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Old 03-12-2008, 10:06 PM   #1141
Rayd8tor
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Well the Fellas from TWC just left, and will be coming back. Were supposed to bring a Mcard, but mistakenly brought Scards. Oh well. They will be back tomorrow. It's runnning fine, and the channel list given by Irhorer was spot on. So now I'm stuck with the decision of dropping the HD tier all together. Since TWC gives the local network channels free in HD to anyone who has a box or a cable card, and I really don't get any of the channels in the HD tier now due to SDV I figure I'll drop that option all together.

Firekite,
Do you get any of the music channels? Mine don't work with the TivoHD, and according to the TWC brocure they should. I figure I'd ask and see before they guys come back tomorrow evening.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:10 AM   #1142
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Originally Posted by Rayd8tor View Post
So now I'm stuck with the decision of dropping the HD tier all together. Since TWC gives the local network channels free in HD to anyone who has a box or a cable card, and I really don't get any of the channels in the HD tier now due to SDV I figure I'll drop that option all together.
Being aced out of 20 linear HD channels is harsh, but besides the HD locals, you still have access to:
150 Fox Sports Net HD +
127 TNT HD +
124 ESPN HD +
130 HD Theater +
163 HDNET Movies +
162 HDNet +
164 Universal HD +
160 MOJO (NBA TV HD pre-empted on MOJO) +
I don't know how they're packaged in San Antonio, but on my local TWC system, the last four are offered for an additional $5/month as the "HD VIP Pak", and Fox Sports Net HD comes with the Sports Pak . (BTW, marking "Fox Sport Net HD" with "Special Events" is unnecessary--it is not a 24 hour channel in any market; you get the version for your local area which only covers locally relevant games. San Antonio probably gets the FSN HD Southwest schedule, which is relatively full, compared to some areas).

Also, if you subscribe to the appropriate premium channel tiers, you can still get:
382 Cinemax HD +
380 HBO HD +
182 Showtime HD +
383 Starz HD +
384 TMC HD +
186 The Movie Channel HD +
Count your blessings .

Do they charge extra for an "HD tier" in San Antonio? In San Diego, you generally get the HD channel is you get the SD version.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:25 AM   #1143
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Originally Posted by Firekite View Post
Currently my SA DVR is connecting out via HDMI to my Onkyo receiver, and from there the out is connected to my TV. Why wouldn't TiVo offer the option to receive the HDMI signal in the same way so that a generic set-top box would work for tuning via IR like some of the old-school setups? I understand you may lose the ability to tune to two channels at once, but still, even that would work in general, would it not?
That might violate the HDMI and/or HDCP specs for content protection, although it might be possible to still offer buffering of live, copy-never content and recording of other content by using the copy bits which I think are still sent along HDMI?

The biggest reason not to do this (other than losing a tuner and still requiring an external set-top) is the cost of getting that raw bitstream compressed on the fly. The silicon to do this is really starting to get reasonably priced these days, but it was still prohibitively expensive when the S3 was built.

Personally, I vastly prefer the S3's architecture and I can't wait to get my tuning resolver, although it won't be as sweet until TW starts carrying Speed HD.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:30 AM   #1144
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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post

Also, if you subscribe to the appropriate premium channel tiers, you can still get:
382 Cinemax HD +
380 HBO HD +
182 Showtime HD +
383 Starz HD +
384 TMC HD +
186 The Movie Channel HD +
Count your blessings .

Do they charge extra for an "HD tier" in San Antonio? In San Diego, you generally get the HD channel is you get the SD version.

Yes. they charge for the HD tier now. I think it's like $6 a month or something close. Here is the catch though, recently TWC started touting "The home of FreeHD". I called and what that means is that if you have one of their boxes, of any kind including cable cards, then you get the local network channels in HD free of charge. Having realized that I'm paying for the HD Tier, and now have Tivo and now don't get hardly any of the main channels I want, DiscoveryHD, NatGeoHD,HistHD,AnimalHD,A&EHD, it's smarter for me to drop the HD tier all together and just get the Networks free. After I factor in dropping that Tier and getting rid of the POS 8300, i'm saving money in the long run. At least until this mythical SDV Dongle/Repetor arrives. what is wierd to me is that with Tivo touting that its coming 2nd Qtr 08, why is it that you can't seem to find any rock solid information on the progress of the thing. I'd have thought that if it was just about ready to be released there would be information from someone or some website about the thing and how well it works. Another question I have is who am I going to get this thing from? TWC or directly from TIVO? Just makes me a bit nervous not being able to find any solid info on it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:06 AM   #1145
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The tuning resolver will be supplied by the cable co's. Each cable co can have a different return data carrier freq, modulation. Thus the cable co will have to set it up to work with their return system and SDV vendor. No word on price, if any.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:39 AM   #1146
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Yes. they charge for the HD tier now. I think it's like $6 a month or something close. Here is the catch though, recently TWC started touting "The home of FreeHD". I called and what that means is that if you have one of their boxes, of any kind including cable cards, then you get the local network channels in HD free of charge.
That's just pure marketing buzz. FCC regulations require that any rebroadcast of an over-the-air transmission be included in the core basic tier (the set of channels that you get for the lowest cable subscription price); it is a violation of regulations for anything in the core basic tier to be scrambled or encrypted. This has been true since before the beginning of HDTV transmission and its rebroadcast on cable--they couldn't charge you extra for the local DTV channels if they wanted to.

For $6/month I'd probably keep the HD tier, particularly if you get HD Net, HD Net Movies, Universal HD, TNT HD and ESPN HD in that, but that's just me. It certainly isn't as good a value as getting the other 20 channels as well, but I'll pay anything reasonable for additional good HD programming and $6/month is peanuts in terms of cable content pricing (I'd probably be willing to pay $6/month for The Closer in HD on TNT HD alone ).

Don't expect the cable companies to advertise the availability of the tuning resolver boldly. Keep an eye on these forums; I'm sure that TiVo will let us know when it starts shipping. Presumably no one in the field has one yet, so no one can be writing about how well it works. If you're at all technical, you can read CableLabs' OpenCable Tuning Resolver Interface Specification. (CableLabs is the cable-provider-funded organization which created the CableCARD standard).

If you're really nervous you can take your TiVo HD back--you just got it. TiVo's supposed to be coming out with a "Series4" <tru2way>-compliant unit probably this fall or next spring.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:47 AM   #1147
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TiVo's supposed to be coming out with a "Series4" <tru2way>-compliant unit probably this fall or next spring.
Hadn't heard this before (the fall/spring part). I might have just overlooked the news. Where did you hear this?
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:16 AM   #1148
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There's a third option. Cable companies could kill off analog channels and add far more linear HD channels without rate shaping or degrading those new HD channels. Comcast killed off almost all analog in Chicago and a Liberty Media-owned cable company in Puerto Rico did the same thing over a year ago.

The coming death of analog over the air television gives the cable companies ample cover to go all digital. If granny doesn't want to buy a new digital TV at Wal-mart, she will need a box of some kind. It could be a digital OTA box with $40 government subsidy, a leased digital box from the satellite company or a leased digital box from the local cable company. There really isn't any justification for wasting >450 MHz on crappy analog channels.
This is definitely a viable option that addresses the inherent inefficiencies of analog transmissions. My guess is that the Cable companies look at these changes in relation to the numbers of subscribers affected. The numbers of customers affected is much greater when killing an analog channel than moving an existing or adding a new channel to SDV.

It is still a numbers game whether we want to believe it or not...
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:24 PM   #1149
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Hadn't heard this before (the fall/spring part). I might have just overlooked the news. Where did you hear this?
Just BS speculation on my part. I wouldn't be particularly surprised if they managed to introduce such a box this Fall, but would be surprised if it didn't emerge by Fall 2009.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:09 PM   #1150
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OK--still, it's old news and if you really want confirmation, you should probably start a new post or re-open this one. It is not on topic in this thread.
Fair enough. The list of channels was posted in this thread, which is why I asked for confirmation, and that confirmation has been given, but in the future I'll keep that in mind.

As to the rest of it, thanks for the info. I'm not aware enough of the difference between the (compressed?) signal coming over the cable lines and what actually is sent to the TV screen, etc, so it's good to know TiVo execs aren't missing something big
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:53 PM   #1151
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Take heart, though--the cable industry and TiVo have promised a solution that will enable current TiVo S3 and TiVo HD models to access SDV channels called the "Tuning Resolver". This is an external device which will be connected on the cable between the wall and TiVo and additionally connected to TiVo via USB. It's expected to become available sometime in the 2nd quarter of this year (which will start next month). We can only wait and see.
Thanks for the summation.
On the FYI vain, I just received a letter from TWC. The notable quote is:
"In order to access on Demand Programming , the interactive Programing guide, switched digital video and other two way services you must use digital cable equipment that includes two-way capabilities such as TWC- provided set top boxes."

eta; the letter was with regards to the Portland ME & NH cable service.
TW hwas added a few HD channels in SDV (history, NG etc), but they are saying a bunch of the sports & movie west channels are switching to sdv.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:09 PM   #1152
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The tuning resolver will be supplied by the cable co's. Each cable co can have a different return data carrier freq, modulation. Thus the cable co will have to set it up to work with their return system and SDV vendor. No word on price, if any.
Have any of the cable providers actually committed to doing this? Yes, TiVo is working with CableLabs. But I haven't seen anything myself that says that the cable guys are actually going to put resources into testing/certifying/deploying that solution.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:13 PM   #1153
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I do remember Comcast saying they'd go along with it, but I don't remember where I saw that.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:47 PM   #1154
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Have any of the cable providers actually committed to doing this? Yes, TiVo is working with CableLabs. But I haven't seen anything myself that says that the cable guys are actually going to put resources into testing/certifying/deploying that solution.
CableLabs was created by the cable co's. Any product that is cablelabs certified, cable has to support. Cable is really not developing this, it's the vendors that make cable equipment i.e. Motorola, SA, and BigBand.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:58 PM   #1155
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Have any of the cable providers actually committed to doing this? Yes, TiVo is working with CableLabs. But I haven't seen anything myself that says that the cable guys are actually going to put resources into testing/certifying/deploying that solution.
Nothing in writing yet (that I've seen).

At best, there's a picture of a prototype unit for Motorola devices. But nothing from SA (that's been published anyway).
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:56 PM   #1156
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CableLabs was created by the cable co's. Any product that is cablelabs certified, cable has to support. Cable is really not developing this, it's the vendors that make cable equipment i.e. Motorola, SA, and BigBand.
Trust me, it's not as simple as that. There's a number of technologies developed by CL that haven't made it to all of the providers, as they don't always choose to implement them. And it takes more than being certified to being supported/allowed on the network. It sucks, but it's true...
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:30 AM   #1157
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Have any of the cable providers actually committed to doing this? Yes, TiVo is working with CableLabs. But I haven't seen anything myself that says that the cable guys are actually going to put resources into testing/certifying/deploying that solution.
The individual cable providers have not made individual pronouncements, but the National Cable and Telecommunications Association has; one assumes that the NCTA, in part the cable industry's lobby group, does not make statements saying what its members will do without member concensus. The Tuning Resolver was put forth as a solution in an NCTA filing with the FCC (which is a response to this June 2007 FCC request for comments on this November 2006 proposal by the Consumer Electronic Association that they be given a light-weight alternative to implementing OCAP to get interactive function into low-cost products, something the cable providers would much rather not give them). The NCTA has further made joint press releases with TiVo about progress, one of which stated their expectation that cable providers would begin distributing the Tuning Resolver sometime in the 2nd quarter of calendar 2008:
Quote:
Cable operators will make the new adapters available for TiVo customers in the second quarter of 2008. Cable operators and TiVo will work cooperatively to alert TiVo customers about availability of the new adapter.
It should be noted that that PR contained a comment by a Time Warner Cable exec:
Quote:
We're strongly committed to ensuring that our subscribers who use CableCARD-enabled retail devices, including TiVo DVRs, have a satisfying and successful installation experience," added Mike LaJoie, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Office, Time Warner Cable.
Given its normal pace of action, the FCC will be about due to respond to the comments that they requested by the end of the 2nd quarter; this response would normally include new regulations requiring something to be done about the issue. The cable providers, through the NCTA, have stated what they would like to do about it, which includes distribution of the Tuning Resolver. They've expressed plans to start distributing the TR before the FCC can order anything.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:44 AM   #1158
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Firekite,
Do you get any of the music channels? Mine don't work with the TivoHD, and according to the TWC brocure they should. I figure I'd ask and see before they guys come back tomorrow evening.
I can tune the music channels on my TiVoHD here on TWC-Austin... (but I've de-selected them in my channel list since I never intend to record them).

I keep checking here (the whole site) pretty much every day looking for the things I am anxious for... (Tuning Resolver, Desktop 2.6, next software release, etc...)

I did just spend some evenings cleaning up my channel list for items I get in duplicate or not at all (SDV), and the above posted list for TWC-Austin (without double-checking line for line) reflects my experience with my channel line-up now... (I am not actually IN Austin, so I may have some minor differences)

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Old 03-14-2008, 11:02 AM   #1159
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I can tune the music channels on my TiVoHD here on TWC-Austin... (but I've de-selected them in my channel list since I never intend to record them).
Well that is interesting. I do not get them, and was told last night by the installer and the TWC person he was getting to hit the card that in order to get the music channels you needed a box to receive them. According to them the music channels are not SDV. I wonder how your getting them and I'm not, because I sure would like to get them since I'm paying for them. There should not be that big of a difference from Austin's setup vs. San antonios.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:14 PM   #1160
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Everything the FCC has done has made it clear that the separable security mandate was directed solely to benefit consumer electronics makers, providing many the ability to enter a market that previously was closed to them. Every time folks try to cast the separable security mandate as something directed to benefit consumers, the reality of how the FCC has enforced it (or not) belies such assertions. The FCC has provided a competitive market for consumers through other means (really, through their fostering of the satellite suppliers).
Probably I'd agree with that 100%, but how does the SDV not harm this effort to take care of the CE folks?

It makes any separable security mandate almost moot in regions where SDV is deployed.

Maybe the tuning resolver changes that to a degree, but I dont think that's the end came in the CE people's play book.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:37 PM   #1161
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Probably I'd agree with that 100%, but how does the SDV not harm this effort to take care of the CE folks?

It makes any separable security mandate almost moot in regions where SDV is deployed.

Maybe the tuning resolver changes that to a degree, but I dont think that's the end came in the CE people's play book.
The CE industry has stated what they want, but what they want doesn't help existing owners of TiVo S3 and TiVo HD. The CE industry wants "Digital Cable Ready Plus", a light-weight alternative to <tru2way> which will allow them to add access to SDV, VOD and IPPV services to low-end cable products. The thing is, if they actually do get DCR+, I don't see where they have much incentive for them to create any plethora of <tru2way> products, which is what the cable industry wants them to do.

Cable will argue that the biggest part of the problem is that the high cost of including <tru2way> complaince currently forms a barrier to low-end products accessing SDV channels and that they solve that by making the tuning resolver available to customers; access to IPPV and VOD content isn't all that compelling in the low-end. Compatibility with the tuning resolver will only cost a few bucks to add to a new product--it's a USB port and a tiny bit of software.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:12 PM   #1162
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It makes any separable security mandate almost moot in regions where SDV is deployed.
Only where all channels are SDV.

Regardless, the separable security mandate is a failure, now -- rejected by CE manufacturers. Samsung pulled CableCard from most of its HL-S models (as compared to HL-R). Other manufacturers have also made it clear that they have no interest in serving this market. Customers are simply not willing to pay enough to make it worthwhile. Ask yourself why Motorola, even, isn't selling DCH- series boxes to customers.

So there really isn't anything left for the FCC to protect with regard to what the separable security mandate was all about.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:54 PM   #1163
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I like your thinking.

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Having realized that I'm paying for the HD Tier, and now have Tivo and now don't get hardly any of the main channels I want, DiscoveryHD, NatGeoHD,HistHD,AnimalHD,A&EHD, it's smarter for me to drop the HD tier all together and just get the Networks free. After I factor in dropping that Tier and getting rid of the POS 8300, i'm saving money in the long run.
Fascinating. We both apply precisely the same logic to the same situation and yet arrive at different conclusions. Of course, neither of us is either "right" or "wrong", we just have different criteria applied to what we consider "best". In short, what's "best" for me and what's "best" for you are two different things. "Vive la differance", I say.

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At least until this mythical SDV Dongle/Repetor arrives.
"Mythical" is a good term for it. Until it's sitting on the counter waiting for me to pick up, it's vapor.

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what is wierd to me is that with Tivo touting that its coming 2nd Qtr 08, why is it that you can't seem to find any rock solid information on the progress of the thing.
I think the answer to that is it's not very likely we're going to see one any time soon - soon being defined as "within the next 6 months". Hopefully I'm wrong, or else they'll see the light and come up with a better solution.

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Another question I have is who am I going to get this thing from? TWC or directly from TIVO? Just makes me a bit nervous not being able to find any solid info on it.
Probably the local CATV provider. I can't see TiVo wanting to stock a half dozen different devices which won't work with Customer X's TiVo unless they knwo which one to order and will quit working as soon as Customer X moves to another city.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:23 PM   #1164
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Cable Topology

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Is there a home run fiber from each node then to the head end?
In the context of your question, yes, although it depends on the geographical size of the CATV system. Large CATV systems may have more than one headend, and they usually have more than one hubsite. The hubsite is where the QAM is created and injected into the fiber. Each individual datastream is created at the headend or headends and usually sent as a raw broadband data stream to the hubsite, where each individual program stream is extracted and muxed together with two or more other program streams and modulated into a QAM. A hole bunch of frequency division muxed QAM signals are combined into the RF spectrum along with the analog videos and any other signals on the CATV system. The entire 750MHz or 1GHz spectrum is then AM modulated onto a 1310nm lightware carrier using a semiconductor LASER. That is injected into the fiber and carried to the node. I bleieve some systems actually make use of two downstream fibers each with half the RF spectrum embedded into its carrier.

Small CATV systems whose plant area is not more than 5 miles or so in radius may not employ hubsites and almost surely have only one headend.
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Or is there like a single fiber broken into bands and each node gets delivered a segment?
Each cable sheath leaving the headend or hub as the case may be may carry as many as 288 individual independant fiber strands. There is a single (or as I mentioned in some cases two) continuous strand of fiber in the fiber bundle carrying the information out to the node, and usually a single fiber carryng the information from the node back to the headend. It is posssible, however, for a single fiber to carry both upstream and downsteam signals, but the economics make it more attractive for most systems to use two fibers.

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I guess it works the same for SDV as they do internet? But I wouldn’t know how that works either.
The two services are based upon identical technologies, yes.

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Old 03-14-2008, 06:27 PM   #1165
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I can tune the music channels on my TiVoHD here on TWC-Austin... (but I've de-selected them in my channel list since I never intend to record them).
I keep my music channels on the list, but just give them all 3 thumbs down
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:28 PM   #1166
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Well, not quite

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That's just pure marketing buzz. FCC regulations require that any rebroadcast of an over-the-air transmission be included in the core basic tier (the set of channels that you get for the lowest cable subscription price); it is a violation of regulations for anything in the core basic tier to be scrambled or encrypted. This has been true since before the beginning of HDTV transmission and its rebroadcast on cable--they couldn't charge you extra for the local DTV channels if they wanted to.
No, but they can refuse to give you the CableCard if you don't get the HD tier, in which case the user won't receive the HD local channel.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:00 PM   #1167
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Only where all channels are SDV.
...
I think it's more like where a significant portion are SDV- significant being in the eye of any one particular consumer.

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...
Regardless, the separable security mandate is a failure, now -- rejected by CE manufacturers. Samsung pulled CableCard from most of its HL-S models (as compared to HL-R). Other manufacturers have also made it clear that they have no interest in serving this market. Customers are simply not willing to pay enough to make it worthwhile. Ask yourself why Motorola, even, isn't selling DCH- series boxes to customers. ...
Agreed it hasn't done what they wanted it to but mostly that's because it was too little too late and so was behind the curve- security wasn't the problem it's the fact that there were no open standards to even provide the services from 5-10 years ago (like ippv and program guides) never mind the services of today like SDV and vod . I could guess 25 reasons why moto doesn't sell the box in retail just like you could guess at 25 reasons why they don't. I haven't seen them say why they don't. My #1 guess it that without a guarantee of the 2 way services running on the box they would need to disable all those features or deal with a torrent of returns and worse from customers who live or move into areas with SA or other headends that wouldn't permit the 2 way features to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker View Post
...So there really isn't anything left for the FCC to protect with regard to what the separable security mandate was all about.
not really sure what you are saying. Isn't OCAP/tru2way going to still use separable security? (at least for the time being). Isn't Panasonic pretty much in that space? And if I'm remembering 1996 when the law was passed retail cable boxes weren't exactly being produced by all the major CE's. Ditto about all the differnt dates the FCC ruled on the issue. So not sure the law or FCC have been attempting to protect any incumbants in the market so much as create a new market for others. (and who knows the real reason for that- to benefit consumers, benefit ce, put the screws to cable, allow best buy to get in on the cable box action....not sure anyone really knows the truth except the pols and bureaucrats as well as the lobbyists that swayed them themselves- and not sure if any of them will tell the truth publicly anyway.)
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:56 PM   #1168
bxojr
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Vod

This may already have been answered, so any pointers are appreciated.

I'm curious about whether anyone with the required technical knowledge has dug through the spec for the tuning resolver and can say whether it could theoretically support video on demand, if the cable companies decided they wanted to support that. (I realize that's a big "if.")

Or are we going to have to wait for the Series 4?
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:30 PM   #1169
MichaelK
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I've asked before and the concensus is it's not going to happen. To complicated apparently with billing involved and getting "guide" data down to the tivo.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:36 PM   #1170
lrhorer
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Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
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Music Channels

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Originally Posted by Rayd8tor View Post
Well that is interesting. I do not get them, and was told last night by the installer and the TWC person he was getting to hit the card that in order to get the music channels you needed a box to receive them. According to them the music channels are not SDV. I wonder how your getting them and I'm not, because I sure would like to get them since I'm paying for them. There should not be that big of a difference from Austin's setup vs. San antonios.
There surely can be. I don't know the specifics, but assigning them to an SDV QAM would be one reason why. OTOH, I can't imagine why the CATV provider would do so. Nonetheless, when I first got CableCards, I couldn't get the music channels, then for a while I could, and now I can't again.
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