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Old 06-25-2013, 02:53 PM   #151
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QAM is QAM. The only difference between ClearQAM and encrypted QAM is a flag in the stream that marks it as encrypted. It's not like they use separate chips or anything. The only way they could "remove" ClearQAM is via some sort of software patch, which would cost them money not save them any. Plus it's not like they really support ClearQAM now. The tuner can pick it up but they don't assign any guide data to it. So unless you have a CableCARD it's basically useless anyway.
Makes sense.

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In this same vane aren't digital OTA and digital Cable tuners the same? With the difference being the demodulator? I thought the Premiere only had 2 tuners that were the same but 2 different demodulators. Anyone want to explain this a little more?
No, Digital OTA is ATSC and Digital Cable is QAM. Totally different tuning technologies. Although some of the newer chips integrate some of the shared pieces, but for the most part they remain independent.

You may be right in that the physical tuner is independent of the intended signal, but in the TiVo they are hardwired to go to specific chips for demodulation and decoding. Or in the case of Analog NTSC, encoding to MPEG 2.

The original Premiere had 4 physical tuners (2 QAM and 2 ATSC/NTSC) but 6 logical ones, 2 NTSC, 2 ATSC, 2 QAM. They could be used in any combination of two max.

The digital cable only Premieres that came later got rid of the 4 OTA tuners (ATSC/NTSC) and bumped up the QAM tuners to 4 with the possibility of tuning those 4 simultaneously.

Disclaimer: I am not an hardware or broadcast engineer, my knowledge on the chip layout in tuning configurations is not authoritative.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:20 PM   #152
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I was thinking they could leave the name of the 4-tuner alone and rename the 6-tuner with built-in Stream the TiVo One.

I wouldn't be against renaming the 4-tuner as well since it supposedly has built-in WiFi and additional functionality.

I do see the confusion element so maybe it should be the Premiere 4S, Premiere XL4S, Premiere 6, and Premiere XL6...
Whatever they call it they will probably change the name six months later.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:27 PM   #153
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The only way this all works if they discontinue all existing DVR models, introduce the new models and name them something new. If they release new models in drips and drabs along with existing hardware, they are doing it wrong.

Also, if they name it the TiVo One, I will boycott TiVo out of principle.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:49 PM   #154
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...No, Digital OTA is ATSC and Digital Cable is QAM. Totally different tuning technologies. Although some of the newer chips integrate some of the shared pieces, but for the most part they remain independent.

You may be right in that the physical tuner is independent of the intended signal, but in the TiVo they are hardwired to go to specific chips for demodulation and decoding. Or in the case of Analog NTSC, encoding to MPEG 2.

The original Premiere had 4 physical tuners (2 QAM and 2 ATSC/NTSC) but 6 logical ones, 2 NTSC, 2 ATSC, 2 QAM. They could be used in any combination of two max.

The digital cable only Premieres that came later got rid of the 4 OTA tuners (ATSC/NTSC) and bumped up the QAM tuners to 4 with the possibility of tuning those 4 simultaneously.

Disclaimer: I am not an hardware or broadcast engineer, my knowledge on the chip layout in tuning configurations is not authoritative.
Most of what you said is what I would have thought logically until I started looking around for info. This thread lists the Premiere specs:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=444083
and has this chart:


Which does not show what you are saying, plus when I looked at this article:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/28974077/T...-TiVo-Premiere
Which lists:
  1. the tuners as 2x Microtune MT2131
  2. the demodulators as Micronas DRX 3946A and DRX 3944J
  3. and the NTSC decoder as NXP SAA7164CE
which leads me to my questions because there does not appear to be different tuners for digital OTA and digital cable, plus if you look at the specs for the Microtune MT2131 tuners it is pretty clear they can do both OTA and cable.

Again can anyone else explain all of this?
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:09 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Philmatic View Post
The only way this all works if they discontinue all existing DVR models, introduce the new models and name them something new. If they release new models in drips and drabs along with existing hardware, they are doing it wrong.

Also, if they name it the TiVo One, I will boycott TiVo out of principle.
I don't like it, but I suspect the name is going to be:

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:14 PM   #156
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A tuner in a generic sense (As we use it on the forums) are a combination of several things, the physical coax input, the chip that pulls the raw signal out coax input and assign it to the appropriate demodulation chips, demodulation and encoding/decoding chips, along with any other amps, memory and filters.

The 2x Microtune MT2131 tuners can handle ATSC, QAM, and NTSC, so it doesn't matter what signal comes into them. However, due to the way the TiVo Premiere was designed, the Analog/Digital OTA input is hardwired to the Micronas DRX 3946J and the Cable input is hardwired the Micronas DRX 3944J. Both demodulators support all three modulation techniques:
  • Digital OTA: 8VSB
  • Digital Cable: QAM 64/256
  • Analog OTA/Analog Cable: NTSC
The only difference between the two demodulators is that the 3944J supports the POD interface to communicate with the CableCard.

FYI: There's nothing wrong with how TiVo designed it, it just happened to be the way they decided to do it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:21 PM   #157
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I should also clarify that each of the two Microtune MT2131 tuners can internally tune two things at once. That's why you can record two OTA channels or two Cable channels from one input, it is being split internally inside the tuner and the modulation chips are doing double duty.

That's why we simply say it had 6 tuners but only 2 can be used at a time.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:37 PM   #158
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I should also clarify that each of the two Microtune MT2131 tuners can internally tune two things at once. That's why you can record two OTA channels or two Cable channels from one input, it is being split internally inside the tuner and the modulation chips are doing double duty.

That's why we simply say it had 6 tuners but only 2 can be used at a time.
Thank you.

Back to my original question about tuners anyone have any idea what TiVo might be using in the next boxes? The ones in the Premiere are listed as a Legacy/EOL product so I am fairly sure they will be using something else.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:44 PM   #159
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FWIW, this thread has info on the component in the Premiere Elite/XL4.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...=1#post8747390

I wonder who will be the first person to open the new boxes and post pics!
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:48 PM   #160
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A "tuner" is really nothing more then a piece of electronics which can focus on a specific frequency in the spectrum. In that sense all "tuners" can do NTSC, ATSC or QAM. The real magic behind ATSC and QAM is their modulation. The modulation allows digital data to be encoded into an analog stream. The demodulator is what converts that analog stream back into digital data.

If TiVo really wanted to save money then what they could do is make a unit that is either cable or OTA, but not both. That way they could use a single tuner/demodulator and decide via software which mode to use. As Philmatic pointed out there are already tuners and demodulators available that can support both standards, so it seems like this type of design should be possible. Although I'm not a hardware engineer, so I could be wrong.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:48 PM   #161
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I wonder who will be the first person to open the new boxes and post pics!
Someone opened their Mini within hours of it's release, so I don't think we'll have to wait long for details on the new unit once they're released.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:01 PM   #162
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...

If TiVo really wanted to save money then what they could do is make a unit that is either cable or OTA, but not both. ...
That's what I thought as I was reading through all this. Seems like the P4 could become OTA (digital only) just by flipping a software switch. If that is really the case once Tivo has the needed FCC exception to drop OTA analog, I don't see why Tivo would not make that option available at least on any new DVRs and what we could end up with is just 2 new DVRs an enter level 4 tuner and a XL 6 tuner.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #163
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FWIW, this thread has info on the component in the Premiere Elite/XL4.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...=1#post8747390

I wonder who will be the first person to open the new boxes and post pics!
I have a feeling I just quoted the person. Hopefully this time when I go to buy my TiVo they won't have to search this time since when I bought my Elite someone bought the one that was easy for them to find.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:48 PM   #164
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It should. Only two things would trigger this behavior. 1) If the same episode had been recorded in the last 28 days. 2) The original air date is more then 2 weeks prior to the current date.

I had a problem once with it not recording an Showtime show and when I looked at the data I saw that even though the episodes were new all the data had an original air date of a couple months prior so TiVo thought it was old. Like everything on TiVo it depends on good data. Without good data the whole system can be unpredictable.
It was the Rachel Maddow show, so definitely not a re-run other than the 3 hours later version.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:52 PM   #165
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I consider myself a heavy user, and I've NEVER had a conflict with four tuners. Since OTA networks are in such disarray with horrible programming, I have no need for more tuners. The cable nets re-broadcast everything...
I had a conflict two days ago -- one basically caused by the idiocy of shows that begin or end 1 or 2 minutes longer than a normal timeslot. Of course it was also a show on a non-broadcast channel, so it repeats a dozen times. It could also have been solved were there a way to say to not record the episode(s) at all from that timeslot and allow it to get picked up from another timeslot. Still, it's something 6 tuners might be useful for over 4 tuners.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:16 PM   #166
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I had a conflict two days ago -- one basically caused by the idiocy of shows that begin or end 1 or 2 minutes longer than a normal timeslot.
That's exactly what I have been talking about regarding padding. I pad most shows by default until I show over several airings that they don't need padding (and even that sometimes comes back to bite me). But basically, some networks (broadcast & cable) ALWAYS need padding, some never do.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:24 AM   #167
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He's talking about removing ClearQAM. I would say the possibility of such a removal is slim-to-none. The perceived cost savings would be offset by losing functionality that a large swath of the country can still use.
Yes that what I was referring to, I don't have the answer, that why I asked.
Do you think a large swath of the country uses a TiVo without a cable card (and I don't mean a TP used for OTA) say a TP-4 ?
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:19 AM   #168
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Maxlinear tuners in the Elite/XL4 are crap as far as I'm concerned (witness all these threads about losing ability to tune all channels which my Elite suffers from periodically as well but my 2 tuner Premieres never did). Sure hope the 6 tuner units use a different tuner IC vendor. Speed bump is also a certainty and can't wait to dump the Elite just for that reason alone.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:06 AM   #169
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Maxlinear tuners in the Elite/XL4 are crap as far as I'm concerned (witness all these threads about losing ability to tune all channels which my Elite suffers from periodically as well but my 2 tuner Premieres never did). Sure hope the 6 tuner units use a different tuner IC vendor. Speed bump is also a certainty and can't wait to dump the Elite just for that reason alone.
Thanks Moyekj... I remembered that TiVo selected a different Tuner vendor for the Elite/XL4 but didn't recall seeing the supplier name posted.

I also agree that it does appear that there are some "technical" issues with that selection.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:08 AM   #170
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That's exactly what I have been talking about regarding padding. I pad most shows by default until I show over several airings that they don't need padding (and even that sometimes comes back to bite me). But basically, some networks (broadcast & cable) ALWAYS need padding, some never do.
Just the opposite for me. I don't pad by default since the majority of shows I watch don't need it. But for the few I do pad, it's typically to get the previews for next week. The actual show isn't cut off.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:37 AM   #171
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Just the opposite for me. I don't pad by default since the majority of shows I watch don't need it. But for the few I do pad, it's typically to get the previews for next week. The actual show isn't cut off.
I also rarely need to pad (note I am OTA only) outside of broadcast delays caused by some live event. But there are/were some Fox shows that cut the previews off and came really close to needing it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:43 AM   #172
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Maxlinear tuners in the Elite/XL4 are crap as far as I'm concerned (witness all these threads about losing ability to tune all channels which my Elite suffers from periodically as well but my 2 tuner Premieres never did). Sure hope the 6 tuner units use a different tuner IC vendor. Speed bump is also a certainty and can't wait to dump the Elite just for that reason alone.
Looks like Maxlinear is either in or going to be in HDHomerun products:
http://www.maxlinear.com/silicondust...uner-products/
Any idea what model number of the tuners/demodulators are in the Elite/P4/XL4?
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:31 AM   #173
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Looks like Maxlinear is either in or going to be in HDHomerun products:
http://www.maxlinear.com/silicondust...uner-products/
Any idea what model number of the tuners/demodulators are in the Elite/P4/XL4?
See MaxLinear Cable Receivers Drive New Whole House Entertainment System
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...today announced that its MxL241SF single-die integrated tuner and QAM demodulator is the MPEG tuner behind the TiVoŽ Premiere Elite, TiVo Premiere Q and TiVo Preview products.
Here is a short spec sheet on MxL241SF.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:13 AM   #174
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Interesting, HDHomerun decided to go with a different chip the MaxLinear MxL603 Which appears able to do OTA & Cable (no mention of a built in demodulator) unlike the MxL241SF which appears to only be for cable and have a built in demodulator.

It will be interesting to see what TiVo decides to do with the new boxes.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:00 PM   #175
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Yes that what I was referring to, I don't have the answer, that why I asked.
Do you think a large swath of the country uses a TiVo without a cable card (and I don't mean a TP used for OTA) say a TP-4 ?
It's my understanding, from what I've read on these forums, over time, that just like most markets have, or will be, moving to SDV, that another move being made is eliminating analog cable. Without analog cable, there's only Clear-QAM left for those without cablecards. If the FCC allows encryption of Clear-QAM, making it just QAM, it's also my understanding that a cablecard will be required to receive any (cable) programming (plus a Tuning Adapter, where applicable).

I think the ONLY reason Cox in Las Vegas is still broadcasting in both analog and Clear-QAM (the latter being only local OTA stations), while deploying SDV, is their intense marketing campaign they ran about how our "friends at Cox" would keep our old analog TVs working, when the analog OTA switchover was imminent.

However, they also promise a "free" internet speed increase, annually, which has been double the prior year's speed. Of course, after 6-8 months of enjoying this "free" speed increase, they increase the bill, citing their costs, and also blaming taxes. I'm certain, that once they need more spectrum to accommodate the speed increases (and profits), they'll move to eliminating analog cable.

Does that help any?

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #176
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It's my understanding, from what I've read on these forums, over time, that just like most markets have, or will be, moving to SDV, that another move being made is eliminating analog cable. Without analog cable, there's only Clear-QAM left for those without cablecards. If the FCC allows encryption of Clear-QAM, making it just QAM, it's also my understanding that a cablecard will be required to receive any (cable) programming (plus a Tuning Adapter, where applicable).

I think the ONLY reason Cox in Las Vegas is still broadcasting in both analog and Clear-QAM (the latter being only local OTA stations), while deploying SDV, is their intense marketing campaign they ran about how our "friends at Cox" would keep our old analog TVs working, when the analog OTA switchover was imminent.

However, they also promise a "free" internet speed increase, annually, which has been double the prior year's speed. Of course, after 6-8 months of enjoying this "free" speed increase, they increase the bill, citing their costs, and also blaming taxes. I'm certain, that once they need more spectrum to accommodate the speed increases (and profits), they'll move to eliminating analog cable.

Does that help any?
My real question is: would a non OTA TiVo save anything in hardware/software cost by removing the ability to receive clear QAM, and require a cable card for any reception, the answer I got is that TiVo would not save much or anything by doing this. Comcast in CT is going all scramble in July so clear QAM will not be an option in my area after July. (I don't use clear QAM except to test out a new TiVo)
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:42 PM   #177
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My real question is: would a non OTA TiVo save anything in hardware/software cost by removing the ability to receive clear QAM, and require a cable card for any reception, the answer I got is that TiVo would not save much or anything by doing this. Comcast in CT is going all scramble in July so clear QAM will not be an option in my area after July. (I don't use clear QAM except to test out a new TiVo)
From earlier in the thread:

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QAM is QAM. The only difference between ClearQAM and encrypted QAM is a flag in the stream that marks it as encrypted. It's not like they use separate chips or anything. The only way they could "remove" ClearQAM is via some sort of software patch, which would cost them money not save them any. Plus it's not like they really support ClearQAM now. The tuner can pick it up but they don't assign any guide data to it. So unless you have a CableCARD it's basically useless anyway.
So no...
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:09 PM   #178
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Wow, this discussion is dumb. Clear QAM requires LESS hardware than CableCard, not the other way around.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:16 PM   #179
Dan203
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Originally Posted by Bigg View Post
Wow, this discussion is dumb. Clear QAM requires LESS hardware than CableCard, not the other way around.
Exactly! As I said QAM is QAM. The only difference between clear QAM and encrypted QAM is that encrypted QAM is flagged and requires a CableCARD in the loop to decrypt. You could create a device that only supports clear QAM and maybe save a few bucks on the CableCARD related hardware, and the CableLabs certification process. However there is absolutely no cost savings to eliminating clear QAM from a device that already supports encrypted QAM.

The only way they're going to save money here is by combining the ATSC and the QAM "tuners" into a single unit and selecting the mode via software. Otherwise they're going to have to go with a system identical to the Premiere where there are separate inputs and separate "tuners" for OTA and cable.

Although I think that they pretty much have to go with the first option, regardless of cost savings, just because there aren't enough inputs on the chipset for 8 discrete "tuners". I'm pretty sure the chip they're going to use only supports 6 "tuners". So if they want 4 tuners then it has to be a single input with switchable mode. Either that or it's going to be a 3 tuner unit with simultaneous input from OTA and cable. But since the Mini is marketed specifically as only working with 4 tuner units I'm betting that's not the way they are going.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:30 PM   #180
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Just the opposite for me. I don't pad by default since the majority of shows I watch don't need it. But for the few I do pad, it's typically to get the previews for next week. The actual show isn't cut off.
NBC shows routinely have the end gag cut off.
Discovery has end gag/summary (e.g. Mythbusters) on many shows.
While I haven't recorded anything on it in a while, E! starts/ends shows a partial minute late.

MTV needs ~2 minutes pre/post pad since their schedule is totally wacky.
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