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post #721 of 18826 Old 05-01-2007, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Hmmmmmm.....Interesting. I wonder if there is something in state law (NY) or local franchising terms that prohibit that around here? I know that here all the dish outfits and the local phone company are doing that sort of thing - but cable is not (and they DO make a big deal about it in their advertisements).

I guess that I should count my blessings (SARA, TW with no disconnect pennelties, and no Navigator in sight!).

Perhaps they "get away with" this kind of crap in KC, but not in NY? Dunno, but I'd bet they only compete as hard as they have to in any given market. I'd be insulted if I were in KC.
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post #722 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 07:44 AM
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Am I correct to assume that there is no time-line for the Passport to Navigator changeover as this is an experimental product? For older boxes TWC has several options:

1.) Forcing a box-swap by a tech coming out after Navigator's bugs are out of the system. (Years ago, they did that when we had an analog box and when they upgraded our neighborhood to digital, they gave us a digital box.)

2.) Finding a way to force Navigator to run on the older boxes as more updates are released. Here's food for thought: If TWC can't even get these boxes to run properly on the DVR units, which have the most memory and the most advanced technology, good luck trying to get Navigator to run on lesser memory boxes!

3.) Push Navigator on unready boxes just because TWC loves it so much and watch the older units have the same problems talked about in places like Lincoln Nebraska.

4.) Stop the production of Pioneer boxes/other older boxes, but grandfather clause the communities and customers who have them, where they will not be forced to update to Navigator until problems with the older boxes force a box swap. Since there are so many of the older boxes out there that are working just fine with Passport, and considering that Navigator IS NOT READY even with the added memory converters, I predict that this is the option that TWC will pursue.


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post #723 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Satch Man View Post

Am I correct to assume that there is no time-line for the Passport to Navigator changeover

Navigator enables TWC to use Switched Video, which uses less bandwidth and will allow TWC to offer more HD channels in their lineup. So, the more customers pressure TWC to add more HD channels, the more TWC pushes up the rollout of Navigator.

There is no fixed deadline, but TWC will want to deploy it as soon as they can, so they can add more HD channels to please the customers (assuming the customers do not mind the Navigator bugs).
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post #724 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Satch Man View Post

4.) Stop the production of Pioneer boxes/other older boxes, but grandfather clause the communities and customers who have them, where they will not be forced to update to Navigator until problems with the older boxes force a box swap. Since there are so many of the older boxes out there that are working just fine with Passport, and considering that Navigator IS NOT READY even with the added memory converters, I predict that this is the option that TWC will pursue.[/b]

I'm sure you're serious, Jack, but .
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post #725 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dufusyte View Post

Navigator enables TWC to use Switched Video, which uses less bandwidth and will allow TWC to offer more HD channels in their lineup. So, the more customers pressure TWC to add more HD channels, the more TWC pushes up the rollout of Navigator.

There is no fixed deadline, but TWC will want to deploy it as soon as they can, so they can add more HD channels to please the customers (assuming the customers do not mind the Navigator bugs).

There is nothing magical about these SDV protocols and they could just as easily have SDV added to Passport. That's not any part of their desire for Navigator.

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post #726 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by pepar View Post

I'm sure you're serious, Jack, but .

Just what do you mean here Jeff?

I think that Jack is a little off in that the Pioneer and older boxes went out of production long ago. However, the cable companies are recycling them to a degree.

I really do expect something along the lines of Jack's #4 to be how this ultimately gets handled.


On a side note (not related at all to your post Jeff - but really related to Jack's): For years software folks have relied on ever-larger memories and faster processors to allow them to generate less efficient code (witness Vista). While this may be acceptable in the computer industry, you really can't apply that philosophy to legacy cable boxes.

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post #727 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Just what do you mean here Jeff?

I really do expect something along the lines of Jack's #4 to be how this ultimately gets handled.

Well, of course, that would be the best possible scenario, but it would involve TWC putting aside its agenda for the good of (a few?) customers. I think, based on their MO so far, that if these legacy boxes - the ones that can't run switched digital video - prevent TWC from fully implementing SDV, they will sooner or later require that they be swapped. Sooner is my bet. I hope you and Jack are right and I'm wrong.
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post #728 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 11:01 AM
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I think that Jack is a little off in that the Pioneer and older boxes went out of production long ago. However, the cable companies are recycling them to a degree.

Oh I don't think they are out of production by a long shot,

I just think that TWC will want to stop putting them in box swap rotations if they can't get Navigator to run on them properly.

So I suppose the tip for everyone if it's possible, if your box is acting funny with Navigator, or you just want to delay Navigator's roll out for a longer period of time, see if your local TWC office still distributes Pioneer boxes and try to go back to a Pioneer box.

This is of course ASSUMING that the above post is correct in that TWC has NOT begun pushing Navigator to the Pioneer boxes in each TWC division yet.

When I called six months ago, my local office said that the DVR boxes were being upgraded first, than the SA boxes. I didn't ask about the Pace boxes, but they said that Pioneer boxes were last. At the time, I did not know about this forum or Navigator's problems, so I think I have been blessed with a Pioneer box!

I'd like another Milwaukee Wisconsinite to post here, than the two of us could share with the rest of you how other TWC divisions are dealing with all of this, who's going to get the changeover next, and how things are going.

I don't intend to go to digital phone, Road-Runner, or caller ID so all this stuff that they are promoting with Navigator:

Caller ID on TV
Interactive Polling
Games

It's just window dressing to me. Everything that I have read or head about Navigator says that it's so inferior to Passport and that there is absolutely nothing new or improved. If TWC wanted those other things, they should have just kept Navigator test marketed till those other things were ready. (AFAIK, you can't even DO those other things with Navigator yet.) Than test it for six months to a year, than if it works, roll it out.

Jack

PS Correction: Actually, the Caller ID on TV option is offered in my area with a Navigator box.

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post #729 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

There is nothing magical about these SDV protocols and they could just as easily have SDV added to Passport. That's not any part of their desire for Navigator.

True, although they are using it as marketing spin. TWC didn't want to pay the Passport folks to add the support for SDV. So TWC now says they need to move to Navigator because Passport doesn't support SDV. How convenient. Of course TWC is spending more to develop Navigator than they would have to get Passport updated, but let's not let good business sense get in the way of the determination to in-source everything.
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post #730 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Satch Man View Post

Oh I don't think they are out of production by a long shot,

Really? I'm pretty sure that Pioneer got out of the STB business when they sold it to Aptiv.

The Pioneer Electronics site no longer lists any cable boxes.

Previous articles on Pioneer cable boxes lists pioneerbroadband.com as their web site - that site is now a link for porno sites ( )

Aptiv site has nothing about hardware.

Google searches on Pioneer cable boxes only yield an announcement of an HD box in 2002 - nothing relevant since then.

But - if you have some links that establish that they are still building cable boxes I'd love to see them.

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post #731 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Really? I'm pretty sure that Pioneer got out of the STB business when they sold it to Aptiv.

The Pioneer Electronics site no longer lists any cable boxes.

Previous articles on Pioneer cable boxes lists pioneerbroadband.com as their web site - that site is now a link for porno sites ( )

Aptiv site has nothing about hardware.

Google searches on Pioneer cable boxes only yield an announcement of an HD box in 2002 - nothing relevant since then.

But - if you have some links that establish that they are still building cable boxes I'd love to see them.

Thanks Dave,

I am wrong than. This is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out. I got my box around 2002 so that must have been close to the end.

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post #732 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pkscout View Post

True, although they are using it as marketing spin. TWC didn't want to pay the Passport folks to add the support for SDV. So TWC now says they need to move to Navigator because Passport doesn't support SDV. How convenient. Of course TWC is spending more to develop Navigator than they would have to get Passport updated, but let's not let good business sense get in the way of the determination to in-source everything.

There well could be some other reasons too (I'm just surmising here):
1) Aptiv wanted a high "licensing" fee to continue to use Passport.
2) TWC had acquired TiVo licenses that allowed them to bypass Aptiv
3) TWC has not had the greatest experience getting outside firms (Pioneer, Aptiv, SA) to respond to "bug fixes", feature additions, etc. and had decided that they would be better off bringing that stuff "in-house" (so far, that is VERY wrong).
4) TWC became concerned about Aptiv's future ability to stay in busines.
5) Some "hot-shot" convinced TW management that they could do this better.

Just some "other" thoughts.........

BUT, that does not get around the clear fact that they hav screwed this up BIG TIME!!

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post #733 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Satch Man View Post

Thanks Dave,

I am wrong than. This is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out. I got my box around 2002 so that must have been close to the end.

Jack

Thanks,

I think you are right on the rest of the stuff.

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post #734 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

There well could be some other reasons too (I'm just surmising here):
1) Aptiv wanted a high "licensing" fee to continue to use Passport.
2) TWC had acquired TiVo licenses that allowed them to bypass Aptiv
3) TWC has not had the greatest experience getting outside firms (Pioneer, Aptiv, SA) to respond to "bug fixes", feature additions, etc. and had decided that they would be better off bringing that stuff "in-house" (so far, that is VERY wrong).
4) TWC became concerned about Aptiv's future ability to stay in business.
5) Some "hot-shot" convinced TW management that they could do this better.

Just some "other" thoughts.........

BUT, that does not get around the clear fact that they hav screwed this up BIG TIME!!

Good stuff here!
My main reasons would be #1, #3, and #5 above.

Does anyone know the dollar cost per month or per year with regards to how much money TWC has to pay to use Passport?

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post #735 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 04:13 PM
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Really? I'm pretty sure that Pioneer got out of the STB business when they sold it to Aptiv.

It really doesn't matter if Pioneer is out of the business. Come July 2007 the cable companies have to start buying newer design boxes that have "seperate encrytion", ie CableCards. They can't buy (some people say deploy) the older boxes we have now, even the SA8300HD
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post #736 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 04:21 PM
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It really doesn't matter if Pioneer is out of the business. Come July 2007 the cable companies have to start buying newer design boxes that have "seperate encrytion", ie CableCards. They can't buy (some people say deploy) the older boxes we have now, even the SA8300HD

Yes, but IF their software supports DCAS (and Navigator MIGHT), then they can keep supplying the 8300HD instead of the 8300HDC (CableCard version).

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post #737 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 06:04 PM
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The way I hear it, DCAS is going to require a new chip, so they can't just put some new firmware on an existing STB and make it work.

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post #738 of 18826 Old 05-02-2007, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

The way I hear it, DCAS is going to require a new chip, so they can't just put some new firmware on an existing STB and make it work.

Now that you mention it: I think you're right on that. Kind of blows TW NE's argument that they were forcing Navigator on their customers because the FCC required it totally out of the water!

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post #739 of 18826 Old 05-03-2007, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

There well could be some other reasons too (I'm just surmising here):
1) Aptiv wanted a high "licensing" fee to continue to use Passport.
2) TWC had acquired TiVo licenses that allowed them to bypass Aptiv
3) TWC has not had the greatest experience getting outside firms (Pioneer, Aptiv, SA) to respond to "bug fixes", feature additions, etc. and had decided that they would be better off bringing that stuff "in-house" (so far, that is VERY wrong).
4) TWC became concerned about Aptiv's future ability to stay in busines.
5) Some "hot-shot" convinced TW management that they could do this better.

Just some "other" thoughts.........

BUT, that does not get around the clear fact that they have screwed this up BIG TIME!!

You're very close on # 5) there. It was mentioned on this or another forum by a former TWC insider that it was some suits up at the corporate ivory towers who were behind this move to start their own software division to develop a new guide application. Now they will rather force it upon their customers rather than admit they were wrong. Question of ego. It's better to tell customers Passport doesn't support this and that so they will want the Navigator.

Fortunately, I will not be "Navigatored". My area was sold off or transfered by TWC to Comcast who so far claim they have no plans to swap the Passport guide out so I'm saved. And I am told they will be getting support for SDV , M-Card and OCAP soon (latest by Mid-June since apparently there some FCC deadline starting July) on Passport as well.

As kcmotuser said above - they could have simply bought out Aptiv and renamed Passport "Navigator" and added the features and applications. Aptiv was bought by Gemstar-TV-Guide for $16M - a lot cheaper than what it has cost TWC so far to re-write Navigator 15 times and still come up with a product as inferior as Navigator and force it upon their customers then saying "It's a free market".

By the time they are done forcing it upon all Passport and SARA sites - I'm sure even the Passport users in South America and the Caribbean will have a much better guide than Navigator.
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post #740 of 18826 Old 05-03-2007, 05:19 PM
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The way I hear it, DCAS is going to require a new chip, so they can't just put some new firmware on an existing STB and make it work.

I write software for a living (37 years), however it's business related and I know very little about "appliance software" such as in a DVR. But from what I understand encryption/decrytion takes a lot of "horsepower" (fast CPU). I doubt if the current boxes would be up to the task. A separate chip to handle this task would be logical.
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post #741 of 18826 Old 05-03-2007, 05:29 PM
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Well the law allows them to keep placing older boxes in customers home. They just can't buy any more Non-Separable Security boxes. So all the old boxes can still be used if they have ever been installed on at a customers home. So these older boxes will be around for a long time.

I would venture to say they will use these older "legacy" boxes in the homes of customer who don't have digital ready TVs when TWC goes all digital. Since there a millions of Analog TVs out there and still being manufactured today, that will need some kind of convertor to get what is now the analog 2-78 that TWC now sells here in KC as Expanded Basic service. So this old equipment will become channel changers, like the old analog convertors did as they phased in digital service. Remember boys, the cable companies played a big part in writting the laws they are now blaming for the changes that caused them to develop OCAP and the Navigator mess. So they are not going to do anything that junks millions of bucks of hardware.

It became illegal to import or manufacture analog-only TVs and VCRs of any screen size on March 1 of this year, but retailers are still allowed to sell off their existing inventories. Today, the FCC published its unanimously-approved order requiring retailers to put warning labels on TV sets containing only analog tuners. Click here to go to a post that further explains this.
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post #742 of 18826 Old 05-03-2007, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

The way I hear it, DCAS is going to require a new chip, so they can't just put some new firmware on an existing STB and make it work.

I've been digging into this some more and what I have found (Wikipedia aside) has NOT indicated that DCAS REQUIRES a specialized chip. However, Broadcom has announced a multi-function chip (BCM7118 ) that is essentially a STB on a chip and "supports requirements for emerging Polycipher Downloadable Conditional Access Security (DCAS)". Ultimately a specialized chip, such as this, may be the BEST way to implement DCAS, but it does not seem to be a "requirement". (Of course, sufficient processing power, as pointed out by rdgs, is an issue).

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post #743 of 18826 Old 05-04-2007, 06:36 AM
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Perhaps they "get away with" this kind of crap in KC, but not in NY? Dunno, but I'd bet they only compete as hard as they have to in any given market. I'd be insulted if I were in KC.

Oh they get away with TONS of stuff in NYC. The latest indignity is that our hockey team, in the middle of the second round of the Stanley Cup PLAYOFFS is being seen by their home town fans in SD, while most areas outside their home market (who get VS HD) get it in HD. Oh, 2 weeks before TWC announced they had signed a carriage agreement with VS to carry their HD feed nationally... so there's no question of rights or of TWC paying for the right, nor NYC customers paying their percentage of the price.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

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post #744 of 18826 Old 05-04-2007, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

They won't push Navigator onto just one box unless they court you as a beta tester. But I'd appreciate it if you didn't even broach the subject. I don't want to see Navigator here for a long, long time. At least until they de-bug it. Passport works just fine; let's try to keep it that way.

And the poster you're referring to in the local Charlotte forum apparently had Navigator pushed onto his SA3250 STB, not the SA8300 DVR. Since he's the only one to report such a thing, I tend to think he was mistaken. We can only hope.

Well you got your wish. They won't push to just one box and apparently don't have a date for deploying it in our area. And I did broach the subject with them, but do you seriously think that a request to the customer service line will somehow prompt them to push it to all TWC customers?

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post #745 of 18826 Old 05-04-2007, 01:30 PM
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Oh they get away with TONS of stuff in NYC. The latest indignity is that our hockey team, in the middle of the second round of the Stanley Cup PLAYOFFS is being seen by their home town fans in SD, while most areas outside their home market (who get VS HD) get it in HD.

Diddo for our home town team (Anaheim). And our Versus SD had jagged sticks and an invisible puck. I complained couple weeks back and the last couple games did not have the jagged sticks, but still one of the poorer SD channels.
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post #746 of 18826 Old 05-05-2007, 12:11 PM
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Well you got your wish. They won't push to just one box and apparently don't have a date for deploying it in our area. And I did broach the subject with them, but do you seriously think that a request to the customer service line will somehow prompt them to push it to all TWC customers?

Yes, I do believe that the marketing people will spin the numbers in whatever way will make them look better. I can hear it now, "Look, there have been 400 calls this month from people interested in the new Navigator guide. That's more people than who called about the free Showtime weekend. Let's give everyone the Navigator, they must really want it."

Needless to say, I am implying that the management types only look at the raw number of calls, not the content of the calls, or they would realize that the "interest" in Navigator is just morbid curiosity and not actual desire to invite it into their living room. I am making that assumption based on what TWC has said in the press, where it is clear that they are either lying, or they aren't listening to their customers. Or both.
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post #747 of 18826 Old 05-05-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmotwcuser View Post

What is the version of Navigator that is loaded in Lincoln. We have not gotten an update here in KC.

Are all the enhancements working in Lincoln?

Still the same as in my previous posts from a week or two ago.

2.3.32AC-ptv Apr 9 2007

Everything seems to work. I still say the auto skip back function is not very good. It only goes about half of the way back of the length it should (or like it did with Passport). So in a sense it works just not very well.
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post #748 of 18826 Old 05-05-2007, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

I've been digging into this some more and what I have found (Wikipedia aside) has NOT indicated that DCAS REQUIRES a specialized chip. However, Broadcom has announced a multi-function chip (BCM7118 ) that is essentially a STB on a chip and "supports requirements for emerging Polycipher Downloadable Conditional Access Security (DCAS)". Ultimately a specialized chip, such as this, may be the BEST way to implement DCAS, but it does not seem to be a "requirement". (Of course, sufficient processing power, as pointed out by rdgs, is an issue).

The primary "requirement" is that "Hollywood", et. al. approve a particular
DCAS implementation approach for dissemination of their products.
[And not to forget who gets the royalty payments.....]

With the mandate for USER owned equipment, this means that any
"software only" solution would need to provide protection that isn't as
easy to break as AACS was recently found to be in HD-DVD/Blu-Ray
playback software running under Windows.....

For example, although the decryption is contained in the CableCARD/MCARD,
MS VISTA implementations still require "approved" processor chips
and a certification process....

If it were easy, DCAS should have already been widely deployed...
After all, most of us already have 128-bit encryption running on our PCs....

Despite all this, some (small) cable companies are already using
separable (SmartCARD) systems or have been approved to use the BBT DCAS
security system-- but only in their OWN cable boxes....
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=113640

These only obtained temporary approval by the FCC...cuz they aren't
compatible with industry/cable/Hollywood agreements for USER owned equipment....

Which apparently includes a CEA/NCTA "requirement" that cable systems
must employ the same software, et. al. as industry to ensure they
"share the pain" when things don't work right...

This will ALSO help to ensure that the cable systems don't discriminate
against USER owned equipment as new features are added to the
mutually downloaded software packages....

So the "requirements" are industry, rather than FCC imposed.....
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post #749 of 18826 Old 05-06-2007, 01:32 PM
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The bottom line is that,

With the exception of the Caller ID on TV for Digital Phone subscribers, (I'm like, "Big Friggin deal!") there really is NOTHING that Navigator does in the way of improving anything in the way of quality cable service or communication stability. Unless I am missing something. We all know about the bugs and problems, but as of now, other than Caller ID for Digital Phone subscribers, is there anything that TWC Navigator does in the way of features or services that Passport does NOT do? I can't think of a thing.

Jack

SA-8300HDC DVR with TWC Navigator Guide
Guide Version -ODN 7.2.11
Metro-Milwaukee Wisconsin
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post #750 of 18826 Old 05-06-2007, 01:47 PM
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Frees up all that time you would have been watching TV?

v/r,
C-F
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