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Old 12-07-2007, 09:31 AM   #781
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The exact same thing applies to any type of yield management scheme. Yield management is used by many consumer-facing service industries. The most well-known is the practice of over-booking on airlines. So there you are on vacation with little Jenny and little Bobby and you get to the airport a good hour before the flight, but alas, since you got these incredibly low fares you weren't able to reserve seats and there aren't enough seats left for all of you because more folks checked in for the flight than forecast. So you sit it out, perhaps until the next day, even though Jenny might miss her first day back to school after vacation. That's life.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:25 PM   #782
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The exact same thing applies to any type of yield management scheme. Yield management is used by many consumer-facing service industries. The most well-known is the practice of over-booking on airlines. So there you are on vacation with little Jenny and little Bobby and you get to the airport a good hour before the flight, but alas, since you got these incredibly low fares you weren't able to reserve seats and there aren't enough seats left for all of you because more folks checked in for the flight than forecast. So you sit it out, perhaps until the next day, even though Jenny might miss her first day back to school after vacation. That's life.
If you plan a family vacation and don't get reserved seats, I think you deserve to listen to a screaming 2 year old for a day.

As for SDV, I think TiVo could actually behave better than the cableco boxes. As I'm sure somebody already pointed out months ago here, TiVo already has the "I want to record something on another channel, can I change it?" popup, so it could just as easily add a "This channel is going to be dropped in 5 minutes due to inactivity" popup.
I agree with the poster that said TiVo suggestions shouldn't greatly change "viewing" patterns for SDV. I find it's pretty rare that TiVo suggests channels that I haven't already been watching.
TiVo suggestions could even help the SDV problem... If you've got a cableco settop or DVR, it's going to stay on the last active channel until the SDV lease expires. TiVo is likely to find something you'd actually want to watch on other channels pretty often during prime viewing hours, so it will probably burn out a whole SDV channel leave way less often than the cableco boxes.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:58 PM   #783
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That's why I think TiVo's got to agree to either limit or bias suggestions towards non-SDV channels as much as possible.
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:40 AM   #784
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SA Cable Modems

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It seems to me that cable modems are generally NOT sytem specific. They meet the DOCSIS spec and you can buy them (or at least could) at Best Buy and Circuit City). I've have three different cable modems and one of them was RCA. One was Motorola on our SA system. I presume SA makes cable modems, but I've never seen one. A little programmable, but lockable, firmware would make it relative easy to mass produce these things for multiple cable systems. Using the the ethernet port instead of the USB port would allow it to serve multiple Tivos (and presumably other devices). Somehow replacing our regular cable modem with a souped up one, as referenced above, would be a great idea, assuming its rreasonably hack proof.
Scientific Atlanta does make cable modems. They are availible from Cox here in Fairfax, Va.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:52 PM   #785
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Angry Bright House Indiana added 5 SDV HD Channels - That won't work with TiVo HD

Bright House Indiana launched five new HD Channels on November 26, 2007 (http://indiana.mybrighthouse.com/pro...g/default.aspx). Unfortunately, according to Pam in customer service, all of the new channels require a two-way cable card so that the receiver can tell Bright House to switch to them. Though she didn't mention SDV, it seems that they've headed down that path.
  • CNN-HD (738) - Simulcast of CNN analog
  • History Channel-HD (755) - Simulcast of History Channel analog
  • National Geographic-HD (767) - Simulcast of National Geographic analog
  • HGTV-HD (770) - Simulcast of HGTV analog
  • MHD-HD (738) - Music:High Definition with a mix music programming from MTV, VH1 and CMT


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Old 12-09-2007, 04:14 PM   #786
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Huh. I thought that MHD was an MTV product. Looking at MHD's page it's true. Apparently CMT and VH1 are members of the "MTV Music Group". Though I occasionally flip through MHD, I hadn't paid much attention to what airs on it.

Again, there's no such thing as a "two way CableCARD"--CableCARDs do not contain RF transmitters and receivers and use functions in the host device to actually receive communications from the network and to optionally talk back to it. Until we get the tuning resolver, SDV requires a host device with bidirectional communications and OCAP.

Overall, not a very interesting set of additions from Brighthouse.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:52 PM   #787
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...Again, there's no such thing as a "two way CableCARD"--CableCARDs do not contain RF transmitters...
Actually, the CableCARD module itself has been capable of two-way communications since first release. It's the host implementation (hardware and/or software) that kneecaps two-way.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:51 PM   #788
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Actually, the CableCARD module itself has been capable of two-way communications since first release. It's the host implementation (hardware and/or software) that kneecaps two-way.
Huh? That's what I was trying to say--was I somehow unclear? There are no bidirectional CableCARDs, even for use in devices which are capable of bidirectional communication, just bidirectional communications implemented (or not) in the host device. I'd guess that it's pretty much always been the hardware that's prevented bidirectional communications--I doubt that anyone has put an OOB transmitter in a CableCARD device while omitting firmware to use it.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:16 PM   #789
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Yes, you were unclear--to me at least, which is the reason for my post. All conforming CableCARDs are inherently capable of supporting two-way communications--it's the host implementation that determines whether it will happen or not--for example: http://www.cablelabs.com/news/pr/200...ng_082405.html.

If this is what you're trying to say, then I agree.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:04 PM   #790
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Yes, you were unclear--to me at least, which is the reason for my post. All conforming CableCARDs are inherently capable of supporting two-way communications--it's the host implementation that determines whether it will happen or not--for example: http://www.cablelabs.com/news/pr/200...ng_082405.html.

If this is what you're trying to say, then I agree.
I think that it's actually what I did say; I'm sorry that you didn't understand me. Hopefully the message wasn't as unclear to anyone else. Note that I said that CableCARDs "use functions in the host device to actually receive communications from the network and to optionally talk back to it". (Though it's more that software running in the host device might talk back to the network using the CableCARD as an intermediary; in their primary decryption/encryption function, CableCARDs have no need to speak back to the network).

Let's drop it. If anyone else failed to get my original point (that bidirectionality is an attribute of the host device and not of the CableCARD) they've gotten it now.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:53 AM   #791
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MIke, people get hung up on your very first statement of "there are no such things as two-way CableCARDs." It sounds like you are saying that none will support two-way comm.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:05 PM   #792
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MIke, people get hung up on your very first statement of "there are no such things as two-way CableCARDs." It sounds like you are saying that none will support two-way comm.
Are CableCards involved at all in upstream communications?
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:15 PM   #793
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Are CableCards involved at all in upstream communications?
Not with TiVo. TiVo has no upstream communications capability. The Tuning Resolver will provide this capability.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:21 PM   #794
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Not with TiVo. TiVo has no upstream communications capability. The Tuning Resolver will provide this capability.
I know, but what about two-way CableCard devices?
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:45 PM   #795
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I know, but what about two-way CableCard devices?
So for a two way host like perhaps the upcoming Samsung TV with OCAP, upstream communications will be enabled. I personally dont know if the cablecard will originate any communications independently or instead provide a 'standard' hardware interface for allowing the OCAP code stack to originate the communications. Perhaps Mike will have more info as I believe he as read a good bit of the specs.
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:10 PM   #796
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Are CableCards involved at all in upstream communications?
Yes, they are, but only in that the proprietary on-the-wire protocols are encapsulated in the CableCARD. When the host needs to send a message back to the network, it gives it to the CableCARD, which dresses it up appropriately and then passes it back to the host to actually be transmitted.

CableCARDs offer a set of services to the to the host device, and the host device offers a set of services to them.

EDIT: I've been trying to find a discussion of the CableCARD Host/Card relationship that's less technical than ANSI/SCTE-28, which is pretty damned technical; I haven't found anything so far. On PDF page 25 of ANSI/SCTE-28 there's a diagram of one scenario for two-way communications (the other involves a built-in mini-DOCSIS modem and something called the DOCSIS Set-top Gateway, or DSG, which is diagrams and "explained" on the pages following. It's a little hairy and built on references to other standards docs.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:21 PM   #797
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I think I can come up with a bad analogy.

Say you're you want to have a conversation with someone who only speaks Spanish, but you don't speak Spanish. So you go out and buy a Spanish to English, English to Spanish dictionary. It comes with instructions on how to use it to translate conversations when talking on a phone.

You then call the person on the phone and converse with that person using the dictionary to translate what you want to say into Spanish and the response back into English.

One day you call the person, but find your mouth piece on the phone is broken so all you can do is listen, but you can't talk.


In my bad example, the dictionary is the cableCARD device, the instructions are the cableCARD spec, the working phone is a 2-way compatible host device and the broken phone is a 1-way compatible device.

This is an overly simplistic example, but the point I hope I'm getting across is that a dictionary (cableCARD) is neither a one way nor a two way device. It's just a tool used in communicating, but the phone (host) is the actual device that is one or two way. The instructions (cableCARD spec) can either be version 1.0 which states you can use broken phones while talking, but doesn't give you instructions on how to use working phones or 2.0 which states only working phones can be used with the dictionary (cableCARD).

Oh and the dongle, would be a fix for the broken phone mouthpiece.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:34 PM   #798
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Why?

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That's why I think TiVo's got to agree to either limit or bias suggestions towards non-SDV channels as much as possible.
What? Nonsense! If the TiVo thinks you might enjoy something, it should record it. That's the whole point of having suggestions. The medium over which it is delivered is irrelevant.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:02 PM   #799
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Numbers are off

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You are correct that the shape of tail is very important in how many channel requests are blocked. I used the values in my post above (169 channels, 334 tuners, 100 QAM streams) in a Monte Carlo simulation (with 1,000 trials).
Your numbers are off a bit. 100 QAM streams will deliver a lot more than 169 channels. They could deliver about 200 HD channels and 100 SD channels, or more likley at this point something like 100 HD channels and 350 SD channels per node. Most CATV providers havea target of 500 lit homes per fiber node, which would be about 1200 or so tuners (total, not active). Try re-running your analysis with those numbers.

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With these values, my simulation predicts that 22% of channel requests will be blocked. For the frequency of blocks to be less than 1%, 145 QAM streams would be required to deliver the 169 channels. Or, as noted above, if most of the tuners are off most of time, the situation is greatly improved.
What? A channel request does not block a QAM stream. It blocks a channel.

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Perhaps the cable companies have good data?
They have data. How good it is, I can't testify personally, but I suspect it's good.

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Or perhaps TiVo has good data on their user's viewing habits?
They do. It's one of the pieces of data the TiVo unit sends back to TiVo, Inc.

While TiVos produce more effective viewing time, I doubt they affect the prime-time viewing patterns much, at all. Blocking during off-prime time is much less likely.

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I would be very interested in knowing whether TiVo usage is like human usage. Or does the search capability of TiVo lead to more frequent recordings from "unusual" channels in the long tail?
During prime time, I expect it is very much like human useage; just an increased number of apparent humans. Outside prime time I suspect it might have a very significant impact on the mix of channels broadcast in an SDV system.

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Old 12-13-2007, 05:40 AM   #800
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Why?
Because that's what fits within the SDV model. Service providers should be allowed to block any device that is designed in such a way as it contributes to undercutting the SDV model itself. If the service providers see unrestricted Suggestions as a feature that undercuts the SDV model itself, a minor change to how Suggestions work is appropriate to secure good-faith cooperation between service providers and TiVo. TiVo isn't the center of the world. None of TiVo's subscribers are the center of the world. Mass-market service providers provide service to a customer base, not to just one customer, and it is perfectly normal to impose service delivery constraints that contribute to an efficient mass-market service delivery model.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:20 AM   #801
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What's needed, and may or not be available or even doable with the SDV designs out there, is for suggestions to have a second class status: i.e., they can be overidden by a request by an active viewer or by specifically requested programming. However, a similar situation exists with cable boxes (DVR or otherwise) and presumably those tens of Vista PC's out there with cablecards. Are digital cable boxes usually turned off, or are just the TV sets turned off? With an HDMI or DVI connection thay might be able to tell, assuming they're programmed to note this. The Vista PCs are left running.

What can really skew SDV are these folks who have 5 or 6 Tivos (or 5 or 6 cable DVRS, for that matter), most of which are left on all of the time. These installations could wreck havoc in a few specific SDV neighborhoods. Does cable company planning data account for a few of these? Will the cable company have to say you can have only 2 recordable channels? Will they say that each additional recordable channel will cost an extra $50/month? Before you that is outlandish, consider what it will cost them to add an SDV neighborhood to their system just to make one or two Tivo folks happy.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:18 PM   #802
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Because that's what fits within the SDV model. Service providers should be allowed to block any device that is designed in such a way as it contributes to undercutting the SDV model itself. If the service providers see unrestricted Suggestions as a feature that undercuts the SDV model itself, a minor change to how Suggestions work is appropriate to secure good-faith cooperation between service providers and TiVo. TiVo isn't the center of the world. None of TiVo's subscribers are the center of the world. Mass-market service providers provide service to a customer base, not to just one customer, and it is perfectly normal to impose service delivery constraints that contribute to an efficient mass-market service delivery model.

In a free market sure.

But Iím not sure the current laws and fcc regulations regulating cables 3rd party access would allow such a thing if a fight were to ensue. (but seems tivo would rather make nicey nice so who knows if it would ever matter).
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:22 PM   #803
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What's needed, and may or not be available or even doable with the SDV designs out there, is for suggestions to have a second class status: i.e., they can be overidden by a request by an active viewer or by specifically requested programming. However, a similar situation exists with cable boxes (DVR or otherwise) and presumably those tens of Vista PC's out there with cablecards. Are digital cable boxes usually turned off, or are just the TV sets turned off? With an HDMI or DVI connection thay might be able to tell, assuming they're programmed to note this. The Vista PCs are left running.

What can really skew SDV are these folks who have 5 or 6 Tivos (or 5 or 6 cable DVRS, for that matter), most of which are left on all of the time. These installations could wreck havoc in a few specific SDV neighborhoods. Does cable company planning data account for a few of these? Will the cable company have to say you can have only 2 recordable channels? Will they say that each additional recordable channel will cost an extra $50/month? Before you that is outlandish, consider what it will cost them to add an SDV neighborhood to their system just to make one or two Tivo folks happy.

Iím not sure people with 5-6 tivos are a major problem. I think a tivo (or media center pc or anything like it) with 5-6 tuners WOULD be.

5-6 tivoís likely are recording many duplicates. So when one box requests the sdv channel be turned on for the node the other 5 can follow along and it means nothing. The problem is if you had 5-6 tuners on my device then all the tuners are looking at something else, and if the drive is empty a tivo might try to get 6 suggestions at once. If the boxes owner has tastes that donít match the Ďaverageí home then that could be a mjor problem if the box goes to pick up 6 different SDV streams.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:30 PM   #804
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What's needed, and may or not be available or even doable with the SDV designs out there, is for suggestions to have a second class status: i.e., they can be overidden by a request by an active viewer or by specifically requested programming. However, a similar situation exists with cable boxes (DVR or otherwise) and presumably those tens of Vista PC's out there with cablecards. Are digital cable boxes usually turned off, or are just the TV sets turned off? With an HDMI or DVI connection thay might be able to tell, assuming they're programmed to note this. The Vista PCs are left running.

.

vstone can you explain what you men by the above please? Most digital boxes are never turned off there is no need to.What kind of similar situation are you talking about with the cable boxes? You do know that the current and newer cable boxes have 2 way communications don't you?

ajwees41

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:33 PM   #805
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Also keep in mind that new Tivos, or even ones that have been cleared, don't know much about what you want so suggestions are going wander all over the place, especially if your 15 year old son plays with it a lot over Christmas vacation while you're at work.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:46 PM   #806
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vstone can you explain what you men by the above please? Most digital boxes are never turned off there is no need to.What kind of similar situation are you talking about with the cable boxes? You do know that the current and ned cable boxes have 2 way communications aren't you?

ajwees41
Yes, I'm aware that most digital boxes are never turned off or put into standby. Tivos and STBs can be put into standby and save a little power, but I don't know who bothers.

Yes, I know that most or all digital cable boxes have 2 way comms. The point is, do they tell the headend when the TV sets is turned off or can they even detect that no one is watching and tell the head end. This is relatively easy to do with HDMI or DVI connections assuming the circuitry was designe dto do that, but probably requires additional sensitive circuitry to determine if there is a load on the component, S-video, composite, or even RF outputs. And somebody might tune to amusic channel and then list to it thru an audio receiver and turn off the TV set.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:55 PM   #807
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Yes, I'm aware that most digital boxes are never turned off or put into standby. Tivos and STBs can be put into standby and save a little power, but I don't know who bothers.

Yes, I know that most or all digital cable boxes have 2 way comms. The point is, do they tell the headend when the TV sets is turned off or can they even detect that no one is watching and tell the head end. This is relatively easy to do with HDMI or DVI connections assuming the circuitry was designe dto do that, but probably requires additional sensitive circuitry to determine if there is a load on the component, S-video, composite, or even RF outputs. And somebody might tune to amusic channel and then list to it thru an audio receiver and turn off the TV set.

I don't think so. I don't think they have the circuitry to do it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:31 PM   #808
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In a free market sure.

But I’m not sure the current laws and fcc regulations regulating cables 3rd party access would allow such a thing if a fight were to ensue. (but seems tivo would rather make nicey nice so who knows if it would ever matter).
Yeah, I don't think that TiVo's going to object to an ask that suggestions not be recorded on SDV channels. Without the SDV tuning resolver, they will have sold a ton of equipment that a lot of people will be pissed off that they bought. Very few--if any--of their customers will realize that suggestions aren't being recorded from SDV channels.

vstone, ajwees41--

I feel fairly certain that the SDV systems use a lease mechanism in which the network will automatically decrement the use count for a channel at the end of a period if the lessee doesn't renew. I can't see how SDV would work if the network had to wait for terminals to explicitly release channels. Approved devices would be required to either know that they still need the channel (because they're in the middle of recording it) or to prompt the viewer for permission to renew. Under these circumstances idle turned-on boxes won't break anything (though it'd be nice if people would turn them off when they stop watching).
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:20 PM   #809
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The addition of more cable HD channels, many as a replacement for existing SD channels (think 11 HBO channels, if you include both coasts), will likely push more and more channels into SDV status. As more people watch more HD programming, the programs that they watch in common may diverge significantly and may not necessarily be on a small group of channels. We HD folk will not be watching the same 10 HD channels, we'll be watching (fill in the blank) and those people who watch the shopping channels 24/7 will watch the HD shopping channels. And since cable actually gets paid to carry these, who knows if they'll end up as SDV? Wouldn't want to have to explain to the shopping channel folk that customers were locked out of channel during the big cubic zirconium sale!

A "no suggestions from SDV channels" rule could end up meaning only suggestions from whatever ends up in the new (digital) basic tier.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:57 PM   #810
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A "no suggestions from SDV channels" rule could end up meaning only suggestions from whatever ends up in the new (digital) basic tier.
It might (I doubt it, but it might). And this would be tragic in what way?

I wonder what percentage of recorded suggestions is ever watched? How much time is spent by TiVos fecklessly recording stuff for people that they have absolutely no interest in?
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