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  #1  
Old 02-22-2010, 08:27 AM
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stuckless stuckless is offline
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SDV killed the DVR star?

Interesting article on ars about how cable companies moving to SDV (switched digital video) is killing the 3rd party DVR market, like Tivo.

I'll be honest... i've heard the term SDV, but I never really understood what it meant. But if this trend continues, then I'm guessing HDPVR type setups will be on the means of accessing cable. I doubt even CableCard solutions will handle the SDV correctly. (guessing)
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:44 AM
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That's what Tuning Adapters are for. And yes they work with OCUR devices.

Last edited by stanger89; 02-22-2010 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:05 AM
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If tivo already has a solution, then why are they complaining??
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:48 AM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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What I'd really like to see, is about 200 people choose different HD programs on one of these systems, I figure about the last 10 will be screaming to the cable company when it says, "Sorry, no bandwidth for your show... please wait an hour or 2 for it to start." or "Please wait until 4AM when or system isn't used much."
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:55 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by MattHelm View Post
What I'd really like to see, is about 200 people choose different HD programs on one of these systems, I figure about the last 10 will be screaming to the cable company when it says, "Sorry, no bandwidth for your show... please wait an hour or 2 for it to start." or "Please wait until 4AM when or system isn't used much."
They aren't that many users on one switch only about 6 houses in my area
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:58 PM
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JetreL JetreL is offline
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Typically Switch Digital is negotiated between the cable node and your converter box/cable card. There are typically ~60-180 subs off a node. Of that on average you probably do not have more than 30% watching a SDV channel. Mix that with, if someone is watching a SDV channel all then the subs watching the same SDV channel are using the same QAM for broadcasting. Since most TV is broadcasted in 30 minute segments you continually have SDV cannels drop off of QAMs. The only time you would run into an issue would be if many people are watching many different types of content. (Snow days) This generally doesn’t happen. So the chances of using up all the QAMs to stream SDV are not probable. ISPs have been using bandwidth trending like this for a long time.

On top of all this, if you cable provider is worth their mud they monitor their network bandwidth and missed show streams and would work to resolve.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:56 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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... The only time you would run into an issue would be if many people are watching many different types of content. (Snow days) This generally doesn’t happen.
Not if someone "plans" it ahead of time. If the cable company cause you grief, this would be an EASY way to get back at them. Get about 500 people to select all those "channels" they advertise, and hit them at once, then get anyone that doesn't get a show, call and complain!!!
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:25 PM
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Not be be argumentative but you would only be able to affect 1 to 3 nodes if that and in my market there are ~700,000 Digital subscribers. This connection rate happens almost every-time there is a fight or UFC PPV. So as long as the infrastructure is sound it should absorb that influx and keep ticking...
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:44 PM
rsteele rsteele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckless View Post
If tivo already has a solution, then why are they complaining??
Because they don't work very well, at least according to a friend. Lock-ups, missed shows, etc. It's better now than six months ago, but still not 100% reliable.

TWC in Rochester is one of the leading, early users of SDV, and no one who uses a third-party DVR is happy. It's nice that Tivo owners have an option, but what about those of us who don't own, or want, a Tivo?

Rich
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2010, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rsteele View Post
It's nice that Tivo owners have an option, but what about those of us who don't own, or want, a Tivo?
I linked above where OCUR devices (the CableCard tuners used by Media Center) have been certified for use with tuning adapters.
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2010, 02:43 PM
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If TiVo were smart, they would not whine about it by filing a complaint with the FCC, but rather just update their firmware to handle SDV (and maybe a tiny hardware tweak on new models). All it requires is a simple packet request be sent upstream to the provider...big deal. SDV is going to be standardized, and there might be two or max..three (heaven forbid) protocols on how it can be done. TiVo needs to stop whining about technology and change with it. On the other hand (in indirect support of TiVo)...why switch to a method of channel changing who's only benefit is less bandwidth usage, when we live in a world where bandwidth is getting cheaper and cheaper and data pipes are getting more and more capable every day? Is bandwidth really an issue for these companies when it is their primary product?

(Now back to devil's advocate) I for one believe that SDV will be in the consumers best interest too since you will have less bandwidth usage on our end to use, especially since everyone I know has a combined package (Internet + TV over the same line). This seems pretty brain dead to me...but I guess it is cheaper for TiVo to whine to the FCC rather than do any new development.
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Last edited by crobs808; 03-07-2010 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:18 PM
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SDV is not about saving whole network bandwidth, it is about the cable going into your house. That cable spectrum only has so many channels to use. Prior to SDV, every customer had to have every available channel sent to their homes. This, effectively, puts an upper cap on that channel number. When you consider that some of those channels are now also being used for internet and phone, the cap gets lower and lower. Prior to SDV, the method of adding more channels, meant lowering the bitrate of existing channels to make room to squeeze more in. The only other alternative to SDV would be to actually increase the number of lines into the house.. a VERY expensive and complicated process. With SDV, the operators only have to increase the bandwidth along their main trunks (which, more often are fiber bundles, with plenty of room), This, also, can eventually result in an increase in both available channel count AND channel quality. If there are only 60 households on a node, there is a real possibility of being able to get near full channel bandwidth for every available HD channel, while still allowing them to increase the lineup.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
SDV is not about saving whole network bandwidth, it is about the cable going into your house. That cable spectrum only has so many channels to use. Prior to SDV, every customer had to have every available channel sent to their homes. This, effectively, puts an upper cap on that channel number. When you consider that some of those channels are now also being used for internet and phone, the cap gets lower and lower. Prior to SDV, the method of adding more channels, meant lowering the bitrate of existing channels to make room to squeeze more in. The only other alternative to SDV would be to actually increase the number of lines into the house.. a VERY expensive and complicated process. With SDV, the operators only have to increase the bandwidth along their main trunks (which, more often are fiber bundles, with plenty of room), This, also, can eventually result in an increase in both available channel count AND channel quality. If there are only 60 households on a node, there is a real possibility of being able to get near full channel bandwidth for every available HD channel, while still allowing them to increase the lineup.
I am all for SDV, like I said in my post...was just stating pros and cons of both sides of the issue. I am a quality nut, and sick of blocky broadcasts...I am used to 100Mbps recordings from my video camera, so when I sit down and watch TV, I have to cringe at times...not because I am anal retentive about quality so much as it is that I KNOW they could be sending me a higher bitrate, but choose not to. Grr! Ok, now I am venting - not directed at anyone, except maybe the employees behind U-Verse/Fios/and other services....

Now, as far as the benefit of "Unlimited Channels"...hmm. How many people here use all the available channels now? And even the people who have the top package...there are just not enough hours in the day to watch what is available even now! Most peoples DVRs are full of stuff they never even get to watch, lol. Do we really need more channels? Most people can count the channels they watch on one hand....Heck - I can count the SHOWS I watch on one hand!
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Last edited by crobs808; 03-07-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:24 PM
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And if the service was designed for a single customer, the channels he wanted would be all that it would carry.. That, however, is not the case. Yes, one person may only like a handful channels, but there are a LOT of hands out there to fill, and all want different channels. Those channels all have to be provided by the same service. If you want ala-cart, you can get a great number of channels, in Exceptional quality with a big 'ol c-band dish.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by crobs808 View Post
I am all for SDV, like I said in my post...was just stating pros and cons of both sides of the issue. I am a quality nut, and sick of blocky broadcasts...I am used to 100Mbps recordings from my video camera, so when I sit down and watch TV, I have to cringe at times...not because I am anal retentive about quality so much as it is that I KNOW they could be sending me a higher bitrate, but choose not to. Grr! Ok, now I am venting - not directed at anyone, except maybe the employees behind U-Verse/Fios/and other services....
Not really, when you consider a single ATSC frequency can provide up to 19.39Mb/s of bandwidth while a single QAM channel can provide a maximum of 38.78Mb/s.

SDV is done by sending all the channels to a local concentrator. Then all the subscribers attached to that concentrator request what channel they want to view. When you consider how SDV is done it is still wasteful for them to fill up a single frequency with only one channel.

Here in OKC on Cox Cable I see average bitrates for my local HD channels anywhere between 12-18Mb/s. The few non-locals that I can pick up average about that as well. So Cox doesn't seem to be mangling them too bad, or at all, to fit them into QAM frequencies.

Broadcast TV is quite a different beast than shooting with a video camera. It's never going to be the same quality. Don't know what kind of camera you have but not even Blu-ray has that high of a bitrate as it tops out at 30Mb/s for 1080p video.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:02 PM
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He's talking about DVCPro100 cameras, which use a souped up version of the DV DCT codec. It is an older, far less sofisticated codec, that is about ease of processing than compression (every frame is compressed individually). The quality is actually pretty comparable between DVCPro100 and 30Mbps BluRay.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
Broadcast TV is quite a different beast than shooting with a video camera. It's never going to be the same quality. Don't know what kind of camera you have but not even Blu-ray has that high of a bitrate as it tops out at 30Mb/s for 1080p video.
FWIW, Blu-ray's peak bitrate is actually 40Mbps.
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