So, will there be a NON-HD Series 3?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Jasoco, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. Jan 9, 2006 #41 of 117
    audiocrawford

    audiocrawford New Member

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    And, current analog cable customers aren't going to be affected at all when the OTA analog is outlawed. They can continue to send analog over the cable wires for just as long as they want. The changeover should be transparent to anyone who isn't using an antenna to get OTA reception.

    AC
     
  2. Jan 9, 2006 #42 of 117
    tgibbs

    tgibbs New Member

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    At Walmart, I saw HD TVs starting at $499. So while a lot of people will be hanging on to SD TVs for a while, it hardly makes sense to buy SD any more. So I doubt if TiVo will invest in producing a cheaper, SD-only Series 3. There just wouldn't be any money in it for TiVo. The main thing such a box would offer over the Series 2 would be dual recording capability, but it would probably be just as cheap to buy a second Series 2 to control a second cable box. The Series 3 will of course output SD. It will probably be too expensive initially to appeal to people who are still hanging onto their SD TVs, but the price will come down.
     
  3. Jan 10, 2006 #43 of 117
    parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

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    Isn't the government supposed to provide tuners boxes to convert NTSC sets to work with ASTC, and couldn't Tivo simply write a driver to control that box with infrared? Then Tivo Series 2 wouldn't immediatly be obsolete?

    But given the track record with halting development on Series 1 once Series 2 was released, I could see Tivo stopping the updates to Series 2 upon the release of the Series 3.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2006 #44 of 117
    Gregor

    Gregor Wear Your Mask! TCF Club

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    IIRC 1 tuner will be provided to people that can't afford to buy one. $50 or so (my guess is less) to everyone else.
     
  5. Jan 10, 2006 #45 of 117
    mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    I have an old 27" TV, do NOT have digital cable, and have 2 Tivos (and a third non-Tivo dvr/DVD recorder).

    I realize you're trying to talk about Joe Public, but there are those of us *here* who don't follow your assumptions about who has Tivo.

    Don't get me wrong, S3 will make digital MUCH more intriguing, though I still don't think I'll get it. The HBO dramas are about the only thing I want from it, and they end up on DVD anyway. (S3 is also much more intriguing for my current setup, to be able to record two shows at once on analog.)

    I'll get an HDTV (for OTA HD, and the no-additional-cost-over-cable HD signals), but don't forsee getting digital cable. (With the exception of deals. I see Comcast is doing ads again for digital + ON Demand for 3 months for $40.. which is less than what I pay now for extended basic.. so I may try it out again.)
     
  6. Jan 11, 2006 #46 of 117
    megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    The Series3 will probably end up being more than one box - not much of a 'series' otherwise. ;-) They wouldn't let me open the hood and look inside, but I'd bet it could be respun into a box with no CableCARD and/or add analog input for external devices.

    I could also see the Series2 get a respin. Adding another tuner is possible, but there are a couple of changes I think are more important:
    1. RJ-45 Ethernet. Broadband is becoming more and more crucial for TiVo. They have WiFi covered now with their adapter, and the S3 will cover wired too. Component costs are low enough, and the TGC box is a reference already.
    2. Faster CPU. This is a fairly minor change, but the CPU is the bottleneck in transfers for the 5xx boxes.
    3. New decoder that can do MPEG-4 and VC-1. The Series3 is using a new decoder, and the main reason is for broadband content. Being able to use advanced codecs to limit the transfer sizes and support more content.

    Maybe doing all that would make it a Series3 in the end. What really constitutes being a Series3? The codecs? HiDef?

    I think the codecs and software features are the really distinguishing factors.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2006 #47 of 117
    mec1991

    mec1991 Cranky old coot

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    Back home...

    :mad: :thumbsdown: :mad:

    Didn't know it was a constitutional right to watch television...

    Ignore education, health care, etc. but give the people television keep them distracted. Democrats and Republicans both make me want to scream at times.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2006 #48 of 117
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    I would tend to disagree with this statement. In large metro areas the abundance of OTA signals is a large deterrent to cable TV. When you can get 15 or 20 channels without cable many people may not subscribe to it for lack of incentive, not for monetary reasons.

    I hope you aren't right about this. HD while maybe in my future as a single TV in the living room within the next two years, it certainly isn't in my future for my TiVo's. I don't plan on upgrading those until they break and I can't repair them. And if a series 3 won't be compatible for features like MRV with a series 2 then thats even less incentive for me to invest in one. In the end if TiVo concentrates on the high end they will loose me as a customer.

    If it was designed right the Series 3 should have a replaceable encoder card so that they can build service and hardware tiers into the unit. A Series 3 SD and Series 3 HD. Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up to date with the news so I don't know if this has already been discussed. It just makes sense to me that TiVo would be shooting themselves in the foot to abandon the mid level TiVo users like myself.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2006 #49 of 117
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    No, it isn't a constitutional right. But take 20-30% of the viewing market out overnight and see what that does to the economy when advertisers stop paying as much, TV producers don't have as much income, and media outlets start starving for funds. Not to mention that it's a government mandated change.

    I wonder if you'd feel the same way if you were told you'd have to buy a new car or home because the old one didn't meet government spec's anymore, even though it was in perfect repair.

    This transition if not handled well could very much impact more than just a few people not being able to watch their favorite shows.
     
  10. Jan 11, 2006 #50 of 117
    MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    That has nothing to do with it. The airwaves are publicly owned, and leased to the broadcasters, thus "we, the people" own them and the government should not be allowed to just throw away our investment in equipment to watch TV over those airwaves. Of course people should be compensated if the government takes something from them!
     
  11. Jan 11, 2006 #51 of 117
    Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

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    Maybe the government should buy everyone a new 50" plasma too since they'll likely be broadcasting HD?

    If / when they ever ban gasoline vehicles, do I expect the government to buy me a propane conversion kit to make my car compliant? No! Having a car is a privlidge, not a right. Same goes for TV.

    If you haven't guessed, I don't agree with the subsidised ATSC tuners.

    Shawn
     
  12. Jan 11, 2006 #52 of 117
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    The government will also be making billions in the sale of the newly freed up bandwidth. They can afford a little largess, especially when the profit comes at our expense.
     
  13. Jan 11, 2006 #53 of 117
    interactiveTV

    interactiveTV New Member

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    Right. Why pay down a deficit when the "government will...be making billions."

    How it is a "profit" and how it comes at "our expense" is something I must admit I don't understand.

    There are plenty of times OUR government sells assets, rights, etc (like mining or cattle grazing) WELL BELOW market prices. In this case, they will be getting market prices for the spectrum and, whether you agree or not, re-allocating some for emergency services.

    The "largess" you speak of merely reduces the net. I think the tuner subsidy, while well intentioned, will turn into a boondoggle, but maybe that's just a little pessimism sneaking in. I don't think that the conversion boxes for the poorest of the poor is a bad idea. I do think for those households that have a second, third, or fourth TV, it is not needed.

    Selling a public good, as spectrum is, for market prices through an auction -- a somewhat efficient method -- seems better than selling it well below cost without bidding, something that happens very often. With the proceeds going to OUR government coffers, we should ALL benefit. Whether you believe the proceeds will be spend wisely is a question of general faith rather than in THIS specific action.

    I'm all for an auction. WE (not they) should get the best price for it we can.

    _ITV
     
  14. Jan 11, 2006 #54 of 117
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    Then you are the only one. Congress understands it.
     
  15. Jan 11, 2006 #55 of 117
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    I must apologize for my previous post. It was unnecessarily snippy when I didn't read your entire post. It has already been said that most SD users are using cable systems that will be unaffected by the change to HD TV, however the converters for those that are not subscribing to a cable service is to prevent a large segment of have nots in the country. (ie, the poor) I'm all for letting the cable companies distribute these, allowing only one per household that subscribes to their service or none at all, saving them for those that truly need them, but I think the best deal would be to subsidize the manufacturing of them so that they are affordable.
     
  16. Jan 11, 2006 #56 of 117
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    There are two different things being talked about- feature sets for particular market segments and particular hardware architectures. Most of us really don't know or really care if it is actually an S2 architecture that lives on, or whether it is an S3 architecture minus some things and plus others. The hardware conversation is interesting (at least to me anyway) In all likelihood, they are continuing with the Broadcom relationship but who knows. Maybe they have gone to Intel Viiv platform for all the communications and CPU layer, while the encoders and decoders are handled by other dedicated SOCs. It has some advantages. But like I said- most people wouldn't care even if you were able to catch a glimpse of what chips are being used. So I think as we move into the next year we will see the main distinguishing dimension relevant to the user between S2 and S3 is lowEnd vs HighEnd, or to pose it less rudely- high value versus high performance.

    The other conversation is about the other dimension- that is, what target Tivo is drawing for the digital versus analog segments. We know a lot more about what that is for the digital world but I think there are a lot of questions about needs for the analog world.

    If you have analog cable, you do care about image enhacement- and a lot is being done in this area- you can get near HD quality images with affordable video processors these days. If you have a satellite box, you do care about about Mpeg encoder picture quality from analog inputs.

    So LowEnd/HighEnd dimensions, then Analog vs. Digital dimensions. You could chop them up into four different products but the problem with doing that is that software support becomes difficult as you propagate even minor sounding changes in the hardware. Recall how long it took to roll out TTG for DVD burner Tivos.

    That's why I see just two architectures going forward. For the S2 it's only modifications that do not impact software porting cost significantly. Upping CPU power is one thing, but changing the way a mpeg files are generated in order to make them easily transmited via TTG is not.

    The analog customer should not be thought of unidimensionally. It does not equal LowEnd, as I think many people fall into thinking. There are those there that also want more- like image enhancement or multiple encoders, I think you are talking a T3 minus the cablecard connections, and plus analog inputs that feed into the mpeg2 encoders. Some of these options could concievably could be added to the T3 as an add on USB peripheral, but not for basic items like analog RCA/SVideo connectors. I doubt that the analog only market is going to want to pop for both a T3** and a $100 box.

    ** Apologies for slipping back to T3. It has such a nice rhyme to it, much nicer than S3 but whatever.
     
  17. Jan 11, 2006 #57 of 117
    MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    What does that have to do with anything? All they should do is give people an equivalent substitute for what they are taking, in other words, the ability to watch SD OTA broadcasts on their old TV.

    Weak analogy, since you're comparing a publicly owned medium to a privately owned source of energy....

    A better comparison would be if the government decided to seize every single piece of public road and sell it off to private businesses, and instead told you that you had to pay for the privilege to start driving on a completely new set of roads, and that you can't drive on until you take your car in to the shop and pay for them to modify your car. Would you want them to compensate you so you could keep driving your car? Maybe you'd happily give the government everything they want, I prefer to have them compensate me when they take something.
     
  18. Jan 11, 2006 #58 of 117
    kjmcdonald

    kjmcdonald New Member

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    There's nothing that says you can't use it. There's nothing that says it's HD only. or that you need an HDTV to use it. The only question is does it have enough advantages for you to make it worth it?

    In addition to what another poster said, if you currently watch digital cable (but not HD) then this new tivo will let you 'tivo' all those channels directly in SD digital with no Set Top Box and no IR blaster or serial line. If you're currently renting a digital cable box from the cable company, this alone could save you some $$ every month.

    -Kyle
     
  19. Jan 11, 2006 #59 of 117
    kjmcdonald

    kjmcdonald New Member

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    How did you get those channels without a cable box before? The analog versions are scrambeld right? and the digital ones... well up until cablecard didn't all digital channels require a cable box?

    -Kyle
     
  20. Jan 11, 2006 #60 of 117
    Jasoco

    Jasoco New Member

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    Nope. Up until a few weeks ago, I got Starz, HBO and Showtime directly from my wall. No box needed. (The only one I didn't get was Cinemax. But no one got it in the house. I think only the Digital box did.)

    My friend who also has Comcast says his was taken away years ago. We have Comcast in Jamison. He has it in New Jersey. (Wherever Comcast is located near Lambertville.)

    Guess it just took them this long to decide to pull it and make it box only.
     

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