How TIVO can survive the inevitable IP Apocalypse

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by DVRanger, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I don't think FiOS is set up that way. The video is on a different wavelength than the data, which is Ethernet-based.
     
  2. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Sure they are...it is just different wavelength carriers...they just happen to be light instead of radio wavelengths. Each carrier is just modulated EM radiation and can carry digitized video or any other kind of data. They could put Ethernet encoded packets on the current QAM wavelength as easily as put it on any other carrier.
     
  3. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    That’s a lot of infrastructure change that they don’t need. They are doing fine for internet and can reclaim QAM bandwidth by moving MPEG2 to MPEG4 and eliminating SD duplicates. Yes, that also requires STB updates but using QAM for internet would require modem updates, STB updates and back end infrastructure changes. You can’t just change frequency when hardware is designed and tuned to a frequency range.
     
  4. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    There are no modems involved on Verizon. The fiber terminates at an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) and has coax, ethernet and phone outputs. Today, Verizon uses 3 sets of carrier frequencies, one for upstream data, one for downstream data and one for TV (telephone is carried on one of the data subchannels). The up and downstream data is transmitted using ethernet format data packets, while the TV data is transmitted in QAM256. If Verizon wanted to go all-IP, they would simply put ethernet packets on the "TV" frequencies instead of QAM.

    I agree that they are very unlikely to do this, or anything else that requires an investment in wireline parts of the business. Even converting from MPEG2 to MPEG4 is too much of an investment for Verizon - I don't think they have converted a single additional QAM to MPEG4 in years - they just keep squeezing in more channels. PQ has deteriorated for sure, but it is still way better than most cable operations. They might drop SD channels (they should be down to relatively small number of SD only STBs by now) but I think even that is unlikely in the near term.
     
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    After pouring money and years of time into a new IPTV system (originally acquired from Intel as "OnCue"), which they then abandoned after last year's beta test that apparently went over like a lead balloon, I don't see Verizon really doing anything more to improve FiOS TV. I mean, look, it's only about 4.5 million subs, right (versus over 150 million for Verizon Wireless)? Meanwhile, the whole traditional cable TV model is looking increasingly parlous. So why spend more money and time trying to make it better? It costs a lot of money to swap out lots of STBs, much less make structural back-end platform changes.

    Nah, I think Verizon is looking at their rival AT&T's moves and planning to do the same thing: go with a cheaper, faster-to-deploy OTT system for their next-gen TV platform, which has the benefit of being a nationwide service if they want it to be (not restricted to their northeastern landline footprint). It'll be a better return on investment. That's most likely where you'll see Verizon offering 4K HDR and other bells and whistles, not on FiOS. (Eh, I guess they could come out with a new FiOS STB that patched in OTT access to 4K HDR content on top of the existing QAM stuff.)

    Verizon to Launch Faster Wireless, New TV Service in 3-5 Cities
     
  6. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Ok, but at that point you're talking new ONTs, so transitioning away from QAM doesn't really get them much, as they have different wavelengths to use for NG-PON2 anyway.

    Dropping SD duplicates and moving more channels to MPEG-4 is the logical upgrade path for Verizon, as most of the equipment out there now supports MPEG-4, and the transition is relatively easy.

    Also, as channels go out of business, that will free space up too.
     
  7. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    Fine. I used the wrong term. ONT versus modem. (Although an ONT is a type of modem that works with light.)

    They would still need to update them. Just as they have and are doing for the faster rates. The ONT does not process the QAM frequencies for internet that I can see. The QAM frequencies are just passed through. My ONT died and I was still able to watch TV just fine including guide data for my TiVo.

    Unless you’ve seen the design detail of the ONT, you can’t wave this off as a simple solution. I’d be surprised if they designed the hardware to handle frequencies they never intended to use. That would be extra cost.
     
  8. Furmaniac

    Furmaniac Active Member

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    The cable companies are in deep doo-doo because they caused it.
    For all the years that I could remember, people wanted to pick and choose the channels that they wanted to see. The cable companies continued to give us more channels than we needed in a service tier. Since they have tiers, it was always available for them to create more tiers with a smaller number of channels. They got what they deserve.
     
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  9. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Your ONT did not completely die then. Because the ONT converts the signals over fiber to signals over coax. If the ONT was truly dead, you would have no phone service, no TV service, and no internet service. I've had a dead ONT before, and it sucks because nothing is working. I've also had one that was partially messed up. When only some of the services worked.

    But all FiOS services are carried over fiber optics. And the ONT converts them all for carriage over copper. Be it coaxial cable or twisted pair cable. Without the ONT working you can't access any services.
     
  10. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    ONTs are replaced for higher speed service because FiOS started as a BPON service and later switched to GPON. To support more than ~80Mbps you need to be on GPON, so if you have a BPON ONT it must be replaced. However, I have gone from 100Mbps to 150 and most recently to gigabit service with no ONT replacements.

    Both GPON and BPON use the same upstream and downstream frequencies. Upstream data is carried on 1310nm and downstream on two frequencies, 1490nm and 1550nm. BPON does not support ethernet, but rather ATM. GPON can support ATM, TDM, GEM and ethernet. Max downstream for BPON is ~622Mbps and upstream is 155Mbps. GPON can support 2.488Gbps down and 1.244Gbps up.

    ALL ONTs from all manufacturers support that frequency plan, and are designed to accommodate double the upstream bandwidth on downstream. However, that is not the way Verizon uses it. They run broadband on only one of the downstream frequencies (1490nm) and uses the other (1550nm) to carry the QAM content.

    The point of all this is that AT&T, Altice and Google all use many of the same ONT models that Verizon does. The ONTs are very programmable and configurable. That 1550nm band can just as easily be used for broadband as video, simply by downloading a new configuration.
     
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  11. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Interesting. Did not know that. It wouldn't gain them anything, as they are limited by the gigabit Ethernet port out, but still an interesting tidbit. I stand corrected on the technical details, but I think my point about QAM not really costing Verizon anything in terms of what else they could do with that capacity stands. Verizon will be on QAM for a while.
     
  12. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    No argument...indeed Verizon may be the last MVPD to abandon QAM. However, there is a good amount of unused bandwidth in that 1550nm band (which is used today for on-demand, PPV, guide data, and various data purposes). There is so much, in fact, that they could probably launch IP delivery in that band and not impact a customer's broadband at all.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    Bigg likes this.
  13. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I would agree if you qualify it with major. There will be small companies here and there using QAM as long as there are TVs with QAM tuners. There are analog systems today either in rural areas, or as bulk/SMATV type of systems. I think Comcast, Charter, Altice, Cox, RCN, Grande, GCI, and any other decent sized ones will go IPTV eventually, leaving Verizon as the last major users of QAM.
     

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