E* HDTV PVR Demo showed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 178 Old 01-09-2002, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Saw the HDTV PVR prototype today announced by DishNetwork.
It will have 160G Hard drive and have 14 hours of HDTV record capability. It will sport full firewire output with MPEG2 stream for full record compatibility to current DVHS HDTV recorders. They will have BOTH DVI and RGB component outputs. They made it quite clear that they do not indend to leave analog users out on this technology. They were upset that some people are running around claiming that analog owners would be obsolete in the near future with DN HDTV.
The PVR HDTV recorder will be out later in 2002 and will be fully all present copy protection scheme compliant.
See my web link /CES/ for a picture of the demonstration. It was cool to work the HDTV version of the Dish Player.

They are also keeping a close eye on the HDTV DVD recorder too and hope that the interfaces being put into the PVR will work but they are going with firewire right now.

http://www.scubatech.com/CES/DNHDTVPVR.JPG
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post #2 of 178 Old 01-09-2002, 06:56 PM
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Don, thanks for all the information. That sounds pretty encouraging. I have no desire to archive any HD material except for time-shifting purposes, so if I had even a "record once, play once" ability, it would be great.
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post #3 of 178 Old 01-09-2002, 11:31 PM
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Does it have an HD Dish receiver built in? What type of inputs does it have? Will I be able to hook my DTC-100 up to it?
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post #4 of 178 Old 01-10-2002, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, it is a DishNetwork receiver. Inputs are Sat antenna input and I did not ask about OTA capability. There are no RGBHV inputs for the DTC-100.
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post #5 of 178 Old 01-10-2002, 09:37 AM
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post #6 of 178 Old 01-10-2002, 03:15 PM
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If Dish can do this, where are DirecTV and Tivo?

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post #7 of 178 Old 01-10-2002, 04:10 PM
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Don, are those analog outputs subject to image constraint?????
It would be great if they aren't.

PLEASE!
Lets' not once again have a long trail of speculation here about copy protection. Let Don or someone at CES ask Echostar and get the truth from the horse's mouth.

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post #8 of 178 Old 01-10-2002, 09:53 PM
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Thanks for the photo, Don!

I spent about 1/2 hour talking with Dave Kummer (E* VP of Engineering).

The analog outputs on the 921 will support downrez-ing of material if the program providers require it. (No speculation, this is straight from the horse's mouth.) To paraphrase - '...if this is what the program providers require, we'd rather deliver the analog set owner the content at a better than NTSC PQ than to black them out completely'.

The 1394 bus is expected to support both PVR expansion (firewire hard-drives) as well as DVHS.

It also sounds like they are embracing the MOXI design concepts fully. This means that the 921 would have wireless networking builtin to allow slave STBs to access live or recorded SD streams without coax runs from the dish(es)! This may be just the thing to allow DBS to overcome some of the installation FUD which cable promotes. (It also lets them leapfrog DirecTV. After all, until the deal is approved, they're still competitors. :) )

As to whether the incorporation of the MOXI software will delay things, I bet it just allows them to focus on the hardware aspects. I confirmed that they're looking at these features for the 921, not a follow-on product.

Also extremely interesting is that JVC has developed an HD PVR. They had a unit on display, but not connected (can you say "mock-up?") Interestingly, this is built on a 721 chassis (yes, this was confirmed by them) and features component and DVI/HDCP outputs as well as 1394 for connection to the JVC DVHS decks. This will not have the MOXI software, nor will it support multi-room distribution, but it may hit the street first! JVC is talking 1st half of the year, while E* continues to say 3Q for the 921.


BTW - one more tidbit... Owners of Mitsubishi HDTV sets with only 1394 inputs (Mitsubishi is anti-DVI) will not be able to use the 921. For them, Dish will introduce a basic box with no PVR functions, no interactive applications, no OpenTV, no 7 day guide. In other words, a 6000-level product (my guess is no OTA tuner, though, since I think the Mits would provide that) with only a 5C/HAVI 1394 output which would only talk to the Mitsubishi sets.

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post #9 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by peterd
BTW - one more tidbit... Owners of Mitsubishi HDTV sets with only 1394 inputs (Mitsubishi is anti-DVI) will not be able to use the 921. For them, Dish will introduce a basic box with no PVR functions, no interactive applications, no OpenTV, no 7 day guide. In other words, a 6000-level product (my guess is no OTA tuner, though, since I think the Mits would provide that) with only a 5C/HAVI 1394 output which would only talk to the Mitsubishi sets.
Well, I guess that answers my question elsewhere about whether it has DVI/HDCP outputs--it would have to if the 1394 cannot be used with a TV. They'd said months ago that the 1394/DTCP connections would have "limited function" and I guess this is what they mean. Given AV/C, which is one of the 1394 A/V protocols that DTCP is layered on top of, they can discover the function of all of their peers when they come up and refuse service to anything except VCRs or removable media recorders. This is a curious design--it must be a compromise that the content providers pressed on them.

No PVR and a super-dumb box for the Mitsubishi sets is just spiteful. There's some kind of politics going on there.

This kind of puts the brakes on my plans to buy a Mitsubishi Diamond-series set. I guess I'll wait for RCA's 2002 Sceniums, with DVI/HDCP and 1394/DTCP. Even though I can't have DBS right now, the same sort of thing could manifest in the cable world. In any case, by the time those come out, the MPAA's recently announced February 15th deadline to either reach agreement with the CEA on copy protection or place the issue up for government arbitration will be long gone and we may have a better idea of how things will shake out.

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post #10 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by peterd
BTW - one more tidbit... Owners of Mitsubishi HDTV sets with only 1394 inputs (Mitsubishi is anti-DVI) will not be able to use the 921. For them, Dish will introduce a basic box with no PVR functions, no interactive applications, no OpenTV, no 7 day guide. In other words, a 6000-level product (my guess is no OTA tuner, though, since I think the Mits would provide that) with only a 5C/HAVI 1394 output which would only talk to the Mitsubishi sets.
This may be a dumb question, but since the 921 has a 1394 output why will it not work with the Mitsubishi? Is E* making it not work on purpose? If so this seems really stupid. Now that Mitsubishi is shipping their sets with the 1394 interface they probably have (or will have) more HD sets available with 1394 than any other vendor. Who is E* going to sell to if they don't support Mitsubishi?

**Edit**

Also from peterd's post
Quote:
The 1394 bus is expected to support both PVR expansion (firewire hard-drives) as well as DVHS.
Does this include Mits. DVHS? If so how does it work with the Mits DVHS but not their TV? Thanks.

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post #11 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jerndl
Does this include Mits. DVHS? If so how does it work with the Mits DVHS but not their TV? Thanks.
As I tried to explain in my previous post, one of the underlying protocols being used in this A/V-oriented communications stack is called AV/C (for Audio-Visual Command). With this protocol, the Echostar PVR can ask all of the devices of the network what their function is and what their capabilities are. It can determine that device 3 (for instance) on the bus is a television, and when it asks it for service, simply deny the request. It won't matter if it's a Mitsubishi television, a Sony XBR2 or one of the upcoming RCA Sceniums. It knows that device 5 is a VCR, so when it asks it will give it to it (or more probably, it will control the VCR itself when the user asks it to archive something there). Again, it won't matter that it's a Mitsubishi VCR.

1394 is not like the component video cable connecting your television to your STB today--video is not constantly flowing through it while the STB is on. Everything is connected together essentially through the same wire (one cable in from the last device, one cable out to the next, if there is one), and one device must ask another for information (video or audio bits) or there will be nothing happening on the wire. Most of this information will be addressed to a specific unit on the bus (though it could be broadcast to all of them) and the interface chips on the other units will automatically ignore packets not addressed to them. In the case of copy-protected data, an authentication step and secure exchange of encryption keys will take place before data transmission, and no other device on the bus would be able to understand the data.

Many people think that FireWire is FireWire is FireWire. FireWire is what we call a physical-layer--a basic way to get data from one place to another. Various other protocols will typically get layered on top of it to allow applications to speak to each other. I gave a lengthy explanation of these recently developed A/V protocols for FireWire in this post.

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post #12 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 09:54 AM
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Mike,

Thanks for the reply. If I understand you correctly E* has specifically decided to limit the function of the 921's firewire connection to not work with ANY display devices (via firewire) but has desgined it to work with other firewire devices like DVHS recorders (including Mitsubishi's). It still seems to me that E* is severely limiting it's market by excluding Mitsubishi (and other firewire only) TVs. What is the rational for this?

One other random thought. If you can record from the 921 to the Mits. DVHS could you then play the resulting DHVS tape on the Mits. TV? If not, does that mean you would have to playback tapes (made on the mits DVHS) through the 921 to the TV via DVI or analog component connection? What a mess.

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post #13 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 10:14 AM
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The inclusion of 1394 is for archiving not to limit the market. The assumption is you have a DVCR that will hook to the set properly.

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post #14 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rudolpht
The assumption is you have a DVCR that will hook to the set properly.
Lets take a Mits. TV w/firewire and Mits. DVHS deck for example. The TV and the DVHS "hook to the set properly" and the 921 and the DVHS connect "properly". Does that mean that you can record from the 921 to the Mits. DVHS and then play that tape on a Mits. TV (via firewire)? Thanks.

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post #15 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 12:18 PM
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I'm pretty sure that there's no way that they could stop a VCR from playing a program archived to tape on a 1394/DTCP television. You could view the PVR menus and such (and watch any non-copy-protected, non-image-constrained content) through the Mitsubishi's HD component video input. However, it's an awfully awkward way to use a PVR.

As I stated before, I can't imagine that they concocted this bizarre design completely of their own volition. I can only think that they've done it to appease the MPAA. ("Okay--we probably legally can't avoid allowing archiving of some content, so we have to allow the use of 1394/DTCP, but only for copy-protected recording." Just speculating, but it would be typical of the MPAA's twisted thinking).

If it makes it to market, they could easily change it with a firmware upgrade.

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post #16 of 178 Old 01-11-2002, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rudolpht
The inclusion of 1394 is for archiving not to limit the market. The assumption is you have a DVCR that will hook to the set properly.
Actually, you're right when you consider the current selection of HD D-VHS decks. Silicon Image, co-creator (w/Intel) of DVI/HDCP imagined HD VCRs with 1394/DTCP for input and DVI/HDCP for connection to the monitor. They show this in their early whitepaper diagrams. It'd be simple to design a deck that could only record through its 1394/DTCP connection. Hopefully this will not be the wave of the future.

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post #17 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 12:44 AM
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Gosh, a whole lot of speculation can occur within 24 hours! :)

Let me say emphatically that the 921's lack of support for displays over 1394 is not spiteful politics. In fact, E* is going out of their way to build a separate box to support 1394-only displays (& I believe Mitsubishi is the only manufacturer who refuses to include any DVI support).

The reasons are purely technical. To make a long story short, when the display receives input via 1394, the audio & video are an MPEG stream. While the satellite signal is already MPEG encoded, the graphics (EPG, OpenTV, menus, etc.) generated by the STB aren't. Today, they are simply overlayed and the entire signal is sent out the analog outputs (and would be for DVI as well).

In order to provide full support for a 1394-only display, the STB would have to decode the incoming stream, generate the graphics overlay, then re-encode this in order to pass it over the firewire. Adding an encoder (plus probably some additional memory and maybe a bit more CPU horsepower) would add significant cost & complexity. To add cost to every box just to support one manufacturer's sets just doesn't make business sense.

HAVI does, however, include some commands which the STB can send to the set to ask the set to generate some graphics. Therefore, an STB can be built specifically to interact with a 1394/HAVI display. Given the limitations of the graphics which can be generated (for example, background JPEGs could not be used), this leads to limited functionality for this HAVI/1394 specific box.

Incidentally, Mitsubishi's view is that their set is at the center of the universe. (They stated during a CES panel session that they believe the set should be the only device with an MPEG decoder.) Therefore, their set expects to control the STB. My guess is that there will be no remote control infrastructure in the E* STB (the TV's remote will control the STB over the firewire).

Echostar continues to be very supportive of HDTV. The first HD PVRs (both JVC's and Echostar's) will be for Dish Network. These same boxes will be the first STBs to allow direct DVHS recording of HD satellite channels via 1394. While we may sometimes get frustrated over product delays or changes in plans, E* does not deserve to get flamed over this issue.

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post #18 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 07:32 AM
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I just sent this message to Mitsubishi on their website:

"I am sorry to say that I may have to dump my Mitsubishi HDTV set since by 3rd quarter 2003 it will be obsolete and unworkable with DISH Network. I use DISH Network and have been waiting to hear about the Echostar HDPVR-921 due out in 3rd Qtr 2002. At CES Echostar demonstrated the new HD PVR. One problem, it will not work with Mitsubishi sets that do not have DVI inputs. Even if I add the Promise Module to my set, I will not be able to use the dual HDTV tuner Echostar HDPVR-921. You see, HDTV output from the HDPVR-921 will be via DVI. The IEEE1394 connections on the PVR will not pass video. There is a thread on the AVS Forum about this: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=106323

This quote was taken from the thread after the writer had spoken to Dave Kummer, VP Engineering for Echostar: "BTW - one more tidbit... Owners of Mitsubishi HDTV sets with only 1394 inputs (Mitsubishi is anti-DVI) will not be able to use the 921. For them, Dish will introduce a basic box with no PVR functions, no interactive applications, no OpenTV, no 7 day guide. In other words, a 6000-level product (my guess is no OTA tuner, though, since I think the Mits would provide that) with only a 5C/HAVI 1394 output which would only talk to the Mitsubishi sets."

I am very disappointed that the set I bought in 1999 because of your upgradability promise, will now be obsolete for me, a DISH Network customer, who wants to use an HDTV PVR to time shift HDTV programs.

I hope Mitsubishi reconsiders it's boycott of DVI.

Please pass this information to your upper management personnel who make decisions.

Mike aka Hot
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post #19 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent report, Peter. Thanks for all the detailed info on this. I can see that this will be the box to have for DBS, especially if the merger goes through.
The only thing I would add is support to what Peterd said and that is that several e* reps all said the same thing. They support HDTV, want to see it grow and are doing what they can to give us the recording capability for BOTH time shifting as well as archiving that we want. They will also include every copy protection scheme they can to avoid obsolescence and appease the program providers.
In case there is some confusion between what was said and what some may speculate, E* did state that they are designing this box to support current archive capability for the existing DVHS recorders through their firewire connection. And that it will only be limited by the program provider's use of 5C. I also asked about the blue laser HD DVD recorder compatibility and because there is little known about the connectivity of these products in development, they could not answer this at this time. However, they can only assume that this HD DVD will use some existing input signal connection that will work with the HD PVR.
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post #20 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 10:04 AM
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I'd be first in line for a PVR ----

A year ago. Now, its wait and see time for the
Dish/DirectTV merge.
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post #21 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 12:10 PM
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Okay--my speculations were off-base. I'm glad to hear that Echostar wasn't abusing the elegant FireWire A/V protocols in the way that I'd imagined. I'm glad that it wasn't indicative of some horrible MPAA scheme being pushed on theme.

Early on when were debating the merits of 1394 vs DVI as a digital connection to the television, it was brought up that it is much easier to do overlays via DVI. There is some support for overlays in the basic 1394 A/V protocols, but it's probably not as fancy as Echostar needs. (If it was as fancy as most manufacturers would like, much of HAVi would never have been developed).

Hopefully Echostar will license others to develop DISH STBs and PVRs, as they have JVC in the past. Certainly, if the merger happens, the former DIRECTV OEM partners will be out in the cold. Maybe someone will make a unit that uses HAVi for its overlays.

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post #22 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 12:15 PM
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Here is maybe another dumb question related to why it is cost prohibative for a STB to have IEEE1394 output to a display device. Let me first state that I have never used a DVHS deck so I am making some assumptions that may be incorrect. Peterd said this in an earlier post
Quote:
The reasons are purely technical. To make a long story short, when the display receives input via 1394, the audio & video are an MPEG stream. While the satellite signal is already MPEG encoded, the graphics (EPG, OpenTV, menus, etc.) generated by the STB aren't. Today, they are simply overlayed and the entire signal is sent out the analog outputs (and would be for DVI as well).

In order to provide full support for a 1394-only display, the STB would have to decode the incoming stream, generate the graphics overlay, then re-encode this in order to pass it over the firewire. Adding an encoder (plus probably some additional memory and maybe a bit more CPU horsepower) would add significant cost & complexity. To add cost to every box just to support one manufacturer's sets just doesn't make business sense.
What is so different between a STB and a DVHS deck with regard to using IEEE1394 as the display mechanism? Aren't the audio and video an MPEG stream with a DVHS deck also? Don't DHVS decks use onscren graphics and menus? I'll admit that there will probably be more graphics on a STB than DVHS but is this what is making it too expensive to do? Or is it that DVHS decks are way more expensive than the proposed STBs because they have to do some encoding and extra processing? I guess I'm still not convinced that the reasons for not supporting IEEE1394 display devices is purely technical.

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post #23 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 01:08 PM
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"Cost prohibitive" is a little strong. The OSDs for a DVHS deck may be simple enough that the elementary support provided for OSD in the 1394 A/V stacks is sufficient. The fancier, colorful OSDs with lots of bitmapped graphics (like the network logos and little stills in the "Showcase" menus of a TiVo) cannot be done using those facilities, hence the development of HAVi (Home Audio Video Interoperability--don't ask me why the "i" is lowercase. See http://www.havi.org/ for more info). HAVi is a lot like the Internet protocols for web browsing, only specific to control of networked home A/V devices.

However, the inclusion of HAVi in a device incurs licensing costs (also, you can't really be sure that all televisions with 1394 interfaces implement HAVi--I'm not certain that Sony's do--but you could give sets without HAVi crude OSDs). Like any other company, E* has made a marketing decision. They don't know whether the television manufacturers will go with DVI or 1394 (or both, like RCA). The studios have announced widespread support for DVI, but only a smattering of support for 1394. DVI is much cheaper to implement in a television (though it forces every other digital video source in your system to implement MPEG decoding, or feed a central MPEG decoder, a design I'd favor which no manufacturer has put forth). Echostar had promised to support recording through 1394, and they're delivering on that promise.

I wonder if you can play back a 1394 recorder through the PVR, using its MPEG decoder to output to the television on DVI? That'd be easy for them to do and a very useful trick. It'd allow JVC's recorders work with JVC's televisions :). (Or any of the twp currently available recorders to output copy-protected content to a DVI/HDCP-only television. It'd be one instance of the central outboard MPEG decoder box that I'd want to enable merging DVI/HDCP and 1394/DTCP).

What E* has done is a compromise which assumes that most television manufacturers will, like JVC and now RCA, put a DVI/HDCP input on their sets. It cuts costs some in their product. It has also, however, cut Mitsubishi's huge honkin' portion of the HDTV monitor market out of their customer base (or vice-versa--it's a test of loyalties). Of course, with only two million or so sold in three years, the sale of HDTVs has only barely begun--they're probably hoping to replace at least another 40 million NTSC sets in the next four or five.

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post #24 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 10:18 PM
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Thanks for such great debate on this matter. I'm very interested in the near future HD recording capability and the many aspects of different interfaces. I have read a lot about firewire but I know very little about DVI. I have the Yamaha projector which has a DVI input. The user manual basicaly says it can be used to link a PC. The question I have is: When and if the Dish 921 will be ready, can I send the signal from it to my projector using the DVI?
Thanks for any help.
Sergio

Standard Definition Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy
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post #25 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 10:56 PM
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Sergio -

While we can never be certain of compatibility before actually testing a particular combination of gear, I'd say it is likely you would be able to send the signal from a Dish 921 to your projector using DVI. However, unless the projector's DVI input supports HDCP copy protection you face the possibility that some programming may be viewable only at reduced resolution.


Don -

Thanks for the vote of confidence! It was good meeting you (however briefly) at the show. Sorry I missed seeing Jay's setup. Next year I'll be sure not to miss the dinner.

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post #26 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by peterd
The reasons are purely technical. To make a long story short, when the display receives input via 1394, the audio & video are an MPEG stream. While the satellite signal is already MPEG encoded, the graphics (EPG, OpenTV, menus, etc.) generated by the STB aren't. Today, they are simply overlayed and the entire signal is sent out the analog outputs (and would be for DVI as well).

In order to provide full support for a 1394-only display, the STB would have to decode the incoming stream, generate the graphics overlay, then re-encode this in order to pass it over the firewire. Adding an encoder (plus probably some additional memory and maybe a bit more CPU horsepower) would add significant cost & complexity. To add cost to every box just to support one manufacturer's sets just doesn't make business sense.

HAVI does, however, include some commands which the STB can send to the set to ask the set to generate some graphics. Therefore, an STB can be built specifically to interact with a 1394/HAVI display. Given the limitations of the graphics which can be generated (for example, background JPEGs could not be used), this leads to limited functionality for this HAVI/1394 specific box.

Incidentally, Mitsubishi's view is that their set is at the center of the universe. (They stated during a CES panel session that they believe the set should be the only device with an MPEG decoder.) Therefore, their set expects to control the STB. My guess is that there will be no remote control infrastructure in the E* STB (the TV's remote will control the STB over the firewire).

Echostar continues to be very supportive of HDTV. The first HD PVRs (both JVC's and Echostar's) will be for Dish Network. These same boxes will be the first STBs to allow direct DVHS recording of HD satellite channels via 1394. While we may sometimes get frustrated over product delays or changes in plans, E* does not deserve to get flamed over this issue.
It seems to me that an advantage to the "firewire for everything" scheme is that you only need a single decoder in the entire system. The compressed stream can be recorded or sent directly to the TV, but either way the stream is "left alone" until it reaches the final stage, at which time it's uncompressed and displayed. With DVI, you'd either need a vcr that uncompresses the stream (along with multiple DVI inputs on the TV), or the vcr would somehow have to send the signal back through the STB in order to use it's DVI connection (which, as someone already noted, would be a mess.)

Frankly, I think Mits's idea of using firewire all around solves more problems than it causes, and greatly simplifies everything. There are ways around the "graphics" limitations of using firewire that don't involve uncompressing/recompressing -- doesn't HAVi already demonstrate this? Perhaps the graphics can't be quite as fancy (I'm still not clear what the real world limitations are) but is it really worth adding a whole other format to the mix (since firewire would still be needed for recording) just to get somewhat "fancier" graphics?

I'm confused about some people (not necessarily those here) coming down on Mitsubishi for openly supporting firewire over DVI. They seem to forget that Mits is the ONLY manufacturer so far to at least TRY to maintain full compatibility with future technologies. Their "Promise" upgrade is the only attempt at preventing obsolescence that I've seen so far in this industry.

Given this, I absolutely disagree about E* not deserving to "get flamed over this issue." The industry has already started adopting firewire (both Mits and Sony) and E* is throwing a wrench into the works. The statistics I've read show Mits providing somewhere between 50% and 70% of the HDTV's in the market. E*'s decsion to not support a standard that a large portion of the industry has already started to support is not only a horrendous marketing decision, it's also a slap in the face to between 1 and 2 million HDTV owners out there (unless Mits decides to include DVI in their Promise module, which could theoretically happen.) It's irresponsible moves like this one that are slowing down the evolution of HDTV -- people don't want to buy into this technology until these issues are worked out. Every time another manufacturer chooses an opposing technology, everything slows down again.

Larry
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post #27 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 11:02 PM
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I'm glad this product has finally surfaced. I thought it would never arrive...

Thanks for the report.

Pocatello
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post #28 of 178 Old 01-12-2002, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by slimoli
Thanks for such great debate on this matter. I'm very interested in the near future HD recording capability and the many aspects of different interfaces. I have read a lot about firewire but I know very little about DVI. I have the Yamaha projector which has a DVI input. The user manual basically says it can be used to link a PC. The question I have is: When and if the Dish 921 will be ready, can I send the signal from it to my projector using the DVI?
Thanks for any help.
Sergio
Since the manual mentions nothing about HDCP copy protection on the DVI input, it's safe to say that it would not work with copy protected sources. If this is indeed the case, then there is nothing that would work over the DVI input that wouldn't work over the component or RGB inputs instead -- i.e. you'd be in the same boat as anyone who only had component and/or RGB inputs on their projector with no DVI inputs.

Larry
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post #29 of 178 Old 01-13-2002, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by peterd
HAVI does, however, include some commands which the STB can send to the set to ask the set to generate some graphics. Therefore, an STB can be built specifically to interact with a 1394/HAVI display. Given the limitations of the graphics which can be generated (for example, background JPEGs could not be used), this leads to limited functionality for this HAVI/1394 specific box.
I hadn't read this carefully before someone else quoted it. This is certainly not true. The two levels of HAVi that have GUI capabilities (FAV and IAV, for "Full" and "Intermediate" AV device), which are what you'd see in a television or an STB, are fully capable of handling bitmapped graphics of arbitrary size. If you chose to store images in JPEG in your STB (for whatever strange reason you might have) you could convert it to a color bitmap for display on a HAVi GUI. You'd have to convert it to a bitmap to overlay it on your converted MPEG, anyway.

Mitsubishi's televisions implement FAV and "Enhanced" IAV and are all capable of running applets written in a subset of Java AWT 1.1, extended with "support for different pixel aspect ratios, screen aspect ratios and screen sizes" and "support for alpha blending video/image layering", and a few other things.

I took a longer look at the spec for the GUI building API for AV/C (which, unlike HAVi, must be present in a 1394/DTCP implementation) and it's really not all that bad. It too can feature color bitmaps.

With the support in FAV HAVi, you could build GUIs for an STB as snazzy as the finest web page. On top of that, it would run completely in the television's processor, only bothering your STB when the user issues a command.

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post #30 of 178 Old 01-13-2002, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lalittle
Frankly, I think Mits's idea of using firewire all around solves more problems than it causes, and greatly simplifies everything.
I personally see strengths in both standards, but FireWire is absolutely essential, since its the only one that can be recorded. I'd like to see HD monitors with a DVI/HDCP input and an outboard tuner STB with an MPEG decoder and an DVI output. That STB would also have at least two 1394/DTCP connections and could be used by anything else on its FireWire bus to do MPEG decoding and display to the monitor through DVI. This a) makes the monitors cheaper by removing the MPEG decoder; b) insulates the monitors from new video compression standards--devices could use MPEG-4, wavelets, etc, and pump it into a DVI receiver; c) keeps all the current ATSC recording devices cheap by not requiring them to contain an MPEG decoder. Of course, realizing this scheme would require way too much industry cooperation :).
Quote:
The statistics I've read show Mits providing somewhere between 50% and 70% of the HDTV's in the market.
Well, these stats would disagree with those. According to them, Mitsubishi sold 24% of all DTVs in 2000, trailing only Sony, and 17.9% of all DTVs in 2001, with Hitachi pulling ahead of them and Toshiba gaining ground. (Wow--Mitsubishi leapt from 5.6 to 38% of the digital STBs sold). In any case, their share is large, and shouldn't be ignored, especially since Sony, who is still selling the largest number of DTVs at 27.3% has introduced three models this year with 1394/DTCP connections (though not, apparently, HAVi). Of course, Sony also introduced four or five other DTVs without FireWire.

It'd be interesting to see a breakdown of sales of true HDTVs--16x9 screens capable of displaying at least 720p, in real pixels (excusing a number of the flatscreens, pretty though they may be). For some reason, no one in the CE industry is interested in drawing that distinction. In their stats, a DTV is any monitor, 4x3 or 16x9, which can accept some of the ATSC formats (via HD component video, RGBHV, VGA or now, one of these digital connections) and scale them for presentation on their display.

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