Tivo Series 3 and Dual Cable Card Question

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by mlear, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Jan 6, 2006 #1 of 15
    mlear

    mlear New Member

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    I saw the articles posted from CES regarding the Series 3 Tivo, and I saw the 2 cable card slots in the photos.

    I'm a little confused by this, and it's most likely due to my unfamiliarity of cable card devices... are individual cable cards a technological requirement to "unencrypt/tune" two distinct individual channels simultaneously?

    I'm thinking back to the DirecTV integrated dual tuner Tivo unit, which used the P3/P4 smart card. If I remember correctly, the device only required a single card yet it could record 2 shows simultaneously.

    My cable company (Cablevision - NJ) provides (for a rental fee) a set top box to receive their "IO" packages - mainly it's digital television (but not necessarily HD).
    These set top boxes (STBs) also take a smart card (and not a cable card). The latest box being offered to subscribers is a Scientific Atlanta 8300 series DVR, and it also only requires a single card to record two shows simultaneously.

    Is there a "gap" in the cable card standard such that it only allows autentication/encryption from a single channel? It seems to me that if the technology exists via the smart card interface, that the Cable card should have also included this capability...

    Sorry for the brain dump / potentially dumb question, but seeing the back of the Series 3 (prototype) made me think of this.

    Any ideas/thoughts?

    Thanks!

    -Matt
     
  2. Jan 6, 2006 #2 of 15
    Steve_Martin

    Steve_Martin Grandminion

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    Orange...
    Yes, with current technology 1.0 CableCards you need one for each tuner. I have read that the 2.0 version of CableCard will support multiple streams, thus requiring only a single card.
     
  3. Jan 6, 2006 #3 of 15
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    A cable card is different from a smart card.

    a smart card authenticates the device and from there they can do whatever internally to record the signal. it is their box.

    a cable card is to go in any generic device and includes the tuner as well so the Host does not have to provide the tuner.

    CC 1 is strictly a single tuner
    multituner lives in some limbo between CC 1 and the full CC 2 spec of also allowing bidrectional from the host. Not sure what to call multituner after the last few days of posts.

    you may want to note the many threads on series 3 (oops 2) here that has a lot of discussion of this
     
  4. Jan 6, 2006 #4 of 15
    Steve_Martin

    Steve_Martin Grandminion

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    Orange...
    Don't you mean Series 3?
     
  5. Jan 6, 2006 #5 of 15
    mlear

    mlear New Member

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    Dec 14, 2002
    Thanks for the responses.

    I knew that Cable Cards (today) were only 1 direction - hence no PPV or sports packages.

    I'm surprised though that at the very least, you wouldnt be able to decrypt more than one station at a time. regardless of who owns the hardware/box, the cable card (or smart card for that matter) still has to have the valid "tiers" information, i.e., what stations you are allowed to receive. Why shouldn't you be able to simultaneously query the card to decrypt stations?

    Also, my apologies... I wasn't aware that other folks had asked a similar question in the various Series 3 threads. I did read through most of those threads, but I did not see anything specifically dealing with this question/issue. (I do believe everyone that said it's been mentioned before)

    Do you have any info / links on the proposed CC2.0 standard? I'm wondering if the current CC 1.0 designed devices would be able to use the new standard (same pinouts, etc) or if yet another round of hardware upgrades would be necessary.

    Thanks! I'm learning something new every day!

    -Matt
     
  6. Jan 6, 2006 #6 of 15
    HogarthNH

    HogarthNH DirecTV Addict

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    Somewhere, OK
    http://www.opencable.com/specifications/

    Same hardware interface.
    Oh, and CC2.0 cards must be able to be plugged into CC1.0 devices and still provide CC1 functions.

    H
     
  7. Jan 6, 2006 #7 of 15
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Northern...
    It's all here:
    http://www.opencable.com/

    But to answer your question ...

    The multistream cards and single stream cards are compatible / interchangeable.

    In fact ... if you look at the CES pictures ...

    There are slots for two single-stream cards. However, the bottom slot allows for a multi-stream card instead.

    Cable companies right now are only deploying the single-stream cards. So ... you'd want to get two cards.

    But they have said that they expect to be deploying multi-stream cards by mid-year ... in which case you could pull out the two single stream cards and give them back to your cable company and insert the new multi stream card.
     
  8. Jan 6, 2006 #8 of 15
    Dennis Wilkinson

    Dennis Wilkinson Active Member

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    East...
    A CableCARD is not a tuner, it's a conditional access device. The host brings one or more tuners to the party, but what gets tuned may be encrypted. The CableCARD provides the decryption.

    There are 1.0 cards which are uni-directional and support only one stream at a time and 1.0 cards which are uni-directional and support mulitple streams (or will be soon, anyway). It's not clear if any card changes are needed for both bi-directional and multi-stream capable (i.e. OpenCable 2.0 Hosts), but I haven't looked at that spec in a bit.

    Think about it -- if the CableCARD provided the tuner, then you wouldn't be able to record in-the-clear cable broadcasts without the card, either.
     
  9. Jan 6, 2006 #9 of 15
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Northern...
    Correct
    Uni-directional vs. bi-directional has nothing to do with the cards either ...

    There are single-stream cards (SCards) which are currently being deployed.

    There are multi-stream cards (MCards) which cable has said they "expect" to start deploying mid-year.

    Either of these can be plugged into:

    A uni-directional host (for which the specs are closed, finalized, completed, and everything is supported by the cable company).

    A bi-directional host (for which the specs aren't closed, finalized, nor completed, nor are they supported by the cable company yet ... although cable has said they should be by 2008 ... but the CEA says they don't like the specs ... and there really hasn't been much agreement / compromise).

    You don't need a different card for bi-directional functionality.
     
  10. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004

    you are right, I was just using generic terms. now while we are on it then it has bugged me - why only one stream at first and then multistream ? what technical hurdle had to be overcome ?
     
  11. mlear

    mlear New Member

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    Dec 14, 2002
    That's kind of what I was driving at. If multi-stream=decrypt simultaneous channels, the smart cards have supported this for some time - I'm surprised it wasn't part of the initial Cable Card 1.0 standard.

    Also, thanks for the links to the CC specs. I'm gonna check those out.

    -Matt
     
  12. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Ontario Canada.
    accuretly, a smartcard negotiates access keys, for use by the decryption device built into the STB. Cablecard brings that decryption device into a removeable portable unit. (in a nutshell, I know it is a little more complex than that.)
    Not so. The CC module issued by the cable company is NOT a tuner, but purely and access device. The tuner is part of the device in which the CableCard is fitted.
    The word is multistream.

    Current CC1.0 supports one stream, one direction.
    Later this year, something with multistream is expected.
    Later still, 2.0 (with feedback) is expected.
     
  13. Dennis Wilkinson

    Dennis Wilkinson Active Member

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    East...
    Smart cards only (helps) supply keys, they don't do the decryption. In a host that uses smart cards, the decryption logic is embedded in/associated with the tuner, and the same keys get provided to each one. In a CableCard, the decryption logic is on the card itself, implying higher bandwidth requirements for the card interface plus requiring the card itself to handle more than one stream.
     
  14. HawaiiMICT

    HawaiiMICT New Member

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    Feb 6, 2008
    To all my fellow TiVo users,

    I didn't even have it an entire year, thanks to Time Warner. Apparently Time Warner did something to their network which does not allow the cable cards to accept HD channels, I'm talking all HD channels, even if you wanted to pay for the HD channels. They are claiming that it is because the cable cards can only stream in one direction. Well I called TiVo and it's out of their hands and possibly back to court... one day. The way I see it the only way TiVo is going to win this battle is to buy the $%&#! cable companies and take over the world, hey Starbucks did it why can't TiVo. Here is the kicker as much as it pains me to bad mouth TiVo they are going to charge me for the remainder of the year (2 months of service) even though they are unable to provide what they initially said they would, which was HD on TiVo. So I'm pissed off at both TW and TiVo.

    Best of luck to the rest of you, Aloha. :mad:
     
  15. TriBruin

    TriBruin Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Dec 10, 2003
    Bartlett, IL
    Before you give up, I encourage you to search on Switch Digital Video or SDV. This is a known limitation of Tivo. It has been since the S3 first came almost 2 years ago.

    Fortunately Tivo and the Cable Cos. have come up with a solution called a Tuner resolver. I know that Comcast is testing it and, I believe TW, is also testing it. This will solve your problem.
     

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