news articles say they are. Hopefully they still wont be by the time they are turned on in Irving.
Hmmm--this article talks about them expanding their capacity using SDV, but doesn't say that all the new channels are. DaveDFW says that he's getting them (on the CableCARDs in his TiVo, presumably), so keep the faith .
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:58 PM   #1268
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Hmmm--this article talks about them expanding their capacity using SDV, but doesn't say that all the new channels are. DaveDFW says that he's getting them (on the CableCARDs in his TiVo, presumably), so keep the faith .
Yes, the HD channels I received today are viewable on my S3's. It is a limited rollout--only four cities in the DFW Metroplex got anything new.

I hope TWC isn't going to pull a Brighthouse and move them to SDV later.

TTYL
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:35 PM   #1269
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Underestimate

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Obviously, it'd be useful for a couple hundred thousand TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD owners (an optomistic guesstimate)
Actually, that's an underestimate. I spoke with a TiVo employee a month after the Series III was released, and he told me the Series III had sold more than 250,000 units in less than a month. Of course, he could have been exaggerating, but according to TiVo's Q1 2008 financial report, they have a total of 1.75 million subs with 33,000 being added in the quarter. I suspect a significant fraction of that 1.75 million subs are Series III class systems, and I would be surprised if a large fraction of the new subs were not Series III class units. Still, while I believe 200K is an underestimate, I think a million would be an overestimate, especially after allowing for the fact some CATV subs have more than 1 TiVo sub (some of us have more than 1 TiVo). Even if it were 1 million, however, the number of S3 TiVo subs is tiny compared to the number of cable subs, which stands somewhere above 75 million.

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but I really don't think that they care much about us. Businesswise, I don't blame 'em--we're small potatoes. If we all stopped using cable en masse (which ain't gonna happen), they'd hardly notice it on their bottom line.
Oh, they would surely notice. Being what it is, the bottom line is very sensitive to even small fluctuations in revenue, and the difference between being cash flow positive and cash flow negative is often much less than 1%. Look at the financial statements of any large corporation, and you will find their earnings statements put their net profits - if any - well below 5% of gross revenue. The stock market is even more sensitive still, since a 1% change in gross revenue can easily result in a 50% or greater change in profit, and if a company predicts a 7% earnings, but only hits 6%, the stock price can plummet.

The big issue is not the relative size of the TiVo market share, but its impact on the business. In order to make any concessions to the TiVo subs, the costs of those concessions must be less than the potential loss in revenue. Said impact is a combination of any development and deployments costs added to any potential impact on other revenue streams. It doesn't do them any good to save a TiVo sub if it costs them a non-TiVo sub to do it.
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:33 PM   #1270
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The NCTA's claim is that, as of 6 December 2007, the 5 largest MSOs had deployed 271,000 CableCards for use in third-party UDCR equipment; those MSOs account for 80% of all cable subscribers nationwide, and if we extrapolate that out to 100% of subscribers, it becomes an estimated 338,750 CableCards deployed by the beginning of December. Of course, time marches on and in the nearly four months since then more TiVos and CableCards will have been deployed, but even if all of those 339,000 cards were installed in TiVos (and I feel that they aren't all, though probably most), that's only 170,000 TiVos hooked up to cable systems. If you're right and there are many more than 200K high-definition TiVos in the field right now, then a surprisingly high percentage of them are being used OTA-only. It's possible, I guess .

Even if there were a million CableCARD using TiVo subs around the country (and it can't possibly be more than 20-30% so many, they can lose them without blinking an eye if they're losing them to add more content in the name of reclaiming or stopping loss to satellite and the telcos. They probably lose a few times so many subs as all CableCARD TiVo users every quarter.

It's nice to imagine that you're important, but, so far as the cable companies are concerned, we really aren't.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:39 AM   #1271
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I agree

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the 5 largest MSOs had deployed 271,000 CableCards for use in third-party UDCR equipment; those MSOs account for 80% of all cable subscribers nationwide, and if we extrapolate that out to 100% of subscribers, it becomes an estimated 338,750 CableCards deployed by the beginning of December... but even if all of those 339,000 cards were installed in TiVos (and I feel that they aren't all, though probably most), that's only 170,000 TiVos hooked up to cable systems. If you're right and there are many more than 200K high-definition TiVos in the field right now, then a surprisingly high percentage of them are being used OTA-only. It's possible, I guess .
Well, there also could be a fair number on Cable but not using CableCards, but I agree the stats don't match up.

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It's nice to imagine that you're important, but, so far as the cable companies are concerned, we really aren't.
Well, there's important and important. The company for which I work grosses over a billion dollars a year in revenue, and our largest customers pay us in excess of $100,000 a month, yet we often fight almost unbelievably hard to get and retain customers who only pay us $375 a month. Now there's no way we would ever let a $375 a month customer significantly impact a $100,000 a month customer in even the slightest fashion, but we don't ignore them, either. We also spend a huge amount of money on the $375 customers as a group, they being far, far more in number than the six figure clients. Of course, the dynamic is a little different for the Cable Company, because for them there is not such a large difference in revenue between their highest paying and lowest paying individual customer, and also because they must spend the same infrastructure dollars whether they catch the biggest fish or smallest fish in their pond, while we spend much more individually on infrastructure on the $100K customer than on the $375 customer.

You are correct in saying we S3 TiVo users are not their highest priority by a long shot, but it would be inaccurate to say they don't care about Tivo owners, at all. To a certain extent, any good businessman is concerned about each and every customer, including the very smallest, and to some measure the CATV company is concerned about each and every single loss to their competition, even if it's just a basic subscriber. What's more, on a one by one basis, S3 TiVo owners are probably right at the top of the revenue getters, not to mention being more likley to be rich and politically powerful than the average sub. Nonetheless, as a logical grouping, S3 owners represent a very small fraction of the overall revenue stream, so it would indeed be quite unwise - not to mention all too easy - to overestimate our importance to the CATV providers.

Indeed, the fact I know some uncomfortable facts about certain highly placed employees in the industry probably offers me more clout.

The fact I am much bigger than they, can beat them up, and know where they live probably offers more still.

Nonetheless, there is still a significant difference between "small" and "zero", and while a CATV provider isn't going to spend millions in cash or even jeopardize tens of thousands of dollars of their revenue stream, any responsible CATV company should certainly be willing to listen and to consider policies which don't otherwise impact their revenues or cost them anything out of proportion to the admittedly small revenues we represent.
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:13 AM   #1272
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If we all stopped using cable en masse (which ain't gonna happen), they'd hardly notice it on their bottom line.
Just for reference, a company's bottom line is the total of their costs (laying off employees decreases the bottom line). Their top line is their revenue (losing customers impacts their top line). Their actual profit or loss is the area between the two amounts of money on a graph. Not a big deal, but it seems to be misused so often I thought I'd chime in.
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:04 AM   #1273
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SDV and Verizon FIOS

There may be another factor in the issue of providing a resolution to the sdv issue for TIVO owners who use cablecards. This is competition with Verizon FIOS TV. In my area (the north shore of Long Island) which is Cablevision territory(who recently mailed out cards indicating loss of HD channels for cablecard customers) a franchise has been approved for Verizon FIOS. This will push Cablevision customers such as myself to switch as Verizon, according to a sales rep that I spoke to, has no plans at present for SDV because they have sufficient bandwith to begin with, thanks to fiber optic cables that now run to my house (I have Verizon Internet).

I realize that cablecards are still problematic and seem to cost more to install than a box but the fear of competition might push some cable companies to provide an SDV solution that appears to be in the works.

Of course I hope that it is not just wishful thinking on my part.

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Old 03-30-2008, 08:13 AM   #1274
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Well, do keep in mind, though, that FiOS cherry-picks. So the impact of FiOS is a bit muted, affecting mostly the customers who are already the most mobile (most financially able to switch, since many don't currently rely on analog, as much as the customers whom FiOS bypasses).
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:32 AM   #1275
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Just for reference, a company's bottom line is the total of their costs (laying off employees decreases the bottom line). Their top line is their revenue (losing customers impacts their top line). Their actual profit or loss is the area between the two amounts of money on a graph. Not a big deal, but it seems to be misused so often I thought I'd chime in.
As I understand it, the phrase "bottom line" is synonymous with "net income", a number typically shown on the last (i.e., "bottom") line of a traditional financial sheet. After we collect all revenues and pay off everyone we owe for our operations this past year (or quarter, or whatever), this is how much we ended up earning or losing. All revenues and all expenses affect the bottom line. In a publicly held company any dividends paid to shareholders come out of this (if it's a positive number).

It's pretty much what people always mean when they say "the bottom line" and that financial derivation is where the idioms like "skip to the bottom line" come from--it means, "forget all hairy details and just tell me how we made out".

The first definition of "bottom line" in The American Heritage Dictionary is "The line in a financial statement that shows net income or loss."
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:37 AM   #1276
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Just for reference, a company's bottom line is the total of their costs (laying off employees decreases the bottom line). Their top line is their revenue (losing customers impacts their top line). Their actual profit or loss is the area between the two amounts of money on a graph. Not a big deal, but it seems to be misused so often I thought I'd chime in.
Yes, Mike is right. Your interpretation of bottom line is wrong which would indicate why you think so many others are misusing the term.

revenue (top-line)
- cost of goods sold
--------------------
margin
- SG&A, operating costs
--------------------
operating income
- non operating items
--------------------
Net Income (bottom-line)
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #1277
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SDV vs FIOS

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This will push Cablevision customers such as myself to switch as Verizon, according to a sales rep that I spoke to, has no plans at present for SDV because they have sufficient bandwith to begin with, thanks to fiber optic cables that now run to my house (I have Verizon Internet).
Well, first of all, "plans at present" and what actually unfolds are often two different things. Ignoring interactive services for the moment, it's true the 870MHz digital bandwidth of the FIOS signal offers more bandwidth than is currently available for linear broadcast, but that's going to change soon. While no CATV company presently has enough gas with or without SDV to exceed a linear offering of 145 QAMs, SDV offers the ability to eventually do just that, especially as more and more HD offerings come online. By "eventually", I don't mean many years, either. I mean perhaps within the next 18 - 24 months.

More importantly, the term "sufficient bandwidth to begin with" suggests a perspective which ignores the fundamental capabilities of SDV, especially in terms of interactive services such as VOD, IPPV, Video Rewind, video conferencing, online video based shopping, specialty video feeds, secure video feeds, online video banking, etc.

I'll give you a directly analogous example. The following glosses over the development timeline somewhat, and fudges on some of the availability issues and evolutionary detail, but otherwise is accurate . When Ethernet first began to be deployed, it's topology was analogous to linear video broadcasts. Everyone on a LAN segment shared the same 10Mbps bandwidth. It was great, because essentially everything usually came from a single server and 10Mbps was more than the server's hard drive could usually manage, anyway. As time went by, however, server speeds and hard drive speeds went up, but everyone was sharing the same 10M bandwidth. What's worse, there were more and more workstations as well as more servers being added to the same LAN segment, so congestion soon became the biggest nightmare of the LAN administrator. An obvious solution to the problem would be to increase the LAN speed to something more than 10Mbps, and of course that did in fact happen, but just increasing the LAN speed wouldn't have resolved the underlying problem of shared bandwidth. The answer was to abandon the Ethernet hub and replace it with an Ethernet switch. Doing so allowed each and every workstation to potentially use up to the full 10M (or 100M or now 1000M) bandwidth. Of course, in addition, it made the communications full duplex, so the upstream utilization no longer impacts the available downstream bandwidth, but the main point is that without changing the bandwidth capabilities of the underlying hardware, merely by changing to a switched protocol rather than a hubbed protocol, the overall LAN bandwidth was increased much more than an order of magnitude, or in some cases more than two orders of magnitude.

The same is true here. SDV offers an essentially unlimited increase in effective bandwidth to the CATV system. At some point in the not too distant future I would expect it to well exceed 10G, and perhaps even 100G. That will leave FIOS' 870M way, way in the dust. Viewed as an overall offering, we are talking about effectively tens of thousands of unique, independent video feeds around the city. Many, of course, will just be the very same video content time shifted by a minute or ten as subs take advantage of Video Rewind or VOD. Others will be completely unique as a user pulls up an HD video of a home for sale somewhere across the country and another shares a home video off an HD camcorder from his sister in Peoria. Your employer can put up a video presentation available only to employees, and your model car racing club can put up videos available 24 hours a day available to every member of the club.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:36 PM   #1278
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TV Guide

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What he is refering to is TV Guide On Screen data. .. it has NOTHING to do with Cable Cards, that guide data, different from PSIP is free and available in the clear and even over the air, here are all the details:
The point is the protocol does work with CableCards, CableCard equipped devices can make use of it, and it is interactive.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:15 PM   #1279
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Verizon's big advantage in their offering is like the satellite services--nothing that they offer is analog, and therefore they don't have to waste more than half their capacity on 70-80 analog standard-definition basic and extended basic channels in bandwidth which could host twice as many 19 Mbps HD video streams.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:59 PM   #1280
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Channels 1-50 are all analog on my FiOS line-up if you're not using CableCARDs. (I used my THD that way for 3 weeks waiting for CCs.) However, analog is apparently going away starting in May according to mail Verizon just sent out.

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Old 03-31-2008, 12:07 AM   #1281
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Verizon's big advantage in their offering is like the satellite services--nothing that they offer is analog, and therefore they don't have to waste more than half their capacity on 70-80 analog standard-definition basic and extended basic channels in bandwidth which could host twice as many 19 Mbps HD video streams.
Yes, but a factor of two or three is virtually nothing compared to the resources made available by SDV. Even if their entire 870MHz is nothing but digital QAMs, that represents only 300 or so HD channels, each and every one of which must start and stop at one fixed moment. Using SDV, the "pool" of available programs can be literally unlimited. Hypothetically it could be millions, or tens of millions. In a practical sense, it means that more than 1/3 of the 1,000,000 or so receivers in a large urban market could be watching something different than what anyone else in the market is watching at that moment. If the node size were small enough, that could be bumped up to allow each and every subscriber in the entire system to be watching something different, but analyses of the traffic patterns of subscribers show diminishing returns when the average number of receivers on a node dips below a moderate multiple of the number of available SDV streams. As long as the average sub doesn't encounter the dreaded channel unavailable banner more than once or twice a year and not for more than a few minutes, they aren't going to complain.

Note again the largest utilization of bandwidth across an entire market is not any number of scheduled events, nor even of any highly specialized events, but rather interactive events which require what most often is the same content thousands of other subs may be watching stream out a few seconds or minutes earlier or later than all the other copies of the exact same program. Every time an SDV sub hits <Pause> or <Rewind> on his STB, the server has to split off that sub's stream from the rest of the system watching The Apprentice. Every time an SDV sub pulls up VOD and orders Real Time With Bill Maher at 11:07 instead of 11:00, it requires a unique data stream dedicated only to that customer. No matter how much bandwidth the provider has, in a linear broadcast model this just isn't possible.

Now, it's true these two particular (very popular) features of SDV are mostly made moot by having a DVR instead of an STB, but even those subs who have a leased DVR probably don't have two or more, and yet would like those capabilities on the sets which don't have a DVR attached. Most of the myriad of other services engendered by SDV cannot be duplicated on a non SDV DVR. They also cannot be duplicated by any other non-SDV equipment, which right now includes satellite services and FIOS. It would be singularly odd for either of those industries to overlook this fact. Unless they can come up with a very inexpensive 2-way satellite alternative, the satellite companies are ultimately SOL in this respect. FIOS is another matter, however. It won't cost FIOS any more to convert to SDV than it is costing the CATV providers.
I'll be totally shocked if FIOS doesn't have a significant SDV or similar offering within 2 years.
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:49 AM   #1282
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Yes, Mike is right.
I stand corrected


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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
analyses of the traffic patterns of subscribers show diminishing returns when the average number of receivers on a node dips below a moderate multiple of the number of available SDV streams.
Wait...the law of diminishing returns is true?? Ridiculous! :P

Quote:
Now, it's true these two particular (very popular) features of SDV are mostly made moot by having a DVR instead of an STB, but even those subs who have a leased DVR probably don't have two or more, and yet would like those capabilities on the sets which don't have a DVR attached.
See, I really do think that is ridiculous. I can't imagine why this would even be necessary. I've never understood the appeal of this kind of thing or why CATV providers (well, at least TWC in my area) push it as this amazing feature. That's what a DVR is for. I don't know the business math behind it, but until they rolled out such a feature, I can't imagine that people were clamoring for it. It was a completely new, heretofore unheard of feature. If they just never bothered rolling it out and instead suggested that the DVR would be the best option, would people really complain? I mean, satellite can't do that, can it?

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Old 03-31-2008, 08:26 AM   #1283
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lrhorer,

I thought VOD with FiOS uses IPTV for the on-demand delivery, so that would not seem to require SDV with FiOS. Apparently PPV is not over IP. Since it seems like the largest growth is likely in VOD, including all the pausing and asynchrony of video streams to homes, putting that over IPTV instead of the 870MHz "cable" stream should help a lot, no?

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Old 03-31-2008, 01:38 PM   #1284
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FIOS already delivers interactive content via IP, in the 1490nm spectrum. Their 870MHz cable spectrum is separate at 1550nm. Deploying SDV buys them no additional interactive or IP bandwidth.
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:46 PM   #1285
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I spoke with a TiVo employee a month after the Series III was released, and he told me the Series III had sold more than 250,000 units in less than a month.
Thatīs what you get when you talk to a TiVo employee.

My question is whether there is any info on the availability of the dongle thingy since I last logged in here feb 1st. I took the comment on the earnings call that progress was continuing to be made without a reiteration of the "second QTR" time frame as an indication we are looking beyond June in the absence of any other info.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:03 PM   #1286
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FIOS already delivers interactive content via IP, in the 1490nm spectrum. Their 870MHz cable spectrum is separate at 1550nm.
I am not all that familiar with FIOS, so you and ilh may well be correct. It is the switched nature of SDV which makes it efficient, and if FIOS' IPTV offering is switched at a point where a significantly small number of users are sharing the bandwidth, then it enjoys the same benefits as SDV. Note, however, this still requires a 2-way host, whether CableCard based or otherwise.

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Deploying SDV buys them no additional interactive or IP bandwidth.
Employing SDV does free up bandwidth, no matter what, and since it is interactive it does by definition buy them additional interactive bandwidth. Depending upon the number and nature of their 1550nm carriers, however, and how many subs receive the same set of carriers, it may be unnecessary.

Note also that as time goes by and eventually the number of users taking any significant advantage whatsoever of the linear channels, there will eventually come a point when the entire 870MHz RF spectrum will beg to either convert to a switched protocol or shut down entirely. 'No reason to maintain something nobody watches.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:08 PM   #1287
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Peeping

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Thatīs what you get when you talk to a TiVo employee.
Yeah, point taken. At least he was genuinely enthusiastic and very helpful. Those qualities are sometimes hard by which to come in support personnel.

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My question is whether there is any info on the availability of the dongle thingy since I last logged in here feb 1st.
'Nary a peep that I have seen or heard.

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Originally Posted by HDTiVo View Post
I took the comment on the earnings call that progress was continuing to be made without a reiteration of the "second QTR" time frame as an indication we are looking beyond June in the absence of any other info.
Let's just say I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:54 AM   #1288
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I am not all that familiar with FIOS, so you and ilh may well be correct. It is the switched nature of SDV which makes it efficient, and if FIOS' IPTV offering is switched at a point where a significantly small number of users are sharing the bandwidth, then it enjoys the same benefits as SDV. Note, however, this still requires a 2-way host, whether CableCard based or otherwise.
Verizon boxes are all two way, though they use IP over MoCA for their return path. Since they have been using MoCA based boxes, I am not entirely certain their ONTs support any sort of QPSK/QAM/DOCSIS based return path (some ONTs can act as a host and then tunnel it over IP back to the headend). Not sure how that will effect their ability to support tru2way and such.

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Employing SDV does free up bandwidth, no matter what, and since it is interactive it does by definition buy them additional interactive bandwidth. Depending upon the number and nature of their 1550nm carriers, however, and how many subs receive the same set of carriers, it may be unnecessary.
Sorry, let me rephrase that. Given the inherent segregation of their various services, moving to SDV does not free up bandwidth that can be used for IP traffic, or for their existing interactive (IPTV based) services. SDV is a two way service, but I would not call it interactive in the sense that people generally use the term.

Anyway, suffice it to say, their network is built wrong for deploying SDV, and the bandwidth savings they would get from it could be not used to enhance their current services, beyond the ability to have more linear mapped channels. Given that they can already have more channels than anyone else due to their IP and IPTV being out of band, it seems unlikely they will ever need to deploy SDV as such. I could easily see them ending up totally IP based at some distant point in the future, but I suspect that 1550nm is going to remain an 870MHz non-SDV QAM based system until it is shut down.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:41 PM   #1289
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Well, do keep in mind, though, that FiOS cherry-picks. So the impact of FiOS is a bit muted, affecting mostly the customers who are already the most mobile (most financially able to switch, since many don't currently rely on analog, as much as the customers whom FiOS bypasses).
I'll take this as an opportunity to make some points about the relative importance of tivo subs.

first- all customers are NOT equal to cable. Directv as an example recently found that a large portion of their profit comes from a small portion of their customers at the top end.
check out http://dtv.client.shareholder.com/events.cfm look at the powerpoint presentation from the feb 22,2006 meeting and look at slide 64.
Basically directv figures the top 33% of their subs account for 63% of their profit. I'd venture to say a tivo cablecard sub is very likely to be in the top 33% of cable's customer structure. Directv also figures the bottom 35% only account for 13% of their profit. (with the bottom 15% acounnting for just 3%)


I'm not certain but my guess would be that DBS's incremental cost is a bunch less then cable's since there is no wireline infrastructure or nodes to maintain- one satellite serves 10million subs just as well as 11 million but cable needs to use a bit more infrastructure to add additional subs. Also- cable's top end revenue generators might even account for more profit since cable has the ability to sell broadband and telephone that DBS just doesn't have. So it stands to reason that cable cares even more about their top end subs then dbs would.

(Flip side to all this is DISH loves the bottom feeders so maybe directv's math is wrong- LOL)

Because of all that- verizon "cherry picking" is even bigger then someone just competing across the board. Verizon going after the affluent high-end subs that buy TRIPLE PLAY is just the damage that that cable doesn't want. An analog sub is somewhat less likely to have triple play then a digital sub. And cable seems to be making all their recent gains selling the other services besides cable.

Also- clearly people with HD tivo's have a bit of disposable income. So again they as a whole are likely to generate more revenue for cable.

So TiVo cablecard subs are probably more profitable and therefore more important then any random sub. But the question still remains does any one tivo cablecard sub produce enough additional profit to offset the loss of X amount of analog subs that need to be sacrificed to keep the tivo sub happy. That's the 64 thousand dollar question.

To kind of place a ballpark number on it and making a few assumptions (not to be taken as gospel but to put numbers on things to get an idea of scope)
Assuming cables profit bands fall in the same tiers as directv. Then basically you can piss off 9 or 10 subs in the bottom 15% in order to keep one sub in the top 33%. MY OPINION- one can assume a tivo cablecard sub is in that top 33%, but the problem is pulling analog channels probably offends many more then 10 people for each tivo sub. And to make it worse- likely plenty of the people that cable is likely to piss off are in the middle bands- not the bottom end. Many people seem to have digital cable yet still have analog outlets for their secondary sets.

Bottom line- Tivo subs probably have a more clout but the costs to keep them happy by not doing sdv and instead taking analog channels away is likely pretty high and therefore not worth the effort.

On the other hand- keeping the cable subs without cablecard that are in that top third is very important. They probably have HD in higher numbers then the bottom tiers and to keep them happy and away from fios and DBS you need to increase the HD. And the easiest way to do that seems to be SDV.

Last edited by MichaelK : 04-02-2008 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:51 PM   #1290
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first- all customers are NOT equal to cable. Directv as an example recently found that a large portion of their profit comes from a small portion of their customers at the top end.
Good point, but without a similar study of cable customers it is as likely as not to be the case that the proportions are the exact opposite for cable, i.e., that the high-end customers flock to satellite (or FiOS, since that's exactly the kind of customer that FiOS is evidently cherry-picking for), and therefore represent a much greater contribution to the whole. Since satellite doesn't provide analog service, and doesn't provide regulated lifeline service ($8.50 per month, here, imposed on cable, per regulation), it stands to reason that 100% of those "low-end" customers choose cable over satellite.

Wal-Mart is poised to become the top seller of HDTVs this December -- Ask yourself, which "end" of the market will they be serving? And they'll make many times more money per store doing so, just this year, than the entire Cambridge Soundworks chain made selling HDTVs in the entirety of its existence. There is a place -- a very specific and significant place -- for both "ends" of the market, and neither end is "better" or "worse" to pursue: $1,000,000 of profit, made $1,000 at a time, is just as good as $1,000,000 of profit, made $10,000 at a time.

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I'd venture to say a tivo cablecard sub is very likely to be in the top 33% of cable's customer structure.
Note that DirecTV doesn't even support TiVo CableCard subscribers -- they don't consider such folks to be in their intended target market. There's no reason to think that that specific group will be considered worthwhile of pursuing in earnest by any supplier: That specific group has already pre-determined their supplier, in most cases, and so the desires of that specific group is thereby devalued by the reality of the situation.

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I'm not certain but my guess would be that DBS's incremental cost is a bunch less then cable's since there is no wireline infrastructure or nodes to maintain ... So it stands to reason that cable cares even more about their top end subs then dbs would.
Cable has already incurred the cost to wire most everyone, whether they're customers or not. Turning service on incurs a very small incremental cost.

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Because of all that- verizon "cherry picking" is even bigger then someone just competing across the board. Verizon going after the affluent high-end subs that buy TRIPLE PLAY is just the damage that that cable doesn't want.
I think that's true for a different reason, but only with a proviso: A high-margin customer is always better than a low-margin customer, but only as long as the costs to attract each is held constant. Otherwise, the math gets a lot more complicated.
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