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ReplayTV & Showstopper PVRs > The latest from ReplayTV
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 04:21 PM 08-01-2011
The phone number still works. The auto-message is there and then a customer service rep answered and confirmed that the number was still good for support.

I told her we all wanted to know what was going on. She told me the following:

They lost over 50% of the RTV population last year mainly to cable co. DVRs
They are required to change all of their technology to digital as per the FCC - this does not mean the digital programming (as she and I had this discussion) or hardware, this is how the mothership functions. Currently the net connect (setting the clock, channel guide, zones, etc.) is all analog connection. It must become all digital by a certain date that she did not know.
Because that will cost them a lot of expense and time, they had originally decided not to go through with it because of the loss of customers last year.
Because of so much response in these past 6 weeks, they decided that there was enough interest to pursue the digital conversion after all.
With them experimenting on converting the signal, this could mean that there could be hours, days or weeks with no service.
They are also not sure if they can do it at all and might give up.
Everyone needs to monitor their connected RTVs because there may be no warning of a change. Otherwise, nag screens will be used to provide info.
Their official statement says that they do not anticipate and changes to services going forward, but that they do reserve the right to add, modify or reduce service in the future for a variety of reasons including changes to technology, programming availability and new service options.

They are going through a lot of training, she said, in order to prepare for this required conversion.
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Crunchy Doodle's Avatar Crunchy Doodle 04:26 PM 08-01-2011
I'll assume you are attempting to report what you heard accurately. The problem I'm having with what you are reporting is that the analog / digital part makes no sense. I hope the person you spoke to was just confused.

Bye.
ChampaignWalt's Avatar ChampaignWalt 04:28 PM 08-01-2011
Uh, BS dectector is going off. The mothership has to go digital because the FCC requires it? I'm not buying this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwinter2 View Post

They are required to change all of their technology to digital as per the FCC - this does not mean the digital programming (as she and I had this discussion) or hardware, this is how the mothership functions. Currently the net connect (setting the clock, channel guide, zones, etc.) is all analog connection. It must become all digital by a certain date that she did not know.
With them experimenting on converting the signal, this could mean that there could be hours, days or weeks with no service.
They are also not sure if they can do it at all and might give up.
Everyone needs to monitor their connected RTVs because there may be no warning of a change. Otherwise, nag screens will be used to provide info.
Their official statement says that they do not anticipate and changes to services going forward, but that they do reserve the right to add, modify or reduce service in the future for a variety of reasons including changes to technology, programming availability and new service options.


mlloyd's Avatar mlloyd 04:32 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwinter2 View Post

The phone number still works. The auto-message is there and then a customer service rep answered and confirmed that the number was still good for support.

I told her we all wanted to know what was going on. She told me the following:

They lost over 50% of the RTV population last year mainly to cable co. DVRs
They are required to change all of their technology to digital as per the FCC - this does not mean the digital programming (as she and I had this discussion) or hardware, this is how the mothership functions. Currently the net connect (setting the clock, channel guide, zones, etc.) is all analog connection. It must become all digital by a certain date that she did not know.
Because that will cost them a lot of expense and time, they had originally decided not to go through with it because of the loss of customers last year.
Because of so much response in these past 6 weeks, they decided that there was enough interest to pursue the digital conversion after all.
With them experimenting on converting the signal, this could mean that there could be hours, days or weeks with no service.
They are also not sure if they can do it at all and might give up.
Everyone needs to monitor their connected RTVs because there may be no warning of a change. Otherwise, nag screens will be used to provide info.
Their official statement says that they do not anticipate and changes to services going forward, but that they do reserve the right to add, modify or reduce service in the future for a variety of reasons including changes to technology, programming availability and new service options.

They are going through a lot of training, she said, in order to prepare for this required conversion.

What about the mothership is analog? Could that be talking about dial-up? I never heard anything about phone being required to convert to digital.
KenL's Avatar KenL 04:38 PM 08-01-2011
Yep hard to tell if there was originally some grain of truth in there that was mangled beyond recognition.

Any guesses or translations?

Perhaps part of the "blame it all on the digital transition" meme and of course the implications for analog cable. Wonder if the "experimentation" has to do with lineup management? But with so little population left why do anything but pull the plug.
truckie36's Avatar truckie36 04:39 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Doodle View Post

the analog / digital part makes no sense.

Bye.

Must be Al Gore is going to invent new inter-webs.
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 04:40 PM 08-01-2011
I even explained to her what digital is and how it is different from HD and that HD isn't an FCC requirement. And I reminded her that RTV doesn't control the broadcasting of the signals which RTV records without a problem. She said it had nothing to do with the programming/broadcasting or OUR hardware, but that their equipment was out of compliance and had to up updated by a certain date as per the FCC. She said that how the net connect was being transmitted to the units was over analog signal and had to be converted to digital.
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 04:41 PM 08-01-2011
If you would like to call and get the info, most of which she reads - like the statement from the FCC and the official statement - please do. She is a dedicated RTV CS employee - something I thought RTV didn't have since in all these years, I never spoke to a CS person until this past June.
truckie36's Avatar truckie36 04:50 PM 08-01-2011
Are they trying to blame it on IPv6?
KenL's Avatar KenL 04:51 PM 08-01-2011
Must be talking about dialup connects?

Someone else call and "probe the script" some more see if we can get past that "great barrier of misunderstanding" for some better nuggets of possible info.

Maybe someone can call and get Cory...
Space's Avatar Space 04:56 PM 08-01-2011
Maybe she was talking about being able to control the over the air set top boxes with sub-channels??? Is there some sort of requirement that could be construed to mean that the ReplayTV service would need to work with those???
jonwz's Avatar jonwz 05:09 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwinter2 View Post

Currently the net connect (setting the clock, channel guide, zones, etc.) is all analog connection. It must become all digital by a certain date that she did not know.
.


Any chance you called them at 4:20? Smell a tangy aroma over the phone connection???

Maybe "Space" is onto something. Could there possibly be a requirement to support Federally sponsored OTA DTV boxes by a certain date? That might make some sense out of their previous announcements.
KenL's Avatar KenL 05:14 PM 08-01-2011
I tend to doubt that since the FCC is now on course to eliminate OTA television broadcasting to repurpose the spectrum.

And with the "white spaces" mess the OTA set top boxes won't be good for much before long. And really lots of brand *new* HDTVs.

FCC Broadband Plan Threatens Millions of TV Viewers
Reden's Avatar Reden 05:26 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:


Currently the net connect (setting the clock, channel guide, zones, etc.) is all analog connection.

Finally someone will replace the analog clock and channel guide. The converting of the clock to digitial will make the "display clock" setting on 243-Zones work so much faster.

Sorry, sbwinter2, their response makes no sense technically.

Robert
Reden's Avatar Reden 05:28 PM 08-01-2011
Maybe DNNA transferred support to http://www.theonion.com/
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 05:29 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reden View Post

Finally someone will replace the analog clock and channel guide. The converting of the clock to digitial will make the "display clock" setting on 243-Zones work so much faster.

Sorry, sbwinter2, their response makes no sense technically.

Robert

It is no offense to me. I just took notes and relayed them here. This is what SHE said after I asked her over and over for more clarification. Please call and hear it for yourself. The CS reps are not technical, so they probably don't understand what they are saying. This is what they have been told to say. Maybe you will get someone other than Cindy.

Their office is still open now.
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 05:31 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reden View Post

Finally someone will replace the analog clock and channel guide. The converting of the clock to digitial will make the "display clock" setting on 243-Zones work so much faster.

Sorry, sbwinter2, their response makes no sense technically.

Robert

Better yet - she said they were very lost about what to do. Maybe Robert can call them and become a consultant since we know he knows what HE is doing.
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 05:45 PM 08-01-2011
I just called again and spoke to Shawn in tech support, who I have spoken to before. He said that all he knew was that the shutdown was due to them not wanting to support an analog device in a digital-signal world. He had no info on the change-of-mind and knew nothing of the FCC stuff or conversion, but also told me that Cindy, in his office, is in a more supervisory role and may be privy to more info.
speck9's Avatar speck9 06:05 PM 08-01-2011
calling the regular customer support is never going to get you the right answer on something as complicated as this.

Not that it matters much anyways. Just wait and see what happens. The monthly customers are in a little bit of limbo, but with things like WIRNS and SD you can protect yourself with the suggestions in other recent threads. At least for the time being even monthly customers are getting free guide from DNNA... can't beat that!
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 08:45 PM 08-01-2011
I really wasn't looking for any real answers. I mainly called because in another thread, someone had said the number was only a message now, and I wanted to confirm that. When the rep actually answered, I figured I'd see what she knew (and then spent time explaining digital to her until I finally gave up).
SoNic67's Avatar SoNic67 09:37 PM 08-01-2011
I think she is right...
My take:

The OUTPUT of our boxes is analog. That is not acceptable anymore for content providers. They want to be able to implement the "do not record" or "do not skip" flags in their programming and "analog hole" is the last hurdle in the way.
All the new devices sold in US will have only digital outputs to comply with that.
http://www.osnews.com/story/22897/20...omponent_Video

So the Replay TV servers need to be "upgraded" to compensate for the hardware "lack of protection" by sending some suplemental signals corelated with digital programming. That mean for each zipcode, each channel and each cable provider.
Maybe even they are required send a new firmware to all the boxes to make them "compatible" with the new digital age copy-protection requrements...
curtb3's Avatar curtb3 09:45 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by speck9 View Post

The monthly customers are in a little bit of limbo, but with things like WIRNS and SD you can protect yourself with the suggestions in other recent threads. At least for the time being even monthly customers are getting free guide from DNNA... can't beat that!

I am monthly, have been on Wirns 3.0 since its debut, have SD, and never have to connect to DNNA again. I'm in no limbo.

If you're monthly, on WiRNS 3.0, and still connected to DNNA, then I'm certain that you can expect billing to resume soon. Everyone who has bailed should be home free.
nutzo's Avatar nutzo 09:51 PM 08-01-2011
I don’t doubt that this is what they told you, but it makes no sense from a technical standpoint.

The only FCC mandates concerning Digital TV where the following:

On May 8th, 2008, any TV equipment for sale that was analog only had to be labeled that it could not receive digital signals.
Over the air stations stopped transmitting analog on June 12th, 2009
Cable companies must broadcast local channels in analog until 2012, or provide converter boxes for their subscribers.

The FCC has the option of extending the requirement that cable companies provide the analog signal or provide cable boxes to convert the signals to analog.

So basically, as of Jan 1, 2012, the FCC rules regarding analog TV support by cable companies expires unless the FCC extends it.
This means that the cable companies do not need to provide analog channels, or even provide analog outputs on their cable TV boxes.

I think this is what DNNA was referring to.

There is NO FCC requirement that existing consumer analog equipment be changed to support digital signals.
In fact there is NO FCC requirements at all on existing consumer equipment. You are free to use it as long as you want/can.

Likely the biggest change will be that more cable companies will drop the analog channels, or at least reduce them to a small number of local channels.
I can’t see cable not supporting analog TV’s or Replays over a cable box for quite a few more years. Many of them are still using cable boxes that are almost as old as the Replays.

So this is either DNNA jumping the gun, assuming nobody will support analog connections as of 2012, or a misinterpretation of the FCC rules.
I wonder if the management who made this decision even understand how a Replay can connect to and control a cable box.
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 10:17 PM 08-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by nutzo View Post


I think this is what DNNA was referring to.

There is NO FCC requirement that existing consumer analog equipment be changed to support digital signals.
In fact there is NO FCC requirements at all on existing consumer equipment. You are free to use it as long as you want/can.

Likely the biggest change will be that more cable companies will drop the analog channels, or at least reduce them to a small number of local channels.
I can’t see cable not supporting analog TV’s or Replays over a cable box for quite a few more years. Many of them are still using cable boxes that are almost as old as the Replays.

So this is either DNNA jumping the gun, assuming nobody will support analog connections as of 2012, or a misinterpretation of the FCC rules.
I wonder if the management who made this decision even understand how a Replay can connect to and control a cable box.

Like I said, it wasn't OUR RTVs that had to be changed, but THEIR network info that they transmit to us. And I didn't get the impression that this was a universal date, but something addressed specifically to them - like when they were told to remove the Commercial Advance.

What the previous poster said makes sense, maybe they are trying to figure out how to implement a way to control what we record and how it can be shared and downloaded like the way Tivo is controlled. Maybe the pressure is, once again, from the industry and not just the FCC.

Tivo and macrovision:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/243

And an old FCC ruling on the requirement for blocking:
http://www.slate.com/id/2091723/

I am more interested in LaHo once again. Hope they still are considering it and RTV doesn't fight it.
brobin's Avatar brobin 11:36 PM 08-01-2011
Replay does not provide programming and has no duty or ability to provide any type of "programming flag." All ReplayTV does is provide scheduling info - nothing more. There are no FCC requirements to cease providing analog outputs and it isn't even their jurisdiction to do so if they wanted. Even the article you refer to says that.
nutzo's Avatar nutzo 12:18 AM 08-02-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by brobin View Post

Replay does not provide programming and has no duty or ability to provide any type of "programming flag." All ReplayTV does is provide scheduling info - nothing more. There are no FCC requirements to cease providing analog outputs and it isn't even their jurisdiction to do so if they wanted. Even the article you refer to says that.

The Replays met the legal requirements when they where produced, and they haven't passed any laws (yet) that require retroactively changing equipement to support new laws that have been passed. So once again, there is no reason for them to change anything. Since there no updates for new blaster IR codes, and cable companies are gradually dropping analog channels, there are going to be fewer and fewer people that can use a Replay (not talking about the people that can hack it to add new codes). Another 2-3 years and most the non technical users will likely have switch to something else.
SoNic67's Avatar SoNic67 04:47 AM 08-02-2011
Did you read what I wrote above? Is not about new LAWS, is about content providers mandating "no analog hole" on their digital signal. And that means probably a LAWSUIT and ReplayTV where burned once with that.
aa4hg's Avatar aa4hg 06:10 AM 08-02-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwinter2 View Post

I just called again and spoke to Shawn in tech support, who I have spoken to before. He said that all he knew was that the shutdown was due to them not wanting to support an analog device in a digital-signal world.

I think Shawn hit the nail on the head. It's not a case of the beloved Commish (FCC) telling them to "switch to digital". She misunderstood.

It also has to do with the fact that sometime in 2012, cable companies no longer will be required to supply an analog signal of any sort to their customers which will take out more of DNNA's customer base (at least in their mind).

All in all, DNNA blinked in this standoff, and my WiRNS 3.0 works great! I'm going to pass the money that I would have been spending with DNNA around to the programmers associated with WiRNS, Poopli, and others that have kept the dream alive. I would suggest that others do the same, if you haven't already.

Cya!
Cobalt_Crysalis's Avatar Cobalt_Crysalis 06:52 AM 08-02-2011
Quote:


Did you read what I wrote above? Is not about new LAWS, is about content providers mandating "no analog hole" on their digital signal. And that means probably a LAWSUIT and ReplayTV where burned once with that.

I guess you didn't read what the others wrote. DNNA isn't providing anything other than a programming guide. There is no analog hole for them to close.
sbwinter2's Avatar sbwinter2 07:07 AM 08-02-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt_Crysalis View Post

I guess you didn't read what the others wrote. DNNA isn't providing anything other than a programming guide. There is no analog hole for them to close.

According to them, they are also providing the clock setting, authorization for the units to work, and zones functionality (and tech support).
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