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Old 08-27-2007, 07:24 PM   #61
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18months
a nice round number that puts it a few months behind analogue/digital conversion, cable is always playing catch up anyway...
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:46 PM   #62
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Remember that "going through the internet" at this point doesn't mean going out through Bavaria or anything, it just means from your cable modem to the cable company's headend. You still have to deal with your neighbors within the CO's network, but you have to do that anyway.
Ummm.. I don't have a cable modem. I have a DSL modem. So any Internet connection would be out through the wild Internet.

Am I the only S3 user getting their broadband through DSL? So many of these posts begin with "use the TiVo ethernet connection to your cable modem" that I am wondering if I am in the miniscule minority.

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Old 08-27-2007, 09:47 PM   #63
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1st quarter 2008.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:50 PM   #64
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I'll go with that JJ...

Depending on how many channels I am missing out on due to SDV in the next few months (already can't get ESPN2HD as college basketball is about to heat up), 18 months is way too long. I don't mind paying for the enhanced user experience of TiVo, but in the end, I can learn another way and TiVo loses. They've got a rough deal, that's for sure.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:08 PM   #65
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1st quarter 2008.
Whoa. Your glass overfloweth.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:10 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by CharlesH
Ummm.. I don't have a cable modem. I have a DSL modem. So any Internet connection would be out through the wild Internet.

Am I the only S3 user getting their broadband through DSL? So many of these posts begin with "use the TiVo ethernet connection to your cable modem" that I am wondering if I am in the miniscule minority.
You don't need to be a cable modem subscriber because the cable systems are inherently 2-way. The two-way commuication hardware for VOD, PPV, etc is built-in to the digital set-top boxes. I suspect any dongle to enable two-way communication would use the existing cable infrastructure. In otherwords, connect the dongle to your coax and away you go.
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:25 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by dolfer
Considering the rate at which Time Warner is rolling out new HD channels, I probably won't need to worry about it for 8 years! I just rec'd the new channel lineup announcement and was greeted with 2 spanking new HD channels - ESPN2HD and a new local channel.

There's no point in using SDV if you don't have the HD channels to begin with. Right?

Dolfer,

I also received the new channel lineup/announcement in the mail (I am in Cincinnati as well). Take a closer look at the announcement...there is an asterisk by ESPN2HD....says that it is NOT available to cablecard customers!!
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:00 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by sfhub
Personally I would hope this is just a low level QPSK or DOCSIS modem and everything else can be handled in software on the TiVo so we can get this thing on our own, plug it in, and expect it to work.
I haven't laughed that hard all month. Have you seen the cluster f*** they've made out of cablecard installs? What in God's green earth makes you think they won't royally screw up that DOCSIS modem integration as well? The people selling you TV aren't the people selling you internet access. The internet side of the house knows what they're doing because they've been doing it for a decade, and their business depends on it. The TV side of the house cannot accurately plug in a card and key in two numbers; the cablemodem MAC is just one more number for them to screw up.

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Originally Posted by lrhorer
While a USB dongle is certainly possible, a software solution using the Ethernet port is a much better solution. Replacing the CATV receiver in the TiVo with a transciever is even better.
It's always been technically possible. However, it's a violation of the CableLabs license -- it'd have to inside the case and then the whole device would count as bi-directional; round and round we go. I've always wondered why Tivo, Inc. didn't designed the S3's with an RF modulator, even if they never were allowed to use the transmitter.

An IP backchannel is simply too unstable to be worth the effort. There are lots of people who have cable TV but don't have (cable) broadband. I have a cablemodem, but it's not run by TW -- my channel change request would travel half way across the country to reach the headend a few miles away. An IP backchannel would necessitate an even more expensive broadband connection just to tune cable TV. And "internet channel changing" would be about as annoying as an IR blaster. No thanks.

Either do away with SDV -- I'm still unconvinced as to it's need -- or fix it properly with a native SDV client and direct OOB cable upstream channel.

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Originally Posted by nathanziarek
... but I'd think the odds of you running into this problem too often are pretty slim.
Actually, you'll run into everyday -- maybe more than once a day -- in the form of no live buffer. You'll walk in, turn on the TV and *poof* have no live buffer. That's a) f'ing annoying, and b) completely counter to what Tivo does. If the tivo is in "standby", then I can forgive the lack of a live buffer. But honestly, how many people actually put their tivo to sleep? (Tivo, Inc. can easily answer that, btw.)

Last edited by cramer : 08-28-2007 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:39 AM   #69
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I dunno, how about the incentive retaining customers with such "legacy" hardware who would switch to FiOS because they don't need to use SDV? Given the high-pressure marketing push companies like CableVision are making for their VOIP phone service, it seems clear to me that they're pretty scared of FiOS.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:13 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by mattn2
The funny thing about this whole thread is that the solution is already there ... the dongle (USB or E-NET) IS a CABLEMODEM that is already avaliable. ... why can't it be this easy????
The problem I see with this solution is that it leaves DSL and dial-up users without a solution.

Edit: Someone else addressed this before I did

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Old 08-28-2007, 06:18 AM   #71
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Let's face it, if it wasn't for satellite, there would be no HD cable channels and probably not even digital cable channels.
That's silly.

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Originally Posted by gwar9999
The only thing that motivates cable companies to enhance anything is competition.
That's true of most commercial enterprises.

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Originally Posted by gwar9999
If it weren't for this and FiOS breathing down their necks cable would still be stuck in the 1980's technology wise.
That's just another silly throwaway assertion.

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It should be easy enough
Since you know the secret, you could make a mint offering it.

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They just makes me want FiOS even more.
FIOS refuses to offer service to the less affluent neighborhoods in our town. Nice company.
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:27 AM   #72
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FIOS refuses to offer service to the less affluent neighborhoods in our town. Nice company.
AND FIOS will not be available to a vast majority of the country. I don't think Comcast has much to fear from Uverse around here.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:17 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by cramer
Actually, you'll run into everyday -- maybe more than once a day -- in the form of no live buffer. You'll walk in, turn on the TV and *poof* have no live buffer. That's a) f'ing annoying, and b) completely counter to what Tivo does. If the tivo is in "standby", then I can forgive the lack of a live buffer. But honestly, how many people actually put their tivo to sleep? (Tivo, Inc. can easily answer that, btw.)
I don't use the buffer like that, but I never took it to be guarantee either, I guess. I mean, accidentally hitting the channel button will eliminate it immediately, so I've never come to rely on it...and I'd much rather have more HD.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:14 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by cramer
The TV side of the house cannot accurately plug in a card and key in two numbers; the cablemodem MAC is just one more number for them to screw up.
Yep, far easier for them to use a $2 transmitter and a $2 microcontroller in the dongle that use the existing cablecard MAC assignment than to try and make it work with an external cablemodem or any random internet connection.

Technically the dongle is a violation of the CableLabs license, but if the cablecos are willing to look the other way I'm good with it :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cramer
Actually, you'll run into everyday -- maybe more than once a day -- in the form of no live buffer. You'll walk in, turn on the TV and *poof* have no live buffer. That's a) f'ing annoying, and b) completely counter to what Tivo does.
I think walking in and watching whatever happens to be on is completely counter to what TiVo does. 90% of the time when I walk in and turn on the TV, it's on a channel that TiVo was recording something on, but almost never something I actually want to watch. Unless you disable TiVo suggestions (again, counter to what TiVo does) and only record off a limited set of channels, you can't expect the TV to be tuned to something you want to watch.

Note that this is a fundamental property of SDV to not transmit channels you're not watching. When I had a cableco DVR, it would turn itself off all the time, even before SDV.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:44 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by pmiranda
Yep, far easier for them to use a $2 transmitter and a $2 microcontroller in the dongle that use the existing cablecard MAC assignment than to try and make it work with an external cablemodem or any random internet connection.

Technically the dongle is a violation of the CableLabs license, but if the cablecos are willing to look the other way I'm good with it :-)
They can't use a cable modem solution. You mean to get SDV you also have to use their high-speed Internet service at $45/month? Where are all the usual whiners screaming "MONOPOLY"?

This solution is extremely hackable. I'm surprised the cable companies are allowing it. I'd force Tivo to update the S3 to hardwire the module inside the Tivo. Making the connection using the easily-accessible USB is just begging someone to hack it.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:51 AM   #76
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They can't use a cable modem solution. You mean to get SDV you also have to use their high-speed Internet service at $45/month? Where are all the usual whiners screaming "MONOPOLY"?

This solution is extremely hackable. I'm surprised the cable companies are allowing it. I'd force Tivo to update the S3 to hardwire the module inside the Tivo. Making the connection using the easily-accessible USB is just begging someone to hack it.
We're agreeing that a cable modem is not a good solution. I'm saying they stick the transmit modulator that should have been in the S3 box to begin with in a dongle with a simple microcontroller for the USB interface. There's nothing going out on the USB that you couldn't observe by putting a hacked cablemodem on the cable, so there's no real extra risk of hacking. Any information going out that needs to be protected/authenticated would be using an end-to-end encryption originating at the cablecard and terminated at the hub/headend.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:54 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by BobCamp1
They can't use a cable modem solution. You mean to get SDV you also have to use their high-speed Internet service at $45/month? Where are all the usual whiners screaming "MONOPOLY"?
You assume that you would have to have their high speed internet service to make use of the modem. AFAIK there would be nothing preventing them from using the adapter in a limited fashion only for SDV.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:55 AM   #78
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Yep, far easier for them to use a $2 transmitter and a $2 microcontroller in the dongle that use the existing cablecard MAC assignment than to try and make it work with an external cablemodem or any random internet connection.

Technically the dongle is a violation of the CableLabs license, but if the cablecos are willing to look the other way I'm good with it :-)

I think walking in and watching whatever happens to be on is completely counter to what TiVo does. 90% of the time when I walk in and turn on the TV, it's on a channel that TiVo was recording something on, but almost never something I actually want to watch. Unless you disable TiVo suggestions (again, counter to what TiVo does) and only record off a limited set of channels, you can't expect the TV to be tuned to something you want to watch.

Note that this is a fundamental property of SDV to not transmit channels you're not watching. When I had a cableco DVR, it would turn itself off all the time, even before SDV.
Read the FCC filing.

1. The dongle technology will be licensed by NCTA under existing agreements, so it doesn't violate anything; this should also speed development.

2. The second footnote (69) says that the UDCP will send a "transmit channel" signal when it is ready to tune, and the head-end will send a "are you still watching this channel" message (or equivalent) when there has been no user interaction on the other end. The Tivo will just automatically send a request when it is time to record from a switched channel (suggestions or scheduled recordings). Any subsequent "keep alive" activity (such as a duplicate "transmit channel" request, or maybe even a programmed navigate away/navigate back behavior, would suffice to keep the transmission going for a subsequent recording on the same channel. At worst you would turn on your TV to find Tivo sitting on a blank channel because it recorded from a switched channel and then failed to (ie, didn't need to) keep the transmission alive.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:43 AM   #79
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I don't think it is terribly complicated to implement given there is already an event queue that can interrupt LiveTV, but depending on the timeout it could get annoying for end-users that watch the same channel for long periods in the background like news and CNBC junkies, assuming of course those channels are moved to SDV. If it is too short, it'll be like the dialup Internet connection timeout people used to hate about dialup Internet, before always-on broadband became popular.
If the sytem is designed right (ie they don't try to pinch too many pennies), there will be enough channels for all of the receivers in the technically defined digital neighborhood to be on at the same time. For this to work, the number of receivers much include all types of devices (TV sets (those with cablecards and the ability to 'talk' with the cable SDV controllers, or future equivalents), cable boxes, Tivos, etc. that can have a 'conversation' with the cable plant SDV controllers.) Of course, they will try to pinch pennies.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:48 AM   #80
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...
The fun of this is that if you have a marginal signal now, expect it to be at least 2dB more marginal after installing it. It might even have trouble operating through some cable amps or splitters you might have. Still, it beats having a separate cableco box just to watch one or two SDV channels I care about.
If designed properly the signal level of incoming signals wouldn't be goed significantly affected, only the frequency(s?) of the docsis upsteam signals would see much change. This assumes no penny pinching.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:36 AM   #81
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FIOS refuses to offer service to the less affluent neighborhoods in our town. Nice company.
Bicker, why didn't the Burlington selectmen make 100% town coverage part of their license agreement with Verizon?
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:45 AM   #82
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Bicker, why didn't the Burlington selectmen make 100% town coverage part of their license agreement with Verizon?
Massachusetts Cable Choice & Competition Act? PDF of Verizon summary, linked.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:11 AM   #83
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Am I the only S3 user getting their broadband through DSL?
Nope... I have a dedicated SDSL line. Cox can barely deliver cable television... do you'd think I'd spend another dime on any of their other unreliable products & services (internet, phone, fish & chips)?

FWIW, a company I work with has a Cox business cable internet connection that has problems all too frequently. I've had no issues with my SDSL line in several years. That's not to say I wouldn't switch to FiOS if it's available in my area (which it probably won't be since the Santa Barbara City Council is about as socialist as you can get, but I digress).

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Old 08-28-2007, 11:40 AM   #84
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Massachusetts Cable Choice & Competition Act? PDF of Verizon summary, linked.
Not sure what your point is. AFAIK, this has *not* become law in Massachusetts yet. And, it certainly wasn't in effect when Burlington granted the franchise to Verizon last year.
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:42 PM   #85
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Not sure what your point is. AFAIK, this has *not* become law in Massachusetts yet. And, it certainly wasn't in effect when Burlington granted the franchise to Verizon last year.
Ah. No point, just curious. I had heard about the Massachusetts bill, but wrongly understood that the bill had already passed.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:30 PM   #86
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This solution is extremely hackable. I'm surprised the cable companies are allowing it. I'd force Tivo to update the S3 to hardwire the module inside the Tivo. Making the connection using the easily-accessible USB is just begging someone to hack it.
Other than a denial-of-service attack to fill the node with useless channels, what would be gained by hacking it? The cable card still has to be authorized and be able to decrypt whatever channel is on the wire, regardless of whether it is there due to a valid or hacked SDV request (or always there, as for non-SDV). It's not like VOD where the request may generate a $$ charge, and thus you really want to make sure the request is authorized.

If one wants to fill the node with useless channels, just channel surf over all available channels on a regular basis.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:47 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS
The problem I see with this solution is that it leaves DSL and dial-up users without a solution.
I never said that you'd be billed or even have acces to this CABLEMODEM for your internet use. It is just a quick solution using existing hardware and infrastructure and not having to re-invent the wheel.

And to address the "hacking", what is there to gain? Filling up the headend w/ channels that aren't really being watched? You can do this easily w/ a programmable remote or driven from a pc that outputs IR to a Cablebox. You still need authorization to view the channels out there, and that is where the CABLECARDS come into play.

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Old 08-28-2007, 02:49 PM   #88
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Other than a denial-of-service attack to fill the node with useless channels, what would be gained by hacking it?
Didn't you just answer your own question? I guess no one holds a grudge against your cable company. You're lucky. Many people hold a grudge against mine (including me).
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:24 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by CharlesH
Other than a denial-of-service attack to fill the node with useless channels, what would be gained by hacking it? The cable card still has to be authorized and be able to decrypt whatever channel is on the wire, regardless of whether it is there due to a valid or hacked SDV request (or always there, as for non-SDV). It's not like VOD where the request may generate a $$ charge, and thus you really want to make sure the request is authorized.

If one wants to fill the node with useless channels, just channel surf over all available channels on a regular basis.
Yeah, but if the signaling is done over the internet (as opposed to over the return path up the coax), the device is vulnerable to attack from anyone else with an internet connection.

Just wait until the first skript kiddie finds a hole in the headend equipment to change the channel on every set tuned to an SDV channel in an entire state at the same time.

It isn't about getting access to something you're not paying for, it's a race for some hacker club in Russia to see how much chaos they can cause.
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:40 PM   #90
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Yeah, but if the signaling is done over the internet (as opposed to over the return path up the coax), the device is vulnerable to attack from anyone else with an internet connection.
I got the impression that the proposal to the FCC was essentially a stripped-down Docsis modem (maybe only a transmitter) and some controller logic, that could only send low-level stuff (not even IP) to the head-end. The TiVo already has the Docsis receiver. And as someone else mentioned, any sensitive data could well be encrypted by the time it appears at the USB connector.
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