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Old 03-06-2010, 06:47 PM   #2311
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Originally Posted by FrancesTheMute View Post
If by "really efficient broadcast television" you mean "complete cop out by the cable companies to avoid having to invest the billions of profits they get every year into actually upgrading and improving their infrastructure" then, yes.
It is physically impossible to upgrade or improve the infrastructure of a non-switched system in any fashion which would allow the same level of services that SDV does, so your argument is nonsense. If the CATV companies spent such a huge amount on upgrading their infrastructure that they would have to charge $10,000 a month to every subscriber in order to recoup the costs, it still would not allow the CATV companies to offer even a tiny fraction of the services a switched protocol like SDV does. Although I cannot stop you or anyone else from displaying one's ignorance by spouting off concerning issues concerning which they have not the slightest clue whatsoever, I heartily suggest you learn something about the underlying issues before expressing an opinion concerning what engineering choices a company should undertake.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:55 PM   #2312
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My issue with the whole situation is this: SDV was rolled out before a solution for people with CableCards was created and solidified.
CableCards have nothing directly to do with SDV, except that SDV requires a CableCard capable device. But then, so does every encrypted digital channel, SDV or not.

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While I think the blame lies with the cable company for the rollout timeline, if faulty government regulation allowed this, then that would be my issue with the regulation.
There's plentyu of fault to go around in the situation, including no small part whihc must be places squarely at the feet of consumers. The cornerstone, however, lies with the FCC. They allowed the CE manufacturers to demand a UDCP spec by requiring the CATV companies (vis-a-vis CableLabs) to develop one, but then did not require them to develop a bidirectional spec. Frankly, they should never have caved in to the CE manufacturers, although admittedly given the rationale put forward at the time, this is a case of 20/20 hindsight. What they should not have under any circumstances failed to do was demand a 2-way spec (with or without a 1-way spec) from the outset.

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When "broadcast" (i.e., non VoD or PPV) channels are offered to standard customers, they should be offered to CableCard customers (so other devices could use the cable network). That's basically the issue regulation was trying to resolve (right?).
No.

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I think this comes down to the fact that to a non-cablecard customer, SDV doesn't even appear to exist. Yes, it's a new technology that operates behind-the-scenes a tiny bit like VoD
It's not "a tiny bit like VOD". That's like saying, "A catfish is a tiny bit like a fish." VOD is SDV, start to finish. VOD is merely one of the myriad uses to which SDV can be put. The fact VOD and IPPV are not offered with the Tuning Adapter is entirely artificial. The CATV systems don't offer it with TA based systems because they don't want to. It's all the same underlying mechanism, and that mechanism is SDV.

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but ultimately it's just a more efficient way of doing broadcast television on a cable network.
SDV can do a great deal more than that. Part of the problem as it developed was the notion 2-way services would not be deployed for non-interactive video. At that time it was not envisioned by many that ordinary scheduled video would ever really require a 2-way infrastructure, and thus a standard could reasonably be developed which applied only to 1-way protocols, and ordinary scheduled programming would be covered sufficiently by the spec to allow any non-interactive video content to be viewed. It was myopic. The notion you express above is equally myopic in the other direction.

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* CableCards are supposed to supply decryption service to allow consumers their choice of device so they wouldn't have to rent boxes from the cable company to watch broadcast television.
Close enough.

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Originally Posted by Shmooh View Post
* SDV is really just efficient broadcast television.
SDV provides the ability to make extremely effcient use of bandwidth. It is not limited to broadcast video, or to any particular type of broadcast video.

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Originally Posted by Shmooh View Post
* The regulation is poorly written if it allows "broadcast" television to be delivered without support for third party devices.
The regulations (plural) are poorly written, period.

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Originally Posted by Shmooh View Post
* It appears cable companies took advantage of this loop-hole to roll out SDV without CableCard support and thus not allow/enable "broadcast" television service to third party devices.
Nothng of the sort, on several levels. CableCard support is fi8rmly embedded into the SDV specs. It is the lack of bidirectional devices (and a spec thereof) that prevents people from getting SDV. It has nothing to do with CableCards.

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That seems pretty clear cut to me. It all comes down to whether or not SDV is truly broadcast television or if it's a specialized service like VoD. Legally, it may be classified as the latter (from what has been said here). However, because of how it behaves, it should be classified as the former.
Now that is much closer to the mark. SDV is a delivery mechanism. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the content being delivered or how the product in question is packed and marketed by the CATV system. The fact the CATV company chooses to provide some services in bundles, ala carte on a monthly basis for others, and individually on a per viewing basis for yet others has essentially nothing to do with the delivery mechanism.

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It's hard/impossible to predict where technology will go, so I don't think it's fair to blame the government for not planning for all contingencies in its regulation. I believe the argument Bicker is trying to make is that the regulation was faulty because it was premature.
It was in no way premature, and the major flaw had nothing to do with the timing. The major flaw was the FCC was trying to appease the involved industries. They should never have caved in to the demands of the CE manufacturers or the CATV providers either one. They should not have even caved in to the demands of consumers. Two way services were a hot item long before the 1996 act. If anything, the FCC should have required the formation of a completely independent standards organization, not some industry lackey made up of industry members. It should have required the development of universal standards not merely for security or for specific consumer-owned devices, but for every device of any type to be used in a CATV environment. From a standards viewpoint, no differentiation should have been allowed for any particular type of programming.

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That very well may be true, but if it is, my long held belief was that the cable companies were trying to stall/block this regulation altogether, and were "dragging their feet" to achieve that goal.
It's more complex than that, but the attitude of the CATV companies has much more to do with them wanting to control all aspects of their product delivery than anything else.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:20 PM   #2313
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That's a pretty myopic perspective, though. Those cable companies are in business specifically to make money for their investors.
That's not the most important point, nor the best reason for supporting SDV, no matter who is doing the support. The fact is no amount of money, no matter how huge, could ever match the capabilities of SDV (or other switched protocol) by an exceedingly wide margin. It isn't that it is unwise to employ another means of delivering the potential. It is that it is impossible to employ some other means of delivering the same potential. That SDV is vastly less expensive than some other hair-brained and highly limited means of deploying additional channels is beside the main point: more a matter of icing on the cake than being the cake itself.

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There is no question that broadcast hundreds of linear channels when any significant number of them are not being watched by anyone is wasteful. Waste is not an ethic.
That's not quite on the mark, eitehr. SDV does not only allow transmission of content when no one else is watching the competing content. It allows transmission of content at the very same time and on the same timeslot as competing content, provided it is on a different switch realm. Half the people in the city could be watching a particular program, but if a particular node (one node out of perhaps 100 - 1000 different nodes) doesn't have anyone watching the program on it, then that timeslot can be used by something else on the node in question.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #2314
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Sorry for the delay - Haven't checked back here in a while because the thread was so quiet.

Thanks, lrhorer, for the clarifications. I have no disagreements with anything you said, but do have a couple questions.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmooh
When "broadcast" (i.e., non VoD or PPV) channels are offered to standard customers, they should be offered to CableCard customers (so other devices could use the cable network). That's basically the issue regulation was trying to resolve (right?).
No.
So what were the regulations trying to solve, exactly? If they weren't designed to allow third party (CE) vendors access to scheduled content, what were the regulations for? (Or is it just my former/above wording that sucks? This sentence is what I meant.)

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... Part of the problem as it developed was the notion 2-way services would not be deployed for non-interactive video. At that time it was not envisioned by many that ordinary scheduled video would ever really require a 2-way infrastructure, and thus a standard could reasonably be developed which applied only to 1-way protocols ...
Oops. Guess they missed the mark on THAT one.


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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
CableCard support is firmly embedded into the SDV specs. It is the lack of bidirectional devices (and a spec thereof) that prevents people from getting SDV. It has nothing to do with CableCards.
I agree that this is an important distinction with the technologies, and that it's good to clarify it. Many people have not made the distinction between SDV the technology and SDV-supplied programming (myself included - which I will try to not be guilty of in the future).

I am curious about how CableCards and SDV (the technology) relate to each other, though. If CableCard support is firmly embedded in the SDV technology specs, how was SDV-programming ever supposed to work with CableCard devices? Rhetorical question - you've already said that it wasn't. However, how DO they relate to each other? Just in how the signals are decrypted? I.e., SDV-supplied program streams can be decrypted via CableCard, end of story?


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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
SDV is a delivery mechanism. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the content being delivered or how the product in question is packed and marketed by the CATV system. The fact the CATV company chooses to provide some services in bundles, ala carte on a monthly basis for others, and individually on a per viewing basis for yet others has essentially nothing to do with the delivery mechanism.
No disagreement, here. This is also the crux of the problem - The delivery mechanism really shouldn't matter (from a user perspective - not a technology perspective, obviously).

Personally, the engineer in me really likes SDV (the technology) and the ability for the CATV company to provide more content without drastic/expensive network overhauls. That's really awesome.

However, it would be pretty friggen handy if there was a way to isolate the delivery mechanism from the technology that provides the final consumption of the content (e.g., Tivo software). This can be done, of course, but the CATV companies really don't want to allow anybody else to supply that technology.

I don't blame them - it's their network and they don't want third parties messing it up - but I think that problem could be solved with a standardized spec. My guess is that what they really don't want is people cutting them out of the loop - hence tru2way with OMAP - running their interface software on a third party device.

...

Hrm.. re-reading the end of your response, you're basically saying the same thing. Makes sense to me. Case in point:

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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
If anything, the FCC should have required the formation of a completely independent standards organization, not some industry lackey made up of industry members. It should have required the development of universal standards not merely for security or for specific consumer-owned devices, but for every device of any type to be used in a CATV environment. From a standards viewpoint, no differentiation should have been allowed for any particular type of programming.
Agree 100%.


Thanks for the well-informed and enlightening response.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:07 AM   #2315
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I think we should consider ourselves lucky. TiVo--being very familiar to most cable company techs and being only a two-tuner unit--works fairly well with most SDV adapter boxes provided by most cable companies out there. The people that seem to complain the most right now are Moxi HD users with the three-tuner box, which has known compatibility issues with SDV adapter boxes.

Comcast in my area has no plans to require the use of SDV adapters, but if they do in the future, they have said the boxes MUST be TiVo Series 3 and TiVo Premiere compatible (Comcast has a lot of TiVo users in northern California, not surprising given TiVo is headquartered in Alviso, CA, which is just east of Sunnyvale, CA on California highway 237).
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:42 AM   #2316
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However, it would be pretty friggen handy if there was a way to isolate the delivery mechanism from the technology that provides the final consumption of the content (e.g., Tivo software). This can be done, of course, but the CATV companies really don't want to allow anybody else to supply that technology.
This will all be resolved by the end of 2012. 2013 at the latest assuming there is a delay allowed.

FCC Floats 'Simple' Gateway, CableCARD Rules
http://www.lightreading.com/document...treading_gnews
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #2317
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Originally Posted by RayChuang88 View Post
I think we should consider ourselves lucky. TiVo--being very familiar to most cable company techs and being only a two-tuner unit--works fairly well with most SDV adapter boxes provided by most cable companies out there. The people that seem to complain the most right now are Moxi HD users with the three-tuner box, which has known compatibility issues with SDV adapter boxes.
..........
Perhaps that's the world as seen by ComCast subscribers (especially by those like you who don't need Tuning Adapters) but it isn't the one seen by many Time Warner subscribers, noting that TWC has the second largest digital subscriber base. The norm for TWC techs is they are far from familiar with TiVo although they may have "heard" of it. And tuning adapters frequently have major problems on TWC systems, including needing to be "hit" by TWC frequently and failing to tune SDV channels reliably, resulting in lost recordings. There are several large threads in this forum with Time Warner in their titles that will illustrate this.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:59 AM   #2318
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Perhaps that's the world as seen by ComCast subscribers (especially by those like you who don't need Tuning Adapters) but it isn't the one seen by many Time Warner subscribers, noting that TWC has the second largest digital subscriber base. The norm for TWC techs is they are far from familiar with TiVo although they may have "heard" of it. And tuning adapters frequently have major problems on TWC systems, including needing to be "hit" by TWC frequently and failing to tune SDV channels reliably, resulting in lost recordings. There are several large threads in this forum with Time Warner in their titles that will illustrate this.
I wonder who makes the SDV adapter boxes for Time-Warner systems. I believe that Comcast uses mostly Cisco or Motorola SDV adapters for Comcast systems in other parts of the country that require its use. You ought to read the ranting and raving on AVS Forum from Moxi HD three-tuner owners on cable systems that require the use of the SDV adapter box. I almost bought a Moxi HD box but given that Moxi doesn't support Wi-Fi connections for program guide updates and the issues with SDV adapters, I went with a TiVo HD XL instead.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:15 PM   #2319
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I wonder who makes the SDV adapter boxes for Time-Warner systems. I believe that Comcast uses mostly Cisco or Motorola SDV adapters for Comcast systems in other parts of the country that require its use. You ought to read the ranting and raving on AVS Forum from Moxi HD three-tuner owners on cable systems that require the use of the SDV adapter box. I almost bought a Moxi HD box but given that Moxi doesn't support Wi-Fi connections for program guide updates and the issues with SDV adapters, I went with a TiVo HD XL instead.
TWC uses mostly Cisco TA's but some systems use, or will use, Motorola. I believe the need for TA's to be "hit" results from a flaw in the way some TWC systems operate -- not a defect in the TA itself. Tuning failures could also be due to TiVo deficiencies rather than the TA alone. When this happens for a manual tune, you can retry using Tune Up/Down and the channel will come in after one or two retries (this is documented in TiVo support pages actually). I think TiVo software could implement the equivalent for scheduled tunes -- and hope they did so in 11.0f which I don't have yet.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:33 PM   #2320
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The objections of the Moxi 3-tuner crowd is that the Cisco TA will only work with 2 tuners. They may not have the option of using two and even if they do who wants to deal with two of the stupid things? I believe that the Moto TA will support up to 6 tuners, same as an M-Card.

Unfortunately, the Tuning Resolver Interface Specification explicitly states (a few lines into PDF page 39):
Quote:
The TR SHALL support at least two tuners.
Brain-dead move on the part of CableLabs.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:19 PM   #2321
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I have COX Fairfax and TIVOHD with 2 cable cards.
I've also had the CISCO SDV adapter for about a year and a half.
I regularly see it drop authorization or something - the green light starts flashing and I can't watch BBC America and Top Gear - one of my SDV channels. It was working yesterday, but tonight when I wanted to watch Jonathan Ross with Goldfrapp on BBCA - its blinking and just gives me a grey screen on that channel. Totally useless!

I've found sometimes I can go through and cycle power, unhook and reconnect the USB connector, and dink with it a bit and sometimes it will lock up for me a few moments later, and the SDV channels come through. Sometimes. But not tonight.
The few times I called and had the cable guy come out, and shows me a good picture on his box and acts like its the TIVOs fault - what can I say, I don't know what is at fault. I don't really care - I'm paying for TV I can't watch and I shouldn't need 3 gadgets from different vendors to interact just so I can watch TV.
But I'm really tired of having to play with this mess once a week or so to get those "extra" channels that I've been paying for all along that they put on SDV service and made it more difficult for me to rely on TIVO catching them in Season pass so I can watch them when I get a chance.

If I rip this COX cable all out, does FIOS and the TIVO work any better?
Because all I really care about is that it works when I want to watch the shows I am paying for, and this current rube goldberg mess isn't reliable and doesn't cut it.

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Old 04-02-2010, 10:53 PM   #2322
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If you have the option of FIOS over Cox then run, don't walk to make the switch! You will get better picture quality, probably more HD channels, no TAs to mess with and no CCI issues to deal with and faster internet to boot. No brainer IMO.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #2323
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twc southwest ohio

The TA's are a pain but support here is getting better.
I seem to have trouble with 1 of 3 about once a month.
2nd last time 2 went out at exactly the same time. Which leads to the theory they need reauthorization once a month to keep working.
So far I have not needed a truck roll. I have said no and called back next day where a different csr got it working.
Last time one went out the CSR admitted she had no experience but could not get ahold of a supervisor. She found the current procedures and got it working!!! It appears in this area the support docs are getting better. They used to have 2 hits to send and the new CSR said they now have something like 7 different hits to send. One that works leaves it with no green light and then I press the button in front and it works.
Also be patient. It TA takes 4 to 5 minutes to reboot and initialize. Check the tuning adapter diagnostics on TIVO while waiting. TWC CSRs cannot see this info. One first screen go to the "Next Page" then "Tuning Resolver" page which indicates it is Authorized. If not and if page 2 of "Network and Tuning status" has an RF Network IP then time for CSR to send another hit.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:13 AM   #2324
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FCC to "improve" CableCARD rules this month (April 2010)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...this-month.ars
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:03 AM   #2325
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SDV is a file extension associated with Semicolon Divided Values files. Incorrect associations are the cause of many file extension errors. Scan your system to prevent, identify and repair SDV file extension association errors.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:53 PM   #2326
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Well, just got the notice from TWC Manhattan

Thought I'd be free of the problems of SDV, but alas, got a letter today from Time Warner telling me I can pick up a tuning adapter free of charge starting on June 7th. Hope I don't have any problems with it.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:28 PM   #2327
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I got that letter as well, it worries me a bit that you have to "present the CableCARD .." in person to pick up the adapter (!) I thought those should never be removed, does this mean that I will have to run the whole set-up process again???? And if so, why wouldn't TWC give me the cards to begin with (I suffered a great deal during their installation process)...?
Any thoughts on this?
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:56 PM   #2328
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I got that letter as well, it worries me a bit that you have to "present the CableCARD .." in person to pick up the adapter (!) I thought those should never be removed, does this mean that I will have to run the whole set-up process again???? And if so, why wouldn't TWC give me the cards to begin with (I suffered a great deal during their installation process)...?
Any thoughts on this?
I've taken the CableCARDs out of my S3 while on the phone with a TiVo CSR trying to diagnose a problem (or possibly a cable CSR while trying to diagnose a problem with a Tuning Adapter) and they continued to work when we were done.

Both TiVo and the CableCARD(s) should remember the information which paired them. Otherwise the relationship wouldn't survive the TiVo being unplugged.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:57 PM   #2329
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I got that letter as well, it worries me a bit that you have to "present the CableCARD .." in person to pick up the adapter (!) I thought those should never be removed, does this mean that I will have to run the whole set-up process again???? And if so, why wouldn't TWC give me the cards to begin with (I suffered a great deal during their installation process)...?
Any thoughts on this?
You don't need to present the cable card. You present the card only if your DVR (or other device) is NOT compatible with the TA, at which point they'll swap your card for a regular cable box. Since your Tivo is compatible, you just need to go pick up the TA.
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:24 AM   #2330
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Also, shutting down the device, removing the CableCARD, and then reinserting it before powering-up the device again (handling with appropriate care, of course), almost surely could not have any impact whatsoever on the pairing.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:30 AM   #2331
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...........I seem to have trouble with 1 of 3 about once a month.
2nd last time 2 went out at exactly the same time. Which leads to the theory they need reauthorization once a month to keep working.........
............
**This thread** concerns exactly this problem being experienced by many in TWC SW Ohio. Some interesting info and experiences are being accumulated there, including how you can read the "Sub Expires" date from your TA diagnostics screens, which is when you will get *8 blinks".
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:42 AM   #2332
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I looked through several of the pages, but couldn't find an answer. Do I need one SDV cable adapter per device? I have all my cables distributed from one source in my media rooms. Thus, can I just use the adapter at the source and distribute the signal after my adapter? How important is the USB connection?

Thank You
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:59 AM   #2333
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Each adapter connects to a specific TiVo via USB connection.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:50 AM   #2334
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There 's been alot talk this week about comcast using Switched Digital Video (SDV) again. I am currently using my TIVO Premiere in the Cherry Hill-Comcast of Garden State system. Does anyone know if comcast will be using SDV on this comcast system soon?
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:20 AM   #2335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timstack8969
There 's been alot talk this week about comcast using Switched Digital Video (SDV) again. I am currently using my TIVO Premiere in the Cherry Hill-Comcast of Garden State system. Does anyone know if comcast will be using SDV on this comcast system soon?
I thought SDV was already being used there. Cherry Hill is supposed to be a test area. Oh and you have my condolences as I've heard that's one of the Comcast systems with the least amount of HD channels.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:40 PM   #2336
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Comcast has made it clear that SDV is the future for their further HD expansion.

I'd rather service providers stick with the number of HD channels that they offer now, but it isn't up to me.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:57 AM   #2337
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I read the OP in this thread, it has not been updated to include any info about the Premier TiVo. Does the Premier also require a external SDV box?
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:58 AM   #2338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrnoble View Post
I read the OP in this thread, it has not been updated to include any info about the Premier TiVo. Does the Premier also require a external SDV box?
Yes, TA is required.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:59 AM   #2339
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I update the main post and made a few other changes to the future of TAs as well as removed the out dated section listing which areas use SDV.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:52 PM   #2340
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About to get an adapter on Friday. Any word on how they're functioning for TW customers in North Jersey or NYC?
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