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Old 11-21-2006, 07:49 PM   #61
Rocko62580
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mportuesi
I don't subscribe to digital cable, but I do have CableCARD. I get HD channels, and digital simulcast for the analog ones.

In my neck of the woods (Comcast San Francisco), you can get CableCARD without subscribing to digital cable, which will get you the locals in HD:

HDTV - Limited Basic

702 KTVU-2 (FOX) HD
703 KNTV-HDTV
704 KRON-HD
705 KPIX-(CBS)
707 KGO-HDTV
709 KQED-HDTV

HDTV - Digital Classic

719 InDemand - HD
720 FSNBA (Check Listings For Times)
722 Discovery - HD
723 ESPN - HD
724 ESPN 2 HD
725 HD Special Events
726 TNT HD

Note that the local stations do NOT require Digital Cable service. All they require is CableCARD for $1.50 a month. This is the exact same lineup you would get if Tivo gave you QAM mapping.
\


Called my cable company today and asked for the cable cards. You need to subscribe to full cable (I only get basic) plus digital plus HD service. That would be an extra 65.99 a month. You do the math! We need QAM technology on the S3 NOW!!!!!! Your idea doesn't work!
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:13 AM   #62
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Comcast issued me cablecards with only limited-basic + HD ($13 + $5).
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:05 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko62580
Called my cable company today and asked for the cable cards. You need to subscribe to full cable (I only get basic) plus digital plus HD service. That would be an extra 65.99 a month. You do the math! We need QAM technology on the S3 NOW!!!!!! Your idea doesn't work!
Try calling the cable company again and get a different customer service rep. CSRs these days can be totally clueless, no matter what company you deal with (cell phone, satellite, cable, Tivo). You might get a different one who actually knows what's going on.

As for the extra cost in general..... I'd love to get HBO, Showtime and Cinemax service in HD too, but the cable company wants $$$$$ for that, so I don't pay. It's reasonable for the cable company to charge extra for premium programming, but it's not Tivo's fault if you have to pay extra to get HD. The cable company's rates are public information, and you can easily determine if you're willing to pay for the extra service before purchasing the S3 unit.

Finally, if you really can't get CableCARD service so you can get the clear QAM channels, look into attaching an antenna to your Tivo to get over-the-air broadcasts. In general, the clear QAM channels are the same ones broadcast OTA, and OTA is free. The Series 3 happily accepts both antenna and cable at the same time.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:10 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by woodie
Comcast issued me cablecards with only limited-basic + HD ($13 + $5).
$5 is for HD set top box rental, which you shouldn't have to pay unless you have that box from Comcast.
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:46 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mportuesi
Finally, if you really can't get CableCARD service so you can get the clear QAM channels, look into attaching an antenna to your Tivo to get over-the-air broadcasts.
Impossible for many people, including myself. I live in a valley on the bottom floor of a 5-story condo.

We've also clearly debunked the theory that CableCards are always a negligible cost. Did you see the news that Comcast are raising rates again by 6.5%?

There is no reason TiVo cannot do what other HD-DVRs have been able to do: manual tweaking of the channel map. Overblown fears of massive customer confusion obviously did not stop Sony and others from including this useful feature. The bottom line is, excluding it will keep some consumers from ever buying an S3. This is bad. TiVo needs every sub it can get.
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:53 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Saxion
Impossible for many people, including myself. I live in a valley on the bottom floor of a 5-story condo.
I was only trying to be helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxion
We've also clearly debunked the theory that CableCards are always a negligible cost. Did you see the news that Comcast are raising rates again by 6.5%?
Comcast is raising their rates for all customers, including the 99.9% who do not own Tivo Series 3 units. That has nothing to do with CableCARD.

As I understand it, the FCC requires cable system operators to make the CableCARDs available at nominal cost. The real issue is that some cable system operators are requiring customers to subscribe to programming packages they don't want in order to get CableCARD. I don't know if that's legal or not, but that's the cable company's fault, not Tivo's.

Tivo doesn't have an obligation to offer users access to every bit of functionality that is ultimately possible with their hardware, especially when doing so is likely to cost them money by support issues in the long run.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:18 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by mportuesi
Comcast is raising their rates for all customers, including the 99.9% who do not own Tivo Series 3 units. That has nothing to do with CableCARD.
You are telling people to go out and upgrade their cable service to solve this problem, exposing them to higher costs and higher rate increases in the future (rate increases to a "Basic Cable" package will always be less than increases to a "Basic Cable+Digital Gateway+HD+CableCard" package). All to free up TiVo resources to fix the issues you want fixed. Are you asking me to subsidize your pet features?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mportuesi
Tivo doesn't have an obligation to offer users access to every bit of functionality that is ultimately possible
They have an obligation to sell to as large a market as they can. You are totally blowing the implications of this feature way out of proportion.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:33 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Saxion
You are telling people to go out and upgrade their cable service to solve this problem
I'm saying that Tivo doesn't deserve the blame for cable company pricing policies.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:46 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxion
All to free up TiVo resources to fix the issues you want fixed. Are you asking me to subsidize your pet features?.
As I recall, QAM remapping is your pet feature, not mine.

My "pet features" are either:

- bug fixes for debilitating flaws in the current software (toxic recordings, partial recordings) which have appeal to 100% of the user base
- or Series 2 features that should be part of the product but aren't there (MRV, Tivo-To-Go) that have appeal to the vast majority of users.

Go ahead and put up a poll and find out how many people want QAM channel remapping, if they even know what it is.
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:10 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by jfh3
QAM mapping should not be hard to do - Tivo already has the basic info (mapping station number to frequency).

The Sony DHG boxes have a very easy to use QAM mapping feature - Tivo needs to implement the same type of function, even if doesn't update the mappings automatically.
This is true. The Sony reads the PSIP data that the local stations send as part of the digital broadcast. For those that done't know, PSIP data is what tells your tuner that when it receives digital channel 32, to map it to 4.1 (or what ever). In my area, local channel 4 has their digital broadcast on channel 32. PSIP data makes it show up as 4.1. Tivo can read PSIP data from the over the air tuner. It should be easy to make it read the same data from the cable input and map channe 112.1 to 4.1.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:16 PM   #71
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According to what I've read in the forum, cable companies are not required to send the PSIP information along with the cable feed and quite often, they don't.
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:03 AM   #72
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According to what I've read in the forum, cable companies are not required to send the PSIP information along with the cable feed and quite often, they don't.
I am not sure about the ability to take the PSIP data out. It's part of the digital bit stream. Many cable systems pass the digital OTA received signal unmodified.
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:30 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Runch Machine
I am not sure about the ability to take the PSIP data out. It's part of the digital bit stream. Many cable systems pass the digital OTA received signal unmodified.
On a station which is broadcasting one HD channel and one or two SD channels, isn't the PSIP data attached to the full data stream, not the individual channels? If so, the cable company would have to add this info to the indivudual channel. They aren't going to pay to do this.
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:51 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstone
On a station which is broadcasting one HD channel and one or two SD channels, isn't the PSIP data attached to the full data stream, not the individual channels? If so, the cable company would have to add this info to the indivudual channel. They aren't going to pay to do this.
From what I've seen capturing entire OTA transport streams with a HD PC capture card and examining them with TSReaderLite the PSIP information is stored along with each substream - each substream has a video track, 1 or more audio tracks, 1 or more CC tracks and a PSIP track. For my cable company re-transmissions for whatever reasons most have the PSIP information stripped with the exception of ABC HD and FOX HD.
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:36 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj
...
For my cable company re-transmissions for whatever reasons most have the PSIP information stripped with the exception of ABC HD and FOX HD.
This inconsistancy supports my contention that most, or at least some, cable systems probably are not set up right.
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Old 11-23-2006, 03:05 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by vstone
This inconsistancy supports my contention that most, or at least some, cable systems probably are not set up right.
This really has no bearing on QAM channel mapping. As long as I know the frequencies of the clear QAM channels (which I do) and have a means of tracking any changes (HD local channels have not changed for 2 years in my headend) I don't really care if there is PSIP information in the cable re-transmissions or not.
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Old 11-23-2006, 09:41 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by rehr0001
According to what I've read in the forum, cable companies are not required to send the PSIP information along with the cable feed and quite often, they don't.
Cable plants that are 750MHz or greater are required to carry the PSIP data for all unencrypted channels if it is supplied by the broadcaster.

See 47CFR76.640

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2...7cfr76.640.htm
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Old 11-24-2006, 11:03 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj
This really has no bearing on QAM channel mapping. As long as I know the frequencies of the clear QAM channels (which I do) and have a means of tracking any changes (HD local channels have not changed for 2 years in my headend) I don't really care if there is PSIP information in the cable re-transmissions or not.
Yes, you have the frequencies, but as you said earlier, you had to use a PC to find all of them. You admitted that the Tivo couldn't find them. At this point we don't know if the failure to find them is hardware or software related on the Tivo end or hardware setup related on the cable plant end. A combination of these may (or may not) be very hard to identify. I don't know whether or not some relatively simple software can fix it. If it's problem with the S3's chip set with some cable plant hardware, then Tivo is not likely to be able to address this without going to S3.1. If it's a problem with improper configuration of the cable plant equipment setup, that's pretty hard for them to identify on a case by case basis and still may be hard for them to fix.

My brother just went down our vacation home Wednesday. 3 weeks ago our clear QAM TV picked up 8 of 11 clear QAM HD channels. The tuner also picked up 3 clear QAM SD channels (that you could find up running channel up through the frequencies) that were not identified with a given cable channel number. Yesterday he could get 1 HD clear QAM channel. That may or may not indicate changing frquency assignments (perhaps affected by the NFL's manipulation of their channel and availability of games, but that's subject for another day) but the disppearance of most, but not all clear QAM channels is certainly troubling. It doesn't prove anything, but it's troubling.

My comment about inconsistent transmission of PSIP info by cable companies infers that other technical issues also probably exist with cable system transmissions and some of these issues may affect identification of channels and/or frequencies by the S3.

I think it's fair to say that we paid big bucks for the S3 and continue to pay for support and Tivo should repay us by at least briefly acknowledging the issue publicly with possible causes and with a disclaimer that they have their programming priorities and this may not be amoing them. I know they have good reasons for not doing it, but I think they should.

My PC clear QAM tuner card once found a hard core video. PPV, I assume. Maybe Tivo is trying to protect us from that. If so, they are taking the wrong approach as someone in another thread saw some of this on his Tivo that he'd bought for his children to be able to watch without monitoring.

Last edited by vstone : 11-24-2006 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 11-24-2006, 11:14 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by dt_dc
Cable plants that are 750MHz or greater are required to carry the PSIP data for all unencrypted channels if it is supplied by the broadcaster.
...
But how do we verify that they do? Perhaps part of the solution lies in having the Tivo tell us when there are unencrypted channels without PSIP data. I wouldn't think that Tivo is looking for PSIP data, but for the virtual cable channel number, so adding a manual unsupported mapping feature now might be superceded by an automatic one later. The second solution may require modifying the Tivo DB layout and may require modifying the programming data that we receive via phone or Internet. I wouldn't expect automatic support soon, if ever.

THis assumes that local HD channels are unencypted, which depending on who you believe, is or is not required by the FCC.
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:27 PM   #80
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Wow, I thought everyone gave up on this two months ago, like I did after
my twelve e-mail replies back and forth with the TiVo "lineup agents"
finally led me to sadly accept the fact they were never going to give in
on this issue (out of stubbornness as far as I can tell, because it is
*NOT* a complex programming issue at all.)

First, my plea to TiVo is limited in scope perhaps from what others are
asking for. I do see that some people appear to be asking for the ability
to map all digital cable stations to their cable company's corresponding
QAM channels. Well, I do concede that is the purpose of and why TiVo
added support for the CableCard.

No, what I'm asking for is trivial, because ALL OF THE DATA IS ALREADY IN
MY TIVO! I am *ONLY* talking about broadcast television stations (ABC,
CBS, CW, FOX, PBS, NBC, etc.) which many/most of our cable providers re-
broadcast unencrypted, specifically the HD channels, which are the ones of
interest specifically those TiVo owners who shelled out top-dollar for the
Series 3 in the first place.

Here's what I'm talking about, as an example, because I find that many
posts in this and other threads on this forum really are arguing against
something they clearly aren't fully understanding.

During setup of a TiVo S3, one enters in a zip code, so that the
channel:station database is populated with the relevant "ANT" (over-the-
air) channel:station entries for one's viewing area.

Let's use an example, suppose one's S3's CHANNEL LIST screen looked
something like this:


2_1 ANT KABCDT [KABC-DT digital frequency 52, ABC affiliate]
3_1 ANT KFOXDT [KFOX-DT digital frequency 53, FOX affiliate]
24 CBL USA
25 CBL TNT
...
101_1 CBL *
101_2 CBL *


Now, let's assume that channel 101_1 is a clear QAM channel the cable
company is re-broadcasting KABC-DT on and channel 101_2 is KFOX-DT.

In order to use 101_1 and 101_2 properly, that is, to have guide data
associated with it, all we need is either for the TiVo "line agents" to do
it or to add some simple mechanism to let the end-user do it, to set an
association (pointer, link, whatever programming term one might
understand) between QAM channel 101_1 to station KABC-DT and QAM channel
101_2 to KFOX-DT.

That's all I'm talking about. As they say, this ain't rocket science, it's
basic computer programming concepts (data structures). The data structures
that TiVo uses to associate station KABC-DT to ANT channel 2_1, in this
example, can just as easily be used to also associate station KABC-DT to
QAM channel 101_1.

So, frustratingly, the guide data I personally want for my clear QAM HD
broadcast channels is ALREADY ON MY TIVO S3, but alas because TiVo doesn't
want to support it, those clear QAM channels are useless for recording
purposes, which is the entire point of owning a TiVo in the first place.

Now, people with CableCards working in their S3s can roll their eyes all
they want, but digital cable here is an *EXTRA* $25 per month, simply to
allow people in my area the ability to record say CSI and Lost in HD. With only
trivial changes to my S3's configuration, TiVo could do the right thing and associate, or allow me to associate, *existing* station guide data already on my S3 box to my clear QAM channels.
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:12 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogx
Wow, I thought everyone gave up on this two months ago, like I did after
my twelve e-mail replies back and forth with the TiVo "lineup agents"
finally led me to sadly accept the fact they were never going to give in
on this issue (out of stubbornness as far as I can tell, because it is
*NOT* a complex programming issue at all.)

First, my plea to TiVo is limited in scope perhaps from what others are
asking for. I do see that some people appear to be asking for the ability
to map all digital cable stations to their cable company's corresponding
QAM channels. Well, I do concede that is the purpose of and why TiVo
added support for the CableCard.

No, what I'm asking for is trivial, because ALL OF THE DATA IS ALREADY IN
MY TIVO! I am *ONLY* talking about broadcast television stations (ABC,
CBS, CW, FOX, PBS, NBC, etc.) which many/most of our cable providers re-
broadcast unencrypted, specifically the HD channels, which are the ones of
interest specifically those TiVo owners who shelled out top-dollar for the
Series 3 in the first place.

Here's what I'm talking about, as an example, because I find that many
posts in this and other threads on this forum really are arguing against
something they clearly aren't fully understanding.

During setup of a TiVo S3, one enters in a zip code, so that the
channel:station database is populated with the relevant "ANT" (over-the-
air) channel:station entries for one's viewing area.

Let's use an example, suppose one's S3's CHANNEL LIST screen looked
something like this:


2_1 ANT KABCDT [KABC-DT digital frequency 52, ABC affiliate]
3_1 ANT KFOXDT [KFOX-DT digital frequency 53, FOX affiliate]
24 CBL USA
25 CBL TNT
...
101_1 CBL *
101_2 CBL *


Now, let's assume that channel 101_1 is a clear QAM channel the cable
company is re-broadcasting KABC-DT on and channel 101_2 is KFOX-DT.

In order to use 101_1 and 101_2 properly, that is, to have guide data
associated with it, all we need is either for the TiVo "line agents" to do
it or to add some simple mechanism to let the end-user do it, to set an
association (pointer, link, whatever programming term one might
understand) between QAM channel 101_1 to station KABC-DT and QAM channel
101_2 to KFOX-DT.

That's all I'm talking about. As they say, this ain't rocket science, it's
basic computer programming concepts (data structures). The data structures
that TiVo uses to associate station KABC-DT to ANT channel 2_1, in this
example, can just as easily be used to also associate station KABC-DT to
QAM channel 101_1.

So, frustratingly, the guide data I personally want for my clear QAM HD
broadcast channels is ALREADY ON MY TIVO S3, but alas because TiVo doesn't
want to support it, those clear QAM channels are useless for recording
purposes, which is the entire point of owning a TiVo in the first place.

Now, people with CableCards working in their S3s can roll their eyes all
they want, but digital cable here is an *EXTRA* $25 per month, simply to
allow people in my area the ability to record say CSI and Lost in HD. With only
trivial changes to my S3's configuration, TiVo could do the right thing and associate, or allow me to associate, *existing* station guide data already on my S3 box to my clear QAM channels.

A very good explanation! I wish Tivo would at least reply to this board and tell us what their plans are for this! Can't they see that many people have found this to be of interest? It is the least they can do! I am sure there are people who work for the company that follow this board! Come on Tivo step up to the plate!
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:40 PM   #82
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I can do this with my Aquos; I used my "bookmark" buttons (or whatever they're called) to store the frequencies of my local digital broadcasts

I don't know how complicated this feature would be, but I'd love to see it! I know I can get these channels with a good antenna - which I'll have to experiment with - but why go through the hassle?

I sent in my Feature Request to the TiVo folks; hoping to see it

I really want a Series3, and this is one issue that's got me stuck...
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:53 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogx
That's all I'm talking about. As they say, this ain't rocket science, it's basic computer programming concepts (data structures).
It's not rocket science, it's simple arrogance on TiVo's part. They think they understand the "TiVo experience" better than you do. So they give you what they think you need, NOT what you want. Just like TiVo refuses to implement a free space indicator despite people asking for one on pretty much a daily basis.

If S3 had this sort of QAM mapping, I'd already own one. Now, without it, I refuse to buy. I can afford it, but it's to f***ing expensive for what it does for me! I'm waiting to see what's in the first software update for S3 before I make my final decision to walk away from TiVo (think Myth TV instead). I'll spend just as much on Myth TV as S3 (because I'll buy a canned solution rather than roll my own) but at least I can theoretically work around any limitations (use the source, Luke).
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:06 PM   #84
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I don't think its arrogance, I wouldn't fancy the support headaches this would involve. As I've said many times, the problem's already been solved. Cable cards are the right solution for this.
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:01 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by btwyx
I don't think its arrogance, I wouldn't fancy the support headaches this would involve. As I've said many times, the problem's already been solved. Cable cards are the right solution for this.
Haven't you paid attention. People that get QAM don't have Cable Cards. The cable companies want big bucks for these. Dude, maybe you should not be in this post anymore, because you are upsetting a lot of people. And you seem to be the only one here that is against the Tivo mapping move. There are many people who want this feature, and it does not effect you, so chill!
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:29 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btwyx
I don't think its arrogance, I wouldn't fancy the support headaches this would involve. As I've said many times, the problem's already been solved. Cable cards are the right solution for this.
When will this point rub into you - people that really want this only desire limited or basic cable + HD locals via cable and don't want to pay the big monthly bill increase normally associated with digital cable & cablecards. Yes there are a few that have already posted they can get cablecards + HD channels on the cheap without having to upgrade to digital cable, but that's a minority. I too fail to see why you would lobby so hard against this...
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Old 11-25-2006, 11:12 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj
I too fail to see why you would lobby so hard against this...
I'm not lobbying for or against anything, but your rose tinted specs aren't allowing you to see what the disadvantages of your scheme are.
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Old 11-25-2006, 11:13 PM   #88
btwyx
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And if cable cards are the right solution, but you think the cable companies want too much for a cable card, maybe you should be lobbying the cable companies, or their regulators to make cable cards affordable. Which they are supposed to be.

You're all het up at at TiVo, why not channel some of that energy where it belongs.
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Old 11-26-2006, 01:46 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btwyx
I'm not lobbying for or against anything, but your rose tinted specs aren't allowing you to see what the disadvantages of your scheme are.
Your constant negative presence in this thread begs to differ... I think we know your position on this matter very clearly by now as you do mine. Thanks for your opinion and we will just respectfully have to agree to disagree.
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Old 11-26-2006, 09:30 AM   #90
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To summarize this argument and hopefully end it....

- When CableCards are inexpensive (less than $5/month?) then they're the solution. Most commonly, but not exclusively, when you already have Digital Cable service
- When CableCards are expensive or otherwise unavailable, and the user has the knowledge and desire, the ability to say "This channel is really that channel" would be an advantage - and a selling point - for many people

Nobody's saying this should be top priority over bugs and "missing features", and its been acknowledged that it could be either a hidden feature or otherwise "unsupported" because its a little too complex for some people

CableCards are one solution, but are not the only possible solution and do not work for everybody. An antenna is a solution for some, but not everyone. The QAM tuner trick would help fill in some of the gaps nicely.
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