TiVo confirms SDV dongle for 2Q 2008

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

  1. Nov 26, 2007 #61 of 456
    acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Why wouldn't they make the price the same as their own DVR?

    The FCC made a recomendation that the price of cable cards be nominal, but, as far as I can tell, have not enforced any pricing constraints. We see a wide range of prices now. Verizon, for example, charges for all cable cards (no freebees) and just announced a price increase for the beginning of the year. They also don't plan on having M-cards before the end of Q1.

    I have seen NO recomendation on price or requirement to carry the dongles from the FCC. Why would the cable companies price to dongles to give an advantage to their DVR competition? I just don't see it.

    Al
     
  2. Nov 26, 2007 #62 of 456
    CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    Only if they perceive that being "nice" with the resolver will forestall regulatory heat to open up the other two-way features (PPV, VOD) to third-party devices without the current OCAP requirements (that are not acceptable to the CE vendors such as TiVo).
     
  3. Nov 26, 2007 #63 of 456
    ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

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    Perhaps they would be one per digital outlet, not one per CableCARD. After all, S3 users need 1 of these, not 2... Let's keep our fingers crossed that we don't get charged for however many we need.

    .../Ed
     
  4. Nov 26, 2007 #64 of 456
    ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

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    The Moto's also have more than one software providers.
     
  5. Nov 26, 2007 #65 of 456
    JoeSchueller

    JoeSchueller New Member

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    In Cincinnati, on TWC, it started as one (ESPN2HD) but is now up to 7 and in my BBB complaint, TWC's response was essentially: "F you, not only is ESPN2HD not available to UDCP devices, but EVERY HD station we launch in the future is going to be on SDV."

    Personally, this issue has been a major source of frustration since leaving D* and purchasing a TiVo HD this summer. As one poster stated, this does feel about 9 months late (if it is on time). Ironically, I was about to contact my municipal government about breaking the TWC franchise agreement based on their inability to rise to the level of customer satisfaction in our area. I still believe some actual competition is the key to solving these issues, but this announcement makes me feel like I won't have to succeed at that extreme action just to see new HD channels.

    Unfortunately, it is just vaporware until one is hooked to my TiVo HD and actually working. Here's to hoping!
     
  6. Nov 26, 2007 #66 of 456
    acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Do you see any indications that the FCC is considering any type of pressure? Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see the FCC as being very consumer oriented.

    Al
     
  7. Nov 26, 2007 #67 of 456
    Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

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    I thought the same thing (that it would be like one great big DVR). I just found it clunky. I was exaggerating about the initial categories but if you subscribe to HBO, Skinemax, Showtime, etc. and are looking for a movie you really don't care which channel carries it just if you can get it.

    To me it would have been better to do it this way:
    - PPV
    - Included with subscription
    - All

    and under each of those just common categories and -maybe- the alphabet:
    - Comedy
    - Drama
    - Horror

    The idea being that if you're looking for a movie you really don't care where it comes from (HBO, Cinemax, PPV (maybe because you're paying extra for it), etc.) you just want to find a movie to watch. The branding / affiliation gets in the way to me. If they want to put in paranthesis that it came from HBO, that's fine, but it being on HBO has no bearing except on whether I subscribe to HBO. If I do, just show it in the list. If I don't, I don't need to see it.

    I think they keep it there so that you'll see, "Oh, HBO has some movies I may want to see..." It's kind of the same logic on them keeping all of the channels there in your guide regardless of whether you subscribe to them or not. I find it just gets in my way.
     
  8. Nov 26, 2007 #68 of 456
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I don't know how you could say something that ignorant. Consumer advocacy is a large portion of the FCC's reason for existence. Arguably, this forum wouldn't exist without the efforts of the FCC, because TiVo S3 and TiVo HD wouldn't exist because CableCARDs wouldn't exist. If the FCC hadn't created a requirement that they provide separable conditional access (back 1986), the cable industry would not have created CableLabs. If the FCC had not strongly pushed the cable and CE industries, they never would have completed the specification for CableCARD and CableCARD Host and if the FCC had not enacted regulations requiring the cable providers to stock and distribute cable cards I'm guessing that none of them would be doing it today.

    Under an ill-conceived provision in the regs meant to help them counter increasingly effective competition from DBS and the telcos, many providers are wriggling out from under rate regulations. But if they get greedy and start charging arbitrarily high fees for something like this tuning resolver (which will probably cost them less than $30 each in relatively small lots) they will doom themselves to increased rate regulation.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2007 #69 of 456
    zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    They should make it part of the digital outlet fee. They are competing against satellite after all with their latest increased HD offerings and this is the fastest way to get there.
     
  10. Nov 26, 2007 #70 of 456
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    The FCC (like Congress, which tells the FCC what to do) responds to lobbying from big business. Sometimes consumers benefit - it's always nice when that happens - but don't confuse that with being pro-consumer.

    Take a simple example, cable TV competition in apartment buildings. The FCC recently banned exclusive deals. A pro-consumer action, but why now? Why not ten years ago? Only because some very large companies (Verizon, AT&T) asked for it. Consumers are not in the picture.
     
  11. Nov 26, 2007 #71 of 456
    bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Ah, there is the rub. The FCC today, thanks to Kevin Martin, is a much different beast.
     
  12. Nov 26, 2007 #72 of 456
    dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

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    +1
     
  13. Nov 26, 2007 #73 of 456
    acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    I'm sorry you consider me ignorant (BTW, I don't remember calling you names), but I'm basing my statement on observation of recent (in)action. As to your statement on the cable cards, I believe it was Congress that enacted the regulation and the FCC allowed the cable operators 10 years to begin deployment. That's not exactly what I would call strong enforcement but maybe you disagree. We've had people reporting that in some areas two cable cards, and sometimes one cable card, costs more than the cable company DVR. I don't see any reason for the dongle to not be equivalently priced.

    But then maybe I am ignorant (or so ignorant that I don't know I'm ignorant). Can you site an example where the FCC inforce a low price for cable cards? I'm willing to concede your point if you have examples.

    Al
     
  14. Nov 26, 2007 #74 of 456
    jercra

    jercra New Member

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    VOD category structures are mostly the way they are for 2 reasons. The first is that you need a way to restrict content based on subscriptions. The easiest, and often only way possible, is to segregate that content into seperate categories or virtual channels. The other primary reason is that the cable company does not have control over much of the category structure. HBO, Sho, etc will dictate to the cable co how they want their categories set up. It's less malicious than you may suspect but it still doesn't help solve your issue. A universal browse/search feature for VOD seems to be what you are after. This exists on Moxi boxes and that's about it.
     
  15. Nov 26, 2007 #75 of 456
    MonroeEfford

    MonroeEfford New Member

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    Also have TimeWarner in Cincy. I informed them that I would be shortpaying my bill by $6.95 per month (the HD package) until they offer ALL the same channels with my Cablecard/S3 as they do on their own set tops. We'll see if they have the "bal*s" to turn off my service. I told them I don't want to cancel what I'm already getting...I just want everything that the "standard" customer gets who is paying the uplift. My guess is that they'd rather keep the $100 plus per month they are getting from me now. When they offer the dongle, they will get their $6.95/month back. It shocks me that more people do not stand up for what is right!
     
  16. Nov 26, 2007 #76 of 456
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I didn't call you a name--I said that I considered your opinion of the FCC's purpose to be an ignorant one, which is not the same thing as name calling. Anyone can state an opinion belying ignorance now and then without being a generally ignorant person and I didn't mean to imply that you were one. You were obviously offended--I apologize. I was just dumbfounded by your blanket claim that the FCC was not pro-consumer.

    The FCC like all other Federal commission for adminstration law is driven in part by current and past acts of Congress; it was created and empowered by acts of Congress, and when Congress wants something to change vis-a-vis a telecommunications-related industry, they task the FCC to do it. Their work which resulted in CableCARDs was driven by Section 304 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (I said 1986, a typo). The FCC did drive the process of forcing cable to get together with the CE industry to define CableCARD and the FCC did enact regulations forcing the cable industry to provide them to consumers (specifically in the Appendix B of this document, beginning on PDF page 40). No direct act of Congress was involved after that piece of the Telecomm reform act, though various Congressmen did apply pressure to the FCC to "get 'er done" after separable security become intertwined with Plug-and-Play DTV-over-cable, precious to Congress as part of ensuring a smooth digital television transition, from which they hope to reap billions of dollars in auctioned-off bandwidth from the current analog channels.

    I'm not trying to claim that they're exactly pro-consumer, but some of their charter quite definitely is. They've on-and-off regulated cable television rates throughout the existence of the cable television industry. (People talk about how the FCC is vulnerable to lobbying, but the cable industry itself is a multi-billion dollar concern with a powerful lobby and they've been pushed in many directions they didn't want to go by the FCC). The FCC is also chartered with goals which are pro-industry, and the draft much regulation intended to prevent cable, DBS or the telecos from dominating the others in any way that would result in financial ruin for any of them. If appealed to, I don't believe that they'd allow cable providers to charge usurious fees for the use of a piece of equipment of negible cost. CableCARD (and this tuning resolver) don't help the situation that the Telecomm Act of 1996 was trying to address if the cable providers are allowed to charge the same amount as they were charging for STBs for far less expensive pieces of equipment.
     
  17. Nov 26, 2007 #77 of 456
    Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

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    I don't think it's malicious, just dumb and cumbersome. It interesting enough to me when I first saw it that I said, "Ok, I can just watch any movie I want any time I want, hook me up with the premium package," to the cable company. Then I noticed, while I thought it was a great idea, that in use I'd rarely use it because it was just a pain to find things. I didn't know if 'Spiderman' was playing on Max, HBO, etc. I just wanted to watch it.

    Even when they'd run their little 1/4 picture "What's OnDemand"-right now video in the corner I'd see something and they'd rattle off how to get to it and I'd get down a level or two and then forget where else I needed to go. By then they were rattling off about something else.

    It just went from 'Wow - I may not really need a DVR' to 'this is too much trouble,' really quickly.

    Thanks for your input, though. Could be that I just have a low-tolerance for these things as no one else seems to be complaining.
     
  18. Nov 26, 2007 #78 of 456
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Nah, not that much. It surely won't be more expensive than CableCard rentals.
     
  19. Nov 26, 2007 #79 of 456
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I disagree. They have to answer to the franchising authorities vis a vis pricing. They'll catch heck if they don't keep the pricing within certain bounds.
     
  20. Nov 26, 2007 #80 of 456
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering now if there will need to be 1 dongle per CableCard? Hopefully not especially as S3s still don't support M-Cards.

    Also other thing I'm curious about is the channel maps. Currently my cable company has different channel maps for CableCard versus digital set top box users. In anticipation of SDV rollout some channels are not defined in the channel maps for CableCard users but they are for digital set top box users. Will the cable company have to create a separate channel map for CableCard+dongle users now or have the ability to specify to use digital box channel maps instead for CableCard+dongle users?
     

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