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Old 11-23-2008, 01:30 AM   #2011
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Originally Posted by SCSIRAID View Post
MGM HD stayed on the same linear channel that was Mojo here...

I guess San Antonio looked at it as half a channel the could reclaim for SDV.
Well, it's a lot more than half a channel, of course, which is the reason for not doing so. One SDV timeslot can carry potentialy several hundred videos.
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:47 AM   #2012
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From my layman's reading of those orders, they didn't seem to be entirely based on failure to inform franchise authorities.
I had not read the references you cited. The references I had were here and here. I hadn't read anything further.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:01 AM   #2013
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so SDV in the FCC's eyes is NOT TWO-WAY- wow!
Frankly, that's technologically obtuse, but I'll allow even in the best light it' a bit of a gray area. That said, it's not often the fundamentally obtuse mentality of the bureaucracy works in our favor, but this would appear to be such a case, at least on the surface. It could turn and bite us, however. Nonetheless, while the fines - even at their maximum - are trifling compared to the prospect of losing 10% of their customer base, they are not trifling compared to the cost of deploying and maintaining a supply of tuning adapters. Perhaps this will accelerate the deployment of the adapters. I'm still not holding my breath, though.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:09 AM   #2014
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would be interesting to see if they rule in any cases where SDV is used only for NEW channels. since item 1 just muddies things.
I think not even Kevin Martin could formulate a rationalization for such persecution, as long as the new channels are on a special tier, and not mixed in with channels that are NOT on SDV. If they are on a tier with channels that are not SDV, and there is no way to get those channels without also "paying for" the SDV channels (but being unable to get them), then I bet we would see a citation.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:12 AM   #2015
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Nonetheless, while the fines - even at their maximum - are trifling compared to the prospect of losing 10% of their customer base, they are not trifling compared to the cost of deploying and maintaining a supply of tuning adapters.
You're assuming that the fines are isolated -- that the FCC won't assess more and larger fines, in reaction to what they perceive or choose to perceive as transgressions against the regulations, reactions to actions that are simply the normal progress of continuing to deploy SDV.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:13 AM   #2016
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Yeah, I know, or do you mean the station no longer exists at all on any system?
That's what he meant. As of December 1st, MOJO HD won't exist on any system (see this). Apparently some of the programming may survive on other channels, and the MOJO MIX VOD service will continue into 2009.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:58 AM   #2017
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You're assuming that the fines are isolated -- that the FCC won't assess more and larger fines, in reaction to what they perceive or choose to perceive as transgressions against the regulations, reactions to actions that are simply the normal progress of continuing to deploy SDV.
I doubt that the new FCC chairman (whoever that might be) will be as anti-cable as Martin is.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:51 AM   #2018
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Yeah, I know, or do you mean the station no longer exists at all on any system? Either way, I liked the channel, and it's gone, whatever the reason. It would have been nice if they had made MGMHD linear, at least until after the adapter is available. I realize TWC is under no obligation to do so, but it would have been nice for us Tivo users.
Mojo is being shut down.

"Mojo HD, the male-targeted, ad-supported programming outlet, is being shut down by In Demand Networks, the distributor confirmed."

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6602558
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:45 AM   #2019
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I doubt that the new FCC chairman (whoever that might be) will be as anti-cable as Martin is.
There is no question about that.
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:22 PM   #2020
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You're assuming that the fines are isolated -- that the FCC won't assess more and larger fines, in reaction to what they perceive or choose to perceive as transgressions against the regulations, reactions to actions that are simply the normal progress of continuing to deploy SDV.
I'm not assuming any such thing. According to the regulation, the maximum fine per entity is $325,000. Even assuming the "entity" is taken to be a local franchise unit, it's piddling - barely a day's revenue for many franchises. For an entire MSO, it's less than is spent on janitorial services.
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:30 PM   #2021
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Mojo is being shut down.

"Mojo HD, the male-targeted, ad-supported programming outlet, is being shut down by In Demand Networks, the distributor confirmed."

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6602558
That's too bad. They habitually broadcast IMAX films and occasionally had a good movie on. MGMHD looks to have some really terrific content, but it's not available on TiVo without a TA in San Antonio. Indeed, my favorite movie of all time, The Big Sleep, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall is showing this month on MGMHD, and I surely would love to record it.
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Old 11-23-2008, 04:46 PM   #2022
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Such maximums are per citation. If you refuse to remedy what you were cited for, they will simply cite you again.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:17 PM   #2023
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You don't have to "remedy" what you were cited for, you just have to follow the order at the end of the citation. "You will pay us this much money in fines by such and so date, you will rebate this much to the affected subscribers by such and so date and you will make the following changes." None of these citations ordered them to stop using SDV or to return channels which they'd changed to switched presentation back into linear channels--the just ordered payment of fines and rebates and a reduction of fees to UDCP-using subs for tiers where channels had been converted to SDV.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:10 PM   #2024
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Reduction in fees. That's the crux of the issue.

Again, I think your rosy perspective on this will only lead to further disappointment.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:09 AM   #2025
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How's that? When cable providers add channels to existing tiers as SDV, they're not charging people with UDCPs any less to subscribe to those tiers, even though they can't get all of the content. Perhaps they're getting everything that they originally paid for, but that doesn't change the fact that people leasing cable boxes are getting an improvement in service without be asked to pay more.

i envisioned they just make a new tier- charge 8 cents more and called it "digital plus" or some nonsense. Not even sure you have to charge more. Many places (my local system as of this months price increase) - charge exactly the same for analog basic as for the digital basic tier which has like 100 more channels. Presumably an enticement for subs to go digital and avoid all these headaches anyway.

also- specifically the fcc apparently said the issue was taking away channels people already had
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:59 AM   #2026
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That's actually a good idea; just have two tiers, with just enough difference in price to avoid prosecution, with the only other difference being SDV channels. However, I don't think that helps with the citation about taking channels away from digital and adding them to digital plus.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #2027
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also- specifically the fcc apparently said the issue was taking away channels people already had
That was only part of it--the TWC Oceanic ruling also cites them to charging the customers the same thing after taking the channels away:
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Those CableCARD customers who chose not to obtain the TWC-supplied settop boxes after the implementation of SDV nevertheless have paid the same monthly rate for their cable service even though they can view significantly fewer channels.
As I read it now, the requirement to lower rates seems only to affect the customers who were using CableCARDs when SDV was deployed who continued to use them afterwards:
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(b) For CableCARD customers that kept their CableCARDs even after notice of the SDV deployment, TWC must refund the customers’ subscriber fees based on the diminished value of their service following the movement of linear programming to an SDV platform and reduce their rates on a going-forward basis accordingly.
I can't find anywhere that the ruling states that customers with new orders to use services with CableCARDs in UDCPs need to be offered a reduced rate for tiers containing switched services. I guess that anyone who does that knows what they're getting up front.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:05 PM   #2028
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not sure what you are arguing for- I give. I give.

they can't take away channels AND CHARGE the same- we comepleteing agree that is what the FCC said.

But does it really matter when they can just create a new tier with piles of new sdv and charge exactly the same for it as the tier without sdv? (or maybe a dollar more to keep things "fair" in the FCC's eye's)

they couldn't move anything out- but they can add a new tier and add a bazillion SDV channels and it doesn't matter. That's probably doable on more systems then not that are playing with sdv.

so fine- they can't undo anything they have already but they can go forward. Move any PPV to all switched instead of linear, take the fringe HD channels people have and jam them 3 to a qam, put 20 sd digital channels on a qam instead of the 16 (made up numbers) they do now. Take advantage of mojo dying. Do whatever you need to in order to squeeze the existing tiers for a handfull of free slots and you are in business. You could even ruin the existing HD by putting it 4 to a qam and then put up a "good" copy SDV- sort of like Directv did for a time with their NY and LA locals with the MPEG2 for the legacy subs but new subs got (theoretically better) MPEG4 streams.

If you want to link taking away with price - then they can take away all they want and just lower the price for the 1% of cablecard subs they have. Fine.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:09 PM   #2029
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not sure what you are arguing for- I give. I give.

they can't take away channels AND CHARGE the same- we comepleteing agree that is what the FCC said.

But does it really matter when they can just create a new tier with piles of new sdv and charge exactly the same for it as the tier without sdv? (or maybe a dollar more to keep things "fair" in the FCC's eye's).
As I said, I'm not sure that's even necessary. They're just making them reduce the price of the tiers going forward for the people who used to have access to the full tier through their CableCARDs and chose to continue using the CableCARDs despite the reduction in service--they can charge the same for less to new customers who order new service for a UDCP with CableCARDs, so long as it's clear from the beginning what they'll be able to tune with the CableCARDs. They don't need to muck with the tiers if they don't want to.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:32 PM   #2030
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so fine- they can't undo anything they have already but they can go forward.
Which is probably not worth the cost of deploying SDV.

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Move any PPV to all switched instead of linear
This is already the case, here.

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take the fringe HD channels people have and jam them 3 to a qam
Also already the case here; but I bet if Kevin Martin had another four years, he'd find some way of finding MSOs for that, too.

Actually, what they really could do, if their carriage contracts allowed them to, would be to take fringe HD channels and present them as ED (576i perhaps -- so 5 or 6 to a QAM). That would help mitigate the need for SDV. How many people here are willing to raise their hands stating they'd support that move? And regardless, I bet a Kevin Martin-like FCC would find a way to cite the MSOs for this, too.

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put 20 sd digital channels on a qam instead of the 16 (made up numbers) they do now.
I think that's infeasible -- I think SD channels at 10 per QAM is their only choice (but I'm not sure about that).
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:33 PM   #2031
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they can charge the same for less to new customers who order new service for a UDCP with CableCARDs, so long as it's clear from the beginning what they'll be able to tune with the CableCARDs.
I see nothing that indicates that MSOs can have different fee schedules for different customers. I'm almost positive that that is illegal.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:14 PM   #2032
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I see nothing that indicates that MSOs can have different fee schedules for different customers. I'm almost positive that that is illegal.

they just make up new tiers or packages.

my cable company does it all the time.
their official rate sheet is litered with "this package no longer availible after xx/yy/zzzz"


that aside-I'm not sure why you think adding NEW content in SDV is not a viable model. Take out the specifics of YOUR cable system. I'm talking in general. Cable has probably on average 30-40 HD channels- Satellite and Fios have 100+, if cable wants to compete they need to bridge that gap. Why wouldn't they add 60 HD channels on 10 slots?

You think it's cheaper to clear out 60 Slots then to come up with 10 and buy SDV gear? I guess that's possible but i don't think you or I know the specifics enough to make such a business decision.

10 slots can come buy pretty easy- mojo is 1. Bump down some of your HD crap to ed as you suggest. Plenty of places (maybe not yours) still have LINEAR ppv. Plenty of places are not 3 HD to a QAM. AS above i don't know how many SD you can normally get to a qam, but squeeze just one more in across all your qams for your 100 SD channels and thats some room. Figure out how to multiplex HD and SD on the same QAM so you can run 3 HD and 1-2 SD. Hec take your existing HD and go 4 to a qam because you can then probably get enough slots to redo all of those anyhow in SDV in high quality also. Move their 3 ananlog shopping channles to digital. ETC, ETC, be creative, there's plenty of ways they can squeeze a slot out here or there so they can come up with piles. What about the providers like TW rochester that have been 'testing' sdv for years and years and have had channels up without every having been linear- they can keep adding.

the 'cant take away' bit isn't necessarily the death knell for SDV.

What MAY BE the end of it is that second claim about not providing the channel table/PSIP data for the SDV channels. Is the FCC just using that as a pile on in these cases or do they intend to pursue that line of reasoning on every SDV system no matter what the specifics of channel adds or moves or deletions?
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:02 PM   #2033
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I see nothing that indicates that MSOs can have different fee schedules for different customers. I'm almost positive that that is illegal.
And I see nothing that indicates that they can't. A grandfathered reduction of rates for a bunch of people who were receiving services which were taken away from them is perfectly reasonable--other businesses do it all the time, at least in reverse (raise the price for new customers while leaving the price for current customers alone). I'm pretty certain that my current cable provider has grandfathered rates from time to time. It'd be the FCC who drafted any regulations prohibiting it and they can make exceptions to their rules as they see fit.

In any case, that's what the language of that decision says to me--the end of a sentence which begins, "For CableCARD customers that kept their CableCARDs even after notice of the SDV deployment" is "and reduce their rates on a going-forward basis accordingly". Nothing there says that they have to reduce the rates for that tier for any new customers (or even CableCARD customers who chose to dump their CableCARDs and take the provider's offer of free STB lease) and it would certainly have been easy enough to say that if that'd been the intent.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:02 PM   #2034
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I think what bicker means is that two people calling today can't be offered different fee schedules. Provided they are in the same franchise area of course.
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:25 AM   #2035
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they just make up new tiers or packages.
And what? get rid of the old tiers? Sorry, the FCC is dull, but not dumb. I'd figure Kevin Martin would find a way to fine MSOs just for engage in that kind of deception.

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that aside-I'm not sure why you think adding NEW content in SDV is not a viable model.
Because the intention for SDV was to free up lots of bandwidth for new services, like faster HSI -- stuff they can charge a lot extra for. Adding only new content reduces the value to comparatively very little.
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:28 AM   #2036
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And I see nothing that indicates that they can't.
We'll just have to agree to disagree about that. Anything that smacks of avoiding FCC regulations would be a worthy candidate for someone like Kevin Martin to attack cable further. The fix isn't wishing and hoping; the fix is to get rid of the punitive regulations. Folks who want advancement in services should be working to free up their suppliers from such regulations, rather than throwing pennies into fountains.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:33 AM   #2037
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This is the first post I've seen confirming what was already suspected, that using a SDV Tuning Adapter without CableCards gives you proper channel mapping (and thus full guide data) for unencrypted QAM channels:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...16#post6869616
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:20 PM   #2038
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This is the first post I've seen confirming what was already suspected, that using a SDV Tuning Adapter without CableCards gives you proper channel mapping (and thus full guide data) for unencrypted QAM channels:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...16#post6869616
TiVo's SDV FAQ has said that that would work--why are people surprised that it does?

What will shock and amaze me is if any lifeline-basic-only subs with a TiVo ever gets a cable provider to give them a Tuning Adapter. There's no reason why they should give such subscribers extra equipment when a low-cost lease of a CableCARD solves their problem. You might as well ask them to give you CableCARDs. The function of the TA is to tell UDCP devices where to tune switched broadcasts--to my knowledge, no system has converted a service in their lifeline-basic tier into a switched broadcast. They're deploying TAs so that UDCP TiVo users can subscribe to (or at least stay subscribed to) optional programming tiers where all or most of the services are switched broadcasts.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:39 PM   #2039
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TiVo's SDV FAQ has said that that would work--why are people surprised that it does?

What will shock and amaze me is if any lifeline-basic-only subs with a TiVo ever gets a cable provider to give them a Tuning Adapter. There's no reason why they should give such subscribers extra equipment when a low-cost lease of a CableCARD solves their problem. You might as well ask them to give you CableCARDs. The function of the TA is to tell UDCP devices where to tune switched broadcasts--to my knowledge, no system has converted a service in their lifeline-basic tier into a switched broadcast. They're deploying TAs so that UDCP TiVo users can subscribe to (or at least stay subscribed to) optional programming tiers where all or most of the services are switched broadcasts.
It's not a matter of surprise. In fact we postulated about it way before the Tivo FAQ was ever there and the TA hardware was finalized, but nobody had gone through the exercise to confirm for sure that it works on a Tivo, and now we have that confirmation.
I don't want to rehash all the CableCard low cost arguments but suffice it to say that for many providers you can't lease CableCard without signing up for at least a minimum digital cable package which usually means much higher cost than lifeline cable package. Of course getting a TA without digital cable (or CableCard) most likely is also impossible for those same providers so it's kind of academic that it does work, but it's good to know about it if nothing else.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:51 PM   #2040
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Here is an idea for those with TIVO and lifeline. See if Cable Company stupidity can be in your favor. Order Digital and get cablecard and TA for one month. Then call and cancel digital. Get them to let you return the cablecards yourself to save a truck roll. Act dumb if they ask about the tuning adapter.
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