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Old 10-06-2008, 06:12 PM   #31
bdraw
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Originally Posted by jtmal0723 View Post
I got my adapter today... It's a Cisco STA1520... I've got it plugged into the tivo now and everything and am going to see what this is all about
Congrats!

Can you email me a picture at ben at engadget?

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Old 10-06-2008, 06:52 PM   #32
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Are you certain that there are channels presented as switched digital that you can tune now that you weren't able to tune before? Unlike letters announcing SDV sent out by TWC and Cox, that one didn't seem to list the group of services that they planned to provide as switched broadcasts.
I would have thought so, but nothing's different yet. I even took the adapter off and the same channels on the SDV list still come in. So the switch wasn't thrown yet.
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Congrats!

Can you email me a picture at ben at engadget?

Thanks
Done

And for everyone else's viewing pleasure, I've attached the same photo.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1006081951.jpg (27.7 KB, 352 views)
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:26 PM   #33
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Also, did you have to pay extra for it?
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:40 PM   #34
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I would have thought so, but nothing's different yet. I even took the adapter off and the same channels on the SDV list still come in. So the switch wasn't thrown yet.

Done

And for everyone else's viewing pleasure, I've attached the same photo.
Thanks for the picture!
http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/10/06...ed-by-comcast/
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #35
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Somewhere Baby Jesus is crying because TWC is clueless. Living in an area that has had SDV for a very long time, I had hoped they would roll this out in our area first. Wishfull thinking.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:08 PM   #36
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We need to find out which channels are truly switched and if there's any sort of perceptible lag in "tuning" the station.

Also, I wonder if jtmal0723 is in an area that used to be a different cable provider?
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:13 PM   #37
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did you have to call in with any numbers to 'activate' it? Or did they link it to your account or anything?

or did it just work without any intervention from comcast?
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:16 PM   #38
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You won't be charged extra for it, according to the letter. My area used to be provided by Garden State Cable before Comcast bought them out in 2001.

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did you have to call in with any numbers to 'activate' it? Or did they link it to your account or anything?

or did it just work without any intervention from comcast?
If you go down to a payment center to pick one up, they just scan the number on the back of the unit like an ordinary cable box. If comcast comes to your house, then yes they'll have to phone in the numbers to activate it.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:21 PM   #39
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We need to find out which channels are truly switched and if there's any sort of perceptible lag in "tuning" the station.

Also, I wonder if jtmal0723 is in an area that used to be a different cable provider?
jtmal0723 can give more specifics but in the mean time-
most of NJ was some other differnt provider at one point (it was a complete hodge podge early on) but I believe that system has been comcast for some time now if not always (it's almost right across the Delaware River from the comcast mothership in Philly).

Cherry Hill was one of the 3 SDV test markets if I recall for comcast.

Maybe also union NJ (or maybe that's one of the OCAP markets)- which is about an hour away and separated by a pile of other systems- some from comcast, some cablevision, maybe a time warner.

I'm about an hour (in a slightly differnet direction) and whenever I ask they tell me that they have no plans to ever do sdv here- left hand vs right hand - but we have moto on my system so maybe that's part of it.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:59 PM   #40
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Nice! I can't wait for TWC to start to offer adapters.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:27 AM   #41
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When the Comcast (South Jersey) guy showed up today to install my Tuning Adapter, he informed me that SDV had been turned on already, but not yet for Cable Cards, which is why I have had no problem getting all the channels on my TiVo HD, even without the Adapter. It sounded like the switchover for Cable Cards might be in about a month, so we'll see what happens then.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:32 AM   #42
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When the Comcast (South Jersey) guy showed up today to install my Tuning Adapter, he informed me that SDV had been turned on already, but not yet for Cable Cards, which is why I have had no problem getting all the channels on my TiVo HD, even without the Adapter. It sounded like the switchover for Cable Cards might be in about a month, so we'll see what happens then.
That, actually, would make a whole lot of sense to be honest...
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:49 AM   #43
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WTF. they gave you a tuning adaptor and you dont even have SDV channels yet? What kind of cruel world is this.....
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:54 AM   #44
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When the Comcast (South Jersey) guy showed up today to install my Tuning Adapter, he informed me that SDV had been turned on already, but not yet for Cable Cards, which is why I have had no problem getting all the channels on my TiVo HD, even without the Adapter. It sounded like the switchover for Cable Cards might be in about a month, so we'll see what happens then.
Interesting.... maybe I don't fully understand SDV, but that does not seem to make much sense to me. I thought that without SDV, you have an always on pipe with all channels being broadcast at once. Once you take a channel and switch it to SDV, then it is no longer broadcasting all the time until someone from that node requests that channel. And I thought Nodes were geographically divided, so does this mean they are claiming to have only turned on SDV for nodes where there are no customers using cable cards? Maybe they have some of those.

Either way, I sure wish TWC would have provided a solution before turning on SDV. What a novel approach.... OK I am just plain jealous.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:20 AM   #45
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I have a theory about how these things work, can you do a quick test that might confirm it?
All you have to do is plug the USB cable into a PC and see what it is detected as.
I believe it'll be some sort of networking device.
Thanks
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:49 AM   #46
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Interesting.... maybe I don't fully understand SDV, but that does not seem to make much sense to me. I thought that without SDV, you have an always on pipe with all channels being broadcast at once. Once you take a channel and switch it to SDV, then it is no longer broadcasting all the time until someone from that node requests that channel. And I thought Nodes were geographically divided, so does this mean they are claiming to have only turned on SDV for nodes where there are no customers using cable cards? Maybe they have some of those.

Either way, I sure wish TWC would have provided a solution before turning on SDV. What a novel approach.... OK I am just plain jealous.
Obviously what I am about to say is only a guess... I bet what has happened is they used some space to turn on SDV and get it working but continued "linear" service of all channels. This meant at times there were multiple copies of the same channel being sent. Now they they have the tuning adapter they can remove the effectively redundant "linear" channels and use the bandwidth either to provide more channels or possibly to use them for internet access.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:48 AM   #47
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When the Comcast (South Jersey) guy showed up today to install my Tuning Adapter, he informed me that SDV had been turned on already, but not yet for Cable Cards, which is why I have had no problem getting all the channels on my TiVo HD, even without the Adapter. It sounded like the switchover for Cable Cards might be in about a month, so we'll see what happens then.
Sounds like a cable tech who doesn't know what he's talking about .

Of course, it could be a situation like we had here, where they had some of the digital simulcast of the basic and extended basic tiers set up as SDV services for final testing before they turned on the main deployment of SDV. By definition, all of the simulcast channels are broadcast as both analog and digital, and in our system unidirectional CableCARD tuners were mapped to the analog versions of those channels. As I recall, Sci Fi was one of the channels they tested SDV with and leased STB users were complaining of sometimes getting "Channel temporarily unavailable--try again later" messages.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:34 AM   #48
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Isn't PPV on SDV?

Do those channels even come up?

On my Cablevision, there are a number of available HD SDV channels that just don't come up on my HD TiVo, but do with the S2 TiVo because it's connected to a cable box.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:37 AM   #49
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Very cool!

Can you possibly post or email me a picture of the back? Michael at Weaknees . . .

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:42 AM   #50
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Hmmm

Hmmm I'm a bit confused - I thought this was just supposed to be a little dongle we plug into our TiVo. This looks like another cable box. Can you post a pic of this next to your TiVo HD? I'm curious to see just how big this thing is...
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:49 AM   #51
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Hmmm I'm a bit confused - I thought this was just supposed to be a little dongle we plug into our TiVo. This looks like another cable box. Can you post a pic of this next to your TiVo HD? I'm curious to see just how big this thing is...
Both the Motorola and SciAtl/Cisco models re-use their smallest digital cable box enclosures. We've known this for awhile. I've got some pics from May here (and below).





I'm most interested in tuning speed and wondering how these are provisioned. TiVo's got a FAQ here.

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Old 10-07-2008, 12:09 PM   #52
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Interesting. TiVo's FAQ seems to imply that if you have a tuning adapter but no CableCARDs, you'll get the right channel mapping for all the unencrypted/not-copy-protected channels (which on most systems includes all the OTA HD content they retransmit.)
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:16 PM   #53
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I have a theory about how these things work, can you do a quick test that might confirm it?
All you have to do is plug the USB cable into a PC and see what it is detected as.
I believe it'll be some sort of networking device.
Thanks
I plugged it into a Vista computer with Media Center installed for the hell of it, and it comes up as an Unidentified device - Tuning Resolver, and asks for the drivers, of which, of course, I don't have.

As for a picture of the back of it, I can happily grab you one tonight if you need it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:26 PM   #54
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How big is this thing? From the photo, it looks pretty large. And I wonder how much power it consumes.

CableCARD was supposed to allow me to get rid of a big ugly, power sucking, cable box. Alas.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:29 PM   #55
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Interesting. TiVo's FAQ seems to imply that if you have a tuning adapter but no CableCARDs, you'll get the right channel mapping for all the unencrypted/not-copy-protected channels (which on most systems includes all the OTA HD content they retransmit.)
Yes I speculated about exactly this a long while ago in the various unencrypted QAM threads as a potential solution to the channel mapping issue. One question remaining is if non-CableCard Tivo Series3 customers will be able to get hold of a TA if they want...
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:46 PM   #56
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I'm still shocked that they aren't charging for it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:50 PM   #57
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Yes I speculated about exactly this a long while ago in the various unencrypted QAM threads as a potential solution to the channel mapping issue. One question remaining is if non-CableCard Tivo Series3 customers will be able to get hold of a TA if they want...
I doubt it, the rep at the Comcast payment center looked to make sure I had CableCARDs before she went into the back to get an adapter for me.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:54 PM   #58
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One question remaining is if non-CableCard Tivo Series3 customers will be able to get hold of a TA if they want...
Maybe they will rent you one for the cost of a STB.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:55 PM   #59
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How big is this thing? From the photo, it looks pretty large. And I wonder how much power it consumes.

CableCARD was supposed to allow me to get rid of a big ugly, power sucking, cable box. Alas.
Cisco's specsheet for the STA1520 gives it's dimensions as 11.75"x8"x1.75"--that would give it a similar footprint to a sheet of paper (.75" longer, .5" less wide). Obviously they could be smaller (Moto's is much smaller), but they cobbled these things together using as many pieces of other in-production parts as they could to bring them in at a dirt-low price--the cable providers need to offer them to customers at little to no cost. Custom industrial design and enclosure manufacturing would add to the cost.

I sincerely doubt that it draws much power. I don't much care how big it is--I'll probably tuck it behind my equipment cabinet on the floor. It has no exterior controls or IR command sensor, so there's no reason for it to be visible.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:59 PM   #60
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I doubt it, the rep at the Comcast payment center looked to make sure I had CableCARDs before she went into the back to get an adapter for me.
Perhaps one can still sneak one out if you happen to have CableCard(s) for 1 Tivo in the house but not another...
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