The Tivo Mini lives....

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by dave13077, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Mar 4, 2013 #1481 of 1620
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about the preorder contest.

    I could see them doing the soft launch for the Mini. This would make sense especially when you consider it is rumored for the 6th and there still has yet to be a press release.

    By doing a soft launch they get a smaller pool of initial testers I mean users who might find things that didn't occur in the beta.
     
  2. Mar 4, 2013 #1482 of 1620
    Mike-Wolf

    Mike-Wolf New Member

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    Is the antenna OTA feature for analog signals or digital signals or both?
     
  3. Mar 4, 2013 #1483 of 1620
    Mike-Wolf

    Mike-Wolf New Member

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    Regarding the mini, doesn't that currently use one of the tuners? Would it at some point start using an IP streaming method instead?

    Would love to start seeing MPEG4 or H264 encoding from the service providers but I'm sure that's a whole other beast in and of itself.
     
  4. Mar 4, 2013 #1484 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    There is a version of VLC for iOS. It struggles with 1080i/p MPEG-2 on all iOS devices. I think the A6 in the iPad4 can decode most stuff, but it severely cuts battery life and it gets really hot.

    Now whether or not the hardware decoder is capable of decoding MPEG-2 or not, I don't know. But it's not exposed via the API so it's not an option for developers.

    It seems odd that Roku wouldn't support MPEG-2 if the hardware supported it since licensing is so cheap and they support playback of local, user supplied, video files where MPEG-2 is still widely used. As someone above mentioned even the single seat license on the Raspberry Pi is <$4 and in volume they're <$1.

    In any case if the API doesn't support it then the only option is to do it in software. And the chip in the Roku isn't powerful enough to do it in software. So the only way TiVo could support streaming to a Roku would be to transcode to H.264, which requires a TiVo Stream that is currently $130. Roku + Stream = $230, might as well buy a Mini.
     
  5. Mar 4, 2013 #1485 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Digital only. The purpose of the waiver is to allow them to exclude analog encoding hardware. Adding enough chips to encode 4-6 analog channels at once is expensive, complicated and eats up quite a bit of power.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2013 #1486 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It is IP based. The limitation at launch will be that if you enable live TV support for the Mini it will permanently allocate that tuner for live TV and remove it from the pool of tuners available to the local TiVo for recording even if the Mini isn't actively being used. A future update will allow the Mini to dynamically requisition a tuner from the TiVo only when needed. And when the Mini is idle the TiVo will have access to all tuners for recording and local live TV viewing.

    Some cable companies have started broadcasting channels in H.264. They're typically specialty HD channels right now because the cable company has to ensure that the equipment they have deployed can tune the channels as well. Pretty much all HD boxes support H.264, a lot of the older SD boxes do not. Until they replace all their deployed equipment with boxes capable of decoding H.264 they can not convert the majority of the channels. In either case the TiVo Premiere, and presumably the Mini, support H.264 already. So if your cable company makes the switch it will be seamless to you.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2013 #1487 of 1620
    HazelW

    HazelW Member

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    Can you manually disable the tuner? Say you only need it once or week or so, can you allocate it and easily de-allocate it after use?
     
  8. Mar 4, 2013 #1488 of 1620
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    You might be able to do that but it will probably be a headache. When you do the setup of the Mini it apparently prompts you for tuner allocation from the host TiVo.

    So, if you set it up and say "no tuners" and then want to watch live TV at some point you will very likely have to run the guided setup again, which sounds like a royal PITA.
     
  9. Mar 4, 2013 #1489 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It's not that bad. The option to allocate the tuner is on the host DVR and can easily be turned on/off. If the option has been turned off and you try to access live TV via the Mini it simply prompts you saying there are no tuners available on the host.

    However I do think I read somewhere that when you turn the option on/off it stops all current recordings, so you'll only want to do it if the host TiVo isn't actually recording anything at that moment.
     
  10. Mar 4, 2013 #1490 of 1620
    Kingpcgeek

    Kingpcgeek Couch Potato

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    What analog signals? Except for a very few low power stations there are no more analog TV signals OTA. An analog tuner would only be for cable.
     
  11. Mar 4, 2013 #1491 of 1620
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    Yikes, I realized after what I said about my AMD I was thinking transcoding, not decoding. My bad.... getting older sucks :)
     
  12. Mar 4, 2013 #1492 of 1620
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    I don't record enough things concurrently that the loss of 1 tuner is really a big deal.... especially when they will be doing dynamic tuner allocation in a few months time.
     
  13. Mar 4, 2013 #1493 of 1620
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    I hate that this thread was moved into a sub-forum. I really didn't want to follow another forum and liked that there was still one thread in the Premiere forum.

    Oh well. :p
     
  14. Mar 4, 2013 #1494 of 1620
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    Considering that there will be numerous Mini related threads springing up soon it seems like the perfect thing to do. Probably less than 5% of Premiere owners have an XL4 or Elite so it makes far more sense to move an adjunct that only works with a couple of TiVo models and has a unique setup, network requirements, etc, to its own thread.
     
  15. Mar 4, 2013 #1495 of 1620
    lgerbarg

    lgerbarg New Member

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    It isn't really that surprising, retail sales channels are brutal. As a manufacturer you generally need to increase the cost of a product by $4 in order to offset a $1 increase in your BOM (in other words, your channel partners take 75% of the profit unless you are large enough to have some real pricing muscle). If you are selling a device for $49 you really need to be making it for $12.50 (25% of retail) to sell it to your distributer for $22.00 to sell it to the store for $25.00 (50% of retail). Adding $1 without offsetting it with an increase (which goes through all of those multipliers ends up cutting your margins by 10%. And since MPEG-2 licenses actually cost $2 at all quantities that would really be a 20% reduction in their profits, or a $8 increase in price to offset.

    The lack of the an annual cap is also one of the reasons people don't include MPEG-2 in devices. On h.264 there is a maximum, so for all the big players like Apple, Google, MS, etc it is effectively free on an incremental basis, they just pay their ~$5,000,000 a year and move on. MPEG-2 would cost them for every device, which in Apple's case would by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
     
  16. Mar 4, 2013 #1496 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Hmmm.... It's been a while since I looked at our MPEG-LA license. I thought it was lower for the decoder then the encoder, but obviously I was misremembering because that link says they're $2/ea.

    That being said $2 still isn't much. I've seen $50 BluRay players at Wal-Mart and the BD specs require support for MPEG-2. I don't think the hardware in a $50 Roku is much different then that of a $50 BD player. And if the margins are really that thin then they could just charge the user a couple bucks for a special software upgrade to enable MPEG-2. Archos use to do that with some of their portable players. I think the reason they don't enable MPEG-2 has more to do with saving $2 for something they don't think they need, rather then margins being so thin that they can't afford to pay the $2 without increasing the retail price of the device.

    In any case we've gone way off track here. Back to discussing the Mini. :)
     
  17. Mar 4, 2013 #1497 of 1620
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Doesn't the Roku2 hardware also support transcoding from DD+ to DD? But they don't pay for a license to enable that?

    Oh... and on topic...I hope the Mini starts showing up on websites tomorrow so at least we can see that it will actually be available shortly.

    I'm worried that if it is available at BestBuy initially, that each store will only have a small amount. So it will be sold out quickly. At least that is how it was when the Elite was released.
     
  18. Mar 4, 2013 #1498 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I don't know how DD+ works (yet), but I've been doing some work with DTS and it structured kind of cool. Basically every DTS frame, even DTS-MA lossless, contains a standard 5.1 DTS frame. Then at the end they tack on extra information for extra channels or the additional data they need to convert the standard DTS data back to lossless. So all you'd need to do to convert DTS-HD or DTS-MA to standard DTS is truncate the frames to only have the "core" data. If it's similar for DD+ then the "transcoding" would be nothing more then truncating a few buffers and no license would be required for that.
     
  19. Mar 4, 2013 #1499 of 1620
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I remember when it was introduced there was not a DD core. DtS made more sense in how it was done. Which I figured was why most titles ended up having DTS-MA on them instead of Dolby TrueHD. But since Dolby Atmos was launched it seems like more BD titles are coming with Dolby TrueHD now. But still nowhere near the amount that has DTS-MA.
     
  20. Mar 4, 2013 #1500 of 1620
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Wow, that's pretty surprising. Imagine what a deal with a tier 1 MSO would be like! Although they would have to heavily customize it for the MSO.

    I can't make any sense of those numbers, except for the revenue numbers. That's pretty impressive. Are those MSOs using TiVo as their only DVR solution, or is TiVo competing against Motorola and Sci Atlanta?
     

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