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Old 12-29-2005, 11:07 AM   #1 (Print)
skbass
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Stand Alone HD Tivo Units - When?

Hello,
I just received a Tivo as a gift last night.
The biggest question I have is: When will "non-DirecTV" HD Tivo units be widely available??
If it will be in the next two years, I don't want to pay for a lifetime subscription. If I'll definitely want to upgrade, that wouldn't be a smart thing to do; would it?

Thanks for any insight,
SK
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:22 AM   #2 (Print)
ebonovic
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We will know a lot more in about a week (CES is next week)...
I would hold off at LEAST till then... and see what the announcments are.

As of right now, there are no firm dates for any of the other HD-TiVo products, but most of thought of to be ready in 2006

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Old 12-29-2005, 12:06 PM   #3 (Print)
vstone
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Some rumors about a stand alone HD Tivo talk about mid February, but there are supposedly at least two differnt versions. A Motorola cable box with Tivo software (which isn't really standalone) and a two tuner cablecard version. As stated above, we may know next week.
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:27 PM   #4 (Print)
skbass
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Thanks for the quick replies!

When you say "cable card version", is it POSSIBLE that this could be an add-on that would connect between my cable box and Tivo unit?

It would be nice if my Christmas gift didn't become obselete in February....
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:37 PM   #5 (Print)
skbass
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REVISION- Rather, is it POSSIBLE that this HD-capable Cable card could be inserted into my existing Tivo unit? I would jump for joy.

But something tells me that Tivo will want people to buy new boxes in order to bring in MO' Money, MO' Money, MO' Money...
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:14 PM   #6 (Print)
ebonovic
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No the Cable-Card version would replace your existing Tivo...

Basically the concept behind the Cable-Card is that you would work with your local cable company to get an "authorized" card, and then slide it into your cable-card device... and thus be able to use that device directly with the Cable-Co feed... with out the use of another box.

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Old 12-29-2005, 04:27 PM   #7 (Print)
pfranczak
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If you take a look at comcast - they don't provide cable card support for "premium" services:

Quote:
If you prefer to use a CableCARD with one of these sets instead of using a Digital Cable set-top box, you will only be able to receive one way Digital Cable channels and will not be able to receive ON DEMAND, pay-per-view and the interactive programming guide.


Don't know if this also applies to HDTV.

But, back to TiVo ... should I wait for CES or go get a HR10-250 and call DirecTV for a HDTV contract/dish upgrade?
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:48 PM   #8 (Print)
ebonovic
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Seeing that CES is in a week....

I would wait the one more week to see what the announcments are, so you have more information to make your decision on.


You also didn't say where you where from... The MPEG-4 changes are rolling out from DirecTV and the MPEG-4 DVR is expected in Q1/2006

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Old 12-29-2005, 05:08 PM   #9 (Print)
pkscout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfranczak
If you take a look at comcast - they don't provide cable card support for "premium" services:

Don't know if this also applies to HDTV.


Nope. HDTV is a one way service. All the others are two way services (i.e. your box has to communicate back to the mothership at the cable company). The 1.x cablecards don't do that upstream communications, so that's why you can't have those. HDTV just needs to be unscrambled (if it's scrambled at all).
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:53 PM   #10 (Print)
pfranczak
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Earl - I'm located in San Francisco - I think we currently have MPEG2 local and moving to MPEG4 soon. I'm not doing any HDTV yet.

Probably by the time I decide on an HDTV receiver, there will be more HDPVR options - I also can't screw-up the current TiVo setup unless I want the wrath of my spouse to come on me. So I need a pretty good plan.

I love all these different standards, don't you? It's makes for so much choice!
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:21 PM   #11 (Print)
ebonovic
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It sure is fiun..... not

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Old 12-30-2005, 10:20 AM   #12 (Print)
dishrich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfranczak
If you take a look at comcast - they don't provide cable card support for "premium" services:


You might want to rephrase this - in most people's minds, a "premium" service is sometime like HBO or Showtime, in which the cable cards will work just fine. FYI, this also applies to premium HD services such as HBO HD - again, regardless if the prog is scrambled or not, the CC's will work as well.

It's the "interactive" services, such as prog guides & PPV, (where you are sending info BACK to the system) where cable cards have a problem.
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:35 PM   #13 (Print)
dt_dc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dishrich
You might want to rephrase this - in most people's minds, a "premium" service is sometime like HBO or Showtime, in which the cable cards will work just fine. FYI, this also applies to premium HD services such as HBO HD - again, regardless if the prog is scrambled or not, the CC's will work as well.
One more point of clarity ... CableCards will work just fine for any (encrypted) digital programming. However, they can not recieve scrambled (analog) programming. Hardly any cable plants have scrambled analog premiums anymore ... but for those that do, a CableCard will not recieve them.
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:43 PM   #14 (Print)
Steve_Martin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dt_dc
One more point of clarity ... CableCards will work just fine for any (encrypted) digital programming. However, they can not recieve scrambled (analog) programming. Hardly any cable plants have scrambled analog premiums anymore ... but for those that do, a CableCard will not recieve them.


Hmm, I'm not so sure about that part. I have a CableCard TV with a CableCard installed. When first installed, HBO and Showtime were both available as analog on channels 23 and 24 through the CableCard and the CableCard decoded them just fine. After several months, the cable lineup changed and HBO and Showtime were removed from the analog tier (they were always present on the digital tier).

This was on Cox in SoCal.

It seems weird I know, since there aren't likely many (if any) analog components in a CableCard - I'm just relating how mine worked when HBO and Showtime were in the analog tier on our cable system.

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Old 12-30-2005, 08:33 PM   #15 (Print)
TyroneShoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkscout
Nope. HDTV is a one way service. All the others are two way services (i.e. your box has to communicate back to the mothership at the cable company). The 1.x cablecards don't do that upstream communications, so that's why you can't have those. HDTV just needs to be unscrambled (if it's scrambled at all).

The only thing that is 2-way about most CATV is the STB itself. The services themselves are not 2-way, unless there is some interactive component tacked on later. HD is not scrambled, just as digital cable is not scrambled. Security is handled by gatekeeping in the STB, not by encrypting the signal directly. HD just needs demodulation from either DVB or 8VSB or QAM, and MPEG decoding.

While QAM is technically a better distribution method for CATV, one of the biggest reasons they don't use 8VSB is because then they would lose control over the gatekeeping. If they used 8VSB, all a cable subscriber would need would be a HDTV set, and all HD channels would be available for any subscriber (or any pirate). If they convert it to QAM, then you need a QAM tuner, and if the QAM tuner is 2-way addressable and only available in a CC or a STB, they get control back. Our sales department considers that a classic case of "not leaving any money on the table".

CC 2.0 has been the hangup, as CATV want's that 2-way gatekeeping control, specifically because that would mean no need to encrypt the signal. IOW, they want the CC to have the same kind of addressable security that digital STBs have now. CC2 is the final piece to the CC Tivo puzzle...all the other pieces have been around for some time.
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