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Old 10-26-2009, 02:24 AM   #1
pninen
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A TiVo that handles SDV without TA

When are we gonna get a TiVo that handles Switched Digital Video natively, ie without a Tuning Adapter?

I'm on Time Warner. The tuning adapter goes lame every few days (blinking green light) requiring me to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in. Meanwhile I miss programs that were supposed to record. Does TW reboot the tuning adapters every few days just to inconvenience us? Also the TiVo with TA behaves differently than a TiVo without TA. There are occasional horrible user interface delays.

To solve these problems, I leave the Tuning Adapter USB cable unplugged most of the time. When I want to watch the one channel that I watch that is SDV, I plug it back in. The TiVo sees it and tells me about it and makes me click a couple of buttons.

Using this combination of TiVo + cable cards + Tuning Adapter to tune channels is a horrible buggy kludge. When will TiVo deliver us from this insanity?
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:55 AM   #2
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Using this combination of TiVo + cable cards + Tuning Adapter to tune channels is a horrible buggy kludge. When will TiVo deliver us from this insanity?
Not Tivo's fault. Blame the industry. Cablecards were supposed to eliminate the need for a cable company's set top box, however cable companies are hesitiant to say the least - as they like the revenue from said boxes and their own DVRs. Tuning Adapters are a 'quick fix' to the existing cablecard scheme to deal with SDV - which in addition to saving bandwidth, is again, another way to increase the revenue from cable company provided set top boxes and DVRs.

I often tell people that while Tivo is clearly the better product; it is not for the technophobe or the faint of heart.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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There is hope and speculation that the TiVo Series 4 (when and if it arrives) will integrate the Tuning Adapter functionality, maybe even tru2way (which would allow VOD and PPV).
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #4
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Any idea what the reliable tea leaf readers are suggesting as an ETA for S4's?
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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There is hope and speculation that the TiVo Series 4 (when and if it arrives) will integrate the Tuning Adapter functionality, maybe even tru2way (which would allow VOD and PPV).
Unfortunately, it's not feasible to integrate SDV functionality without tru2way. Why? Different cable companies use different SDV implementations. With tru2way, the box downloads the tru2way (OCAP) software made available by the cable company, which includes the handler app needed to support SDV on their particular system.

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Any idea what the reliable tea leave readers are suggesting as an ETA for S4's?
Outside of Time Warner and Brighthouse, most cable systems still haven't made their tru2way (OCAP) software available, so even if a TiVo Series4 were available today, it wouldn't be able to support SDV on many (i.e. Cox and Cablevision) systems. As far as tru2way (and thus integrated SDV support), we're waiting as much on the cable companies as we are TiVo.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pninen View Post
When are we gonna get a TiVo that handles Switched Digital Video natively, ie without a Tuning Adapter?
Nothing has been announced by TiVo. Anything you may hear is rumor.

We do not know for sure that TiVo is even working on a next-generation DVR, other than the announced one for DirecTV.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pninen View Post
When are we gonna get a TiVo that handles Switched Digital Video natively, ie without a Tuning Adapter?

I'm on Time Warner. The tuning adapter goes lame every few days (blinking green light) requiring me to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in. Meanwhile I miss programs that were supposed to record. Does TW reboot the tuning adapters every few days just to inconvenience us? Also the TiVo with TA behaves differently than a TiVo without TA. There are occasional horrible user interface delays.

To solve these problems, I leave the Tuning Adapter USB cable unplugged most of the time. When I want to watch the one channel that I watch that is SDV, I plug it back in. The TiVo sees it and tells me about it and makes me click a couple of buttons.

Using this combination of TiVo + cable cards + Tuning Adapter to tune channels is a horrible buggy kludge. When will TiVo deliver us from this insanity?

Mine used to do that too. I was one of the people that got the first ones out the door. I replaced the TA with a new one and the new one doesn't do that at all. not sure if there is different firmware on it since the TA launch date. You might want to try and replace it.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:52 AM   #8
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To echo s2kdave, when TW-Austin first rolled out the TA's they did reboot fairly often for firmware updates, and I had a problem where they had mine as a test unit in the database so it'd get removed every two months. Got a new TA and they seem to have gotten their firmware where they want it and now it's been pretty solid.

So...take hope from this if your city is new to SDV... in a couple months they should have it down better.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:44 PM   #9
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Not Tivo's fault. Blame the industry.
I'm not ascribing blame. I'm just sayin' what has to be said. The present situation is a horrible kludge.

I'm ready to buy the next TiVo when and if they deliver us from this evil.

I hope TiVo stays in business long enough to finish the next box. Tuning adapters that reboot every few days and require people to go around unplugging cables can't be good for business. How can they survive this?
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:10 AM   #10
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...............
Outside of Time Warner and Brighthouse, most cable systems still haven't made their tru2way (OCAP) software available, so even if a TiVo Series4 were available today, it wouldn't be able to support SDV on many (i.e. Cox and Cablevision) systems. As far as tru2way (and thus integrated SDV support), we're waiting as much on the cable companies as we are TiVo.
You mean my cable co (TWC) is actually ahead of most others on this? Does this mean if a TiVo model comes out with Tru2way, I can benefit from it? Or do we know if TWC's software is anything but crap? Or only good for PC's?
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:00 PM   #11
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You mean my cable co (TWC) is actually ahead of most others on this? Does this mean if a TiVo model comes out with Tru2way, I can benefit from it?
Yes, Time Warner leads the pack when it comes to tru2way deployment.

A tru2way TiVo would support SDV without an adapter, as well as VOD using the cable company's interface.

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Or do we know if TWC's software is anything but crap? Or only good for PC's?
tru2way support for PCs is probably several years off.

TWC's tru2way software includes a program to support SDV, and a tru2way TiVo would run that in the background.

Last edited by bkdtv : 10-29-2009 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:25 PM   #12
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Nothing has been announced by TiVo. Anything you may hear is rumor.

We do not know for sure that TiVo is even working on a next-generation DVR, other than the announced one for DirecTV.
Not true. TiVo nad comcast made a big deal about getting to work together on tru2way. TiVo has stated in earnings reports they are working on tru2way. TiVo even has proposed the sandbox for tru2way software from cable company beside the TiVo interface approach very publicly.

The one thing that is accurate is we have no idea when we would see a box and bkdtv is spot on that cable companies are not all unified on this yet. That does indeed keep TiVo from saying much more about tru2way but to say TiVo has said nothing is incorrect.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:06 PM   #13
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TWC's tru2way software includes a program to support SDV, and a tru2way TiVo would run that in the background.
But is the SDV/VOD support a separable piece or does it only come with a replacement of the whole UI by a (almost certainly crappy) interface downloaded from the cable company with it?
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:26 PM   #14
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There is virtually no way the CATV companies will allow 3rd party control of VOD and IPPV. TiVo has suggested a sandbox approach which allows reception of "ordinary" channels (including SDV) using the Tivo UI. In order to get VOD or IPPV, one would have to switch to the CATV provided UI, and the user will be prohibited from recording the programs. If the sandbox is locked down tight enough, it will be OK, I suppose, but there is absolutely no way I am allowing any OCAP software access to my LAN. Given that I am completely uninterested in VOD or IPPV, I doubt I would be upgrading any time soon. The TA could definitely have been handled better, and IMO if they had taken my advice into consideration and based the TA on an IP interface, I suspect it would have been much better. I argued strongly against the USB interface for the TA, but was overruled by a lot of specious arguments about USB support for extant devices.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:10 AM   #15
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When are we gonna get a TiVo that handles Switched Digital Video natively, ie without a Tuning Adapter?
I don't suggest holding your breath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pninen View Post
I'm on Time Warner. The tuning adapter goes lame every few days (blinking green light) requiring me to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in.
How often is "every few"? I have three TAs, and usually about once every 6 weeks or so one of them will go south. It's only really a big deal for me in the living room, becasue I can't reach the TA easily there.

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Meanwhile I miss programs that were supposed to record.
It can happen. It's still more reliable than an S1 attached to an STB via IR blaster. It's worlds more reliable than a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD.

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Originally Posted by pninen View Post
Does TW reboot the tuning adapters every few days just to inconvenience us? Also the TiVo with TA behaves differently than a TiVo without TA. There are occasional horrible user interface delays.
I have not seen this. OTOH, I don't use the UI very much.

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Originally Posted by pninen View Post
To solve these problems, I leave the Tuning Adapter USB cable unplugged most of the time. When I want to watch the one channel that I watch that is SDV, I plug it back in.
Well, I suppose that's one solution. It requires one to be there, though.

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Originally Posted by pninen View Post
Using this combination of TiVo + cable cards + Tuning Adapter to tune channels is a horrible buggy kludge. When will TiVo deliver us from this insanity?
For me, at least, possibly never. Unless there are some really stringent safeguards put in place that I can manage, I'm not letting OCAP anywhere near my LAN. That, especially since the TAs are not that big of a nuisance, and I see no reason to spend a lot of money upgrading to systems that offer me little or nothing more than I already have.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by pninen View Post
When are we gonna get a TiVo that handles Switched Digital Video natively, ie without a Tuning Adapter?

I'm on Time Warner. The tuning adapter goes lame every few days (blinking green light) requiring me to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in. Meanwhile I miss programs that were supposed to record. Does TW reboot the tuning adapters every few days just to inconvenience us? Also the TiVo with TA behaves differently than a TiVo without TA. There are occasional horrible user interface delays.

To solve these problems, I leave the Tuning Adapter USB cable unplugged most of the time. When I want to watch the one channel that I watch that is SDV, I plug it back in. The TiVo sees it and tells me about it and makes me click a couple of buttons.

Using this combination of TiVo + cable cards + Tuning Adapter to tune channels is a horrible buggy kludge. When will TiVo deliver us from this insanity?
I'd be happier if TiVo fixed MRV first.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:44 AM   #17
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But is the SDV/VOD support a separable piece or does it only come with a replacement of the whole UI by a (almost certainly crappy) interface downloaded from the cable company with it?
SDV support is a "separable piece." VOD would require the cable co's UI.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #18
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I've seen Panasonic tru2way plasmas for sale where I live. I'm assuming this means that Comcast has deployed tru2way in my area.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:39 PM   #19
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I've seen Panasonic tru2way plasmas for sale where I live. I'm assuming this means that Comcast has deployed tru2way in my area.
Comcast said this past week that it was on track to have tru2way software available nationwide by the end of the year.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:43 PM   #20
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I've seen Panasonic tru2way plasmas for sale where I live. I'm assuming this means that Comcast has deployed tru2way in my area.
Yes, Chicago is one of two significant national testbeds for tru2way, and it's been deployed there for a while.

The last I heard, the Panasonic tru2way TV still works only with Comcast tru2way, and doesn't work yet with Time-Warner tru2way. Does anybody know if this is still the case?
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:14 PM   #21
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I'd be happier if TiVo fixed MRV first.
Hmm. That begs a somewhat interesting question, at least to me. MRV obviously only affects those of us with multiple TiVos. SDV obviously only affects those of us on CATV systems where SDV is deployed. I qualify on both counts. I wonder which affects more TiVo owners at this point?
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:25 PM   #22
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Hmm. That begs a somewhat interesting question, at least to me. MRV obviously only affects those of us with multiple TiVos. SDV obviously only affects those of us on CATV systems where SDV is deployed. I qualify on both counts. I wonder which affects more TiVo owners at this point?
Well, MRV isn't broken for those that aren't on CATV system. I was looking for statistics concerning CATV vs. OTA users in general, but didn't find much. I don't know if I looked in the right places...

Anyway, I'm OTA, and I'm not concerned with SDV or CCI bytes (or cableCARDs, or Tuning Adapters) anymore.
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