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Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by feldon23, Jan 1, 2004.
Very nice document. Thanks for doing it !
I was under the impression that HDMI connectors plugged directly into HDCP connectors. Do you have any additional information on the converters, and what they do/how they work?
HDCP is a protocol for content protection implemented on both DVI and HDMI interfaces. The HDMI connector itself isn't pin-compatible with a DVI connector, but there is a 1:1 correspondence of the digital video signals, so only an adapter is required. HDMI does include audio, however, which wouldn't be on a DVI connector.
Here's an excellent description of DVI, HDMI & HDCP: http://www.sigmadesigns.com/products/DVI_HDMI.htm
So does this mean no component video out?
No it does not mean that. What leads you to believe that?
The concept behind HDCP is that on suitably protected content any high-definition output that wasn't protected with HDCP would be disabled in favor of standard definition.
I didn't ask the original question, but your second sentance sounds like compoent outputs will NOT output HD signals. Is that what you intended to convey?
When the signal is flagged as protected, you'll get HD output on HDCP-compatible DVI/HDMI outputs, but all other outputs will become 480i (or maybe it's 480p in the case of component) showing downconverted video.
If the content is not protected, you'll get HD output on DVI/HDMI outputs and component outputs.
In the real world, what does this mean? No broadcaster or cable channel has used the flags yet, except for some PPV or other channels I believe it's been used on just for equipment testing purposes.
Great start! I'm sure this will just get better as more information becomes available.
Mods definitely need to make this a sticky!
I'd suggest listing all the connections on the back of the HDTivo, and discuss their expected use (or non-use) - HDMI, Component, USB, 2 Sat, 1 ANT, etc...
I think there's a component question just above. Plus there's sure to be repeated questions about HDMI, DVI, HDCP, etc... dswallow's link above is a good start, but maybe a little too technical for everyone.
Plus, I'd suggest adding a short section describing (to the best of our ability at this point) the operation of the HD Dtivo - mentioning that it is expected to release with version 3.X of software, meaning no HMO, etc...
That really sucks because I have two HDTVs that only have component inputs. This means that under many circumstances I simply will not be able to have the picture quality that I was promised when I bought these TVs. That really pisses me off. From this point onward, I have no objections whatsoever for people who want to circumvent things like macrovision, because now I am in their shoes.
Standalone HDTivo users will really get screwed, because they wont be allowed to record high definition content period in these situations, whereas directivo users will at least be able to do that.
I will look forward to having the fun of hacking the tivo in such a way as to force the component outputs to always give you the best resolution possible.
Well keep in mind...
1) This is a technical capability; no commercial broadcaster/cable station is actively utilizing it and for the reasons you stated it's going to be rather controversial once one does. And there is another flag in broadcast ATSC streams to control re-recording and timeshifting rights, too... again, a technical capability with no one yet actively restricting anything...
2) There will never be a standalone HDTiVo that encodes analog signals. Never say never, right? Well, there's no existing chipset to do HD realtime mpeg2 encoding that could be used in an affordable standalone. Think many thousands of dollars using existing technology. Any standalone HDTiVo will be limited to OTA ATSC signals which would be received digitally, and to SD recording for anything it has to encode.
Do the OTA tuners on the directv version mean that you would be able to use that box without directv, maybe buying it because you'll have directv in the future, but not wanting to have to buy another box when you do get the dish.
Probably not, since program information comes via satellite, I'd suspect the receiver would be not much more than a standard OTA receiver without the dish hooked up and a subscription. I doubt the TiVo functionality would work, at least.
The so-called "broadcast flag" has the vaguely worded purpose of keeping copyrighted programming from being distributed all over the Internet. It is not intended to limit recording, timeshifting, or distributing it within the home, all of which are allowed by copyright law and the FCC has no authority to touch that. Also, as much as the MPAA would want to have the broadcast flag close the "analog hole", the FCC did not agree to close it.
See http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-273A1.pdf . It's all dry government-speak, but the FCC's point of view and their decisions are straightforward, and Appendix B contains the new regulations for the broadcast flag.
Believe it or not, HD TiVos WILL be compatible with the 96% of HDTV sets out there that only have Component inputs.
The FCC basically told the broadcast industry that if they want the FCC's wrath, go ahead and try to copy-protect non-premium content.
We don't know what the back of the HD DTiVo looks like yet but we can assume:
2 Satellite inputs
1 Component Video output
1 S-Video output
2 RCA video/audio outputs
1 Optical audio output
2 useless USB ports (they'd be dumb not to make em USB2)
1 HDMI (HDCP) port
1 power port
Here's a photo of the prototype that DirecTV was demoing at CES 2003. Realize that they put the Component outputs where 1 set of RCA outputs were. I doubt this represents the layout the final unit will have. I will probably grow to regret posting this picture.
We don't know any of this yet.
These are OTA 8VSB digital tuners.
That brings up a question. Would tivo record the hdtv stream in high resolution and then downconvert it during playback? Or would it record it in low resolution if only an analog connection was enabled while the flag was present in the stream?
And FWIW, downconverting the signal would require expensive mpeg reencoding hardware, just because of this flag.
I don't think the TiVo would have the CPU power to downrez the footage and record that to disk. Could be wrong...
Downconverting for display is pretty simple; all current HD receivers do this, actually. The HD TiVo won't have the ability to encode MPEG2 in any fashion; it can only record the datastream it tunes to, be it OTA DTV or DirecTV SD or HD. But even an HD program recorded can be displayed on SD monitors because downconverting for display, as mentioned before, is simple and easily done.
It'll record what you tell it to, and display it on all outputs in a format appropriate for that output (and taking into consideration the front panel setting for the digital/component output format).
(And upconverting for display is no big deal either; all current HD receivers can do this too)