CableCARD 2.0 in the wild

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bdraw, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Jul 19, 2007 #1 of 108
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    I filed a complaint with the FCC since I couldn't watch an HD channel with my Series3 that Bright House Networks deployed using SDV. I got a call from the VP of customer service of our local BHN branch and he offered me a free STB for a year so I could watch the channel. At first I told him no thanks, but then figured sure, as long as it had a CableCARD. It took the guy a few days to track one down and he arranged for me to pick up a SA 4250HDc at my local office.

    As many suspected, the cards are shipped sealed in the STB and they even go so far as to tape the lid shut. I tried out the STB with all the usual suspects, SDV, VOD and PPV; and they all worked as expected. So I figured what the hell, and removed the CableCARD and sure enough it stopped working. I put the card back in the box and within a few minutes the box was back to normal. As much as I expected them to do this, I'm still disappointed that they aren't truly supporting CC, and I really don't see how this is going to help TiVo's cause.

    There are some pics in this post.

    http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/07/19/cablecard-2-0-caught-in-the-wild/

    The other thing of interest is that the MFG date of the box was 6/29/07, talk about cutting it close to the deadline.

    **While this box does just about everything that a CableCARD 2.0 host device can do (like SDV, VOD, PPV), it doesn't support OCAP, which according to many means, it doesn't meet the CableCARD 2.0 specification.**
     
  2. Jul 19, 2007 #2 of 108
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    To be fair, CC2.0 isn't a spec on the card itself, but the complete two-way system (which the Series 3 lacks some hardware for). The card itself is a plain M-Card.

    And it technically isn't "in the wild", but contained in the zoo that is Bright House.
     
  3. Jul 19, 2007 #3 of 108
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    I am not in the BHN zoo, it's at my house. Unless you mean the 4250 is the zoo.

    And it is a two-way device, otherwise I wouldn't be able to watch VOD, SDV etc on it.
     
  4. Jul 19, 2007 #4 of 108
    HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    You mean you are disappointed they are not supporting the FULL 3rd Party CE Device CableCARD 1.0 EXPERIENCE. :(
     
  5. Jul 19, 2007 #5 of 108
    lombard

    lombard Member

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    Well, I just hope Brighthouse doesn't jump on the SDV train over on this side of the state (Cape Canaveral). I'm getting my cable hooked up next Friday. This is the first I've heard of them going the SDV route. :(
     
  6. Jul 19, 2007 #6 of 108
    davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    Your right, its not going to help tivo's cause until they make a device that is a opencable host 2.0 device.



     
  7. Jul 19, 2007 #7 of 108
    Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    As others have noted, "CableCARD 2.0" as currently defined means a complete system overhaul (both headend and end-user equipment) based on OCAP. It does not imply any change to the actual CableCARDs themselves, which would work fine in an OCAP system, and is thus horribly misnamed. CableCARD 2.0 receivers only exist in prototype form and from a very small number of manufacturers. It will be a while before any OCAP/CC 2.0 systems are actually deployed. So no, you have not seen any "CableCARD 2.0" system in the wild.

    Bdraw, is there any way for you to change the name of the thread you started?
     
  8. Jul 19, 2007 #8 of 108
    davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    saxion, if that thing is doing 2 way coms and using cable cards, wouldnt it be an opencable 2.0 device using cablecard 2.0 specs?
     
  9. Jul 19, 2007 #9 of 108
    Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    No, the cable companies have always had closed systems (protocols, licensing) that can do 2-way. That's how you could pick up a non-CableCARD STB direct from the cable company that could do 2-way. The new boxes only add a CableCARD to that existing architecture, and the CableCARD is only used for authorization and decryption. All the 2-way stuff just uses the existing (closed) protocols...no change there.

    OpenCable/CableCARD 2.0/OCAP is a new system that is meant to open this up to 3rd parties (TiVo, TV manufacturers, etc). It is meant to unify all the incompatible closed systems out there, and open up the licensing to third parties.

    Please note I'm not approving of CableCARD 2.0/OCAP. I think it is horribly flawed, as currently specified & licensed. But with some modifications, it could be a great system.
     
  10. Jul 19, 2007 #10 of 108
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Saxion beat me to it and is correct.
    Tivo will be able to change channels to PPV, VOD and SDV channels, but I don't think Tivo will build an Opencable 2.0 host to do it, nor will many major CE companies. Technically, it is unnecessary. Cable company Cablecard boxes don't need to use the 2.0 specification (OCAP) to change channels, so they will find it difficult to justify to the FCC why third parties must use a much more complicated mechanism to change channels, especially when it appears to do something quite different.
    [​IMG]
    CableLabs: "Want to attach to our networks, Tivo? No problem, just build this contraption and stick your head in here." ​
     
  11. Jul 19, 2007 #11 of 108
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    CableCARD 2.0 does exist, but what it is 'exactly' is confusing to say the least. Regardless, most people think CableCARD 2.0 is a two-way, multi-stream device that uses a CableCARD to control the conditional access.

    As for taking this STB to another system, I don't see any reason why this box wouldn't work with any other cable system as long as it had a CableCARD from that system installed and authorized.

    If someone has proof that SA 4250HDc isn't a certified CableCARD 2.0 host device, please let me know and I will edit the topic and my post at Engadget.

    Thanks
     
  12. Jul 19, 2007 #12 of 108
    JimboG

    JimboG New Member

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    Ben,

    I'm pretty sure that cable cards are not as portable as one might wish. You need a Motorola cable card if your cable head end has Motorola gear and a Scientific Atlanta cable card if your cable system is built with SciAtl gear.

    While you may be able to take a third party Cable Card device anywhere in the country, the cable cards themselves are still specific to one of the two duopoly equipment manufacturers.

    Why is it so hard for the cable companies to see that set top boxes from both Motorola and Scientific Atlanta suck badly? I don't get why forcing third party boxes to use cable company software through OCAP is a competitive advantage. Sure, you get to push advertising through the TV Guide On Screen interface or something similar. But you pass up the opportunity to have a competitive market for CE provided set top boxes. Is the revenue from set top box advertising so great that cable companies wouldn't push a potential advantage over satellite and telephone providers?
     
  13. Jul 19, 2007 #13 of 108
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    I am not misinformed, I understand exactly what CableCARD 2.0 is and I realize that most people don't. I have been "poking" around this forum for 3 years and I have also discussed this topic throughly with engineers from Motorola and CableLabs.

    From http://www.opencable.com/primer/cablecard_primer.html
    No mention of 3rd party and no mention of OCAP.

    The entire point of Open Cable is for both 3rd party devices and cable co' issued STBs to use the same security, I'm not sure why you guys believe that only 3rd party devices can be considered CC 2.0 certified devices.

    Either way we are arguing over semantics, and the bottom line is that the July 1st mandate isn't going to help TiVo owners get better support.
     
  14. Jul 19, 2007 #14 of 108
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    This is exactly the case, this is what I meant to say. That being said, there should be no reason why you can't take this SA 4250HDc and install a Moto CableCARD and use it on a Moto system.

    It's about money, the Cable co's are the customer and just like any smart company, they want to spend as little as possible, and why not when most people don't seem to care.
    They want to control the STB experience, there are many reasons for this, when I asked CableLabs this very question they gave me a word that makes me laugh. They said that disintermediation would occur, which basically means to cut out the middle man.
    http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/06/22/cablecard-2-0-is-ready/
     
  15. Jul 19, 2007 #15 of 108
    mrmot

    mrmot Lumberjack

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    :up:

    It's too bad the FCC didn't mandate that the cable companies have to go through the same process for 3rd party cablecard devices as their own.

    In my opinion, it's clear that the cable companies will look for any loophole to deviate from the intent of the integration ban.
     
  16. Jul 19, 2007 #16 of 108
    windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    Since I'm just over the bridge from you, I'm curious as to which Brighthouse HD channel is using SDV?
     
  17. Jul 19, 2007 #17 of 108
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    Golf/Versus on channel 694, there might be more, that is the only one I've had confirmed.
     
  18. Jul 19, 2007 #18 of 108
    davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    got any buddies with a Hd box from your cable company? that would be easiest way. Or does brighthouse have a "channel lineup" page?
     
  19. Jul 19, 2007 #19 of 108
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    I only watch HD channels, so I know there is only one HD channel on SDV, there could be SDV, but I don't care enough to surf all the channels on my S3 looking for them.
     
  20. Jul 19, 2007 #20 of 108
    windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    Hmmm ... when that one was first added, I thought I could get it on my S3 (but I removed it from my lineup 'cause I would never watch it). I'll try again tonight ...
     

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