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Old 08-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #61
lrhorer
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Originally Posted by Ennui View Post
There should be no charge...there is NO benefit to the user. The only benefit is to the cable company (Cox).
That is simply untrue. The entire reason for SDV is to provide vastly greater available content to the user. SDV allows this. The TA allows it with a UDCP. Indeed, there is no direct benefit to the CATV company to deliver a TA. Its only benefit to the CATV company is keeping the FCC off their backs (which is admittedly significant).
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by HerronScott View Post
I too thought that tuning adapters were supposed to be provided free of charge where needed.
No, they were announced as being free for the time being when they were introduced. The TAs themselves were not mandated by the FCC, and certainly not with any specified price tag. They were entirely voluntary at the time they were introduced.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:35 PM   #63
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Thanks for the clarification. It looks like all cable operators are at least consistent across their enterprise! I'm surprised that BHN is charging so much for the TA when all of the other's are providing it for free. I'm actually surprised the others haven't figure out a way to recoup the hardware cost of providing the TA which I'm guessing is approximately $3.80/mo for 60 months = ~$228.00.
'Not even close. All TAs are merely based on DOCSIS modems whose wholesale cost is probably under $20. The additional hardware is at most $30.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:40 PM   #64
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Here is an article from LightReading that discusses the state of SDV with Comcast. Unfortunately it appears they are one of the few cable operators that are "skipping" SDV and investing in modernizing their cable head-ends. They continue to play around with SDV as well so they could flip-flop on the issue again.
That is backwards. Those providers are not "skipping" SDV. They are merely delaying its deployment. No amount of upgrading a linear system can match the deployment capabilities of SDV, by many orders of magnitude. Even dropping all analog service in favor of digital and even doubling the capacity by employing h.264 instead of MPEG-II (which is a stretch), no linear system can provide even .00001% of the number of "channels" an SDV system can for less money in the long run.

A 1 GHz, 100% digital CATV system deploying linear QAMs with h.264 coding could never deliver more than about 600 HD streams. A single VOD channel in such a system can east up easily 40 or 50 streams. That means such a system might possibly eventually deliver 300 HD channels. By comparison, a 750 MHz SDV CATV system could easily continue to deliver 20 or 30 analog channels along with over 100,000 HD channels - far more than would ever be practical for any CATV system to actually deliver.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-04-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #65
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+1! major pita and yet another source of failure. every time they move channels around on the sdv i lose my signal for up to 48hrs and no one can explain or fix it.
That is completely specious. On an SDV system, the channels are moved around every few seconds.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:48 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Ennui View Post
There should be no charge...there is NO benefit to the user. The only benefit is to the cable company (Cox). ..........
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
That is simply untrue. The entire reason for SDV is to provide vastly greater available content to the user. SDV allows this. The TA allows it with a UDCP. Indeed, there is no direct benefit to the CATV company to deliver a TA. Its only benefit to the CATV company is keeping the FCC off their backs (which is admittedly significant).
Factually correct but, since TiVo's need an extra box and two additional cables (compared to cable co equipment) just to receive all the channels you're paying for, it sure doesn't feel like a benefit. I agree it certainly isn't a benefit to the cable operators.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:58 PM   #67
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Hmmm. I don't think so. The program is still delivered to the box (i.e., recorded). Its just utilizing IP technology instead of QAM.
Those are independent items, and not at all mutually exclusive. QAM is a modulation scheme. It does not care in the least what payload it carries. In networking terms it is a layer I protocol. IP (or more properly TCP/IP) is a layer III networking protocol. It can be carried over any layer II and layer I protocols one likes, including QAM.

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Its also possible that they (Comcast) use MPEG-4 instead of MPEG-2
Not much. I think at least some channels are being broadcast in h.264 on comcast systems, but not many.

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to gain more bandwidth and avoid SDV.
More efficient coding does not gain any bandwidth whatsoever. It merely increases, by a small amount, the number of streams that can be carried with only a small degradation of PQ in the same amount of bandwidth. How much degradation depends on how much the bit rate is reduced and how much computing power and time is allocated to coding the video. A factor of two is stretching it.

By contrast, SDV actually does increase the bandwidth (or more properly the throughput) of a CATV system, possibly by a factor of as much as 1000 or even more. This is only the tip of the iceberg, however. Because the content is strictly on-demand, the CATV can offer up many thousands of times as many "channels" in the long term than any linear system, no matter what the coding.

Indeed, it is likely that eventually SDV based CATV companies will start delivering their video coded as h.264.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-04-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:03 PM   #68
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Factually correct but, since TiVo's need an extra box and two additional cables (compared to cable co equipment) just to receive all the channels you're paying for, it sure doesn't feel like a benefit.
It does to anyone who stops to think about it and takes the time to understand the benefits, rather than proclaiming they do not exist. It also most decidely does to anyone, like me, who has transferred from an SDV based system to a linear one. I dreadfully miss more than a dozen channels that are not available in HD on Grande. Of course it does not affect me, since I never made any use of it, but there are a number of other popular SDV services on TWC that are not available to Grande customers. Quixotically enough, the Grande branded Premier *DOES* support IPPV and VOD, which were not available on TWC with a TiVo. I have no interest in them, however.

Still, given Grande's lower price, much better internet service, and vastly better customer support, I'm not about to switch back any time soon, but I fervently wish they would implement SDV and broadcast all those SD channels in HD.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-04-2012 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:37 PM   #69
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As for the question of content being delivered over IP - I believe TiVo's hardware could do that, it just doesn't do it today outside of 'apps'. But the HW is there and software is fungible. They could do it like SDV. When you tune an SDV channel the TiVo is smart enough to know it has to use the Tuning Adapter to make a special request for the channel. For IP delivered channels I'd expect it'd just have a new branch on the decision tree and for those channels it'd make an IP request for the content over broadband.
That very thing would have been perfectly trivial for SDV at the time the TA was designed. The excuse given for not designing it that way was, "Not everyone has broadband service." The real reason is the CATV companies would not under any circumstances allow a 3rd party box to make such requests. I doubt that has changed one iota, so any foray into IPTV or similar protocols I surely expect will also require a TA. Of course the same excuse will be given: "Not everyone has broadband service".

An external box (other than an attached internet router or modem) was never required for SDV. Once again the reason given was many UDCPs had no Ethernet port. It was a completely specious argument, because the number of non-TiVo UDCPs at the time whose owners had bothered to get CableCards was almost zero, and the number of UDCPs whose USB ports could be re-configured for SDV use was nearly dead zero. Again, the putative reasons were hogwash: it was done because it was required by CableLabs.

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I could see the server info being transparently configured via the one-way data channel that is enabled by CableCARD. That's used today for configuring SDV, and it is used on cable SDVs and tru2way devices to configure the server info.
Given the CATV industry's continued actions, I seriously doubt their paranoia would ever, ever allow it.

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A private IP network is a very different beast with very different parameters. The content would be coming from MSO servers, probably local edge servers just as OnDemand content is delivered today. Same infrastructure, same content, just IP carrier instead of QAM.
They are still QAM carriers, just with an IPTV (or similar) payload instead of MPEG-II.

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MSOs are moving to IP delivery. Verizon has made it clear that they intend to take FiOS all-IP and drop QAM over time.
Verizon is a completely different animal. They deliver fiber to the home, and the switch realm can be pushed out as close to the home as they like. The broadcast realm can be diminshed all the way down to 1 host. CATV is different. The broadcast realm at a minimum is more than 1000 hosts. That, plus the national broadcast networks and a small handful of cable channels still have a lock on the vast majority of the channels in use. Under those conditions, an SDV / linear mix makes much more sense.

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Comcast has also indicated they would like to go all-IP over time. It just makes sense for them to do so
Well, they could go with UDP broadcast IP addresses for the major networks, I suppose, but even so the SDV paradigm is more efficient in a CATV topology. The main point, however, is that excepting UDP broadcasts, IPTV still requires an upstream channel, which no UDCP provides, and which CableLabs will never support from any device not completely controlled by them, unless the FCC forces them to.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-04-2012 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:44 AM   #70
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Cox cable in San Diego county is charging me $8/month for a SDV tuner. That's to receive basic channels other than Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC (and about 6 others). Plus $2/month for the tuner card. That's an extra $10/month just to use Tivo. I love Tivo. Any chance they will make a Tivo for DirecTV again, cause cable is awful.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:29 AM   #71
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Cox cable in San Diego county is charging me $8/month for a SDV tuner. That's to receive basic channels other than Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC (and about 6 others). Plus $2/month for the tuner card. That's an extra $10/month just to use Tivo. I love Tivo. Any chance they will make a Tivo for DirecTV again, cause cable is awful.
Can you post an image of the line item from your bill for the Tuning Adapter? How long has Cox been charging you for the TA? Cox has never charged for the TA before in any other market, AFAIK.

Cox does charge a digital gateway (Advanced TV) fee for each CableCARD, for me that charge is currently $1.80, the first one is currently free.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:19 AM   #72
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Any chance they will make a Tivo for DirecTV again, cause cable is awful.
There is a new Tivo for Direct TV.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:17 AM   #73
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Cox cable in San Diego county is charging me $8/month for a SDV tuner. That's to receive basic channels other than Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC (and about 6 others). Plus $2/month for the tuner card. That's an extra $10/month just to use Tivo. I love Tivo. Any chance they will make a Tivo for DirecTV again, cause cable is awful.
I am in Escondido and I have a Original Series 3 and have two cable cards (CC) along with a Tuning Adapter (TA). I get credited for the full cost of CC along with the full cost of the TA.
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