TiVo confirms SDV dongle for 2Q 2008

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

  1. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    'Well put. 'Very succinct.

    The thing is, who cares? A DVR, and especially a TiVo makes VOD almost completely moot, and iPPV is pushed 'way down the list. With nothing but an STB, they're very nearly core features, but on a TiVo they are pretty much just bells and whistles. For me personally they are a bell I'll likely never ring and a whistle I won't blow. Of course no matter what, extra features are always nice, but the fact a Model T was only available in black did not prevent millions of people buying them despite the fact the vast majority would have preferred some other color.

    I'm concerned a great deal more with the avenue the industry will take as it moves forward and compatibility with the technology on that avenue. The dongle makes that even more problematical.
     
  2. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    None of the involved license documents was written on stone and brought down from the mount by Moses--there are procedures for changing their terms encoded in the license documents themselves. Connection of this tuning resolver would seem on the face of it to modify a device such that it no longer qualifies as being "unidirectional" since it now has a capability, however limited, to speak back to the network. Does it invalidate its existing licensing to use DFAST? Since CableLabs is fully involved with this thing, in the end I think that they can do whatever they decide that they want to do, particularly since any modification of existing granted licenses would be to ease restrictions and not add new ones; the licensees could hardly object.
     
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    True enough, but the fact just illustrates my point. The basic idea was proposed in the late 1970s and serious intra-industry negotiations began in the early 1980s. They quickly became a series of pissing matches, however, despite strident promises from MSOs, CATV hardware manufacturers, and TV manufacturers that they would come up with a means of separable security within months. The SCTE publications were abuzz with glowing predictions which never panned out for so long it became a perennial joke.

    And again this illustrates my point. If the FCC were really anyone's advocate - or even just worthwhile - they would have stepped in without Congress' mandate and long before digital systems became heavily embedded. I would have been impressed if a (more acceptable) proposal similar to OCAP had been mandated by the FCC in 1987. In 2007, I would be nonplussed had they actually stepped up to the plate. As it is, I'm mostly disgusted.

    Yes, but none of that existed when the FCC was created. The OP used the phrase "large portion of the FCC's reason for existence". This suggests it is a major reason for its being created, which is to say they were there from its inception in 1934. They weren't. In addition, although this is perhaps splitting hairs, there is a difference between the charter of an organization and it's actions. The fact the FCC may have enacted regulations to an effect does not mean that effect is a major part and parcel of their reason for being.

    That said, I don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is no question the FCC has had some positive influences on the situation at hand. It's just they are due plenty of criticism along with the acclaim, and their response has been anything but speedy.

    I dispute that. There is no question these regulations are at best paternalistic in this context, but I submit it is very likely the long term result is more receivers being purchased which in turn benefits the manufacturers. Far too often manufacturers are penny wise and pound foolish, and I think it very likely this is one of those times, or would have been assuming the manufacturers did not include those features without the FCC rulings.

    Admittedly the point is largely academic, unless you happen to have a 100% accurate crystal ball on hand. Nonetheless, I think the case can be made for the notion that legislation which benefits consumers can have positive effect on the manufacturers despite it not benefitting them directy.
     
  4. JakiChan

    JakiChan New Member

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    It...annoys...me that after making us all go through this cable card mess (that THEY created) they want to do something else. I wonder if this will be a "dongle" type solution or if we'll need to buy "TivoHD2" in a few years...
     
  5. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    That's a good metric, but watch which way it trends over time. Also, watch which customers are subscribing versus un-subscribing. Note that Comcast lost "basic-cable" subscribers -- that's not necessarily a bad thing if most of those were responding to increases in the price of lifeline cable, a money-loser for cable companies.

    Another note about this: Ostensibly, I can interpret your message as an assertion that competition is working. Customers are choosing between the available competitors, based on their perception of relative value and the corresponding price at which each competitor offers service. There is no reason, therefore, to be concerned about pricing for the dongle: Let the market decide. Rest assured that companies will respond to customers taking their money away and giving it to the company's competitors.
     
  6. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    What a remarkable idea!

    :D
     
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    And it still isn't the FCC's job. The FCC's job (like that of many similar federal agencies) is to strike a balance between industry and consumers, NOT favor one or the other. And that balance is necessarily skewed in accordance with the prevailing political sentiment in this country. And as I've mentioned several times already, that's been distinctly pro-business for the last 28 years (Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush). Even the Democrats are pro-business these days. If you want the FCC to skew towards consumers more, then you're going to need to get people like Kennedy or Pelosi elected far more widely. I don't see that happening.

    Perhaps, and if there is blame, surely it rests solely with the FCC. However, there may not even be any blame. This quagmire may be exactly what is appropriate given our citizenry's two-faced perspective: Folks generally want taxes to apply to everyone except themselves, traffic lights to always be green in the direction they're going, jails located in everyone else's neighborhood, and regulations to apply to all industries except the ones they invest in. That's why there really never was any consensus with respect to separable security -- folks knew what some folks wanted it to accomplish, but there was never a consensus that that end-result should be mandated in the first place. So the result is a necessarily vague and practically unenforcible regulation, which is useful for little more than a basis for angry indignation by consumers.
     
  8. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    actually, its the other way around. You dont really need a dvr anymore with VOD. The only thing i record these days on my dvr is primetime shows which theyve been starting to add to VOD as well. I cant remember the last time i recorded a movie or anything on the dvr. no reason to, its on demand.
     
  9. MickeS

    MickeS Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I'm guessing that VOD is the way of the future. It certainly makes sense from a bandwidth perspective, if they would replace all channels with VOD and instead have a flat subscription fee a la Rhapsody.
     
  10. HiDefGator

    HiDefGator New Member

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    You might be out of step with most VOD users. I can't record every show on HBO, SHO, etc. But I can see them all with VOD. I would have to disagree that Tivo makes VOD useless.
     
  11. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    Saying "you don't really need a DVR anymore" is ridiculous. Feel free to say "I don't really need a DVR anymore" if your viewing habbits are satisfied by VOD.

    But *I* watch tons of live sports and I love being able to watch two games at once by going back and forth from tuner to tuner and rewinding to catch big plays I missed.

    *I* watch tons of shows that are not offered on VOD.

    *I* don't get VOD in HD here. It's in some kind of 480 resolution that looks worse than DVD.

    *I* hate the VOD interface. It's unresponsive and litterally locks up about every 3rd time I use it.

    *I* don't always wait till the next day to watch something. Oftentimes, I start watching a show about 30 minutes after it starts so I can FFWD through comercials.

    So yeah... *you* might think VOD is a DVR replacement. But *I* don't.
     
  12. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    On the systems I've been on there's been very little HD in VOD and the HD VOD that I have watched (2 or 3 movies, including Shrek 2 and The Island) were definitely PQ-compromised on VOD. Rarely more than 10 HD VOD titles have been offered at once, with half of them being IMAX stuff and obscure feature films. Until just recently, there's been no HD Subscription VOD--just Pay-Per-Viewing-Period stuff (Cox has added Starz HD On Demand a couple of months back). Also VOD response to commands has been extremely sluggish with only a single speed of FF and REW, being far too fast for pinpoint access to scenes. It just hasn't been "ready-for-primetime" IMHO.

    Support for SD VOD is much better, with hundreds of programs available at all times and dozens of episodes of series on the SVOD channels (like Dexter on Showtime On Demand), but I'm not interested in watching SD video. The only time I'd use that stuff if I had access to it is if I missed an episode of something and most of that is endlessly repeated during the week on the linear HD channel.

    It may well have improved. The sluggish response is caused by distribution issues--if all VOD is served out of a central office servicing all real-time demands from all current VOD users it can't help but have response-time issues. The headend equipment providers sell equipment allowing VOD content to be automatically migrated to neighborhood boxes when ordered and served from there (and linger there until space is needed, so that it might already be there when ordered). It's been probably a 1.5 years since I last tried it, so it may all be much better now. Certainly the list of offerings supposedly currently available on Starz On Demand HD seems very interesting; if I leased a cable provider STB, I'd probably subscribe to Starz to be able to use that.
     
  13. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    They're somewhat comparable means of doing the same thing, though each places control in a slightly different location.

    Someone with TiVo probably has little use for VOD. Though TiVo does require the user to know in advance of the desire to see a program so that it can be scheduled to record, explicitly or by wishlist or season pass.

    Someone with VOD doesn't necessarily have much use for TiVo -- except that one still needs to navigate through all the offerings as opposed to being able to "subscribe" to the programs of interest and receive suggestions based on individual preferences -- and VOD is useless for any content that isn't available via VOD, thus still making a TiVo necessary.

    If too many people use VOD simultaneously it won't be able to support the demand and someone will not see what they want when they want. SDV also has a certain risk to it of the same thing happening.
     
  14. HiDefGator

    HiDefGator New Member

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    There is no reason to see them as mutually exclusive. The people I know with both, make full use of both Tivo and VOD.
     
  15. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

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    Yeah but I can certainly see someone think further about it: "If each channel offered it's own VOD service then I could just get whatever I wanted whenever I wanted..."

    I get where they're coming from. I think people forget about filtering, though. After setting up TiVo to record your favorite shows you don't have to go back through a huge tree/list *everytime* you want to watch a show and go find the next episode. It's just there in your own personal list.

    I've outlined my problems with VOD in a previous thread but the short of it for me was: Great idea. Poor interface/organization.
     
  16. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    (I responded to this earlier this morning but must have deleted it by accident. Oh well).

    Since DCAS requires a special-purpose processor in the host, mounted in a physically and electronically secure fashion, it cannot be affixed with a bandage like this SDV tuning resolver. Don't worry--once they roll out DCAS, they'll still have to support CableCARD, so you won't have to buy "Tivo HD2" if you don't want one.

    Again, though they paid for the R&D which developed CableCARD, the cable industry never wanted to agree to use it. They were forced by the FCC's final deadlines. Arguably without those deadlines they might never have found any solution to be to their liking, including DCAS, which took an additional couple of years for them to come up with.

    Having mandated support of CableCARD in the regulations, the FCC also gave them a deadline of mid-2005 to stop buying new STBs with built-in security and start buying ones that require CableCARDs to enable use of conditional access services. Cable protested that they needed more time to complete the specification for OCAP and test it (M-Card was more or less ready on time) and, over the vigorous objection of the consumer electronics industry, they were granted a two year extension. When the end of that extension rolled around this year, they begged for more time so that they could complete DCAS and eventually be able to get rid of CableCARDs altogether, but the FCC turned down that request. Since July, cable has been expanding their stock of STBs with things like the new SA Explorer 8xxxC and 8xxxHDC boxes, which need M-Cards installed to work.
     
  17. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    I was replying to the other guy who said dvr makes vod useless. Sounds like your VOD is crap though. You dont get HD, it locks up on you, etc. I do see the advantage if your watching sports, thats a good point. But the rest of yours pretty much point to you have crappy cable with crappy content. Once all the primetime shows are on demand, i really wont have a use for one. And ya, that is *my* needs for a dvr. We all have different expectations and needs for a dvr.
     
  18. JoeSchueller

    JoeSchueller New Member

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    Sorry, but I disagree. While I agree with the premise that the war or curing cancer are truly "serious," to many here, we take this stuff seriously in our own lives. Home theater and gadgets are one of my hobbies and activities that I choose to spend my hard-earned money on, and I like to feel like I'm getting the best service I can. In this case, the CableCo's using SDV to lock consumers to their devices felt like a very serious screwing over after I just forked over $600 for a new TiVo and service. The fact that in some markets TWC launched SDV using ESPN2HD on the day college football kicked off made that screwing hurt just a little more. I think a monopoly that uses public right-of-way's and franchising agreements to maintain their monopoly owes the public a little more than that sort of anti-consumer behavior. That feels serious to me. Not hunger or Middle East peace serious, but serious enough.
    I agree the features make it an excellent choice over the CableCo's offerings, but my personal view is that this is seriously hurting my viewing pattern. DirtyJobs, DeadliestCatch, and MythBusters make up a significant chunk of my viewing and they are only available on SDV channels in my market. This is a major dissatisfier and it feels like I truly am "missing out on" quite a bit.

    I respectfully disagree. I think this is too late, and TiVo is partly to blame. There's no communication about SDV and UDCP restrictions when you look at TiVo marketing for the device. Unless you're versed in this forum, consumers are going to get that new TiVo box installed (after great pain with their CableCo) only to find out they have access to substantially fewer linear HD channels than they did before.

    I don't mean to be inflammatory towards TiVo (and kick off the firestorm that creates in TiVoCommunity)- I feel the CableCo's are the worst example of predatory monopolies we've seen in several generations. However, doesn't TiVo owe consumers some sort of "heads up" that this could be a big issue and won't be resolved for (at least) another 6 months?
     
  19. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    Ya, i agree that tivo needs to put some kind of disclaimer out there. The cable companies have them on their websites.
     
  20. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    I can sympathize with Tivo not doing so - why put up a red flag at the risk of losing sales when the issue is not very widespread yet (looking at the whole Tivo potential customer base, not focusing on certain markets)? I'm not saying I agree, but I do understand reluctance to do so. If/when they get bombarded with returns due to this issue then the disclaimer would probably become necessary.
     

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