TIVO Series 3 lite vs Today's TIVO S3

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

  1. Jun 2, 2007 #81 of 101

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006


    Your are talking about pure IP networking all the way to the STB. The vast majority of the cable operators are simply not set up for that and use broadcast QAM from the node out to the home. If you are living in todays world. You need a channel change protocol as well as other protocols to manage the currently active channels.

    All of the major MSOs I deal with are using switched QAM, not IP to the home.
  2. Jun 2, 2007 #82 of 101

    demon BURNINATOR

    Nov 15, 2006
    Western SD
    A lot of cable providers don't do QAM SD simulcasts of all analog channels - Time Warner, for example, at least in my area (Albany NY) has *many* SD analog-only channels. Throwing out the analog tuners and encoder chips would greatly limit the usefulness of the TiVo on many (not all, but a lot of) cable networks, so I think it's safe to say they're not going to do that. (Moto can get away with that with their 3-series DVRs, since the cable provider then knows they have to do digital simulcast.)

    The cable companies aren't going to want to get in on it, and if they're not in on it, it's not going to get subsidized that way - the HD hardware (if you investigate the prices of SA and Moto DVRs to actually buy, they're not much lower than the S3) is not cheap. It's just not feasible.
  3. Jun 2, 2007 #83 of 101

    MediaLivingRoom New Member

    Dec 10, 2002
  4. Jun 2, 2007 #84 of 101

    jjamezz self-proclaimedIdiot

    Jul 19, 2005
    Riverton, UT
    Multi-Room Viewing. ;-)
  5. Jun 3, 2007 #85 of 101

    stevereis New Member

    Feb 23, 2006


    My 2 cents:

    Start with the S2DT and replace one or both of the analog cable tuners with analog+QAM tuners. This give the ability to record HD locals and anything else digital sent in-the clear. I think cheap QAM tuners are now available to make this a low cost option.

    Then, all that is needed hardware-wise is to replace the decoder chip with one that is HD capable.

    Software needs to add in the ability to map the QAM signals (using PSIP data) or by user input as has been mentioned elsewhere (http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5142671&&#post5142671) and you get a basic HD capable box that should not have any restrictions on MRV, TTG, etc. and you can still hook an external cable box to record in SD anything the box can decode.

    Note that the QAM channel mapping would be welcomed by many S3 users.

    Maybe the S3 is the right platform for this instead of the S2DT since it has component and HDMI out and the requisite tuners and decoder:
    - remove CableCards
    - drop THX certification
    - remove OLED display
    - remove front panel buttons

    In that case, they probably would not add back in the S2DT's analog input and separate cable/satellite box control via IR blasters
  6. Jun 4, 2007 #86 of 101

    Lukej New Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    According to CEO Tom Rogers:

    Second, we did not have a lower-priced mass appeal HD offering. As we indicated last quarter, given the price of our Series 3 unit, we have not been able to meaningfully participate in the HD wave in retail. without having a mass appeal priced HD unit to participate in the real key trends that you want to see in consumer electronics today, itÂ’s difficult and until we have that product later this year

    So, I got to wonder, did somebody force them to offer such a pricy unit that would hurt sales? Maybe they listened to these posters back when the S3 came out that kept screaming that the price was just right and TIVO didn't care to mass market this anyway. :D
  7. Jun 4, 2007 #87 of 101

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    No, they figured it out for themselves. Fortunately this year they might have available a box that might have sold last year.
  8. Jun 4, 2007 #88 of 101

    cassiusdrow Member

    May 21, 2003
    I can't believe that TiVo would make an S3 lite without cablecard support. TiVo's intention is to compete with Digital Cable's DVR - TiVo can't compete without CableCard. I also don't believe they will remove OTA support. Too many people have access to HD via OTA to cut out that market segment. I believe their goal is to reduced S3 costs without removing major S3 features.

    Here's what I think they will change compared to the current S3:
    • No THX certification
    • A simpler case like the S2DT: no OLED display, no front panel controls, no fancy gloss black case
    • S2 style remote with S3 buttons (no backlighting, glossy finish, etc)
    • Cheaper S2 style packaging
    • A single cablecard slot intended for multi-stream cablecards
    • A newer, lower cost MPEG2/4 encoder/decoder/scaler chipset (others have mention a newer cheaper Broadcom chip is now available)
    • Other internal design changes that use cheaper components but result in no feature change and little or no quality change

    They may do the following, but not likely:
    • A smaller harddrive, possibly 160GB, more likely just take advantage of lower 250GB drive pricing
    • Use Parallel ATA (EIDE) drives instead of SATA
    • Remove the eSATA connector
    • No HDMI output (s-video/composite/component/analog audio/digital audio only)
    • No SD outputs (component/analog audio/digital audio/HDMI only)
    • Only HDMI output (no s-video/composite/component/analog audio/digital audio)
    • Only component output (no s-video/composite/HDMI)

    What I think will not change:
    • Dual Tuners (each tunes OTA ATSC/NTSC analog/digital and Cable QAM analog/digital)
    • Phone/USB/Ethernet (they are in the S2DT after all)
    • Audio/Video Outputs (HDMI/component/s-video/composite/analog audio/optical audio will remain)
    • All software-based features will remain the same (core DVR functions, MRV, HMO, HME, etc.)

    Basically, I see the S3 lite as an S2DT plus ATSC OTA, Cablecard, SATA/eSATA, HDMI, component, and optical audio outs.
  9. Jun 4, 2007 #89 of 101

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    I would like to see them get rid of the physical HD completely, stick the OS on a flash drive, and sell these things diskless. Also fix the 1TB/volume limitation while they are at it.

    They can then sell with their TiVo-branded eSATA enclosure or let the consumer buy their own.
  10. Jun 26, 2007 #90 of 101
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    That's a thought. Do it for both HD and SD Tivos, probably with an internal disk bay for cartridges. This would allow for greater safety from disconnection while running. But doing it with an external would be fine too.

    Anyway, then you just fill up 2TB drives and then switch your Tivo service to the next Tivo in the house- until after a few months you have all TVs supplied with huge amounts of video choice. Alternately, you fill up cartridges- one for sci fi, one for chick flicks, etc etc. Use MRV and TivoBack to organize them.

    So when TB drives get down to $1.98 each, you go to costco, pick up a 6 pack of Flash Tivos (HD or SD) and a 6 pack of TB cartridges. Put one in the car, take one to the vacation house, etc etc. Most are disconnected from the service and are just digital players of archived content.
  11. Jun 27, 2007 #91 of 101

    vstone Active Member

    May 11, 2002
    Maybe they can make these things free!
  12. Jun 27, 2007 #92 of 101

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 1999
    Buffalo, NY
    Same here.

    I can think of ONE SD channel that TW here (Buffalo, NY) simulcasts on digital and analog... TBS.

    Not a single other channel from 2-99 is available digitally.

    Stupid... but it's the case.
  13. Jun 29, 2007 #93 of 101

    teavaux New Member

    Jun 29, 2007
    I think a "S3 lite" that is targeted a "Series 2 HD" would be a great success.

    Here are some facts:
    1) A lot of S3 users are using the S3 for OTA HD and basic cable.
    2) A lot of people need to buy a ATSC tuner in 2009.
    3) The CableCard slots in the S3 prohibit the use of TTG and MRV due to artificial restrictions imposed by the CableCard folks.
    4) A lot of S2 users are waiting to buy the S3 until TTG and MRV can be used, as they love these features on the S2.


    Take a Series 2 case and:
    - Tuner 1 is a digital ATSC tuner for OTA HD and unencrypted QAM, and
    - Tuner 2 is a an analog SD cable tuner (similar to a series 2), that can be used in conjunction with an IR blaster for premium cable channels with a cable box.

    No CableCard slot or CableCard support is provided.

    HD Output would be similar to the S3, with support through 1080i.

    Tivo To Go and Multi-Room support is fully supported, and fully interoperable with Series 2 boxes. How? No High Definition support for TTG or MRV. Any Hi-Def recordings would be downgraded to SD (480i) before output to Multi-Room viewing or Tivo To Go. This downscaling will keep the Hollywood lawyers happy, keep network file sizes down, allow the files to be played on a wider variety of laptops and mobile devices, etc.

    SATA hard drive prices are low enough, and HD data transfer requirements high enough that a SATA hard drive should be included, along with the eSATA port (though I would be OK if no eSATA port was included)

    Series 3 front display could be eliminated for cost savings, but it would be nice if the Series 3 remote could be included.

    Cost? $349 would be just about right. :)
  14. Jun 29, 2007 #94 of 101

    vstone Active Member

    May 11, 2002

    The status of analog cable channels is still questionable. While past actions by the FCC have encouraged cable companies to go all digital, there are discussions afoot about maintaining an analog broadcast tier and/or analog basic tier in analog. However some of theses discussions actually involve cable companies actually renting cable boxes for $0 to support analog TV's.

    It's amazing that we're less than two years away, but we still don't really know what will happen to analog cable.
  15. Jun 29, 2007 #95 of 101

    HiDefGator New Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    The number of people that would pay for an HD DVR that can't record ESPN is too small for this strategy to work. Especially when they could lease one from the cable company that can record ESPN and all the other HD channels that are not OTA.

    Add in the millions of people like me that can pick up very little (if any) OTA HD and the whole idea falls apart as a mass market device.
  16. Jun 29, 2007 #96 of 101

    teavaux New Member

    Jun 29, 2007
    You are right, this box would not be capable of recording ESPN in HD. However, my theory is that people in that position would be best served by a Comcast/Tivo box or a "full" S3, which exists today and will be further discounted over time.

    With my version of a "lite" machine, people who want to record ESPN would have to do it in SD through a cable box output, much like how people record ESPN on an S2 today.

    With the QAM support, people with basic cable and no OTA HD could still tune in and record the unencrypted (by law...) local channels in HD. So at least you can Tivo any HD sports on network TV...
  17. Jun 29, 2007 #97 of 101

    MickeS Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Let me sum up your suggestion: a Series 2 DT with OTA/clear QAM capability, and eSATA. :)

    Works for me - that's all I use my Series 3 for. :)
  18. Jun 30, 2007 #98 of 101
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    The cable companies want analog to go away, because it frees up so much spectrum for them. One way that can happen is, as you mention, renting cheap cable boxes.

    Here's how the spectrum allocation looks like for my local Comcast monopoly, in rounded MHz numbers:

    below 270 MHz (cable channel 32) is "basic cable" analog
    below 500 MHz (cable channel 70) is "standard cable" analog
    between 500 MHz and 860 MHz is digital

    All of the good stuff such as HD re-broadcast and cable modem downstream and "digital cable" and "analog digital simulcast" happens above 500 MHz.

    There's about 230 MHz of under-utilized spectrum between 270 MHz and 500 MHz. It's all SD. It's already being simulcast in digital. Moving people with "standard cable" to digital frees up all this spectrum. About 75 HD channels worth. Or easily 300 SD channels worth!

    And that's not even touching the spectrum below 270 MHz, which includes analog SD local channels, "community service" channels, etc.

    So Comcast can easily keep "basic" analog and still free up huge amounts of spectrum. All without needing to deploy the hated "switched digital video".
  19. Jun 30, 2007 #99 of 101

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    A purported first sighting:
    "...Also, the tech said that he just went to the house of one of the "senior execs from Tivo" (I live in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area, so this is possible). He said that the exec had a new beta model of the next version of the S3 (the tech called it the S4). He said it only had 1 CC slot and it was a front-loading slot for an M-Card."​
  20. sammydee

    sammydee New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Speculate no more ... Tivo HD is for sale at the Tivo website. $299. Just ordered mine - 14 to 21 day shipping.

    Practically no differences from the current S3 ... smaller disk; non-glowing remote; no OLED display on the front of the box.

Share This Page

spam firewall