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Old 12-02-2007, 09:07 AM   #721
bicker
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I truly do NOT want them introducing the dongle until it works and works reliably.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:31 AM   #722
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Wow. The BigBandNetworks SDV system on SA networks is a wildly popular combo. Of course, TWC has the largest SDV deployment by far and they're primarily SA-based. In that chart, 15 TWC systems, 3 Cox, 2 Comcast, 1 Charter, 1 Cablevision and 1 Videotron.

So far, we've heard about development of the Motorola dongle though there are only 2 Moto networks out there using SDV.

It also says that TWC San Diego is using SDV (SA Network, SA SDV system--I, luckily so far, am on Cox). There've been some complaints about a few channels not being tunable via CableCARD lately, but people thought that they were actually there on the wire, just not included in the CC map. People have been told that there would be no new HD channels for CableCARD users by CSRs.
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Originally Posted by bicker View Post
I truly do NOT want them introducing the dongle until it works and works reliably.
When has cable ever waited until a piece of equipment worked reliably before rolling it out? (at cable, not you, bicker)
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:35 AM   #723
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Light Reading has posted a list of SDV deployments in the US. No details on the number of channels that have been switched in each market, but this list gives an indication of the rapid movement to SDV.
I don't think that the deployment of SDV has been very rapid at all. Comcast, the largest MSO in the nation by nearly a factor of two, has only two systems using SDV, both labelled "Technology Trial". TWC (the second largest) is being pretty aggressive, but at this rate it'll take them more than a year to cover their entire system. In the two months since the last snapshot taken by that site only 3 systems were added. Looking at that list, it could take a couple of years before we see ubiquitous use of SDV. Of course, if D*'s copious addition of HD channels is effective, the pace could quicken.

Of course, none of this is any consolation to people in the TWC Austin and TWC Oceanic systems, where massive numbers of channels are being presented in SDV, including many that they had access to via CableCARD previously. Tuning Resolver development and deployment should proceed with all deliberate speed (before Cox San Diego can add the Sci Fi channel as SDV, which will cheese me off massively ).
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:24 PM   #724
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Light Reading has posted a list of SDV deployments in the US. No details on the number of channels that have been switched in each market, but this list gives an indication of the rapid movement to SDV. It's time for a dongle to appear. You might also notice that almost all of the listed projects are using the Scientific Atlanta platform, making that the priority for a dongle.
http://www.lightreading.com/blog.asp...&doc_id=139512
Looks to be a fairly complete list which jives with the informal list being kept here. One clarification is even though some markets are not yet deploying SDV, they are already denying channels to CableCard users in anticipation of SDV deployment (the premise being don't give the customer some newer HD channels and then yank them away in a few months). That is the case for Cox Orange County and I believe a few other Cox markets not already on the list.
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:10 PM   #725
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When has cable ever waited until a piece of equipment worked reliably before rolling it out? (at cable, not you, bicker)
Well, let's put it this way.... surely they should wait AT LEAST until it is reliable to their standards, if not ours. Surely, they shouldn't release it earlier than their standards would dictate!

Eh?
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:28 PM   #726
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I don't think that the deployment of SDV has been very rapid at all...

...Tuning Resolver development and deployment should proceed with all deliberate speed (before Cox San Diego can add the Sci Fi channel as SDV, which will cheese me off massively ).
That's the thing Mike, when it happens to you, suddenly it feels a LOT more urgent.
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Old 12-02-2007, 03:19 PM   #727
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Looks to be a fairly complete list which jives with the informal list being kept here. One clarification is even though some markets are not yet deploying SDV, they are already denying channels to CableCard users in anticipation of SDV deployment (the premise being don't give the customer some newer HD channels and then yank them away in a few months). That is the case for Cox Orange County and I believe a few other Cox markets not already on the list.
Cox San Diego County has announced a roll-out of 13 new HD channels to a couple of southern areas in mid-December and to most of the rest of the county in mid-January; we'll see whether they fail to add them to the CableCARD mapping. What's keeping them most busy right now is an upgrade from 750MHz to 1GHz bandwidth, so they don't really need to add those channels as SDV, since they only eat up a minor fraction of their added capacity.

At the bottom of that announcement that say:
Quote:
Listed HD networks will soon be available to customers...with minimum of Cox Standard Cable and HD service...Cox High Definition (HD) service requires a 1080p, 1080i or 720p-capable, HD-ready TV, a separate subscription to Cox Cable TV (starting at $12.95/mo.) and rental of an HD digital receiver ($5.25/mo.) or CableCard.
It doesn't matter much to me either way. I could give a lesser damn about any of those 13 channels. There are a good five or six HD channels that I already have that I rarely watch: A&E HD, National Geophraphic HD, TBS HD, MOJO, HD Theater, etc, etc--they could take any of them away and I wouldn't notice. Bring on Sci Fi HD!
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:29 PM   #728
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Cox San Diego County has announced a roll-out of 13 new HD channels to a couple of southern areas in mid-December and to most of the rest of the county in mid-January; we'll see whether they fail to add them to the CableCARD mapping. What's keeping them most busy right now is an upgrade from 750MHz to 1GHz bandwidth, so they don't really need to add those channels as SDV, since they only eat up a minor fraction of their added capacity.
The 750MHz->1GHz upgrades here are about half way complete in Orange County and there are already new HD channels broadcasting on RF channels > 750MHz that are only available to cities where the upgrades have been completed - they actually have a web page detailing which cities are expected to be completed when. So even though theoretically with the bandwidth upgrades SDV is not necessary to accommodate these new HD channels, looks like they have aggressive plans for SDV anyway. As I mentioned before, the entire digital simulcast channels are slated for SDV and CableCard customers will thus revert back to analog versions once deployment begins. That plus any digital channel additions from here on out will be under SDV umbrella supposedly. Perhaps they are saving the bandwidth for many more future HD channels (to keep pace with D*) as well as for much higher broadband speeds.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:41 PM   #729
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The 750MHz->1GHz upgrades here are about half way complete in Orange County and there are already new HD channels broadcasting on RF channels > 750MHz that are only available to cities where the upgrades have been completed - they actually have a web page detailing which cities are expected to be completed when. So even though theoretically with the bandwidth upgrades SDV is not necessary to accommodate these new HD channels, looks like they have aggressive plans for SDV anyway. As I mentioned before, the entire digital simulcast channels are slated for SDV and CableCard customers will thus revert back to analog versions once deployment begins. That plus any digital channel additions from here on out will be under SDV umbrella supposedly. Perhaps they are saving the bandwidth for many more future HD channels (to keep pace with D*) as well as for much higher broadband speeds.
Sound like even without switched video, CableCard users on Cox will be screwed because any new stuff above 870Mhz will be inaccessible.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:43 PM   #730
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Bring on Sci Fi HD!


That and Discovery HD and I'd be happy. It's kind of sad when I go to find HD stuff to watch and there's nothing good on so I end up watching SD.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:44 PM   #731
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Looks to be a fairly complete list which jives with the informal list being kept here. One clarification is even though some markets are not yet deploying SDV, they are already denying channels to CableCard users in anticipation of SDV deployment (the premise being don't give the customer some newer HD channels and then yank them away in a few months). That is the case for Cox Orange County and I believe a few other Cox markets not already on the list.
Has Cox publicly defined what channels have been placed into the switched tier in Northern Virginia and are any of them HD? I've read they were going to use SDV to "free up space for more high-definition content," so of course it would suck if said HD content were itself switched--at least until we get the dongle.

I'm in the same market as you and there was a lag between the first expansion in the HD channel lineup several months ago between where I'm at in Coto de Caza and some friends in Ladera Ranch. Ladera had the channels at first release, so I chalked it up to them being a new(er) community. I ended up getting those channels right about the time they expanded the HD lineup again; when I called both Cox sales and tech support about this, they couldn't even spell SDV, but they assured me that it was due to a "re-provisioning" effort going on and that I would ultimately receive those HD channels. We'll see.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:46 PM   #732
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Has Cox publicly defined what channels have been placed into the switched tier in Northern Virginia and are any of them HD? I've read they were going to use SDV to "free up space for more high-definition content," so of course it would suck if said HD content were itself switched--at least until we get the dongle.
No nothing official AFAIK. 2nd tier CSRs seem to know about it - the one I talked to even knew about SDV and claimed to have an internal email about it. From what I hear in local forums CableCard customers are supposed to be getting an email sometime soon about it but I haven't got anything. Note that with my PC QAM tuner I can see which frequencies the newer channels are on but they are not mapped in my Tivo channel map so I can't tune them - I think this is intentional by Cox. No channels that I care about yet fortunately... However channels < 100 switching back to analog will be a bummer: even for those only USA & SciFi are the ones I watch.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:04 PM   #733
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Sound like even without switched video, CableCard users on Cox will be screwed because any new stuff above 870Mhz will be inaccessible.
I don't think that they need to put television programming above 870MHz; they need quite a bit of bandwidth for telephone and telecomm.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:49 PM   #734
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I don't think that they need to put television programming above 870MHz; they need quite a bit of bandwidth for telephone and telecomm.
This article mentions some possible future plans of dedicating 870MHz-1GHz to mpeg4:
http://www.onetrak.com/ShowArticle.aspx?ID=2870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Bowick, Cox Sr VP & CTO
Elsewhere, Cox also is eying the video bandwidth savings using MPEG-4. While the compression codec won’t be accessible to homes with older digital set-top boxes, MPEG-4 “plays beautifully in the 850 to 1 Gigahertz realm,” he noted.
Article also sums up future long term plans (from now to 2010):
# scale back the analog channel count from 74 to 68
# increase standard definition channels from 110 to 200-plus
# raise HD channels from just 8 in 2006 to 100-plus
# boost data bandwidth to 25 Megabits per second downstream, 4 Mbps upstream.

4 Mbps upstream would be nice for my Slingbox...
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:04 AM   #735
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I was somewhat heartened by the fact that AT&T used its uverse service to show the Dallas - Green Bay NFL network game on television. They showed it to state legislature members. However, it's still not available in my area, nor is Verizon or any other cable company.

The S2 is still going (barely) and it's a huge relief to have MRV back, but if I need to replace the S2, I have no idea what I'd do. I honestly can't see buying a TiVo HD given the massive use of SDV in TW's Austin market. I think I'd just get the TW DVR and live with it until the SDV issue is sorted -- if ever.
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:36 AM   #736
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I don't think that they need to put television programming above 870MHz; they need quite a bit of bandwidth for telephone and telecomm.
Not really, IMHO. The upstream would become the limiting factor before you came close to using that much downstream bandwidth for data.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:56 AM   #737
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Not really, IMHO. The upstream would become the limiting factor before you came close to using that much downstream bandwidth for data.
There are other uses that they can make of it if CableCARD devices aren't required to tune that high.

On a related note, according to this Engadget blurb, they're also increasing standard data bandwidth up and down, continuing to trim the analog channel allocation and adding equipment to reduce the local node size from 650 to 250 customers average (apparently 250 is some kind of magic number for SDV).
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:50 PM   #738
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I don't think that they need to put television programming above 870MHz; they need quite a bit of bandwidth for telephone and telecomm.
With the tuner resolver apparently dealing with the SDV issue, do you think they will pass up another opportunity to mess up cable card users? I realize that that there are legitimate reasons for SDV and putting new content on MP4 in the above-870MHz range, but the side-benefit of pushing people to their proprietary set-top boxes must be irresistible.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:26 PM   #739
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There are other uses that they can make of it if CableCARD devices aren't required to tune that high.
Sure, they can deploy set top boxes with 1Ghz tuners. And the CableCard spec can be revised, but that won't help existing devices.

It gives them room to add another tier of HD channels, when and if they need to, without having to dump analog.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:12 AM   #740
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[quote=mikeyts;5752200]There are other uses that they can make of it if CableCARD devices aren't required to tune that high.

Why can't CableCards decrypt the upper frequencies? I thought the CableCard only decrypts a digital stream after it has been digitized by the tuner A/D. As long as the tuner can operate at the high frequency, isn't a decryptor a decryptor? Hope this hasn't already been asked...
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:25 AM   #741
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Quote:
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There are other uses that they can make of it if CableCARD devices aren't required to tune that high.

Why can't CableCards decrypt the upper frequencies? I thought the CableCard only decrypts a digital stream after it has been digitized by the tuner A/D. As long as the tuner can operate at the high frequency, isn't a decryptor a decryptor? Hope this hasn't already been asked...
You're right--CableCARDs are not tuners and could be used to decrypt streams carried on higher frequencies. However, the OpenCable Host Device 2.0 Core Functional Requirements only require the host to be able to tune inband frequencies between 54 and 864 MHz. The range can be greater, but it's optional. It seems improbable that any UDCR equipment on the market is capable of tuning up to 994MHz., but it's possible.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:26 AM   #742
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Why can't CableCards decrypt the upper frequencies? I thought the CableCard only decrypts a digital stream after it has been digitized by the tuner A/D. As long as the tuner can operate at the high frequency, isn't a decryptor a decryptor? Hope this hasn't already been asked...
CableCARDS can decrypt any tuned demodulated signal; the problem is the standard for the host device doesn't require the host device to be able to tune to those higher frequencies.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:11 PM   #743
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Ahh. Thank you for the info and link. 864 MHz looks like the cutoff.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:42 PM   #744
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Ahh. Thank you for the info and link. 864 MHz looks like the cutoff.
864 MHz is the offset of the last block of 6 MHz in 870. From 54 MHz through 864 MHz is still 136 6 MHz slots, enough for 272 HD channels at 19 Mbps each, packed two to a stream (of course they won't use it that way, but we can dream ). Downstream DOCSIS channels can inhabit the low GHz range with standard cable modems, so they can utilize that upper 130 MHz of capacity for data and telephony, moving some or all of that out of the 54 MHz-864 MHz range, making space for more "plug-and-play" video channels.

Bring on 25/4 Mbps as a standard for cable data service and bring on fat, luscious high def downloads from Amazon Unbox and elsewhere!
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:26 AM   #745
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Cox Fairfax, VA activates 11 HD Channels. SDV?

Cox yesterday, activated 11 new HD channels in Fairfax County, VA. Here is their headline:
----------------------------------------------
Effective immediately, Cox now offers the following new high-definition channels:

- CNN HD (708)
- Versus/Golf HD (711)
- TBS HD (722)
- Food Network HD (723)
- HGTV HD (724)
- TLC HD (725)
- Discovery HD (727)
- History Channel HD (728)
- The Science Channel HD (729)
- Animal Planet HD (730)
- NHL Network HD (731)

Televisions and other consumer owned devices equipped with a CableCARD may require a digital set top receiver in order to receive all programming options offered by Cox Digital Cable.

---------------------------------------------
Inference is these are all SDV. Can any of you TIVO HD/Series 3 owners in Fairfax County, Virginia confirm you are not receiving these channels?
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:59 AM   #746
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I like the way that they say "may require a digital set top receiver", as though there was some chance that a CableCARD device might currently tune SDV channels without one .
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:13 PM   #747
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In response to someone's comment that cablelabs if funded by the cable company's ...

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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
CableLabs was not founded by the CATV companies. It was jointly founded by CATV manufacturers, television manufacturers, Hollywood, and the CATV companies.


....
sorry to drift off topic but I cant seem to let this go for some reason (I know I know I have issues-LOL)

Maybe it WAS open to all at one point but that no longer seems to be the case-

from cablelabs own website:

Quote:
CableLabs Membership
To be a member of CableLabs, a company must be a cable television system operator (as defined by the 1984 Cable Act). A cable operator, as defined by the '84 Cable Act, is a person or persons who provide(s) video programming using closed transmission paths and uses public rights-of-way. This definition does not include open video systems, MMDS (multi-channel multipoint distribution systems), or DBS (direct broadcast satellite).

the list of member company's is found here:

http://www.cablelabs.com/about/companies/

I am NOT very knowledgable about the subject but I dont see any hollywood players, cable manufactureres (surely moto and SA would be on the list if allowed) and no phone company's (i'd think verizon would surely wont to join so they could have some say in the standards go- no?)

So how is cablelabs not funded by the cable company's exactly?

I guess beyond dues from the above players (which I think are assessed as a percent of revenue or perhaps as a surcharge per customer)- there are some testing or licensing fees paid by manufactures to get stuff certified- but seems to me the people making the decisions are clearly only cable company's.

Or am I missing something?


Now that I think about it - I think you are confusing cablelabs with the NCTA. The NCTA I believe DOES have hollywood and equipment makers in the mix. And if I recall even a phone compnay or 2 that were allowed in before the NCTA decided to ban telco's.

I seem to recall that cablelab's (I think it had a differnt name back then?) was initially a part of NCTA but at some point it got spun off and became the monopolistic entity that it is today.
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:47 PM   #748
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Cox yesterday, activated 11 new HD channels in Fairfax County, VA. Here is their headline:
----------------------------------------------
Effective immediately, Cox now offers the following new high-definition channels:

- CNN HD (708)
- Versus/Golf HD (711)
- TBS HD (722)
- Food Network HD (723)
- HGTV HD (724)
- TLC HD (725)
- Discovery HD (727)
- History Channel HD (728)
- The Science Channel HD (729)
- Animal Planet HD (730)
- NHL Network HD (731)

Televisions and other consumer owned devices equipped with a CableCARD may require a digital set top receiver in order to receive all programming options offered by Cox Digital Cable.

---------------------------------------------
Inference is these are all SDV. Can any of you TIVO HD/Series 3 owners in Fairfax County, Virginia confirm you are not receiving these channels?
Just checked, in Herndon, and my TivoHD doesn't even know the channels exist. My guess is they haven't updated the CC Map for them :-(
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:39 PM   #749
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Just checked, in Herndon, and my TivoHD doesn't even know the channels exist. My guess is they haven't updated the CC Map for them :-(
If they're being presented as SDV services, as that notice from Cox strongly suggests, they're not gonna update the CableCARD maps for them. Good luck. At least they don't include Sci Fi HD, which is about the only new HD channel I've heard of that being deprived of through the use of SDV will truly piss me off.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:38 AM   #750
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Impact of TiVo on SDV

SDV has become a problem for TiVo owners. However TiVo could become a big problem for SDV.

SDV is a business strategy of over-selling product, in expectation that not every customer will show up to buy. It's a lot like the airlines overbooking a flight, assuming that many of those with reservations will not actually show up for the flight. The cable company is offering more channels than they can deliver simultaneously, assuming that not all channels will be requested at the same moment. And that will usually, but not always, be true.

The only statistical study of SDV that I have found on-line (http://www.bigbandnet.com/index.php/...r_statswb.html) claims a large "efficiency" advantage of SDV, that is, the average number of QAM streams used by SDV is significantly less than the number of channels offered on SDV. The author's explanation is that there are a few channels that many people watch, and many channels that are very seldom watched (a Zipf distribution, or a "long tail" effect). However in their plots of the data collected in two experiments, the more important effect is that many set-top boxes were off a lot of the time. Thus, the most frequently watched channel was "off".

However TiVo does not have an off button. It's always watching a channel, and always filling its 30 minute buffer for our instant gratification when we want to skip back and re-run something from live TV. Actually most TiVo's are now watching two different channels, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TiVo does not know if the TV monitor is on or not, or if anyone is in the room or not. Thus a TiVo will create a much higher average demand on an SDV service than an average human viewer. If a large portion of the households on an SDV node have TiVo (or a similar technology), the statistical model of SDV will fail.

What happens when the statistical gamble of SDV goes bad? Instead of getting the channel they are requesting, viewers get blocked. Sort of like being bumped from an over-sold airline flight. So TiVo might be trying to record some show from an alternative HBO feed, but it won't be able to get the channel when it needs to, and unless some new protocol gives TiVo appropriate feedback, it won't even know that it can't record your show.
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