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Old 06-03-2008, 07:40 AM   #1621
bhoch99
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Tuning Adapter Questions

I've been reading about the Tuning Adapter coming out, looking at the pictures from the cable show in New Orleans. Here's some questions to research or add to the FAQ once answered:

1. How much will the tuning adapter cost? My cable provider (TWC) already charges me $1.75 per month per cable card. I read that Cox will be providing the box for free to customers, does anyone think this will be true for other cable providers?

2. Will a truck roll be required in order to deploy the tuning adapter? I had to pay TWC around $22 for them to install the cable cards, don't want to have to pay another $22

3. How much power will SDV tuning adapters draw? From the pictures, it looks like they will be powered by a AC/DC converter brick. Nice. One of the things that made a Series 3 Tivo appealing was not having decoder boxes all over the place. I live in a rural area where power is not cheap. Maybe the fabled Series 4 box will have the SDV tuning adapter built in (of course, then there's a charge to upgrade, swap lifetime, etc)
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:48 AM   #1622
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1. It isn't clear. Most folks expect that in many cases it will either be included in some other fee or cost no more than a few extra dollars per month.

2. It isn't clear. Some places will; some places won't; and there likely won't be any pattern to it.

3. Good question. Unless someone has the tech specs available, I'd use the tech specs for the small STBs.

The Series 4 might be tru2way, so SDV will be accomplished another (the more cable box-standard) way, I suspect.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:02 PM   #1623
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Exaggeration

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Originally Posted by Enforcer View Post
You guys in phoenix are lucky. In San Antonio all the good stuff is SDV. Give them time, they'll screw you eventually. I can't wait for the adapter. Tired of having to go into my office to see all the channels.
That's an overstatement. Actually, there are only about 6 or 8 SDV HD scheduled channels here in San Antonio in which I am significantly interested. All the main premium HD channels (HBO, Starz, Showtime, Movie Channel, Cinemax, etc) are on linear QAMs. So are all the local HD channels, as well as Discovery HD Theater, UHD, HDNET, HDNET Movies, MOJO HD and TNT HD. Certainly I would like to get the Discovery, A&E, Animal Planet, TBS, etc. HD offerings which are currently SDV. I'm not really interested in very much inthe way of SD video, although there are perhaps one or two SD channels on SDV which I would like to get, and no doubt there are some HD channels coming in which I would be interested, but your statement is quite an exaggeration in my estimation. A great deal of the "good stuff" is on linear QAMs here in San Antonio.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:15 PM   #1624
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Originally Posted by bhoch99 View Post
1. How much will the tuning adapter cost? My cable provider (TWC) already charges me $1.75 per month per cable card.
It will no doubt vary from municipality to municipality, just as CableCard charges do now.

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Originally Posted by rodalpho View Post
I read that Cox will be providing the box for free to customers, does anyone think this will be true for other cable providers?
I imagine some might. I suspect most won't.

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Originally Posted by rodalpho View Post
2. Will a truck roll be required in order to deploy the tuning adapter? I had to pay TWC around $22 for them to install the cable cards, don't want to have to pay another $22
Policies of this sort do not fall under any mandate or federal regulation. Some municipalities may have some sort of regulation covering this sort of thing, but most don't. Some MSOs may implement nationwide policies for some of these situations, but most leave it up to the senior management team of the local franchise. If you raise enough of a stink with the CSR, they (or a supervisor) may be willing to waive any such fees, company policy notwithstanding. TWC locally not only waived fees in two cases at my insistence, they even refunded me several days' service in one case because of the installation troubles (including missed appointments and not having the correct equipment).

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3. How much power will SDV tuning adapters draw?
It should be very small. I would be surprised if it's much more than 5 watts for either the SA or Motorola.

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Originally Posted by rodalpho View Post
From the pictures, it looks like they will be powered by a AC/DC converter brick.
I don't think the SA will. It's a bigger box, and I would expect it to have a transformer and primary supply inside.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:11 AM   #1625
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I apologize....

I tried to read previous posts to find this out but all I got was a headache.

Will the SDV adapter make VOD work with the Tivo HD?

My CATV currently does not use SDV for broadcast channels.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:47 AM   #1626
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Will the SDV adapter make VOD work with the Tivo HD?
That's not its intent or its first purpose, though it would technically be possible if the cable companies were to come up with a standard protocol for interrogating available programs and TiVo would support it. But don't expect it to happen, at least not when they first become available.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:54 AM   #1627
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Will the SDV adapter make VOD work with the Tivo HD?
No. While the adapter would provide the 2 way communications portion necessary for this to work there also has to be the VOD software interface - which is different for different headends. There have been some rumblings that Tivo is working on a new Tru2way box that would be capable of using the cable company VOD interface:
http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/06/t...ures-like-vod/
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:30 AM   #1628
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Not a 100% Tivo related, but 100% SDV related:

I posted this originally over at the Cablevision Optimum Online forum at dsl reports:


My comments related to my CABLEVISION system... your results may vary
Quote:
Oh I found that SDV is basically "on demand" but in HD! And its sent UNENCRYPTED.... so based on that:

I did a rescan with my QAM equipped TV, and I can actually watch random VOOM channels on Analog channel frequency 75 (75-518, 75-522, 75-593), 76 (76-532, 76-586), and 84 (84-542).

Of course the analog base frequency and digital sub carrier might be different by you... but rescan your channels (and if you have a cablecard TV with a cablecard in there, eject the cablecard and then rescan to see these).

Its pretty cool and makse sense when you think about it. SDV is nothing more than advanced "on demand." So if someone in your head-end area requests the channel on SDV, its still broadcast to every home... Cable boxes that tune to that channel are just told what analog band and digital subcarrier to tune to. Cablecard TVs cant see it.

So your QAM enabled HDTV can pick it up just fine.

Of course if you are watching this stream, and your area runs out of SDV slots, and someone w/a cable box requests a different channel, what you are viewing might disappear or suddenly turn into another of the VOOM SDV channels.

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Old 06-06-2008, 09:33 AM   #1629
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It's also a great way to find out what porn your neighbor is watching.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:01 AM   #1630
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That won't work in Austin. All SDV channels are encrypted.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:39 AM   #1631
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That won't work in Austin. All SDV channels are encrypted.
Any chance you can take care of that for me?
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:44 AM   #1632
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Any chance you can take care of that for me?
About a snowball's chance in you know where...
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:47 PM   #1633
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It's also a great way to find out what porn your neighbor is watching.
Seriously. I can intercept other people's porn in my head end.

The best is, you see them fast forwarding and rewinding over the "boring" parts. LOL

That stinks for you guys that the SDV broadcast is encrypted. I at least can watch LIVE, about 1/3 of the channels I lost at any given point.
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:52 PM   #1634
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Seriously. I can intercept other people's porn in my head end.

The best is, you see them fast forwarding and rewinding over the "boring" parts. LOL

That stinks for you guys that the SDV broadcast is encrypted. I at least can watch LIVE, about 1/3 of the channels I lost at any given point.
You've got your OWN headend?
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:15 PM   #1635
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About a snowball's chance in you know where...
On a slightly more serious note, were they not encrypted at some point when SDV first was introduced? Back in '04-'05 or so when SDV was first introduced in Austin we started being able to receive the West coast Cinemax and some of the other less popular premium tiers (IFC, Encore Western, etc.) and the installer told me it was because someone in our node was watching them because the lease was for 12 hours or something. He didn't seem to be correct though becuase they never seemed to expire; we watched them for a year or two. Occasionally channels would disappear and I assumed it was just because someone altered their cable package. Then 18 months ago or so they all went away. I wasn't sure if TW just made it so the SA wouldn't attempt to tune channels you didn't subscribe to or if they encrypted them all.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:22 PM   #1636
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I wasn't aware there were any unencrypted digital cable channels (beyond the locals as offered or required by regulation). Isn't that the purpose of the CableCARD in the first place, to decrypt digital cable signals?
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:37 PM   #1637
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You've got your OWN headend?
No, I just mean someone in my neighborhood (I don't OWN the neighborhood of course) who's watching on-demand porn, I can intercept with the QAM tuner in my HDTV. And I can see all the ff, rew, and pausing they do.

And in reply to the other poster: It appears that on demand and SDV in my neighborhood aren't encrypted. And typically its not worth it for others to "listen in" as it were with a QAM tuner, as the broadcast might stop, or the person doing the requesting might hit FF, etc.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:23 PM   #1638
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Most of the stuff that's been presented as Switched Broadcast by cable providers are things that are encrypted when they're linear channels and remain encrypted when transitioned to SBV. I'm particularly shocked that VOD porn on your system is in the clear--that'll end when somebody catches their little kid watching it. Almost certainly the fact that all switched video on your system is unencrypted is a mistake on the part of the people running it, which could be corrected at any time.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:43 PM   #1639
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Oh I found that SDV is basically "on demand" but in HD! And its sent UNENCRYPTED.... so based on that:
That depends on the CATV system and perhaps the channel. The CATV provider can choose to encrypt any channels (excluding local channels) it wants. Some do not.

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Its pretty cool and makse sense when you think about it. SDV is nothing more than advanced "on demand."
Actually, that's backwards. On-demand is more sophisticated than SDV, because it employs what some people term a "trick play" mechanism which tells the server farm to start and stop (or fast forward or rewind...) playing a source rather than just enabling the stream for an additional destination. Depending on the channel, it also may employ a billing element. IF you will look back a few pages, you will see an extensive discussion on the nature of VOD and similar services. If a CATV company is deploying SDV, then their on-demand services will use the SDV platform as a carrier.

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So if someone in your head-end area requests the channel on SDV, its still broadcast to every home...
Uh-uh. Nyet. Nein. Not even. The entire point of SDV is that the stream is *NOT* sent to every home served by a headend. The stream will only be sent to the node of the user who requests the content. Most CATV providers engineer their plant to serve between 400 and 1000 subscribers per node, and perhaps 40,000 - 50,000 subs per headend. Here in San Antonio, for example, there are some 500 or more nodes in 8 or 10 (I lost count) headends, so only 1 household out of every 500 would have the content available here, and since most chanels are encrypted, so is most on-demand content.

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Of course if you are watching this stream, and your area runs out of SDV slots, and someone w/a cable box requests a different channel, what you are viewing might disappear or suddenly turn into another of the VOOM SDV channels.
No, it won't, as the existing stream has priority. If the sub who requested the content changes channels, however, then the content will evaporate.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:50 PM   #1640
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That won't work in Austin. All SDV channels are encrypted.
I'm really rather surprised that any systems wouldn't encrypt their SDV channels, or at least most of them. Certainly I can't imagine any CATV operator deliberately not encrypting pay channels, or most definitely porn channels. The former is asking for theft and the latter for trouble.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:56 PM   #1641
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I wasn't aware there were any unencrypted digital cable channels (beyond the locals as offered or required by regulation). Isn't that the purpose of the CableCARD in the first place, to decrypt digital cable signals?
Well, yes, but that doesn't mean the CATV proivider is required to. They can send anything they choose out in the clear. Indeed, while I haven't noticed them doing any such thing in the last couple of years - not that I've paid attention - some CATV companies will host subscriber campaigns designed to get subs to add pay channels by disabling encryption for a time so everyone gets certain channels for a short time for free.

Edit: Note San Antonio, like Austin, encrypts its SDV channels - although I haven't checked them all I would presume all of them. The only thing you might find is an occasional video rewind stream where someone watching one of the locals on an STB presses <Pause>. I don't know for a fact, but I wouldn't necessarily expect on-demand content spawned from an unencrypted source to be encrypted.

Last edited by lrhorer : 06-06-2008 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:14 PM   #1642
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Almost certainly the fact that all switched video on your system is unencrypted is a mistake on the part of the people running it, which could be corrected at any time.
Absolutely. Even if it isn't a mistake, it's a mistake, especially when it comes to porn. Deliberately sending out porn in the clear is a good way to invite a lawsuit.

OTOH, there was a local automated weather channel on a CATV system in a small town back in the 70s (basically it was just a video camera on a tripod pointed at a dial thermomenter, a dial barometer, a psychrometer, and an anemometer) who had a prank played on them. Some teenagers broke into the site and put a full frontal centerfold model up in front of the meters.

Apparently no one at the CATV company ever bothered to look at the channel, because the centerfold stayed there for 2 weeks. Even when it did come down, it was because someone called in. Whoever it was didn't complain about the centerfold, he just wanted to know if a storm was coming and couldn't see the barometer.
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:33 PM   #1643
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There have been some rumblings that Tivo is working on a new Tru2way box that would be capable of using the cable company VOD interface:
Or anything else the CATV company choses to deliver. The Tru2Way spec requires a middleware socket where the local provider's interactive agent would attach. This enables compatibility with every service delivered by the CATV company, at their discretion, at least at this point.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:08 PM   #1644
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If a CATV company is deploying SDV, then their on-demand services will use the SDV platform as a carrier.
Can you clarify the above statement?

Does this mean that if my cable company uses bigband for SDV, their VOD equipment is also bigband or do you mean the VOD services are transmitted over the SDV equipment?
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:23 PM   #1645
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If a CATV company is deploying SDV, then their on-demand services will use the SDV platform as a carrier.

So what are cable companies using to provide ondemand if they aren't using SDV yet?
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:49 AM   #1646
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If a CATV company is deploying SDV, then their on-demand services will use the SDV platform as a carrier.

So what are cable companies using to provide ondemand if they aren't using SDV yet?
Cable co's can use completely different VOD and SDV platforms. Seachange, SA, Moto, Arroyo all make VOD systems that can work with Bigband, SA, and Moto SDV systems.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:34 AM   #1647
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Thanks for the info on SDV versus VOD platforms. I had suspected that the two services would be unrelated to each other, and that confirms it.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:16 AM   #1648
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Cable co's can use completely different VOD and SDV platforms. Seachange, SA, Moto, Arroyo all make VOD systems that can work with Bigband, SA, and Moto SDV systems.
Once SDV is deployed is it possible to deliver VOD via SDV as well? Cox Orange County VOD system dedicates 8 whole RF channels (with 10 VOD streams per RF using QAM 256) to VOD which seems like a big waste of linear bandwidth that would make much more sense to put under a switched system.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:19 AM   #1649
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I wouldn't say 'put VOD on SDV' but the deployment of SDV will allow a much more dynamic allocation of bandwidth. It is like the boundary between SDV and VOD will ebb and flow based on demand. You could not do that before without doing channel map changes.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:09 AM   #1650
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I wouldn't say 'put VOD on SDV' but the deployment of SDV will allow a much more dynamic allocation of bandwidth. It is like the boundary between SDV and VOD will ebb and flow based on demand. You could not do that before without doing channel map changes.
That would work as long as the peak times for each programming (VOD and SDV) did not occur at the same time. I am guessing that the cable company would give higher priority to the VOD streams since they probably generate more money per resource.

There should be a way to optimize usage by some kind of algorithm that weighs usage and allocates resources as needed. Kind of like load sharing on web servers and firewalls. Maybe they could allocate 10 channels for both VOD and SDV. 4 could be dedicated for VOD and 4 for SDV. The remaining 2 would be available for either service on an as needed basis.

just my 2 cents.....
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