TiVo confirms SDV dongle for 2Q 2008

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by cwoody222, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Feb 9, 2008 #321 of 456
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

    502
    23
    Nov 5, 2002

    Advertisements

    It's still sold in the U.S. Some companies (e.g. Verizon) have a waiver.

    It makes sense to me that they would use a set top box as a base. These things probably won't be deployed in large quantities, so it's more important to minimize development cost and operational cost, than to worry about shaving a few dollars from the hardware cost of the box.
     
  2. Feb 9, 2008 #322 of 456
    jebbbz

    jebbbz Member

    329
    23
    Sep 7, 2007
    35th and...
    Because the writers are still on strike?
     
  3. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    2,883
    486
    Jan 6, 2007
    That's one interpretation. Another is the FCC let the cable industry manage separable security on their own for over 10 years and the transition was still moving at snails pace. Frustrated with the lack of progress they forced the issue because there didn't appear to be any hope for industry taking care of this on their own. Separable security is more about creating an environment for competitive products and removing the leased equipment requirement. It has a second or third order linkage to OTA bandwidth sales, where ATSC tuners would be first order linkage (which BTW they also had to mandate because industry was moving too slow)
     
  4. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,422
    5
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    Separable security was at best a consumer benefit--nice press, but no cash. It didn't become truly important to the government until there was money attached. The issue that they forced was explicitly one of plug-and-play-DTV-over-cable, which was only in part about separable security. If separable security had not become wrapped up in that, it'd still be dangling with nobody in Congress pushing it.

    ATSC tuners are of almost inconsequential importance in pushing the DTV transition. Less than 15% of television watchers will ever use one. American televisions viewers primarily get their television over cable and secondarily via satellite and now the telcos.
     
  5. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    2,883
    486
    Jan 6, 2007

    Advertisements

    Umm, inconsequential? The government is auctioning off *air*waves, not cable bandwidth. 15% of TV watchers in the US still use OTA, but 100% of those will be affected by loss of analog. What percentage of cable users are affected by the auctioning off of airwaves?

    DTV over cable transition will have worked fine with or without recent measures. We've had cable boxes forever and will have them through the future. If you feel 15% of television watchers is an inconsequential #, compare that to CableCARD users.
     
  6. Luke M

    Luke M Member

    502
    23
    Nov 5, 2002
    Good point. Cable TV users are consequential, but CableCard was a total flop. If you ask me, the cablecos are fools for not seizing the opportunity to entrench their technology. Some people seem to think that renting set top boxes is good business, but all it does is level the playing field with cable's competitors.
     
  7. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,422
    5
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    It's "inconsequential" in that providing ATSC tuners in new televisions doesn't smooth out the transition to digital television for very many consumers. In my mind requiring ATSC tuners in new televisions is about on par with the FCC's requirements for SAP and closed captioning decoders and will be used by just about as many people. I certainly did not mean to imply that separable security was any significant part of the solution either. It's just that it got rolled into the plug-and-play-DTV-over-cable solution.

    The real significant part of that plug-and-play-DTV-over-cable solution was the specification that digital cable shall be defined as specific MPEG-2 profiles transmitted in MPEG Transport Streams via 64- and 256-QAM carriers on 6 MHz bands, with PSIP loops in streams rebroadcasting over-the-air content. Prior to that definition, a few cable system were actually literally rebroadcasting the 8 VSB transmissions and OEMs couldn't manufacture equipment which could be guaranteed to be able to tune DTV rebroadcasts on cable. Far more people are going to use the clear QAM channel tuning capabilities that you find in almost all recent model televisions (and which is not required by the FCC) than will ever attempt to tune over-the-air ATSC broadcasts through an antenna.

    Rolling separable security up into the set of standards to which various defined levels of "Digital Cable Ready" equipment had to comply was not particularly useful in making that equipment compliant with cable systems rebroadcasting DTV; channels which can be broadcast in a secure fashion aren't the FCC's main concern in any case. But once that existing requirement to provide a separable security standard became rolled up with the requirement to define a set of standards for rebroadcasting over-the-air DTV, the priority of separable security became elevated to the same level. Nailing down the standards for rebroadcasting DTV over cable was a very high priority indeed, for certain factions of Congress.
     
  8. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    2,883
    486
    Jan 6, 2007
    I do not understand this conclusion you are drawing. Rebroadcasting OTA DTV on cable is currently required to be on basic cable and basic cable cannot be encrypted, so separable security should have no bearing on OTA DTV rebroadcast on cable.

    Separable security, on the other hand, is important if you want to replace the set top box.

    If you want to base your interpretation on QAM and mpg standards being high priority for DTV transition I can understand that, but separable security being high priority because of DTV transition (and by that we mean OTA moving to digital and freed airspace being auctioned off), doesn't make sense, as described above.

    I recognize you have one interpretation of the events regarding separable security. I just have a different interpretation that is also supported by comments from FCC Chairman Martin.

    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-274775A1.pd
     
  9. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
    2
    Jan 2, 2004
    I have a digital OTA antenna hooked up to my TiVoHd and record some HD with it. I do not expect to be affeted in nay way by the loss of analog.

    so make that at least 99.9999999% though I suspect many other smart folks have already moved to digital OTA and more will this year as well.

    I think the digital OTA tunrover will be right up there with Y2K. Sure it is a problem, but just a very few foolish people will be caught by it considering the long lead in time.


    SDV seems to be far more of a problem for folks which is why I had opened this thread ;)
     
  10. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,422
    5
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    Separable security doesn't have any real bearing on the success of the DTV transition and I tried to say that in my previous post ("I certainly did not mean to imply that separable security was any significant part of the solution either"). However, the FCC set down to add stuff to their cable provider regulations which would define the technical details for the delivery of DTV over cable. The FCC asked the cable providers and the CE OEMs to sit down and create a proposal for what that set of standards would be; they required that part of what would be delivered in that proposal be a selection of a mechnanism to implement separable security. Cable and the CE industry contentiously debated this proposal for over two years and finally the FCC held a gun up to their heads, telling them to either come up with the proposal by a certain date or that they (the FCC) would choose a set of the stuff that they'd been discussing and make them live with it. The cable and CE industries came back with the proposal, this document, the famous plug-and-play DTV-over-cable "Memorandum of Understanding", delivered at the end of 2002. The FCC put it out for public comment, mulled those comments over and published their response in this, delivered near the end of 2003, which discusses the issues in detail, draws some conclusions and orders additions and modifications of various sections of the Code of Federal Regulations as overseen by the FCC, most notably CFR Title 47, §76.640, which specifies exactly how digital television shall be broadcast over cable, including requirements that leased cable boxes have DVI-or-HDMI/HDCP and 1394/DTCP connections and that the cable providers support CableCARDs and supply them to their subscribers on demand. (Other modifications to the regulations that came out of this were to CFR Title 47, Part 15, giving a schedule for the incorporation of DVI-or-HDMI/HDCP connections on televisions and defining the retail label "Digital Cable Ready" as meaning essentially clear-QAM-tuning + CableCARD-tuning + HDMI-or-DVI/HDCP-connectivity).

    Separable security was not a particularly important part of this proposal, but it was a required part of the proposal. The proposal itself was very important to Congress, since defining how DTV would be rebroadcast over cable (so that equipment could be manufactured and sold compliant to that definition) was seen as critical to making that smooth transition to DTV (at the time, some 65% of all television viewing in this country was over cable, down to 58% last year, due to market advances made by satellite and the telcos). Once separable security became a required part of that proposal it was elevated to equal importance as the standards for rebroadcasting DTV.

    Martin's comments as quoted by you were just political sound-bite grandstanding BS. His commission (chaired by someone else at the time) was ordered by Congress to expedite the creation of a standard for separable cable security in 1996--six years later they got one and codified cable provider and CE manufacturer support for it into FCC regs a year after that. Basically, they only acheived this by attaching it as a requirement to something else that was by far more important. Four years into the "age of separable security" one could argue that it's had pretty much no effect on commerce, having been poorly supported by the cable industry and consequently nearly completely abandoned by the CE industry. (Of course, one good thing that came from it was that it made one of our favorite toys possible, TiVo Series3 :D).
     
  11. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    2,069
    362
    May 15, 2002
    I agree with everything you said in your previous posts, right up until that last point. The S3 didn't need CableCards. Tivo could have come to agreements with cable companies, like they are right now, that would have put the proprietary interface inside the box. Maybe there would have been different flavors of the S3, or maybe the S3 would be the same but the dongle would be rented/purchased separately, or maybe it would simply be different versions of software all using the same hardware. (It's not like SDV, VOD, or PPV are new technologies. For the cable companies to be deploying SDV NOW, that means it was thought of a few years back when the S3 was being developed.)

    Is that difficult to do? Yes, but not impossible. Most other CE companies simply gave up when it was clear no one really wanted CableCards. Mainly because they weren't profitable. And based on Tivo's financial health, they were right.

    OCAP sounds promising, as it is at least field upgradeable and the CE companies don't have to be bothered with doing the upgrading. But unless D*, E*, AT&T, and FIOS also use OCAP, I suspect it won't take off either. CE companies have to charge consumers for putting that into their devices plus a little more for profit. Cable companies don't.
     
  12. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
    2
    Jan 2, 2004
    to be clearer - TV sets really did not need cable cards to sell the set. Most people were fine with the idea of hooking a box up to it since it was just a HDMI or component connection anyhow. That was part of the cable card low rate of use. Cable company could say we do not have many cards or else give a half hearted try on the TV and then offer a set top box - no loss of functionality on the TV save for figuring out remote control stuff, which only real geeks worried about too much anyway. so the TV makers dropped cable card slots or made little mention of them. Now the hardware for OCAP on the TV back when was enough cost to have the CEs push back and say why do we wnat that cost - give the customer a set top box.
    The only companies that really cared about cable cards or OCAP were DVR makers that wanted to record two things at the same time without a nasty and error prone rig setup. So TiVo has been working out how to run OCAP on some chips and bring the cost of including OCAP in a TiVo way down. It has learned how to deal with an OCAP like environment by using a subset of OCAP in the Comcast TiVo port. TiVo seems ready to line up with Comcast and support tru2way as the way forward to easy interoperability. Of course that is with nno initial regard to Sat. providers which TiVo really has no way to work with in a standardsbased way save for Direct or DISH proprietary. Dish and Direct have no incentiv right now to cretae some more open standard and have to compete directly with cable or FIOS in some easy to switch world for the consumer
     
  13. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    2,883
    486
    Jan 6, 2007
    The context of that quote was analog OTA moving to digital OTA. You already have digital so aren't in that group.
     
  14. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    2,883
    486
    Jan 6, 2007
    We are in agreement with about 90% of what you said. The main point of contention is the reasoning for the forced separable security. You feel the stated goal of competition and innovative products is grandstanding and I feel that was and is the purpose of the separable security.
     
  15. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    2,657
    1
    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    The statistic should have been more clear then. Is it "15% of people currently use analog OTA" or "15% use OTA in any form"?

    From where does this 15% number come from?
     
  16. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

    2,484
    2
    Jan 17, 2004
    Carrollton,...
    Also, is the 15% EXCLUSIVELY use OTA?

    Strictly annecdotal, but I've had several friends, who are middle to upper income, drop directTV/cable completely when they discovered the quality of OTA digital. These were not techno/audio/home theater-files, but regular folks. I don't know if this is indicative of anything, but I thought it was intesting. In one case, they had put up a small antenna in the attic to be able to use an under the kitchen cabinet LCD TV without a set top box (which would have been larger than the TV). They got better reception from OTA than cable for the shows they watch and dropped cable.

    al
     
  17. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,422
    5
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    It's a bit harsh to call it altogether "grandstanding". When an elegant solution to separable security is adopted (DCAS), it will become something of an aid to innovation and competition (to call unidirectional S-Cards such was pure BS grandstanding :D). A strong desire for that innovation and competition was not the reason that they were forced to adopt a technology when they did, which was arguably premature. They were forced because Congress and the FCC wanted that DTV-over-cable agreementm primarily for all the other stuff in it. If you really think that anyone in the FCC gave a damn one way or another when separable security was delivered (and to my mind, a workable, useful separable security system still hasn't been delivered), then we'll just have to agree to disagree. Peace :).
     
  18. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,422
    5
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    That 10-15% is just something that gets bandied about in the discussion of the consequences of the upcoming analog television drop, which will hit people dependent upon legacy analog over-the-air television hardest.

    Googling "percentage of households using over-the-air television" I found "Estimating TV over-the-air households", a mildly interesting read.
     
  19. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    2,657
    1
    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    Interesting read, thanks for the link.

    Since it doesn't break out, one can safely assume that some percentage (and maybe a quite large one based on the HDTV blip at the end) are exclusive digital OTA.

    Regardless, the cutoff will certainly leave a very small minority of folks out in the cold without a converter box. Both them and the portion of SDV-impacted Tivo users (also a very small minority) have the FCC to thank for a solution. :)
     
  20. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    The Consumer Electronics Association published a report indicating that at the end of 2005 12% of US household use OTA only, and that 6% used satellite and OTA combined, making 18% total. However, another report (which I can't find now) indicated that 40% of these TV sets already had ATSC tuners, meaning the affected households would be closer to 11%. And that is 2005 data. I would imagine that the percent of TVs with ATSC tuners has grown since then.

    I would bet that the affected population is less than 10%.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements