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Old 11-26-2007, 11:15 PM   #661
DCIFRTHS
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This announcement is great news, and if it works properly, I will have no hesitation in recommending TiVo to everyone with cable.

I have a question, and I really hope that no one responds with snide/sarcastic/insulting comments. I read the release, but I don''t see where it states that the cable companies will be providing the adapter. Can someone point me to where it says this?

Thanks!

EDIT: If you look at all the players involved in the process, it includes SA and Motorola, the two largest manufacturers, of consumer and head end equipment, BigBand Networks, and C-COR, who do SDV technology. It sounds like this adapter has the chance of working like cable modems do. Once the devices are certified, by Cablelabs, you can probably pick one up at you local Best Buy. I also think that the adapters will be product specific. For example, TiVo's dongle won't work on my Sony TV.

Quote:
LOUISVILLE, Colo., BUSINESS WIRE -- CableLabs(R) today announced that, along with TiVo, Motorola, Scientific-Atlanta, BigBand Networks and C-COR, it has developed a new solution that extends the functionality of certain Unidirectional Digital Cable Ready Products (UDCPs) that use CableCARDs(TM) to access switched digital services previously unavailable to such devices.

CableLabs recently developed specifications for a new external interface that enables UDCPs equipped with a USB connector and necessary firmware to access switched digital cable channels, benefiting both cable operators and consumers. A new adapter using this interface will attach to the UDCP device so the device can access switched digital cable channels.

According to CableLabs President & CEO Dr. Richard Green, development of the new adapter is a result of cable's efforts to explore innovative technology solutions that can manage bandwidth to allow for more efficient deployment of cable's advanced services. The introduction in recent years of cable's interactive digital services, high-definition channels, broadband Internet and digital phone service has resulted in significant consumer demand, which also requires more bandwidth to deliver, he said.
Link to announcement: http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/art....jsp?id=240599

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Old 11-26-2007, 11:40 PM   #662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS View Post
I read the release, but I don''t see where it states that the cable companies will be providing the adapter. Can someone point me to where it says this?
You're just reading the wrong release.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/st...nktopagebottom

Quote:
Cable operators will make the new adapters available for TiVo customers in the second quarter of 2008. Cable operators and TiVo will work cooperatively to alert TiVo customers about availability of the new adapter.

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Old 11-26-2007, 11:49 PM   #663
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The only downside I see to this solution is that I'm guessing that you will need to have two feeds for the TiVo: One for the tuners, and one for the upstream communications from the dongle. This means that customers with marginal cable signals might drop to levels below the threshold of maintaining a reliable signal to the tuners. Or am I totally off base, and is there another way to communicate without having to split the cable feed?
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:53 PM   #664
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS View Post
The only downside I see to this solution is that I'm guessing that you will need to have two feeds for the TiVo: One for the tuners, and one for the upstream communications from the dongle. This means that customers with marginal cable signals might drop to levels below the threshold of maintaining a reliable signal to the tuners. Or am I totally off base, and is there another way to communicate without having to split the cable feed?
The cable will connect through the USB dongle; they'd likely use a tap in the dongle for the DOCSIS-compliant communications with the headend. And if there were any concerns about signal level they could be addressed in the dongle.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:56 PM   #665
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Originally Posted by dswallow View Post
You're just reading the wrong release.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/st...nktopagebottom
Wow. The articles certainly read differently. I would prefer a solution that I could purchase from TiVo, but if it works, then I'll be happy. Thanks for the info.

Hopefully, the dongle will be able to get enough juice from the USB connectors so that an external power supply won't be necessary.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:02 AM   #666
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This is the way that I picture it:
Code:
                      Coax In
                    (from wall)
                         |
                   +-----+-----+
                   |           |
                   |  Tuning   |
         +---USB---+ Resolver  |
         |         |           |
         |         +-----+-----+
         |               |
         |            Coax Out
         |               |
         |               |
     +---+---------------+-------------------+
     |                                       |
     |         UDCR Host (like TiVo)         |
     |                                       |
     +---------------------------------------+
The dongle itself would be a small device with a coax connector on one end, and short coax and USB cables coming out of it. Of course, it could have coax connectors on two sides (in and out) and a female USB jack, allowing cables of arbitrary length to be used, but building in cables would discourage attempt to place it far away.

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Originally Posted by Marc View Post
Not necessarily... they could design it like DHCP leases. The dongle transmits that it wants a certain channel for a certain period of time. The magic server then approves the request and returns the assigned frequency and tells the dongle how long the frequency would be valid for. At some point during this lease, the dongle could send another request to continue accessing that channel on that frequency to maintain access to a switched channel.
Good. I'd been thinking something along those lines only more complex. But...KISS. The exchange could be as simple as:
Dongle-To-Network: I'd like to tune channel XXX using CableCARD nnnnnnnn.

Network-To-Dongle: Channel XXX is on QAM 256 frequency fff as program ppp, guaranteed for 10,800 seconds.
At the end of the lease, the dongle could ask the UDCR Host (i.e., TiVo) whether to renew, and if it said "yes", the original request could be repeated to obtain a new "lease". At any time during the lease, TiVo could send a message to explicitly relinquish its hold on the channel (if say, it completed a recording of an SDV channel on the "unviewed" tuner).
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:39 AM   #667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
This is the way that I picture it:
Code:
                      Coax In
                    (from wall)
                         |
                   +-----+-----+
                   |           |
                   |  Tuning   |
         +---USB---+ Resolver  |
         |         |           |
         |         +-----+-----+
         |               |
         |            Coax Out
         |               |
         |               |
     +---+---------------+-------------------+
     |                                       |
     |        UDCP Device (like TiVo)        |
     |                                       |
     +---------------------------------------+
Yes, based on what Doug described, that's what my diagram was attempting to illustrate. I deleted it to avoid (more) embarrassment...

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Old 11-27-2007, 09:21 AM   #668
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There is elegance to such a design on the engineering side but business-wise it sucks. Any proprietary protocols should be encapsulated in the dongle--just as they are in the CableCARDs--allowing TiVo and any other interested OEMs with unidirectional CableCARD devices with USB connections and field-upgradeable firmware to implement their part of this without obtaining and maintaining licensing from Motorola, S-A and/or BigBand Networks and C-COR, which the cable providers already have to do for SDV as implemented in their headends and leased STBs. Placing the protocols in the dongles also minimizes the impact on memory in the UDCP devices which would use them, making more of them eligible.
Business-wise, I'd think the cablecos would want to enable VOD and IPPV with it, which would require software in the TiVo to enable it, unless the dongle gets very expensive. I'd be very surprised if we get anything more than basic SDV support at launch in any case.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:59 AM   #669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS View Post
The only downside I see to this solution is that I'm guessing that you will need to have two feeds for the TiVo: One for the tuners, and one for the upstream communications from the dongle. This means that customers with marginal cable signals might drop to levels below the threshold of maintaining a reliable signal to the tuners. Or am I totally off base, and is there another way to communicate without having to split the cable feed?
They'll just have to turn up the signal level out at the pole and replace any marginal signal splitters in the house with professional ones.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:31 PM   #670
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Originally Posted by pmiranda View Post
Business-wise, I'd think the cablecos would want to enable VOD and IPPV with it, which would require software in the TiVo to enable it, unless the dongle gets very expensive. I'd be very surprised if we get anything more than basic SDV support at launch in any case.
Yeah, I'm not counting on that VOD and IPPV support either, though it'd be cool.

CableLabs already developed a scheme for generalized interactive services that was included in the original POD and POD Host specs (ere the CEA came up with the "CableCARD" label). They included predefined service APIs to support the "Holy Trinity" of interactive services IPG, IPPV and VOD, with the ability to support other services through downloaded HTML forms. It wasn't open ended enough to please the cable providers, who opted to pass on using it in favor of finishing the development of OCAP, which decommitted support for OOB backchannel communication. They hadn't defined multi-stream support, so it's just as well, though it would have been nice if they'd required implementation of the backchannel, even though nobody was going to make any major use of it. Having it to support automated installation of CableCARDs would have been enough reason, to my mind. How much could it have added to the cost of DCR products even at the time?

EDIT: Ha! I thought that they'd long eradicated all online hints of the API for generic IPPV, VOD and HTML-based interactive service support that was in the original CableLabs POD specs, but the 2004 version of ANSI/SCTE 28 features them. Of particular interest is the Application Interface, documented beginning at PDF page 61.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:47 PM   #671
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CableLabs already developed a scheme for generalized interactive services that was included in the original POD and POD Host specs (ere the CEA came up with the "CableCARD" label).... It wasn't open ended enough to please the cable providers, who opted to pass on using it in favor of finishing the development of OCAP....
CableLabs is the research group founded by the cable providers. So what you're saying is that the cable companies own research group came up with a simple method for 2-way communications as part of the cableCARD standard, but it was shot down in favor of OCAP?

That's frustrating on so many levels, especially considering very few CEA want to support OCAP.

Last edited by morac : 11-27-2007 at 04:42 PM. Reason: missing punctuation.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:05 PM   #672
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CableLabs is the research group founded by the cable providers So what you're saying is that the cable companies own research group came up with a simple method for 2-way communications as part of the cableCARD standard, but it was shot down in favor of OCAP?

That's frustrating on so many levels, especially considering very few CEA want to support OCAP.
Mmmmmm, "simple" is a relative word. It was a hell of a lot simpler than frickin' OCAP and could have been supported on a far cheaper hardware platform. (OCAP requires a platform capable of running a virtual machine for a profile of Java ).

10+ years ago, I saw a demonstration to the networking hardware development group that I was working in of a "web server on a chip". It was couple of ICs, a hand full of resistors, an LED, a toggle switch and an RJ45 header mounted on a 2" square breadboard, powered by a AA battery. We connected it to a computer in the conference room and viewed and navigated a set of web pages served by code running on this tiny board. It was designed to add remote cofiguration capabilities to a product (in addition to the SNMP stuff we were working on) with about a $12 addition to the BOM. Remember--that was 10 or 12 years back. Little more than this would be required in a host to support what they were talking about and it'd be somewhat less expensive now .
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:26 AM   #673
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Ok I live in Orange County Ca and sent a letter to COX cable and this is the reply..


Hello

Thank you for your reply.

Currently most devices with CableCARD's are not two way capable. This
means that they will not be able to get the new channels that will be
deployed with the Switched Digital Video. This change will occur next
year, but already there are channels in the upgrade areas that
CableCARD's will not be able to receive. It looks like you are in one of
the areas that have been upgraded.

The are the channels that a CableCARD can get:

A&E HD
KCAL HD
MOJO

Cinemax HD
KCBS HD
Nat Geo HD

ESPN 2 HD
KCOP HD
NBC Universal HD

ESPN HD
KNBC HD
Showtime HD

FSN HD
KOCE HD
Starz HD

HBO HD
KTLA HD
TBS HD

HD Theater
KTTV HD
TNT HD

KABC HD
MHD

In 2008 there will be a new series of CableCARD devices available for
purchase that will be know as iDCR (interactive Digital Cable Ready).
These devices will be two-way and will be able to tune channels that are
switched.

We hope that we have been able to provide you with the information you
requested. If we have not, or if we can be of any additional service to
you, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Sincerely,
Brad
SDCCC
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:43 AM   #674
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Actually, for more info go to: http://forums.sage.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=23972 (circa 2004)

I have seen references to the Samsung TV mentioned in the article, but had never heard of iDCR.

edit: a search for iDCR can find a reference to a 2007 CEA announcement from Panasonic and Comcast about iDCR plasmas to become available in 2008.

Last edited by vstone : 11-28-2007 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:04 PM   #675
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Looks like TiVo sold their soul to OCAP for the tuning resolver.....

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519815501
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:04 PM   #676
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Looks like TiVo sold their soul to OCAP for the tuning resolver.....

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519815501
Actually I think that it's cool. I only wonder how dynamic the switch between "TiVo Mode" and "Cable Mode" will be, but I'd love to have a TiVo that I could switch temporarily to "Cable Mode" to use the subscription VOD channels, particularly now that some HD ones are starting to appear (my Cox system just added Starz On Demand HD). Access to IPPV and Pay VOD wouldn't hurt either.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:17 PM   #677
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Actually I think that it's cool. I only wonder how dynamic the switch between "TiVo Mode" and "Cable Mode" will be, but I'd love to have a TiVo that I could switch temporarily to "Cable Mode" to use the subscription VOD channels, particularly now that some HD ones are starting to appear (my Cox system just added Starz On Demand HD). Access to IPPV and Pay VOD wouldn't hurt either.
Agree. I think they did the right thing. The dual mode keeps everyone happy. Continuing to argue about DCR+ would have not likely gotten them anywhere and delayed the inevitable.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:12 PM   #678
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Looks like TiVo sold their soul to OCAP for the tuning resolver.....

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519815501
The way I read that it sounds like current TiVo's wont support OCAP, but a new "“TiVo DVR with OCAP” would. I'm hoping I read that wrong.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:18 PM   #679
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The way I read that it sounds like current TiVo's wont support OCAP, but a new "“TiVo DVR with OCAP” would.
That's correct.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:14 PM   #680
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We allready have SDT channels here that i can't recieve with my HD Series 3

I wish they could get these out sooner than 6 months from now. Cox here in Gainesville, Florida have added 5-6 new HD channels and are planning on a few more before the year end. I can't pick these up on my Tivo and really hate to go back to the cable company DVR. But i guess i can cancel my tivo service until then and live with the cable dvr if i have to. It realy would not bother me as much but one of the channels they messed with was HD Discovery Theater, one of my favorite HD channels.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:05 PM   #681
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Anyone seen this, found it through Zatz not funny:
http://connectedhome2go.com/2007/11/...ecard-devices/
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:21 PM   #682
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Anyone seen this, found it through Zatz not funny:
http://connectedhome2go.com/2007/11/...ecard-devices/
Man that thing is bigger than I expected. It looks to be about the size of a cable mode. It also looks like it's going to need to be plugged into the wall.

Also it says that the dongles will need to be configured specifically for each cable plant. How smoothly do you think that will go? My guess, not very smooth.
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:35 PM   #683
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Man that thing is bigger than I expected. It looks to be about the size of a cable mode. It also looks like it's going to need to be plugged into the wall.
I'd bet dollars to donuts that the dongle design is a direct descendant of an existing cable modem design. Pop the ethernet section off the board, and you've already got all the rest of the ingredients on hand ready to go. This is further supported by the ridiculously short time it took them to get it into the labs for integration testing. Think about it, this is the cable industry, NOTHING happens this quickly.

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Also it says that the dongles will need to be configured specifically for each cable plant. How smoothly do you think that will go? My guess, not very smooth.
Agreed. Look at the nightmare quite a few CableCARD installs go. I'd expect similar results with this device.
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:06 PM   #684
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Not sure if you guys saw this one yet
More details on the new Dongle "what a gay name anyways"

http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2007-11/...etails-emerge/
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:37 PM   #685
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One thing I'd hate to see is that this dongle be manufacturer specific. We know that Motorola is testing theirs out now. For all we know, that unit's only gonna work with Motorola head-ends. As a resident of a town that's supported by an SA head-end, I can only shudder at the prospect of having to wait for, and then attempt to successfully use, one of their boxes.

[butthead] "Cool! He said dongle!" [/butthead]
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:40 PM   #686
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They are, at minimum, using the tooling they had made for the DCT700.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:15 AM   #687
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Can't be done

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They'll just have to turn up the signal level out at the pole and replace any marginal signal splitters in the house with professional ones.
The CATV plant is engineered and all taps have fixed vaues. The signal cannot simply be "turned up" at the pole. Simply decreasing the size of a tap is not an answer, either. Doing so increases the through loss so that every customer further down the line will suffer lowered levels. How much lower depends on the old and new tap values. Dropping from a 32dB 4-way tap to a 29dB 4-way tap reduces the throughput by less than .03 dB, but dropping from a 14 dB 4-way to an 11 dB 4-way will drop the downstream signal by almost 3.5 dB. Going from an 11 dB 4-way to an 8 dB 4-way will kill the downstream signal completely.

Engineering and retrofitting a single transmission line can costs tens of thousands of dollars. Believe me, I've done it on several occasions, and I had to provide a great deal of justification to get it approved. Unless some new houses were built after the original feeder was built or the original engineer made a mistake - which is highly unlikely - it just won't happen.

All that said, depending on its design, the dongle would not produce any unliveable changes to the signal levels. If the dongle is an RF transmitter only, then a frequency duplexer can be used internally which would have almost no through loss. If it's a transciever, then it's not difficult to bluiid lt with no smaller than a 9dB directional coupler, which only drops the signal 1 dB. In the vast majority of installations, a 1 dB drop in signal level will not be problematical.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:20 AM   #688
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Manufacturer specific

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Originally Posted by PaulS View Post
One thing I'd hate to see is that this dongle be manufacturer specific.
It has to be. Different manufacturer's systems are not compatible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulS View Post
We know that Motorola is testing theirs out now. For all we know, that unit's only gonna work with Motorola head-ends.
With Motorola spec headends, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulS View Post
As a resident of a town that's supported by an SA head-end, I can only shudder at the prospect of having to wait for, and then attempt to successfully use, one of their boxes.
Shudder or not, that's the situation.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:32 AM   #689
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Yet again

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I'd bet dollars to donuts that the dongle design is a direct descendant of an existing cable modem design.
Yep. RF-wise, it has to be.

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Originally Posted by PaulS View Post
Pop the ethernet section off the board, and you've already got all the rest of the ingredients on hand ready to go.
That's just another thing that gets me about this whole mess. A USB dongle is the least attractive means to handle this issue. Had they attacked it properly, no new device at all would have been required. A regular DOCSIS modem would do the trick. Indeed, for most Series II subscribers, their existing DOCSIS modem would work fine to carry both internet bound and SDV traffic with some firmware changes. Those subscribers without high speed internet would require a modem, but no hardware development at all would be required, and one device could serve multiple TiVos.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:39 AM   #690
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Ocap

Quote:
Originally Posted by morac View Post
CableLabs is the research group founded by the cable providers.
CableLabs was not founded by the CATV companies. It was jointly founded by CATV manufacturers, television manufacturers, Hollywood, and the CATV companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morac View Post
So what you're saying is that the cable companies own research group came up with a simple method for 2-way communications as part of the cableCARD standard, but it was shot down in favor of OCAP?
No. OCAP has been proposed as part of OpenCable 2.0. Neither have been offocially implemented. OpenCable 1.0 specified two-way CableCards (and all CableCards are 2-way), but only contained specifications for unidirectional hosts.
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