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Old 11-26-2007, 08:42 AM   #1
cwoody222
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TiVo confirms SDV dongle for 2Q 2008

I didn't see this mentioned elsewhere. It's great news!

http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2007-11/...ngle-for-2008/
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:49 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting the link! Very nice news for lots of people. It seems like a very short timeframe, though, given cable companies past adherence to deadlines. But perhaps it will be a smoother deployment than I think.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:51 AM   #3
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I don't understand why this isn't going to be sold as an accessory? Why force users to rent it from the cable company for yet another surcharge?
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:52 AM   #4
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Nice. Now if they can just stick to the deadline.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:54 AM   #5
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I don't understand why this isn't going to be sold as an accessory? Why force users to rent it from the cable company for yet another surcharge?
It appears to me from the article that TiVo isn't the developer.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:03 AM   #6
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I wonder if this will work for PPV content as well?
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:06 AM   #7
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I don't understand why this isn't going to be sold as an accessory? Why force users to rent it from the cable company for yet another surcharge?
One reason would be because the various cable providers use different proprietary protocols for SDV. As I understand it, there are three in use already. It's the same deal with the CableCARDs themselves--a Moto CableCARD isn't going to work on an SA system.

Sheesh--we've just been saved from the potential bricking of our investment in Series3 TiVos and people are already complaining about the solution .
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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So did we ever figure out if this will allow you to do OnDemand stuff as well or does it just fix the SDV problem?
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:18 AM   #9
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So did we ever figure out if this will allow you to do OnDemand stuff as well or does it just fix the SDV problem?
Seems like that would be a better incentive for the cable companies to support it. They can probably make more money on OnDemand than offering a few extra channels.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:25 AM   #10
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So did we ever figure out if this will allow you to do OnDemand stuff as well or does it just fix the SDV problem?
Access to VOD and IPPV could be added with a similar approach--an expansion of the capabilities of the dongle would do it. The content providers like to have presentation control for those channels, though. How do you specify the fancy background graphics, deep menu structure and inset video of the typical subscription VOD channel through a dongle?

They could come up with some generic menu presentation where they just downloaded the simple text for the menu tree and action codes to be returned to the system for end-node selections. It could include a QAM frequency and program number for the appropriate video stream to be displayed in inset. HBO-On-Demand would look identical to Cinemax-On-Demand, but it would only be for a small subset of customers using these dongles and it would better serve those customers, making subscription to the premium tiers more enticing. It would also open up a profit opportunity in Impulse Pay-Per-View and Pay-Per-Viewing-Period VOD.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:27 AM   #11
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Nice. Now if they can just stick to the deadline.
Yep, that's always a concern. Cable companies are not exactly known for reaching speculated goals. Even TiVo has a problem with that from time to time and since this a joint effort it may be more then a bit of concern.

Don't get me wrong, I'm overjoyed by this news. I'm willing to pay whatever the cable company charges me. And that's a problem in itself -- they probably know that.

Let's just all hope for some fairness in price and a timely distribution.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:29 AM   #12
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In the announcement, I wonder whose "Fiscal Year" they're talking about. We're in the the U.S. Government's 1QFY08, now--hopefully they're referring to the government 2QFY08, which begins in January.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:36 AM   #13
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In the announcement, I wonder whose "Fiscal Year" they're talking about. We're in the the U.S. Government's 1QFY08, now--hopefully they're referring to the government 2QFY08, which begins in January.
Well, hope springs eternal but I get the feeling it ain't going to happen quite that quick. I think they are saying second quarter of 2008 which would put it in the April, May, June slot.

But I'm hoping your right.

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Old 11-26-2007, 09:37 AM   #14
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In the announcement, I wonder whose "Fiscal Year" they're talking about. We're in the the U.S. Government's 1QFY08, now--hopefully they're referring to the government 2QFY08, which begins in January.
I'm wondering what announcement you're reading that mentions fiscal quarters.

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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.

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Old 11-26-2007, 09:38 AM   #15
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Don't get me wrong, I'm overjoyed by this news. I'm willing to pay whatever the cable company charges me. And that's a problem in itself -- they probably know that.Let's just all hope for some fairness in price and a timely distribution.
Maybe they also see the benefits for them like PPV revenue.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:40 AM   #16
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I wonder if this will work for PPV content as well?
There is no reason to expect it wouldn't. SDV, PPV and VOD all require two-way communications.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #17
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In the announcement, I wonder whose "Fiscal Year" they're talking about. We're in the the U.S. Government's 1QFY08, now--hopefully they're referring to the government 2QFY08, which begins in January.
There is no reference to anyone's fiscal year in the article. It says "second quarter of 2008," which means April - June.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #18
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There is no reason to expect it wouldn't. SDV, PPV and VOD all require two-way communications.
Sure. But they talk to very different systems back at the MSO.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:44 AM   #19
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There is no reason to expect it wouldn't. SDV, PPV and VOD all require two-way communications.
Somewhere in all these discussions, it was stated that SDV is the only thing it's intended to address, at least initially. When you get into PPV and VOD you start needing to deal with much more information such as a directory of programming, costs and authorization methods, plus you have to deal with authorizations that may occur outside the receiver (buying PPV by phone, for instance), so I wouldn't go holding my breath that they'll address any of that the first time around.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:48 AM   #20
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Somewhere in all these discussions, it was stated that SDV is the only thing it's intended to address, at least initially. When you get into PPV and VOD you start needing to deal with much more information such as a directory of programming, costs and authorization methods, plus you have to deal with authorizations that may occur outside the receiver (buying PPV by phone, for instance), so I wouldn't go holding my breath that they'll address any of that the first time around.
I could care less about PPV. If I want a movie there is Amazon.com. There is nothing else I would even think about as far as PPV.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:50 AM   #21
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There is no reference to anyone's fiscal year in the article. It says "second quarter of 2008," which means April - June.
Ooops--you're right. The announcement didn't mention a fiscal year, so it'd be 2nd quarter of the calendar year. Wishful thinking.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:03 AM   #22
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I could care less about PPV. If I want a movie there is Amazon.com. There is nothing else I would even think about as far as PPV.
All Amazon is offering is piss-poor quality SD video, which I never use except to catch up with the occasional missed TV episode. I never have and never would rent a movie from Unbox. Both the cable providers and the premium subscription content providers are starting to offer HD--locally, Cox has a pay HD VOD channel and just added Starz HD On-Demand, both of which would be handy to have. I'm not holding my breath for VOD or IPPV access by dongle, though.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:08 AM   #23
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All Amazon is offering is piss-poor quality SD video, which I never use except to catch up with the occasional missed TV episode. I never have and never would rent a movie from Unbox. Both the cable providers and the premium subscription content providers are starting to offer HD--
Never hurts to let the cablecos THINK there is some real competition with Unbox.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:09 AM   #24
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Never hurts to let the cablecos THINK there is some real competition with Unbox.
They often seem pretty dumb, but I doubt they are that dumb.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:18 AM   #25
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I won't believe this thing will work until I see it with my own eyes. It's still a pretty big leap of faith.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:32 AM   #26
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I don't know how many have looked at it but the OnDemand stuff, as seemingly useful as it ought to be, is poorly organized and/or has a pretty bad interface. Back when I had a Comcast DVR I would try to use it and it's like going into a semi-organized library to look for a book you're not aware of.

Kind of hard to explain. Let's say you want to watch a horror movie but not sure which one, you go to your local Blockbuster and see the 'Horror' sign and know right away where to go. You can then peruse the Horror section in alphabetical order and it works pretty well.

Now let's say you went to the same store and in the Horror section it had, instead, this ill-advised sub-category tree. So you look at 'Horror' and then see:
- TBS
- Classics
- B&W
- Thriller
- USA Network
- MTV

and under any of those you'd have a different kind of sub-category tree (reiterating, yeah, just trying to explain how odd it is). So, your actual selections are really hidden until you get down to the lowest part of a branch and then you're given the dozen or so selections that actually (logically?) fit in that branch. You're not sure but want to see what else they have. So you return back up a to the parent branch and then back down and look at the next sub-category list. You keep doing this trying to remember what you may have wanted to see from the previous branches but it's all confusing enough to where you're unlikely to return.

Oh, and each time you bounce up to the parent branch or down to the child branch takes a few seconds to load. Not horrible if you were just going down one level but when you consider the amount of bouncing you have to do it adds up.

I don't have a good answer as to how they could make it better as a huge list of titles would be a 'too much information' kind of problem, but, as it is, it's kind of unwieldy/unusable, in my opinion.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:41 AM   #27
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I won't believe this thing will work until I see it with my own eyes. It's still a pretty big leap of faith.
ROFLOL. Why is this such a big leap of faith? I don't know why there is any negativity at all. This is great news.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:42 AM   #28
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I don't doubt that such a device exists and works somewhere, but what I'm terrified of is

a) when exactly my local TW affiliate in Rochester is going to be carrying these (I mean, who exactly is going to be making these - I assume Scientific Atlanta and Motorola, which aren't exactly known for being on-the-ball companies here, and don't even get me started on TW), and

b) considering all the fun I had trying to talk Time Warner into getting CableCARDs, what the hell am I going to have to go through to get one of these from them? It sort of sounds like TiVo's going to be stepping in on our behalf to make sure all TiVo owners who need one get one, which would be helpful, but I'm certainly not counting on that.

Another, less pressing question - will this work for SDV-only channels, or will I be able to get the local digital simulcasts with this also? I notice the quality on the digital-only channels is much better, and if this would make it possible so that the analog channels (which are broadcast in digital over SDV) could be picked up digitally for the better quality and higher compression ratio, that would be a great bonus.

Anyway, we've got plenty of time to wait, so I'm not expecting to see any answers anytime soon, but I'm certainly cautiously optimistic. Buying a S3 in Rochester was a bit of a leap of faith, and I'm glad to see there's at least some effort to resolve this.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:03 AM   #29
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Glad to see this news. I recently canceled my HD service from TWC since they added several new channels that I wanted to see, but they are all SDV so no go for me, yet I was supposed to pay for the whole HD package. Once this dongle is available, they'll probably get more money from me (unless I've been completely weaned off of the cable offerings by then - there's not much on there I miss anyway).
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:10 AM   #30
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ROFLOL. Why is this such a big leap of faith? I don't know why there is any negativity at all. This is great news.
Talk about ROTFL, when is the last time you saw a 6-month in advance announcement of a product launch date hold true? Do you really think this will come out on time?
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