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Old 12-28-2007, 02:35 PM   #931
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SDV Implementations

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Originally Posted by ah30k View Post
I am thinking of the systems which connect nodes to the master headend using IP over fiber. This system I am referring to allows many MPEG streams to be simultaneously sent out over the IP mulicasts around the fiber ring. At each node, IP multicasts are joined into and then the IP MPEG streams are modulated onto the local plant. This is how SDV will work well. All of the MPEG streams are available on the fiber ring but only those that have current requests from the node will actually be modulated onto the plant.
There are several different possible SDV implementations. What works best depends upon a number of factors, including the physical size of the geographical area being served, the average number of subscribers per mile of fiber, the bandwidth of the CATV plant, the number of QAM streams, the number of nodes served from the hubsite, and the ratio of SDV bandwidth to linear digital bandwidth. Here in San Antonio they simply use AM fiber, where the entire RF spectrum is just directly AM modulated as a 750 MHz baseband signal onto the LASER. The nodes themselves are not digital. It's by far the least expensive method of getting the signal out to the node, but it also imposes very strict limitations on the maximum distance from the hubsite to the node. I could be mis-remembering, but if I recall the maximum distance to the node for the gear they use here is less than 14 route miles of fiber. Given that 14 route miles may be as little as 7 or 8 line of sight miles, that's not much for a city the size of San Antonio. Still, it works and it's economical.

Delivery of the digital stream to the hubsite is via pt-pt 10G Ethernet, not an Ethernet ring, although an Ethernet ring would certainly be a possible implementation. The 10G wavelength is carried over a DWDM ring for redundancy, but it is not a ring at the Ethernet layer. Once again, the decision to deliver over pt-pt links rather than a ring is one which is determined by the geographical node density, the number of hubsites, the number of SDV streams, etc.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:27 PM   #932
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GREAT news!!! In October TWC added several new HD channels using SDV (Switched Digital Video--see thread on SDV if you are not familiar with it). Since the TiVo 3 cannot handle SDV, we were either force to do without the new channels or pay $10/month for an STB. Today I visited the TWC website and discovered that one of the channels (Golf/Versus) had been moved to the basic tier. A light went off in my brain that said if that was true, pehaps it was no longer using SDV and could be viewed and recorded by my TiVo. In fact that is true for that channel as well as all the other new HD channels.

Looks like TWC has seen the light about selecting SDV channels, and at least for now, new HD channels will have dedicated frequencies and will work with CableCARDs.
In some areas, TWC's plan to use SDV has been combined with their roll-out of their new Digital Navigator IPG, created and maintained in-house. They have both a hard-coded versions called "Mystro Digital Navigator" (MDN--the original codename of the product was "Mystro") which will run on the memory-limited legacy SA boxes and an OCAP version (ODN) which will run on their new CableCARD-using "C" series leased boxes (i.e., SA Explorer 4250C, 4250HDC, 8300C and 8300HDC), all of which have twice the applications RAM of the old ones. The OCAP version can also run on new "CableCARD V2" equipment with OCAP--they and Samsung have been demonstrating it at product shows running on prototype Sammy televisions for the past year or two.

Digital Navigator has been a bit less than ready-for-primetime; when they rolled it out in trialed in Lincoln, NE last year, it upset so many subs that they held city council hearings to decide whether they had cause to break their contract with TWC and choose a new cable service provider. So, in most places they seem to be taking a slow and cautious approach, distributing ODN on new SA Explorer "C" series boxes but holding off on pushing MDN to everyone with legacy boxes. Even if all the bugs have been worked out, it's gonna be a mess when they push this, with tons of calls from confused subs whose STBs sudden present a different looking GUI with a different set of menus which doesn't respond to quite the same set of commands. Since the "legacy" IPG that they using (Aptiv Digital's Passport and Passport Echo) hasn't been updated to work with the SDV system that they're using, they have to wait until they're ready for widespread deployment of Digital Navigator before they can start using SDV. I think that they'd thought to withhold stuff that they planned to place in an SDV group from their CableCARD customers so they wouldn't have to take them away from them later, but too many people complained.
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:48 AM   #933
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You're confusing packet switched with circuit switched. It's more like a telephone line (circuit switched) than Ethernet (packet switched). Packet switched would be IPTV, not SDV.
According to this article: http://www.cable360.net/ct/strategy/...ech/26402.html, the core transport in SDV is packet-switched IP; IP over 10 GbE, SONET, DWDM, etc. It goes on to mention how packet loss, queuing delays and jitter can impact QoE (Quality of Experience), as with VoIP.

I believe the term IPTV more generally refers to television-type services delivered over "traditional" data networks...
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:42 PM   #934
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Switching

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You're confusing packet switched with circuit switched. It's more like a telephone line (circuit switched) than Ethernet (packet switched). Packet switched would be IPTV, not SDV.
No, I'm not confusing them, although I did over-simplify the situation. Actually, SDV is close to being a hybrid of the two types of network. The salient point here, however, is that what happens at layer 2 switching is irrelevant to what happens at layer 3 and above. At layer 2 on an Ethernet network, switching occurs at the packet level whether layer 3 is routed or switched or what the layer 3 service might be. The 802.1 protocols are always circuit-less, whether the layer 3 protocols are circuit-less or not. Since the links being used ARE ethernet, they are not "more like a telephone line (circuit switched) than Ethernet (packet switched)". The San Antonio system uses 10G Ethernet to transport their streams (analog, linear digital and SDV) out to their hubsites.

The important point in my original post was traffic not needed by the intermediate hubsite is not sent to the hubsite, and traffic not needded by the node is not sent to the node. The traffic links (whatever they might be for the system in question) only carry data that actually gets used by the endpoint.
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:50 PM   #935
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In some areas, TWC's plan to use SDV has been combined with their roll-out of their new Digital Navigator IPG, created and maintained in-house.
I've heard a whisper or two about this from some of my colleagues who still work at TWC, but I really don't know any details. Of course, they would never divulge any confidential information, and I would never pass on any sensitive information to which I had any access, but from what I've heard, the "not ready for prime time" label is pretty accurate. Of course, IMO, the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD deserves the same label, in spades, and it's been out for a couple of years. For that matter, the entire SDV platform could qualify for the label in my opinion, the fact individual and specific deployments of SDV are working extremely well in many respects notwithstanding.
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:28 PM   #936
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Of course, IMO, the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD deserves the same label, in spades, and it's been out for a couple of years.
Before buying a TiVo S3, I used an Explorer 8000HD running Passport Echo for about 2.5 years and it was nearly as nice overall as the TiVo and I had no larger number of problem with it than I experience with the S3. There are several features of it that I miss dearly, though on the whole their absence is balanced by things that TiVo does better. I moved from a TWC neighborhood into a Cox one where they used the SA8300 running SARA, which is so wretched that I'm certain it would have actually caused me to suffer a fatal heart attack had I used it much longer. I was in a constant state of apoplectic rage while dealing with it. Had I stayed in the old place with Passport Echo, I'd have never been tempted to buy a TiVo.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:46 PM   #937
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Before buying a TiVo S3, I used an Explorer 8000HD running Passport Echo for about 2.5 years and it was nearly as nice overall as the TiVo...
If TW-Austin had ponied up the bucks for Passport software on their 8000HD, I might never have bought my S3. As it is, they're still SARA-only and I'd rather live without several SDV channels on my TiVo than live with their evil POS box.
Hopefully the reports of the tuning resolver arriving late Q108 are real!
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:49 AM   #938
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8300hd

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Before buying a TiVo S3, I used an Explorer 8000HD running Passport Echo for about 2.5 years and it was nearly as nice overall as the TiVo and I had no larger number of problem with it than I experience with the S3.
I don't have any personal experience with the Passport software, but I have heard it is much better than the SARA software. It would be difficult for it to be worse. Nonetheless, I did enter into a feature comparison with a Passport user some months ago, and the 8300HD lacks a number of critical features:

1. It can't be hacked, because the user doesn't own it.

2. No TTB / TTCB.

3. No TiVoWeb Plus or equivalent.

4. No Galleon or equivalent.

5. No Suggestions.

6. The searches are not as flexible.

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I moved from a TWC neighborhood into a Cox one where they used the SA8300 running SARA, which is so wretched that I'm certain it would have actually caused me to suffer a fatal heart attack had I used it much longer.
I used it only as long as I had to, which was until the S3 was released. It was a constant and never-ending ordeal. Generally I was cursing fluently any time I used it - the term "used" being very loosely applied, indeed.
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:51 AM   #939
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If TW-Austin had ponied up the bucks for Passport software on their 8000HD, I might never have bought my S3. As it is, they're still SARA-only and I'd rather live without several SDV channels on my TiVo than live with their evil POS box.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:00 AM   #940
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Not here

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Looks like TWC has seen the light about selecting SDV channels, and at least for now, new HD channels will have dedicated frequencies and will work with CableCARDs.
'Not here in San Antonio. All the new HD chanels are SDV. They add one every few days. Oh, and SDV works just fine with CableCards. It just doesn't work with unidirectional hosts like the TiVo.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:02 PM   #941
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Nonetheless, I did enter into a feature comparison with a Passport user some months ago, and the 8300HD lacks a number of critical features:

1. It can't be hacked, because the user doesn't own it.

2. No TTB / TTCB.

3. No TiVoWeb Plus or equivalent.

4. No Galleon or equivalent.

5. No Suggestions.

6. The searches are not as flexible.
Hmmm. "Critical" is a very relative term, as you apply it. I wonder just what percentage of TiVo users would find your first 4 missing "critical" features to be of any use or concern to them ? TTG/TTCB would be nice, if I could get it to work. I've stored this season of Friday Night Lights on an HDD on my PC using freeware TiVo Desktop; recently I went back to watch those 9 episodes and each and every one of them is nigh unwatchable, riddled with macroblocking and audio and video skips that were not present in the original recording. I know that TiVo has to strip out encryption that it added while recording, but apparently it introduces intra-frame sequencing problems while doing it (or while transferring it back--playing them back on the PC is much better, so perhaps there's hope). People must have found ways to deal with this, but what good is a feature if you have to find this forum and dig through discussions to successfully use it?

As for "suggestions", in my mind, it's probably the worst conceive feature of TiVo. Utterly, profoundly useless. In any case, I already watch way too much television to need some lame excuse for AI trying to help me find more (I know, I know--lots of people like it. I wouldn't object to it if it were a Wishlist criteria that I could use to see a list of scheduled stuff that the AI thinks that I might like without requiring that I automatically record all of them).

More flexible searches is something that I appreciate. However, Passport Echo has much more flexible "Season Pass" scheduling--you can say things like "Record this program only on this channel when it airs on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday". If it had had time-of-day ranges it would have been perfect. Also, things that aren't marked KUID are deleted in the order that they appear on the "Now Playing" list (added to the top as they're recorded and deleted from the bottom); you can change this order at will by grabbing an entry and dragging it up or down, like adjusting priorities in TiVo's "Season Pass" dialog. Then there are the little things, like being able to see at a glance in the guide which things are already scheduled to be recorded. (For some unknown reason TiVo refuses to add this ).

I still haven't bothered to find out what "Galleon" is .

Many TiVo users are ecstatic over all of the network-enabled features that I have little to no use for (TiVoCast, Unbox, Rhapsody, etc, etc). It's possible that I would have more use for these things if I didn't use my laptop as an HTPC (I'm entering this post while using my 46" LCD flatpanel as a monitor ). All I ask from my DVR is that it do DVR things--good guide navigation including searches, reliable recording and playback with copious and flexible scheduling options and a good facility for managing stored recordings, all wrapped in an intuitive, efficient and pleasant-to-use UI. TiVo is quite good, but it's not my dream DVR (which doesn't actually exist in the real world ).

Having used TiVo S3 for a year, it wouldn't break my heart to have to go back to Passport, particularly the latest versions, which have a bunch of features added since the last one that I used. TWC systems have generally avoided upgrading to the latest, since they've known that they were headed toward Navigator. Strangely, some Cox systems are planning to roll out Passport--which now belongs to Gemstar--on SA stuff (see this), though TiVo's working on a port for Cox of thing they did on Moto boxes for Comcast. I think that the psuedo-TiVo GUI is always going to be an extra-cost option, while Passport will take the place of SARA. Under those circumstances, selling the TiVo GUI to non-TiVo users could be challenging.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:30 PM   #942
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Switched Video USB dongle?

They announced in late November a USB workaround for switched video. It should be available in Q2 2008. I would assume they are working into testing, but I have not seen anything on it around.

I spent a lot of time to finally find out I can't get half my HD channels due to SDV. If I did not love the Tivo so much, I would be quite angry. After a year on a SA 8300 HD with Sarah, I was going nuts. Having access to my HTPC for TV, DVDs, and home videos is great.

How long until we actually see the USB add-on in the hands of consumers?

Will it do on demand as well as SDV?

I think Time Warner is screwing Tivo users and abusing their monopoly, so I sent the following missive off to the FCC:




Quote:
to fccinfo@fcc.gov,
cc ir@twcable.com,
twcscservice@twcable.com,
date Dec 31, 2007 10:59 AM
subject Missing HD Channels: Time Warner abusing cable monopoly with Switched Digital Technology

We recently upgraded to a Tivo HD device.

After three visits from Time Warner representatives on 12/26, 12/27, and 12/28 we finally were told that we cannot receive all HD channels due to Time Warner's use of Switched Digital Technology/

This is an unfair abuse of a cable monopoly. The FCC has mandated that cable companies must allow for third party devices to work on cable networks. Changing the cable technology effectively cripples the effectiveness of third party devices.

Time warner should be forced to find a technical solution that allows for third party two-way cable communication.

Until a technical solution is provided to customers, all affected users should be provided free cable service, including cable card fees and HD channel fees.

Sincerely,

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Old 12-31-2007, 03:34 PM   #943
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They announced in late November a USB workaround for switched video. It should be available in Q2 2008. I would assume they are working into testing, but I have not seen anything on it around.

I spent a lot of time to finally find out I can't get half my HD channels due to SDV. If I did not love the Tivo so much, I would be quite angry. After a year on a SA 8300 HD with Sarah, I was going nuts. Having access to my HTPC for TV, DVDs, and home videos is great.

How long until we actually see the USB add-on in the hands of consumers?

Will it do on demand as well as SDV?

I think Time Warner is screwing Tivo users and abusing their monopoly, so I sent the following missive off to the FCC:
I'm fairly certain that the FCC is well aware of SDV and how it screws over unidirectional CableCARD device users. I've heard many positive comments about SDV issued from a few comissioners, so I believe that they're fairly in favor of the technology--anything that allows cable to continue to compete well with satellite is okay with them.

The USB dongle, which has been much discussed in this thread, is the cable industry's response to the Consumer Electronic Association's filed complaint to the FCC about SDV and other interactive services and the expensive-to-implement route that cable wanted them to take in implementing compliant devices. The CEA outlined an approach in that complaint called "Digital Cable Ready Plus" (or DCR+) which would have required a lot of time and effort to get off the ground, and moreover wouldn't have helped anyone using current generation equipment. The cable industry countered the CEA's proposal (in part) with the USB "Tuning Resolver". To strengthen their proposal, they've gone ahead and worked with OEMs like TiVo to implement working prototypes and come out with a plan for near-term distribution of the things. As far as I know, the FCC hasn't responded to either proposal yet, but cable's proactive efforts are likely to get their thing "officially" adopted, with support for it required by future FCC rules.

So far, of the cable providers, only TWC has been so gung-ho in implementing SDV. Of the three largest MSOs (Comcast, TWC and Cox), Comcast has only deployed in two systems and Cox in only three (stating that they expect that to be it through 2008), with both companies taking a let's-carefully-check-it-out attitude; as of a mid-November report, TWC had at least installed SDV in no less than 15 markets.

Good luck on that free-service-until-the-tuning-resolver-is-available thing .
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:51 PM   #944
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How long until we actually see the USB add-on in the hands of consumers?
I am guessing perhaps fall 08 at the earliest in some markets. And that may be for the Motorola unit. I haven't heard of an Scientific Atlanta or other one (not that I've looked).
Quote:
Will it do on demand as well as SDV?
Probably not. While the hardware likely could handle other interactive services, TiVo would have to do a lot of work to make it work, if the cable providers were to allow it which that has a fat chance of happening. With more interactive features coming to the Series 4, I would expect TiVo to put those eggs in the Series 4 basket.

IMO, just be happy SDV is being fixed.
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:54 AM   #945
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As for "suggestions", in my mind, it's probably the worst conceive feature of TiVo. Utterly, profoundly useless. In any case, I already watch way too much television to need some lame excuse for AI trying to help me find more (I know, I know--lots of people like it. I wouldn't object to it if it were a Wishlist criteria that I could use to see a list of scheduled stuff that the AI thinks that I might like without requiring that I automatically record all of them)
I agree that suggestions are pretty useless and was one of the 1st things I turned off (right after the Tivo sounds). However even with suggestions turned off you can still go get a list of upcoming suggested recordings from Tivo if you wish (I never bother with it), so it's not like you are forced to have recordings to see potential suggestions.
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:02 AM   #946
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I agree that suggestions are pretty useless and was one of the 1st things I turned off (right after the Tivo sounds). However even with suggestions turned off you can still go get a list of upcoming suggested recordings from Tivo if you wish (I never bother with it), so it's not like you are forced to have recordings to see potential suggestions.
I hadn't realized that item was there under Find Programs. Not that I have a use for it, but it's nice that you don't have to auto-record them to see them.
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:26 AM   #947
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I agree that suggestions are pretty useless
I disagree. I cannot tell you how often I fall back on suggestions. My wife and I watch television together, so it doesn't make sense, when I have an hour to kill and she isn't around, to watch something from Now Playing -- I'll probably just have to watch it again when she's ready for it. So the suggestions are there for cases like that, for programming that we don't really plan to watch, so either of us can have something related to our interests to watch when the other isn't around. It does an incredibly good job of predicting what we'd like.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:51 AM   #948
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It does an incredibly good job of predicting what we'd like.
There's the difference--if you've tried suggestions and they work for you, that's cool. If you've tried them and after many months the only things that it suggests that you might want to watch are things that it knows that you actually have watched in the past (my case), then it seems silly and useless .

I think that an algorithm based on random numbers would probably choose more things that appealed to me.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:05 AM   #949
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While the software will often put choices in that are related, the primary source for suggestions will be programs we've watched. So I think a lot of our success has to do with how we've applied Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down. It is important to remember what Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down is for: We're not voting for our favorite; we're explicitly and strictly providing hints to the software about what we want recorded as suggestions. There is no other purpose for Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down. So while everything we watch will have a Thumbs Up, we'll focus on putting two and three Thumbs Up on programs (again, explicitly) that we want recorded as suggestions. This is especially effective for the things that typically are used as filler: Showbiz Tonight is a good example. I won't watch it every day, but maybe once every week or two, but there is almost always a recent episode or two sitting there waiting for me. (Soup started out that way, but we decided we like it enough to be sure we record every episode now.) Food Network and HGTV shows are other good ones; we don't religiously watch every episode of these shows, so as long as there is a recent episode available whenever we want one, all is good.

Very infrequently will we take advantage of the new (to us) program suggestions, i.e., we like Criminal Minds, so it recorded Without a Trace. However, this did prompt me to add a Season Pass for Without a Trace when it started up in syndication from episode 1, and that's working out very well for us this week.

Anyway, I think we're getting far away from the topic here.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:36 AM   #950
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Anyway, I think we're getting far away from the topic here.
Doesn't SDV stand for "Suggested Digital Video"?
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Old 01-01-2008, 01:01 PM   #951
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Actually in some cases, I would think "Somewhat Demented Viewers" (present company excluded, of course)

I was not aware there is no SA solution, but since Cisco bought SA, I'm sure that will be remedied rather quickly
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Old 01-01-2008, 03:31 PM   #952
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TiVo vs Passport

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Hmmm. "Critical" is a very relative term, as you apply it.
Actually, I would say "subjective" rather than "relative", but yes, of course. That said, I submit anyone who doesn't consider TiVoWeb Plus or an equivalent to be critical has never used TiVoWeb Plus.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
I wonder just what percentage of TiVo users would find your first 4 missing "critical" features to be of any use or concern to them ?
Anyone who wants to make actual use of their hardware. I must say I am constantly flabbergasted by people who pay good money for a device and then don't bother to make use of its major capabilities. I am also nearly as flabbergasted by people who do not customize their hardware to meet their needs as closely as possible. Hell, the first thing I do when I buy a bloody screwdriver is re-grind the tip to get better gripping capabilities.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
TTG/TTCB would be nice, if I could get it to work. I've stored this season of Friday Night Lights on an HDD on my PC using freeware TiVo Desktop; recently I went back to watch those 9 episodes and each and every one of them is nigh unwatchable, riddled with macroblocking and audio and video skips that were not present in the original recording.
That's very interesting. I've used TTCB quite a bit (using Galleon, not TiVo Desktop), and had never seen what you describe, but just last night we watched a show which had the same problems as you describe. It wasn't unwatchable, but I did wind up tuning on Closed Captioning just so we wouldn't miss the odd bit of conversation. I think a call to TiVo tech support is definitely called for.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
People must have found ways to deal with this, but what good is a feature if you have to find this forum and dig through discussions to successfully use it?
This must have started happening quite recently. I've not seen it before.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
As for "suggestions", in my mind, it's probably the worst conceive feature of TiVo. Utterly, profoundly useless.
Quite the contrary. I have found the TiVo to be astoundingly good at figuring out what I might like and recording it. After only 1 or 2 week's worth of watching a new TiVo and being diligent about applying the thumbs up and thumbs down, it can start to record a high percentage of programs I like. I find that better than 50% of the programs are ones I like. What's more, it's very convenient to let suggestions record certain series I like to occasionally watch or which are in massive syndication without risking an episode overwriting one of my scheduled recordings.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
In any case, I already watch way too much television to need some lame excuse for AI trying to help me find more (I know, I know--lots of people like it.
That's just the point. It's not lame, and it is under your direct control. It's only lame if the user is lame. It frequently catches great material of which I was unaware, and regularly records great material of which I am aware, but for whatever reasons do not wish to include on a Wishlist or a Season Pass.

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I wouldn't object to it if it were a Wishlist criteria that I could use to see a list of scheduled stuff that the AI thinks that I might like without requiring that I automatically record all of them).
Well, first of all, you can. Unless I am mistaken, you can look at the TiVo Suggestions list even if you have Suggestions turned off. More to the point, however, is the question, "How is it being a 'requirement' a burden to your experience?" It doesn't require you personally to do anything. It doesn't impact the operation of the DVR - it's recording 24 hours a day no matter what. It doesn't impact your scheduled programs. No Suggestion will ever overwrite a scheduled recording or be recorded in place of a scheduled recording. It doesn't even really impact the Now Playing list significantly. If groups (folders) are turned on, the suggestions are all in one little folder. If groups are turned off, it's trivially easy to skip over those programs marked as Suggestions.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
However, Passport Echo has much more flexible "Season Pass" scheduling--you can say things like "Record this program only on this channel when it airs on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday".
That could certainly come in handy. Have you suggested it over on TiVo Suggestion Avenue?

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If it had had time-of-day ranges it would have been perfect.
I'm not quite sure I see how that would be useful, but it doesn't hurt to have a feature I wouldn't use. 'Suggest it!

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
Also, things that aren't marked KUID are deleted in the order that they appear on the "Now Playing" list (added to the top as they're recorded and deleted from the bottom);
I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying re-sorting the NPL will cause the delete order to change every time it's re-sorted? No, no I don't like that at all. Not one bit. It's a terrible idea.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
you can change this order at will by grabbing an entry and dragging it up or down, like adjusting priorities in TiVo's "Season Pass" dialog.
That only really works if the NPL isn't sortable. 'Given a choice between being able to more easily change a delete date and not being able to sort the NPL, I'll take that latter, hands down. One can always change the delete date with a couple of extra keystrokes on the remote to select "Keep until".

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
Then there are the little things, like being able to see at a glance in the guide which things are already scheduled to be recorded. (For some unknown reason TiVo refuses to add this ).
I'd be just as happy if they got rid of the guide altogether. Although much better than the SARA guide, all guides are useless on a properly designed DVR. It's like adding a buggy whip holder to a Lamborghini. Indeed, one of my most seething hatreds of the SARA system as it based all recording vectors on a guide. OTOH, as I said, having a feature available which I don't care to use but am not forced to use is not a problem, so suggest away.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
I still haven't bothered to find out what "Galleon" is .
It's a 3rd party HME / HMO application which supplies lots of great features. There are lots of neat 4th party applications written for Galleon, as well. Among other things, it provides a much better utility to handle weather reports, traffic information, music (both from the PC and streaming from the web), e-mail, RSS feeds, video, and TTG / TTCB. Currently there are 22 applicatiojns available for Galleon, including those I just listed. It's the only application which allows the user to select which shows to transfer to the PC right from the Tivo itself, or indeed from any other Tivo to the PC. It's available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
(I'm entering this post while using my 46" LCD flatpanel as a monitor ).
I have PCs connected to my 62" Mitsubishi and my Optoma projector with a 140" screen, as well (right now I'm at my desk). That's not really the point.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
All I ask from my DVR is that it do DVR things
How are Amazon Unbox and TiVocast not DVR things? I select them like any other video, They are in the NPL for me to watch like any other video, and I delete them when I'm done like any other video.

Not only that, but the music player (under Galleon) is far more stable than any I've used on the PCs, and pulling up the weather and traffic reports on the TiVo is much easier and more convenient than on the PCs, especially if I'm already watching the TiVo, not working on the PC.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
TiVo is quite good, but it's not my dream DVR (which doesn't actually exist in the real world ).
Surely not. Mine either, especially since mine would also be free.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
I think that the psuedo-TiVo GUI is always going to be an extra-cost option, while Passport will take the place of SARA. Under those circumstances, selling the TiVo GUI to non-TiVo users could be challenging.
Don't ask me to explain or even understand the thinking of the marketing types.

Last edited by lrhorer : 01-01-2008 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 01-01-2008, 03:45 PM   #953
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Useless? Hardly

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Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
I agree that suggestions are pretty useless and was one of the 1st things I turned off (right after the Tivo sounds).
How do you know it's useless if you never tried to use it? TiVo Suggestions finds easily 2 or 3 programs a week I would never have known were there, and records easily 10 or 20 shows a week I do know are there and like to watch from time to time. Indeed, while the suggestions list often contains "second string" programming, If all the scheduled recordings were to be suddenly lost, I would be quite well served watching only the Suggestions. Certainly browsing the recorded suggestions list is far, far better than browsing a stupid TV Guide. Browsing the TV guide is a complete waste of time. Unless it's right at the top or bottom of the hour, a guide can only show me things I might be able to watch in the future, and 98% or better of the things it shows me you couldn't pay me to watch. There is not even one chance in a thousand browsing any guide will find me a program I want to watch right now, while browsing the recorded TiVo suggestions folder is guaranteed to bring up at least 10 or 20 shows I like and can watch right now, while only showing me a comparatively much smaller list of shows I don't want to watch now and a vastly smaller list of shows I don't want to watch ever.

Last edited by lrhorer : 01-01-2008 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:13 PM   #954
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Past tense

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
There's the difference--if you've tried suggestions and they work for you, that's cool. If you've tried them and after many months the only things that it suggests that you might want to watch are things that it knows that you actually have watched in the past (my case), then it seems silly and useless .
What has that to do with it? 99% of the things I want to see I've seen before. I would far, far rather watch one of my favorite movies for the 200th time than some new piece of garbage. Indeed, nothing goes on my server and very little on the TiVo in the theater room that I have not seen at least once.

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I think that an algorithm based on random numbers would probably choose more things that appealed to me.
Of course, YMMV, but I have to wonder how much thought you put into using thumbs up and thumbs down. Both are important. Of course, it could be your likes and desires are quite broad in scope while your viewing habits are quite narrow, or vice-versa. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it would make predicting your needs very difficult. In my case, when I got the newer of the two S3 units, it began recording M*A*S*H, Golden Girls, Eureka, ER, Law and Order (various incarnations), Star Trek (various incarnations), Modern Marvels, Designing Women, The Twilight Zone, John Wayne movies, Clint Eastwood movies, and Harry Potter within a month despite my never having recorded any of these specifically (other than two or three of the Wayne and Eastwood movies), strictly from analyzing my thumbs up and thumbs down selections.

It also began recording things like Gray's Anatomy and Survivor, but a quick thumbs down took care of those.

It's probably worth noting the Suggestions lists on all 4 TiVos are very similar even though I made absolutely no conscious effort to make them so. While I certainly cannot say I like every item recorded in Suggestions, the percentage of items I like is vastly higher than any guide coud ever offer, and the percentage of programs I really hate is astronomically smaller - if that's not too much of an oxymoron.

Last edited by lrhorer : 01-01-2008 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:17 PM   #955
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Off topic

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Anyway, I think we're getting far away from the topic here.
Yeah, you're right. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:39 PM   #956
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Originally Posted by drcos View Post
Actually in some cases, I would think "Somewhat Demented Viewers" (present company excluded, of course)

I was not aware there is no SA solution, but since Cisco bought SA, I'm sure that will be remedied rather quickly
Since, for the moment, TWC is by far the biggest adopter of SDV and mostly uses networks composed of SA equipment, a solution compatible with that (and BigBand Networks' SDV stuff) is the most urgently needed. However, I feel certain that SA has also developed prototype tuning resolvers--I believe that we know about the Motorola one due to a corporate leak and not any announcement from them.

It appears that a major gating event now is IP search for the CableLabs specification; they can't officially issue it (and no one can finalize their design) until they determine that the current spec doesn't cross any established patents. They expect that to happen early this year.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:55 PM   #957
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Prototype

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
Since, for the moment, TWC is by far the biggest adopter of SDV and mostly uses networks composed of SA equipment, a solution compatible with that (and BigBand Networks' SDV stuff) is the most urgently needed.
Amen. I don't want to see others left in the cold, but since I'm on TWC, I need a solution. Of course, and even better solution might be dropping TWC and going with Grande. They have service in my neighborhood, and they're cheaper.

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However, I feel certain that SA has also developed prototype tuning resolvers
I have specific reasons to believe SA is working on a resolver. Whether they have a working prototype and at what level they are including TiVo in their development I can't say.

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I believe that we know about the Motorola one due to a corporate leak and not any announcement from them.
On this I have no idea.

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It appears that a major gating event now is IP search for the CableLabs specification; they can't officially issue it (and no one can finalize their design) until they determine that the current spec doesn't cross any established patents. They expect that to happen early this year.
Until it's sitting on the dock in shrink wrap, it's vapor. CableCards (or an equivalent) were supposed to be available in 1987.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:58 PM   #958
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Somewhat?

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Actually in some cases, I would think "Somewhat Demented Viewers" (present company excluded, of course)
Who says I'm "Somewhat Demented"? I've never been "Somewhat".
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:39 PM   #959
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Coupon for SDV USB Adapter

Seems like if they're giving a $40 coupon to help current analog users to receive new digital signals, we all should get a coupon so we don't have to purchase or lease the new SDV adapter/dongle.

Time Warner here in Albany made the decision to move 29 channels to SDV. That means for at least six month I'm paying for channels I can't watch.

20 are premium channels and the other 9 are brand new HD channels that I was really looking forward to.


Just had to get that off my chest.


Bill
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:40 PM   #960
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