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post #1 of 35 Old 03-30-2012, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Look at what the Aussies have available to them from just one manufacturer.
What happened here in the land of the free and home of the brave (and now deprived)?

http://www.strong.com.au/DVR%20Range.html









http://www.strong.com.au/Images/SRT%205429%203D.jpg
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post #2 of 35 Old 03-30-2012, 09:27 PM
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There are also many more DVR options in Europe compared to the United States. I've never seen a totally authoritative reason for it, but the best explanation I've been able to find is that TiVo's patents prevent other companies from launching competing DVR units in the US, which is why TiVo is involved in lawsuits with so many companies right now. The DVR selection in the US can only improve when TiVo's patents expire and allow competitors to start coming up with alternatives. Until then, the only non-TiVo DVR options seem to be from companies that have either signed agreements with TiVo or are from other countries and try to release units that don't infringe on TiVo's patents.

I could be completely wrong here, so if someone knows more, please correct me.
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post #3 of 35 Old 03-30-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

There are also many more DVR options in Europe compared to the United States. I've never seen a totally authoritative reason for it, but the best explanation I've been able to find is that TiVo's patents prevent other companies from launching competing DVR units in the US, which is why TiVo is involved in lawsuits with so many companies right now. The DVR selection in the US can only improve when TiVo's patents expire and allow competitors to start coming up with alternatives. Until then, the only non-TiVo DVR options seem to be from companies that have either signed agreements with TiVo or are from other countries and try to release units that don't infringe on TiVo's patents.

I could be completely wrong here, so if someone knows more, please correct me.

Not sure you're wrong, but these are made for their own markets.
Most US customers seem to have either cable or some other service other than over the air, with these models posted above are for. Maybe there is a larger market in Australia for OTA.
Both SAT providers offer their version of a DVR [or more], and cable is using Motorola for the most part like U-verse, all of which are leaving TiVo a bit hanging out in the wind these days.

A.K.A. VOS
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post #4 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morc258 View Post

Look at what the Aussies have available to them from just one manufacturer.
What happened here in the land of the free and home of the brave (and now deprived)?

Completely different market conditions.

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post #5 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I will admit I am not familiar with Australia's content provisions. After a quick informal search it appears they have a population of around 23 million and we have around 312 million. With so many people here going to OTA, it seems we would be a prime candidate for this type of equipment. I could not find a firm number for percentage of americans on OTA, but lets just be conservative and say 10%. I am no statistician, but looks like you would sell more than a few if they were reasonably priced.
If it is the all mighty Tivo scaring everybody away from our market with their lawsuits, I guess we'll just stagnate until mid 2018, when the patent runs out.
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post #6 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morc258 View Post

I will admit I am not familiar with Australia's content provisions. After a quick informal search it appears they have a population of around 23 million and we have around 312 million. With so many people here going to OTA, it seems we would be a prime candidate for this type of equipment. I could not find a firm number for percentage of americans on OTA, but lets just be conservative and say 10%. I am no statistician, but looks like you would sell more than a few if they were reasonably priced.

What would be "reasonably priced"?
It's been many years since I was playing with OTA tuners cards in a PC and Media Center from Microsoft, but if you already have the PC, the parts to turn one into a DVR aren't that costly.
Next question might be of your "10%", how many of them would even be interested in a DVR?
I'm not in the average demographics, but on my list of recordings, less than 30% would be from OTA, which might suggest the market for DVRs would be skewed towards those with a pay TV service, which offer DVRs now.

A.K.A. VOS
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post #7 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

What would be "reasonably priced"?
It's been many years since I was playing with OTA tuners cards in a PC and Media Center from Microsoft, but if you already have the PC, the parts to turn one into a DVR aren't that costly.
Next question might be of your "10%", how many of them would even be interested in a DVR?
I'm not in the average demographics, but on my list of recordings, less than 30% would be from OTA, which might suggest the market for DVRs would be skewed towards those with a pay TV service, which offer DVRs now.

1. I think sub $200 would be acceptable for most. The cheap model (160Gb single tuner) in the Aussie list was $79, which the exchange rate is close to US dollar.
http://www.strongshop.com.au/Product.aspx?ProductID=16
2. The majority of the public, excluding members of this forum, will not have interest in building a HTPC.
3. Lets say 10% of that 10%, to be extremely conservative. How many units would that be?
4. I agree people are skewed towards using DVR from service provider, but how many Americans still live in rural areas that have have no infrastructure for cable or fiber and do not want satellite service?

I saw some unfounded info that eluded there were over 46 million americans using OTA, and the number was increasing. That was from last year, what the true figure is, I'm sure someone on this forum may know a more accurate and founded figure.
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post #8 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morc258 View Post

1. I think sub $200 would be acceptable for most. The cheap model (160Gb single tuner) in the Aussie list was $79, which the exchange rate is close to US dollar.
http://www.strongshop.com.au/Product.aspx?ProductID=16
2. The majority of the public, excluding members of this forum, will not have interest in building a HTPC.
3. Lets say 10% of that 10%, to be extremely conservative. How many units would that be?
4. I agree people are skewed towards using DVR from service provider, but how many Americans still live in rural areas that have have no infrastructure for cable or fiber and do not want satellite service?

I saw some unfounded info that eluded there were over 46 million americans using OTA, and the number was increasing. That was from last year, what the true figure is, I'm sure someone on this forum may know a more accurate and founded figure.

Maybe it's the ATSC licensing fees, but I don't see a $80 DVR here, or much of a market for only 20 hours of recording.
A dual tuner DVR has a bill of materials in the $200-300 range.

Could there be a market for an OTA only DVR here? maybe, but is there enough profit to be worth the investment?

A.K.A. VOS
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post #9 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

Maybe it's the ATSC licensing fees, but I don't see a $80 DVR here, or much of a market for only 20 hours of recording.
A dual tuner DVR has a bill of materials in the $200-300 range.

Could there be a market for an OTA only DVR here? maybe, but is there enough profit to be worth the investment?

Not nearly as much profit as a monthly fee or large upfront lifetime service.
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post #10 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Look at the specs on this machine for $129, and tell me these wouldn't sell if it were on Walmart's shelf.

http://www.strongshop.com.au/Product.aspx?ProductID=48

Features

500GB HIGH DEFINITION TWIN TUNER DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER
Receives all Free to Air TV Channels; Standard and High Definition, (where coverage allows).
Massive 500Gb Internal Hard Disk Drive, plus DVR Ready via USB External Hard Drive (Sold Separately)
Twin Tuner High Definition - Record three programs at once, while watching a fourth (from 2 networks)
For Superior Picture quality and improved reception
Electronic Program Guide, with one touch recording
Time Shift & LAN for Internet connectivity
Digital Dolby Plus Audio, MPEG-4 Compliant
USB 2.0 Host for Mp3 Playback, JPEG Viewing and oftware, update, Records Closed Captions
MEPS Compliant
Price: $129.00
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post #11 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 10:50 AM
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There are some questions about those features, which I'm not sure would transfer to the US ATSC TV.
Record 4 but only off 2 networks, is one.
This looks to be using sub channels, which aren't that popular with HD, as it reduces the bit-rate for HD.
Looking at the actual tuner specs, simply don't work for the US market. Pull up the pdf specs and you'll see these won't work for the US market.

A.K.A. VOS
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post #12 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morc258 View Post

Not nearly as much profit as a monthly fee or large upfront lifetime service.

You seem to be focused on TiVo, but since there are other options, not sure how this plays.

A.K.A. VOS
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post #13 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 11:05 AM
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Maybe this should be approached from starting with a OTA tuner like the AM-21
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...u=872195000147
Profit is needed so this price might be a good target, but they can be bought directly from DirecTV for $50.
Now add to the what is needed to control this tuner and be able to turn it into a DVR.

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post #14 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

This looks to be using sub channels, which aren't that popular with HD, as it reduces the bit-rate for HD.

The popularity of sub-channels probably depends on your specific TV market. I receive only two stations that have no subchannels, so it's far more popular to have them here than to ditch them to devote more bandwidth to a single HD signal.
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post #15 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

The popularity of sub-channels probably depends on your specific TV market. I receive only two stations that have no subchannels, so it's far more popular to have them here than to ditch them to devote more bandwidth to a single HD signal.

There are some that are all sub-channels, with no HD, but the major networks [here] at most will have one SD sub. ABC & NBC have one, but Fox & CBS don't.
Not sure how well these could be used with the current OTA tuners to record subs with the main channel, to have more than 1 or 2 channels recorded.

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post #16 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

There are some questions about those features, which I'm not sure would transfer to the US ATSC TV.
Record 4 but only off 2 networks, is one.
This looks to be using sub channels, which aren't that popular with HD, as it reduces the bit-rate for HD.
Looking at the actual tuner specs, simply don't work for the US market. Pull up the pdf specs and you'll see these won't work for the US market.

I fully understand that the equipment intended for Australian television signals will not work here. My point is, can't we have more choices designed to work here on ATSC? Wouldn't you think the price of production should be similar? Especially when this technology is nothing new.


Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

You seem to be focused on TiVo, but since there are other options, not sure how this plays.

I am indeed focused on Tivo due to the fact they may be one of the major reasons manufacturers don't want to provide alternatives for fear of being sued. As for the other options, tell me how many standalone, no fee, with tuner built in recorders you can purchase down at Best buy on the shelf?
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post #17 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 02:14 PM
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It seems you have the opportunity to make a fortune, or lose your investment.
I'd have guessed if there was a market for it, that it would have been filled by now.
Tivo patents aren't all inclusive for DVRs. Some features are theirs.

A.K.A. VOS
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post #18 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

It seems you have the opportunity to make a fortune, or lose your investment.
I'd have guessed if there was a market for it, that it would have been filled by now.
Tivo patents aren't all inclusive for DVRs. Some features are theirs.

Well, look at it this way. The content owners do not want you building a huge collection of recordings on massive multi tearbyte hard drives. The would rather you buy physical pre-packaged media from them or downloads/streaming through one of the many channels. Then combine this with the fcat that some studios area also hardware manufacturers (think Sony) who have a vested interest in preventing you from recording content. Combine this with the overbearing licensing restrictions for recording cable content (which many more people subscribe to than OTA ATM) aka CableLabs certification. Then you add in the fact that the cable companies throw up roadblock to enabling consumer owned hardware on their networks to convince you to rent their POS DVR instead. Then add in the greed of most american corporations who want to extract a monthly subscription fee from you after you buy harware, which an OTA only owner likely would want to avoid. Additionally said major CE's are so greedy that they THINK that you should pay $1000+ USD for the option of recording premium HDTV content and if not then they wont play and pack up a retire, leaving really only 1 company in the game. IP also has an impact but it does with any CE device. Many CE's have been so arogant they thought they could have adouble standard and ignore IP when it suits their needs.

I do wish we had nearly as many options for consumer owned equipment in a real retail market like Europe/Australia.
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post #19 of 35 Old 03-31-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Well, look at it this way....

Wouldn't all of that suggest there might be a market for an OTA only DVR?
since I record more off on non OTA channels, I wouldn't be a customer, but then I know I don't fit the normal demographics either.

A.K.A. VOS
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post #20 of 35 Old 04-01-2012, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I do wish we had nearly as many options for consumer owned equipment in a real retail market like Europe/Australia.

Thank you for your input, I was beginning to feel like a conspiracy theorist.
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post #21 of 35 Old 04-01-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

You seem to be focused on TiVo, but since there are other options, not sure how this plays.

Very true. The Channel Master units have been in the market for some time as alternatives to TiVo for OTA -- first the CM-7000 (aka. Dish DTVPal DVR) and now the new CM-7400. Never been any indication they were going to be sued by TiVo. People are always looking for a bad guy to blame because they can't buy what they want for peanuts on the shelf at walmart.

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post #22 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Very true. The Channel Master units have been in the market for some time as alternatives to TiVo for OTA -- first the CM-7000 (aka. Dish DTVPal DVR) and now the new CM-7400. Never been any indication they were going to be sued by TiVo. People are always looking for a bad guy to blame because they can't buy what they want for peanuts on the shelf at walmart.

Yeah, from the reviews on those Channel Master units, Tivo has bigger fish to fry. If you think for one second that Tivo would not sue anybody that made it worth their while, then I'm not sure if anything anybody could say would convince you otherwise.

http://www.webpronews.com/tivo-files...wsuits-2012-03

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/02/d...e-dvr-lawsuit/

http://www.bgr.com/2012/01/05/att-to...atent-lawsuit/

P.S. I thought Walmart was the bad guy!
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post #23 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

Maybe it's the ATSC licensing fees, but I don't see a $80 DVR here, or much of a market for only 20 hours of recording.
A dual tuner DVR has a bill of materials in the $200-300 range.

The Channel Master CM-7000PAL: $339.99

Hasn't quite made it to Walmart:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Channel-Ma...D-DVR/13968952

A.K.A. VOS
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post #24 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by morc258 View Post

Yeah, from the reviews on those Channel Master units, Tivo has bigger fish to fry. If you think for one second that Tivo would not sue anybody that made it worth their while,

That is exactly my point. The OTA DVR market is so small that TiVo may not feel it is worth suing CM over their offering -- and also so small that other manufacturers don't feel it is worth the trouble of bringing a product to a market where there are already two established offerings.

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post #25 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

The Channel Master CM-7000PAL: $339.99

Hasn't quite made it to Walmart:

The CM-7000 actually was sold in walmart, while it was a product. The CM-7000 was discontinued and replaced by the CM-7400 which includes more functionality and the option to subscribe to a commercial guide service. Cost = $400. You can buy it from walmart here.

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post #26 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 03:19 PM
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The CM-7000 actually was sold in walmart, while it was a product. The CM-7000 was discontinued and replaced by the CM-7400 which includes more functionality and the option to subscribe to a commercial guide service. Cost = $400. You can buy it from walmart here.

Thanks for taking the time to correct this.

I guess the OP just doesn't like the idea of a $400 DVR.

Not sure if it's Tivo's fault, or the case that the market simply isn't large enough to have an $80 HD OTA DVR, but "it must be somebody's fault" lol

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post #27 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

I guess the OP just doesn't like the idea of a $400 DVR.

Not sure if it's Tivo's fault, or the case that the market simply isn't large enough to have an $80 HD OTA DVR, but "it must be somebody's fault" lol

That is my interpretation. These things just cost more than many people want to spend. The CM-7400 is not exactly cheap at $400. It may be $200 cheaper than a TiVo but in order for the CM-7400 to have functionality close to a TiVo you have to buy the guide subscription for $50/yr.

Like I said, if you want to record HD you have to pay to play and that costs more than some people want to pay.

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post #28 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

That is my interpretation. These things just cost more than many people want to spend. The CM-7400 is not exactly cheap at $400. It may be $200 cheaper than a TiVo but in order for the CM-7400 to have functionality close to a TiVo you have to buy the guide subscription for $50/yr.

Like I said, if you want to record HD you have to pay to play and that costs more than some people want to pay.

With the CM-7400's price point I would have to go with the TiVo based on the reviews alone. Even though I do not agree with the thought that they should hold a patent to "Time Warp", I will concede that they have a superior product compared to other products readily available to us.

My whole point for starting this thread is that I feel we should have more alternatives than we currently do. If you are happy with the current options available then "Joy" for you, move on. As for me, I think there is room to improve.
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post #29 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 05:04 PM
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My whole point for starting this thread is that I feel we should have more alternatives than we currently do.... As for me, I think there is room to improve.

There is nothing wrong with that.
"The problem is" can you find anyone to invest in making one?

A.K.A. VOS
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post #30 of 35 Old 04-02-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

There is nothing wrong with that.
"The problem is" can you find anyone to invest in making one?

I hope that there are some things already in the works that may get past proto, but who knows. This one is in another thread on here and looks pretty promising.
http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/10/c...nder-hands-on/

Yes I know it will be more than $200, but they may make a stripped model for people who don't want all the bells and whistles. With the Echo extender box it would be more cost effective for multi room setups. Kind of like that new Hopper system that Dish is touting.
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