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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious how the EPG would handle program listings from different sources for the Series 3? For example, if I choose QAM+CableCard for input1 and OTA ATSC for input2 I would assume you have option of selecting TV channel lineup for each one independantly, but then how do they get combined together in the EPG listings? Would it list all channels for input1 first followed by all channels for input2? When I make a season pass recording would it be possible to then limit to a specific input?

Also, for OTA channels I would assume there will be some way to tune directly to a sub-channel such as 7-2? I haven't looked at the pictures of the Series 3 remote so don't know if there's anything on there that makes it obvious how sub-channel tuning will be handled.

Related to question above, how would Tivo distinguish tuning to cable channel 7 versus OTA channel 7-1?

I've been using DVRs for several years now, but ReplayTV and DCT6412 and not Tivo so pardon me if the answers are too obvious for most of you.

Thanks.
 

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The DirecTV HD-TiVo handles both of these issues ok... The channels from the sat input and the OTA input are combined into one guide. Even if you keep the D* locals, the OTA channels show up ok. And you answered your own question for the channel numbers: cable channel 7 is 7, and OTA 7 is 7-1...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK thanks Jeff yes I would expect the DirecTV HDTivo to be the software that Series 3 will be modeled after due to it's OTA capability. So in the guide what is the order of channels shown? For example does it have sat 7 followed by OTA 7-1, OTA 7-2, sat 8, etc. or is it all channels from sat lineup followed by all channels from OTA lineup?

Also, how do you tune 7-2 for example without selecting from guide? Does the remote have a "-" button for entering sub-channels directly or can you only tune to sub-channels directly from the guide?

Thanks.
 

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The channels are in numeric order (8, 8-1,8-2, 11, 13, etc.)

The 'skip' button on the remote also has a dash label underneath.

I personally hope that they figure a better way of handling the OTA channels, as typing the dash is a pain, and I think very un-intuitive for non-geeks. On the D* HD-TiVo, if I just type '8', I get the sat local 8, even though I've removed it from the channels I receive list. That is consistent behavior with the other channels, but I'd really prefer that 8 would take me to 8-1...

Note that you don't have to type the subchannel, just "8-" will get you to the primary subchannel (8-1 in this case).

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Understood. Seems to be intuitive enough. I do most of my tuning from channel guide anyway but it's nice to know there is a way to go directly to a subchannel if desired unlike some OTA tuners I have used in the past.
Thanks!
 

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moyekj said:
For example, if I choose QAM+CableCard for input1 and OTA ATSC for input2
This is pure speculation, but if the Series 3 is anything like the current HD-DTiVo you will need to have balanced inputs on the two inputs.

The HD-DTiVo can handle sat or OTA, but you can't choose to have only sat on input 1 and OTA on input 2. It doesn't work. (Well, if you are really careful, and lie about the set-up you can sort of get sat+OTA on input 1 and OTA only on input 2 to work).

But the software for the HD-DTiVo assumes that the inputs are identical and there is no reason to care which one is selected based on programming source.

So if the Series 3 works the same way, you wouldn't be able to have a cable card for just one of the inputs.
 

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Jonathan_S said:
The HD-DTiVo can handle sat or OTA, but you can't choose to have only sat on input 1 and OTA on input 2. It doesn't work. (Well, if you are really careful, and lie about the set-up you can sort of get sat+OTA on input 1 and OTA only on input 2 to work).
Eh? I am still awaiting delivery of my OTA antenna, but as far as I know, the OTA connects to a dedicated input jack on the HR10-250 and isn't combined with the sat feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jonathan_S said:
So if the Series 3 works the same way, you wouldn't be able to have a cable card for just one of the inputs.
From what I have seen on the Series 3 I think that's not going to be the case, but I guess nobody other than Tivo employees knows for sure. From the CES demo video and everything I've read it appears you CAN mix and match inputs to your liking which is what made me curious about exactly how Tivo would handle that (and why I started this thread).

The ability to mix and match OTA & cable is what really intrigues me so I hope that is the case. I think what cannot be done is to have CableCard on 1 tuner and unencrypted QAM on the other tuner. i.e. Ideally I'd only need 1 CableCard to record any digital channel on 1 tuner and then the other tuner I could use for unencrypted QAM recording (mostly HD locals). But I'm sure as soon as 1 CableCard is enabled that means all your cable recordings must go via CableCard and hence you would need 2.
 

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stevel said:
Eh? I am still awaiting delivery of my OTA antenna, but as far as I know, the OTA connects to a dedicated input jack on the HR10-250 and isn't combined with the sat feed.
Yes, the OTA antenna has its own input jack on the back on the HR10-250. I was reusing the original post's phrasing, which might have caused some confusion. On the HR10-250, you need two satellite lines hooked up in order to use the dual tuners* (I had been referring to tuners as input 1 and input 2). Even though the OTA signal is available to both tuners you can't set up the unit for OTA only on tuner 2 you have to run SAT to both for it to work correctly with dual tuners enabled.

*And "tuners" is also a problematic term, because technically the HD10-250 has 4 tuners, 2 OTA and 2 Satellite, but it presents them to the user as only two tuners.
 

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The Series3 has only 2 inputs - 1 cable coax and 1 antenna coax. The signal is split internally. My understanding is that you could connect an antenna without cable and have 2 tuners of NTSC/ATSC. Or connect cable and have 2 tuners of analog cable. If you put in one single-stream cable card you'd have 1 digital cable and 2 analog cable available. With 2 single-stream or one multi-stream cable card you'd have 2 digital/analog cable tuners. With both connections and full cards you'd have 2 tuners whcih can handle any mix of digital/analog cable and NTSC/ATSC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting megazone. So for this scenario:
Antenna input = OTA ATSC
Cable input = cable
1 single-stream Cable Card slot used

then:
* Both tuners can record OTA ATSC and cable NTSC (Analog channels)
* Only 1 tuner can record encrypted digital cable

This could confuse things. So somehow I get the feeling that if you want CableCard you either have to fill both slots with 2 single-stream cards or slot 1 with a multi-stream card. i.e. 1 single-stream card won't work.

Make sense?
 

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I would assume that if you install a single CableCard, and your provider DOESN'T support multistream, you'll be limited to single-tuner recording, regardless of the source. Doing anything else is certainly 'complicated' for software, but more importantly, very difficult to explain to a user.

Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully - we'll see multistream support deployed by some major cable co's by the time the HD TiVo ships.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jautor said:
Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully - we'll see multistream support deployed by some major cable co's by the time the HD TiVo ships.
The multi stream cards or "M-cards" are physically different cards than the single stream cards from my understanding. So my fear is that there are no FCC regulations in place requiring cable companies to provide multi stream cards (only single stream cards). Hence there is no incentive for them to do so and they will continue providing only single stream cards. So I think it's almost certain that one would have to rent 2 single-stream cards from most providers. And given the lots of problems I have read about with CableCards (and lack of incentive of Cable companies to resolve the problems) and the fact that you need 2 of them with Series 3 doesn't bode well for stability.
 

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moyekj said:
Interesting megazone. So for this scenario:
Antenna input = OTA ATSC
Cable input = cable
1 single-stream Cable Card slot used

then:
* Both tuners can record OTA ATSC and cable NTSC (Analog channels)
* Only 1 tuner can record encrypted digital cable

This could confuse things. So somehow I get the feeling that if you want CableCard you either have to fill both slots with 2 single-stream cards or slot 1 with a multi-stream card. i.e. 1 single-stream card won't work.

Make sense?
Based on what I was told, you can have an asymmetrical setup. It isn't really that confusing, the box handles scheduling of recordings and it just has to consider it for conflict resolution. It doesn't really at that much complexity to the calculations.
 

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megazone said:
Based on what I was told, you can have an asymmetrical setup. It isn't really that confusing, the box handles scheduling of recordings and it just has to consider it for conflict resolution. It doesn't really at that much complexity to the calculations.
Unless the box can seamlessly hand off between the two OTA tuners mid-recording it will seems like it could still cause some issues if people stick to watching liveTV.

Simplest example, I turn on the box and start watching something live from NBC. But it happened to be on tuner 1, and that is the one with the cable card. Now in 15 minutes the TiVo has a scheduled recording on HBO. It will need to take the tuner away from me in order to record and kick me to the second tuner. It can't use the second tuner because the cable card is in the first slot, and tied to the first tuner. If I wouldn't give up watching NBC (possibly because I was behind in the buffer), it would have to cancel the HBO recording, even though 1 OTA/basic cable + 1 digital cable w/cable card was a valid configuration.

Actually, while writing this I realized, that the cable card doesn't necessarily have to be locked to a given cable tuner. In that case, it wouldn't matter which tuner was free, because the cable card could be directed to decrypt either one of the cable tuners (just not both at once). Then you wouldn't have the possible conflict I listed above.

Even so, it may be confusing to some end users that some channels can be recorded simultaneously and some can't in a single cable card situation.
 

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moyekj said:
The multi stream cards or "M-cards" are physically different cards than the single stream cards from my understanding. So my fear is that there are no FCC regulations in place requiring cable companies to provide multi stream cards (only single stream cards). Hence there is no incentive for them to do so and they will continue providing only single stream cards. So I think it's almost certain that one would have to rent 2 single-stream cards from most providers. And given the lots of problems I have read about with CableCards (and lack of incentive of Cable companies to resolve the problems) and the fact that you need 2 of them with Series 3 doesn't bode well for stability.
I don't know if they're different cards or not, but regardless, they will fit in the slot, and the TiVo Series 3 will support them. TiVo (from CES) is expecting some support for multistream from cable providers when they launch. No details, but TiVo very clearly understands how important dual tuner is for them.

The FCC is putting some amount of pressure on cable to provide multistream. All cable co's have been required to report every quarter to the FCC (you can read these from the FCC's web site) a bunch of stats, and one of them is their plan for multistream support... You can also see what issues the co's are reporting with CableCard in general. The good news is that the number of open issues / compatibility problems seems to be declining at a good rate...

EDIT: Also, TiVo was putting a lot of effort with the FCC towards multistream support. After the Comcast deal, this was not as 'public', but I think there's a lot more going on behind the scenes.
Jeff
 

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Jonathan_S said:
Simplest example, I turn on the box and start watching something live from NBC. But it happened to be on tuner 1, and that is the one with the cable card. Now in 15 minutes the TiVo has a scheduled recording on HBO. It will need to take the tuner away from me in order to record and kick me to the second tuner. It can't use the second tuner because the cable card is in the first slot, and tied to the first tuner. If I wouldn't give up watching NBC (possibly because I was behind in the buffer), it would have to cancel the HBO recording, even though 1 OTA/basic cable + 1 digital cable w/cable card was a valid configuration.
Publicly broadcast channels, even if their broadcast over cable via QAM, can not be encrypted. So in your example the TiVo would allow you to remain on NBC while it used the other QAM tuner and CableCARD to record the HBO program. Now if the same situation came up, but you were watching another encrypted channel, then the TiVo would simply pop up the normal "I need to change the channel to record..." message and you could chose between what you were watching and what you have scheduled to record. For schedule conflicts it would use the normal conflict screens that you get on a TiVo now. It might be mildly confusing to the user as to why sometimes they can record two things and some times they can't, but I doubt that situation would come up a whole lot. And even if it did I'm sure the manual will have a clear explanation as to what it's doing and how installing a second CableCARD will resolve the conflict.

Dan
 

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Dan203 said:
Publicly broadcast channels, even if their broadcast over cable via QAM, can not be encrypted. So in your example the TiVo would allow you to remain on NBC while it used the other QAM tuner and CableCARD to record the HBO program. Now if the same situation came up, but you were watching another encrypted channel, then the TiVo would simply pop up the normal "I need to change the channel to record..."
I know that digital networks feed on cable are not encrypted.

My example was based on a several premises.

They were:
One, the 6 total tuners in the box (2 QAM, 2 NTSC, 2 ATSC) are permanently linked in two separate groups of three 2x(1 QAM + 1 NTSC + 1 ATSC). Call it a tuner group.
Two, that each of these tuner groups was permanently bound to a buffer, and that the unit only has two buffers.
Three, that the buffer you first see when pressing LiveTV is indeterminate, might be buffer one, might be buffer two.
Four, that in the case of a single cable card it would be permanently bound to only one of the two buffers
Five, that the unit wouldn't do a background tuner swap to aggressively prioritize non-encrypted material to the tuner w/o cablecard.

If these premises were true, the point of my example was that you could accidently block the use of the cable card, even when watching unencrypted liveTV.

My example was that buffer 1 was the only one with access to the cablecard.
I turn on liveTV and it happens to be on buffer 1. I switch to NBC, which is unencrypted, however because I'm using buffer 1 to watch it I'm blocking access to the cable card.
When the TiVo wants to record an encrypted channel it needs the cable card, but because of premise 4 it can't use it without stealing the tuner away from me, even though I wasn't actually using the cablecard.

If some of these premises are wrong, them my example breaks down. (And at the end of my previous post I hypothesized that premise four wasn't true).
 

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Dan203 said:
Publicly broadcast channels, even if their broadcast over cable via QAM, can not be encrypted. So in your example the TiVo would allow you to remain on NBC while it used the other QAM tuner and CableCARD to record the HBO program. Now if the same situation came up, but you were watching another encrypted channel, then the TiVo would simply pop up the normal "I need to change the channel to record..." message and you could chose between what you were watching and what you have scheduled to record. For schedule conflicts it would use the normal conflict screens that you get on a TiVo now. It might be mildly confusing to the user as to why sometimes they can record two things and some times they can't, but I doubt that situation would come up a whole lot. And even if it did I'm sure the manual will have a clear explanation as to what it's doing and how installing a second CableCARD will resolve the conflict.

Dan
This is slightly off topic, but are you saying that if I subscribe to regular analog cable, and plug it into a HDTV it will give me HD locals?
 
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