MSTV Foundation Edition 1.7 Questions (FEQ)
Information provided in this document is provided as-is with no warranties, and confers no rights. Information is subject to change.
Last update 11/14/2004
Exec Q&A: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/f...omcastMSTV.asp
Press Release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/p...ploymentPR.asp
Official MSTV Foundation Edition web site: http://www.microsoft.com/tv/content/...tion_Main.mspx
Motorola 6412 site: http://broadband.motorola.com/dvr/dct6412.asp
I see 1394 and USB ports on the back, are external hard disks supported?
No, these are not currently supported and support for them is beyond MSTV control.
I see an Ethernet port on the back, can I connect my PC to the cable box?
No, the Ethernet port is not currently active.
Can I record HD on both tuners while watching another recorded HD program?
Yes, this is supported.
Does the box support Picture-in-Picture (PIP)?
No, the current generation of DCT6412 hardware does not support PIP. It does support a scaled down TV window and Guide and DVR UI screens utilize this.
Do the connectors on the front panel of the box, or the video inputs on the rear of the box do anything?
These connectors are not currently supported and support for them is beyond MSTV control.
Does the DVI port work?
Yes, DVI works without limitation for displays that support DVI-HDCP. For displays that do not support DVI-HDCP, DVI functionality is limited to the options configured by the cable operator (MSO) and the broadcaster.
Do the component video ports work? What about the broadcast flag or copy protection?
At present, the component video ports work and HD signals are not constrained.
What about the remote?
The remote varies from area to area and is determined by the cable operator.
All pricing is determined by the cable operator.
Can I record VOD?
No, recording of VOD programs is not allowed by the MSO.
Can I record PPV?
Yes, once you've purchased a PPV program, you can record it.
Can I record music channels?
Is this just the cable version of UltimateTV?
No, however a number of the same people who worked on UTV are on the MSTV team and Microsoft applied many of the lessons learned in the UTV product with MSTV.
Can I pause or rewind/fast forward music channels?
What kinds of recording are supported?
You can setup EPG data-based series or one time recordings, manual (VCR timer) recordings, impulse recordings (from full screen TV) and pause buffer recordings (start recording from the beginning of the show if it has been tuned and buffering for a while).
Can I transfer recordings to DVD or my PC?
No, this is not supported. However, you can capture recordings from the analog video outputs to a VCR or other recording device.
Can I share recordings with other cable boxes in my house?
No, this is not currently supported.
How many hours of content can I record?
, 90 hours of SD and 12-20 hours of HD - but this all depends on the bit rate of the content and there's a wide range of bit rates in use. Real world use tends to be more around 60 hours of SD and 15-20 hours for HD.
How long is the pause buffer?
Again, it depends on the content bit rate, as well as the way that your MSO configured the FE software. You can usually count on 1-2 hours for standard def content by default.
Can I set reminders/timers that don't record?
DVR boxes running FE 1.7 do not support reminder/timer functionality. However, non-DVR boxes running FE 1.7 do support reminders.
Can I record on all channels?
With the exception of music channels, unsubscribed channels and Video on Demand, you can record any channel you receive.
What trick modes are enabled?
o FF - (3,15,60,300x default speeds)
o Rew - (3,15,60,300x default speeds)
o Slow motion forward and reverse (Pause-FF/REW)
o Frame advance (Pause-Pause)
o Instant replay (skip back a few seconds)
o Jump to live
o 30 second skip is supported by the core FE platform but most MSOs do not enable it and there is no hidden code to enable it.
Does the DVR record the digital signal directly to disk?
Yes, for digital channels (HD or SD) the programming stream is recorded directly to disk without re-encoding. For analog channels, they are MPEG encoded first (so they become digital).
Electronic Program Guide:
Can I remove certain channels that I do not receive so they do not clutter my tv listings and channel surfing?
Yes, provided that the MSO has not disabled this feature. Go to Settings-> Channel list and Favorites
What can I search for?
You can search by day and time, program title, actor or topic (keyword), or category (kids, sports, movies, etc.).
Can I view listings by channel instead of the program grid by time?
Yes, from the program grid, arrow left and select the channel.
How many days of program listings are supported?
This depends on a number of factors. In general 12-14 days should be available at all times. Guide data and UI files are cached to disk as well so if you have to unplug the box or experience a power outage, your scheduled recordings, recorded shows and guide data are saved. All settings are also saved.
How do I know what programs are truly HD programs?
Some programs on HDTV channels are actually not broadcast in HDTV (16:9, high resolution). Shows that are true HDTV shows have an HD icon in the program information region. You can also find HDTV shows from the main menu or the search menu. If you schedule shows on an HD channel, they won't accidentally record on the non-HD channel.
How do I configure the HDTV video outputs?
While the box is turned off, but still plugged in, press the menu key on the remote or front panel to select your TV Type, YPbPr/DVI output mode and scaling (4:3 override). Most HDTV users with HDTV capable 16:9 TV sets will want to set their box for 16:9 TV type, 1080i output and 4:3 override off (to avoid re-syncing between HD and SD channels)
Are the composite video outputs enabled when the box is connected to an HDTV display?
Yes, the composite outputs (line out and s-video out) will display down-converted HDTV programming. Some video output settings will result in no on screen display (UI) showing on the composite outputs when setup for HDTV. You can use this to record programming to a VCR or to have a box connected to an HDTV display and a secondary SDTV display.
Can I connect a 1394 display or DVHS VCR?
Yes, however displays connected over 1394 will not display the user interface.
Video on Demand (VOD / On Demand):
What is VOD?
VOD enables users to watch programs and movies on demand. One can pause, fast forward or re-wind while watching a VOD program.
Are DVR-like trick controls enabled for VOD content?
Yes, the same trick controls you use for DVR work in VOD except for frame advance, slow motion, or multiple FF / Rew speeds.
Can I search VOD titles?
You can navigate VOD content by browsing through the categories listed on the main VOD page. However, general purpose search is not supported.
Managed Content Services (iChannels):
Can I browse web sites or check my email?
While the platform does support scenarios like this, there is not currently an application for web or email use at this time.
Why can't I record two shows while browsing content?
The box uses a tuner to receive information for managed content and therefore you cannot record two shows while browsing this content.
What version of the .NET platform is used for applications on MSTV Foundation Edition?
MSTV FE supports Microsoft .NET Compact Framework TV Edition which is based on .NET Compact Framework Profile 0.
Can I write my own applications and put them on the box?
All applications are delivered through the MSO and individual users cannot upload applications to the box.