TIVO Series 3 lite vs Today's TIVO S3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by dtsfanohio, May 31, 2007.

  1. Jun 1, 2007 #61 of 101

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005


    You must have cable card support as you can't record (at a reasonable price) HD using an external Cable Co HD box feeding a TiVo.
  2. Jun 1, 2007 #62 of 101

    snathanb New Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    SDV is just a fancy name for a video-based application that uses IGMP (Internet Group Messaging protocol). And there are standards in place for IGMP. And lots and lots of equipment on the market for that.
  3. Jun 1, 2007 #63 of 101

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    It is all of the messaging protocols between the STB and the headend that we are talking about here not simple network protocols.
  4. Jun 1, 2007 #64 of 101

    Lensman Member

    Dec 22, 2001
    Hoboken, NJ...
    They could just not include an HDMI cable and knock $89.95 off the retail price. :) :) :)

    Heck, for the price conscious they could eliminate all cables.

    I agree with those who think they'll lop off the OTA tuner, the network connector (and MRV and TTG), and maybe to go one cablecard slot. Oh, also a cheaper remote.

    While they're at it they could make it ugly and made from cheap injection molded plastic.

    To reduce reliability, they could eliminate the fan too.

    Wait, they could just get Motorola to make the devices!
  5. Jun 1, 2007 #65 of 101

    rmassey Damn, these are fun!

    Sep 5, 2002


    EXACTLY my point....vvvv

  6. Jun 1, 2007 #66 of 101

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    I think you need to understand just how angry some people are at their cable company. They would far prefer to give $8.60 per month to TiVo plus $2.75 per month to Comcast than give $13.75 per month to Comcast. Not me... but those folks are out there. (I'll be glad to provide you links to some Bash Comcast threads if you'd like. :))
  7. Jun 1, 2007 #67 of 101
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    I know of no official statement from Tivo that they have any near or long term goal for a port to OCAP.

    Do you? (If no, any positive sounding hand waves that they might?)

    The only thing I read was that they theoretically might run on OCAP boxes, only they wouldn't be using OCAP, but a lower level api. In this case, I wonder if Tivo will also have access to an api for 2 way functionality (for VOD and switched video) that they will on the Moto boxes.
  8. Jun 1, 2007 #68 of 101
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    Just as a thought experiment, what do you think is the most cut to the bone HD Tivo that could practically be sold? Here's what I came up with- Only thing I don't think can be cut is dual tuners.

    • No OTA-
    • No Analog encoders. Digital Cable recording only.
    • Two digital tuners- can do record two stations.
    • No MPEG4 capability. Deletes the 7041 decoder chip.
    • No eSata- though sold with a single drive, a second sata connector will be available on the board, and sufficient space will remain inside allowing unsupported upgrade to dual internal drives via third party outfits like PVRupgrade or Weaknees.
    • Series 2 low end remote and box. No sprigs of parsley. Just the meat and potatoes.
    • No second card slot. Supports an Mcard if locally available. Otherwise, it becomes a single tuner box.
    • 120GB hard drive. Assume users will upgrade if they really want to do HD.
  9. Jun 1, 2007 #69 of 101

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    To reiterate what others have suggested in this thread and past S3 threads:

    1. QAM/OTA functionality is provided by a single, low-cost chip.

    2. This isn't going to fly, for the same reasons noted by dt_dc in this post.

    3. Broadcom's newer, low-cost solutions for DVR functionality all integrate MPEG-4 capability. As far as I know, there isn't anyone selling a new, low-cost chip for DVRs without integrated MPEG-4 capability.
    I think some people misunderstand what Tivo is trying to do with the Series3 Lite. Most of the cost savings is the result of internal redesign with newer components, not feature elimination. The current Tivo Series3 design is almost three years old, and it has remained largely unchanged since release. Since that time, a number of vendors have released newer, more-integrated parts that reduce BOM cost.
  10. Jun 1, 2007 #70 of 101

    rodalpho New Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    If that's the case, then won't it be replacing the current S3? It won't really be a S3 lite, it'll be the new S3.
  11. Jun 2, 2007 #71 of 101
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    Well yeah BK. I think you nailed the analysis back in March. I'm just having fun. My purpose was to take the subractive mode of thinking and pushing it to the max to see how far it could go.

    I don't think it is likely, but if you look at it, DT's note only regarded labelling. Such a product could not be labelled Digital cable ready. Ok- is that marketting death? I dunno. I have a few boxes that don't say intel inside, and I could care less. I have "monitors" that aren't "Tv"'s because they don't have tuners and I could care less.

    Anyway, besides that one, there are a couple of other models that are unlikely, but you know just to continue the out of the S3 box thinking... just for fun...
    1. The S3 lite is a cheaper box due to volume of production of the entire unit. Moto sells their Cablecard HD DVR with Tivo software that has all the features missing from the Comcast/Cox implementation.
    2. S3 lite is really not an S3 minus but an S2 plus (That is, a DT with a cablecard slot and a single digital tuner). Mostly analog, with the capability to record one HD at a time. Ok. Unlikely, but what the heck.
    3. The S3 actually was little more than the S3-lite described above- an S2 design with HD bolted on. It shipped because it worked. The S3 lite is actually is what the S3 would have been if Tivo believed their were going to be boatloads of $1000 HD's being sold in 2007. So, same feature set as the S3 minus some cosmetic features and is cheaper to produce, lower chip count, uses BMC7401 etc. The S3 goes away, entirely replaced by the S3-lite.
    4. Variation of 3: the S3 lite is marketted as a lite version, but it is lite not because of subtraction, but lite because of addition to the S3. The current S3 retains the polish, uses the S3 lite lower chip count design, but adds an image enhancement chip such as the silicon optix reon you advocate, and uses the higher mhz BCM7400.

    Personally, I think it would be super smart to add something like a silicon optix chip to both because of the improvement of SD shows. That is something the video distributors don't want to do with their DVRs because they want folks ponying up for the HD programming on the premium channels.
  12. Jun 2, 2007 #72 of 101

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    That was all wishful thinking on my part. I was hoping Tivo might do something like Toshiba did with its HD-DVD players (HD-A2 vs HD-XA2), basically create one low-cost board design that can be supplanted with a high-quality 1080p solution and re-sold as a higher-end product. From what I understand of the Toshiba HD-DVD players, both models use the same logic board, one just has an extra chip and the firmware to take advantage of it, plus a separate daughterboard for 5.1 analog output.

    I haven't seen anything from Tivo to suggest that a "Series3 Premium" is in the works.
  13. Jun 2, 2007 #73 of 101

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    May 25, 2006
    I think we are missing the point. A ser3 lite isnt ment to be for every one. If you want OTA then you go for the ser3 regular. I for one dont need OTA and would gladly give it up to lower the price. I will always be fed by cable. A smaller hard drive might lower the price but I dont think by much. Dual turners are a must for just about every one. But then again a lite version isnt for every one so maybe they might make it with just one tuner.
  14. Jun 2, 2007 #74 of 101

    cramer Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    There is no cost savings by removing OTA, because there's no removing OTA -- it's required by various specifications/certifications/licenses. This is why no one manufactures QAM only demodulators. There used to be ATSC only demodulators (8VSB), but I don't think anyone bothers anymore.

    The programming ("software") is not what makes the series 3 expensive.
  15. Jun 2, 2007 #75 of 101

    vstone Active Member

    May 11, 2002
    Uh, Er. OTA ATSC is ONLY required if you have an analog OTA tuner. Best example: S2DT: doesn't have an ATSC tuner because it doesn't tune analog OTA - tunes only analog cable. Second example: available, but rarely seen in big box stores, monitors with no tuner at all.

    But I agree about chips: no savings from trying to do QAM without OTA ATSC.
  16. Jun 2, 2007 #76 of 101

    snathanb New Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    In a pure SDV network, the only protocol needed between the STB and the headend is IGMP. All the channels would be pushed to the neighborhood level as multicast IP streams, and the STBs simply send IGMP join messages to subscribe to the stream that matches the channel selected by the user.

    But the keyword there is "pure"... but trust me.. cable systems are testing these systems.
  17. Jun 2, 2007 #77 of 101

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    Can you give a cite for that? OTA is not required as far as I know; what's required is handling analog signals over the cable.

    I consider it a reasonable possibility that TiVo will drop OTA. The chips may be able to handle it in theory, but there are problems connected with signal strength and interference that can be ignored if you don't handle OTA (the S3 has problems as reported in threads here). In addition, there's the ongoing expense of support. The more complicated in both setup and functioning the TiVo is, the more support calls. Whether that's made up by the simplicity for their support people of "all S3s support OTA" only TiVo knows.
  18. Jun 2, 2007 #78 of 101

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
  19. Jun 2, 2007 #79 of 101

    vman41 Omega Consumer

    Jun 18, 2002
    And SDV system using a baseband network with multicast IP is useless for S3 and all the other existing digital STBs that modulate streams over discrete 6Mhz channels.
  20. Jun 2, 2007 #80 of 101

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    Jul 31, 2003
    Note: I said they are following a path (which is actually getting a be a pretty well trodden path) ... not what their actual goals or plans are.

    It has been pretty widely reported that Tivo's cable product is written on top of the TVWorks TVNav middleware:
    Tivo has been quoted as saying that it's written on a "Java-Based pre-cursor middleware to OCAP" (http://www.zatznotfunny.com/category/cablecard/page/3/) ... which is exactly what the TVNav platform is.

    TVNav isn't a "lower level API". TVNav (or TV Nav, or TV Navigator, or TVNavigator) is a middleware layer Comcast and Cox picked up when they bought Liberate back in 2005 and rolled them into their co-owned Double C Technologies group (which has since become TVWorks, or TV Works). TVNav is (largely) based on the "OnRamp to OCAP" spec (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=242). It's a middleware layer that provides (mainly) a subset of a full OCAP stack. In theory (in that lovable middleware-kinda-way) since it's a subset of OCAP apps written on top of it should be easily portable and deployable on a full OCAP stack. Think of it as "OCAP-lite".

    Didn't we have this conversation before?

    Anyway, as far as the path to full OCAP goes ... well, that's exactly what the TVNav (and some other similar middleware packages) are designed / intended for ... and what several other cable vendors and software companies are doing. Writing their apps on these "OnRamp to OCAP" middleware layers today ... in order to make deals and deployments today ... and have something that can be deployed on all the existing cable boxes out there today ... while planning for deals and deployments on full OCAP environments in the future. EPG / DVR software vendors ... VOD client vendors ... iTV app vendors ... games and on-screen polls and video mosiacs and ... well, just about whatever software you'd want to run on an STB there are vendors / developers going down the same path.

    For example, it's what Comcast's own GuideWorks group is doing:

    Now as far as actual quotes from Tivo on plans to port to a full OCAP stack ... well, Tivo is quoted as saying the following back in January:
    Which implies a certain amount of planning (enough for a basis of discussions). And there's their annual report to the SEC from April(doesn't get much more public than that):

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