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post #181 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Though I "think" there might be ulterior motives in TWC's move to in-house software, the fact that other cableco's are embracing Tivo as a 3rd party vendor holds out hope that others will be allowed to offer their packages just like Tivo with Moto/SA hardware. One would hope that OCAP will bring several models with varying capacities, built-in DVD recorders, etc. AFAIK, Tivo software does not reside on the cableco system, though it flows through the cableco for upload and upgrade. There should be no reason other vendors can't/won't do the same. Does anyone know exactly how all this will eventually work? The Other Dave?

TiVo doesn't "offer" their package--Comcast and Cox made deals with them to port it to Motorola and SA boxes. These ports are native code for specific platforms. AFAIK, TiVo is not working on an OCAP implementation of their product.

The TiVo software for Comcast and Cox systems will reside at the headend and be downloaded into PVRs upon customer request and service subscription with the cable provider. It's essentially just another service for those cable providers to offer. TiVo gets licensing fees and probably some subscription fees for TiVo guide information.

TiVo is threatened by SDV, but CableLabs has been working on a lightweight standardized version of SDV for platforms which don't want the additional cost being built on a platform powerful enough and with enough nonvolatile storage to run OCAP.

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post #182 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kcmotwcuser View Post

I would love to have the Mutil-Room DVR option, I have not heard anyone say whether Navigator will allow that. Any comments?

8300MRs have been available to the cable companies for quite a while now (at least on SARA systems)- and no one has rushed into them. I know that TW here has beta tested them - but they never appeared (cable has never embraced the external drive either). I think it is more of a marketing issue (how to make money from the additional investment?) than a technical (software) one.

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post #183 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:20 AM
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KC,

I understand your point, but do you really think Tivo software resides on the headend? I expect Tivo software resides on the S3 and updates are simply routed through the cable just like they are/were though phone lines on older Tivos. IMHO, there is no reason other 3rd party apps can't work the same way, is there?

I'm not sure what's going on with Navigator, but the original SA8000HD's had some of the same problems; slow, blank preview window, etc. Back in the day, I believe the IPG contained only 3 days worth of data by default and searches had to download more in order to function. These problems were all fixed via software updates and expanded IPG databases. We didn't get a 7 day IPG here until they released the 8300. It seems to me they are rolling Navigator out before it's ready so that maybe they can move on quickly with whatever else they have planned for 2007.

Cheers, Dave
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post #184 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by kcmotwcuser View Post


When I messed around my friends Non DVR box and Navigator. The Find Shows feature did a loading message that lasted 5-10 seconds. During this load, the preview video in the 1/4 screen went black. This happened every time Find Shows was used. I think this is the B button on your remote. So this mini application was being loaded from the Headend everytime. S

How about any delay when just going to the normal IPG? To me that would be really annoying.

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post #185 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:26 AM
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Dave,
I think Mike was referring to "deals" that TiVo has made with Comcast to offer their (TiVo's) branded software on Comcast provided DVRs. I think that is an entirely separate activity than OCAP (though it could well depend on that too).

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post #186 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

I understand your point, but do you really think Tivo software resides on the headend? I expect Tivo software resides on the S3 and updates are simply routed through the cable just like they are/were though phone lines on older Tivos. IMHO, there is no reason other 3rd party apps can't work the same way, is there?

Oh--I thought that you were saying that the TiVo software didn't originate at the headend. Yes, of course it's resident in the SA, after it's been downloaded from the headend. It'd take minutes to download it--it couldn't be done dynamically.

I guess that other packages could be offered in this fashion. I know that Cox is making the TiVo UI optional for additional cost (I suspect that Comcast is handling it the same way); if you don't subscribe, you get the old IPG, Passport or SARA. However, any such other packages would also have to be offered by the cable provider--they will always control what's running on their boxes.

I know that Passport and SARA had provisions for development of custom extensions. The VOD menus and stuff like the see-your-bill-pay-it-on-your-STB thing are examples of that. I'd expect that TiVo's port also has the same feature.

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post #187 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Dave,
I think Mike was referring to "deals" that TiVo has made with Comcast to offer their (TiVo's) branded software on Comcast provided DVRs. I think that is an entirely separate activity than OCAP (though it could well depend on that too).

I was responding to KC (post edited) and our posts crossed.

FWIW, everything I've read says the ports are not OCAP-dependent though OCAP versions will also be available at some point. They didn't want to have to wait on OCAP in order to offer their software. Some of that could have changed and I always wondered why bother with a SA version that is not OCAP-compliant since everything says OCAP will be up in 2007 and the SA version is not supposed to be available until late 2007 at the earliest with early/mid 2008 more likely.

Cheers, Dave
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post #188 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Oh--I thought that you were saying that the TiVo software didn't originate at the headend. Yes, of course it's resident in the SA, after it's been downloaded from the headend.

I guess that other packages could be offered in this fashion. I know that Cox is making the TiVo UI optional for additional cost (I suspect that Comcast is handling it the same way); if you don't subscribe, you get the old IPG, Passport or SARA. However, any such other packages would also have to be offered by the cable provider--they will always control what's running on their boxes.

I know that Passport and SARA had provisions for development of custom extensions. The VOD menus and stuff like the see-your-bill-pay-it-on-your-STB thing are examples of that. I'd expect that TiVo's port also has the same feature.

With regard to the Tivo ports, I agree completely. I was talking about the S3 software. I honestly don't know where that software originates, from the headend or from Tivo through the headend. I suspect it's a pass-through via broadband or something. Otherwise Tivo would need agreements with every cableco in order for the S3 to work, wouldn't it?

Cheers, Dave
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post #189 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

With regard to the Tivo ports, I agree completely. I was talking about the S3 software. I honestly don't know where that software originates, from the headend or from Tivo through the headend. I suspect it's a pass-through via broadband or something. Otherwise Tivo would need agreements with every cableco in order for the S3 to work, wouldn't it?

By S3, do you mean the Series3 proper or the TiVo port to the Moto/SA platforms ? Your wording is confusing me... Please don't refer to the TiVo/Comcast box as the S3, because it's not. The S3 is the TiVo Series3 box, and nothing else.

Of course, the software resides locally on the Series3. Updates are pulled from the TiVo home site locally to the box and installed. No interaction with the cable headend is required. I'm sure everyone knows this, just restating the facts.

On the port, I'm not so sure. After my 8300 resets/crashes (which is to say, frequently), on the next power up, it definitely downloads stuff from the headend. Both the DVR and Guide sections have a definite pause when you fire 'em up for the first time. It was the same way when I had Comcast with the 6412 DVR.
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post #190 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 11:16 AM
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Paul,

No need to be beligerent or condescending yet again, but I'm sure you just can't help yourself. I said the S3 and that's what I mean. If I was referring to the Tivo port I would have said so, d*mn it. You can't even be civil when I agree with you, can you?

Anyway, the question/comment was how does the S3 get software updates, etc.? Does it still use a phone connection? Or does it use a broadband connection? Or does it go through the cable connection? Regardless of the answer though, there is no reason other 3rd parties can't use the same technique that Tivo uses with the S3 and that is the thrust of this part of the discussion.

PS. For The Other Dave - so much for what I said in PM, huh?

Cheers, Dave
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post #191 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

With regard to the Tivo ports, I agree completely. I was talking about the S3 software. I honestly don't know where that software originates, from the headend or from Tivo through the headend. I suspect it's a pass-through via broadband or something. Otherwise Tivo would need agreements with every cableco in order for the S3 to work, wouldn't it?

The Series 3 comes loaded with its own firmware and doesn't get anything from the cable providers. It uses CableCARD(s) to access conditional access digital channels--you don't need anything from the cable provider to do that after you've registered the card with their system during installation. Firmware and guide updates for Series 3 are downloaded from a site on the Internet via broadband IP or by telephone modem (not the Internet), just like for Series 2.

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post #192 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 11:52 AM
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Thanks, Mike, that's what I expected.

Cheers, Dave
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post #193 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Simoneau View Post

After my 8300 resets/crashes (which is to say, frequently), on the next power up, it definitely downloads stuff from the headend.

It may download some things from the headend (it almost certainly refreshes guide data), but it doesn't download new firmware unless the checksum on the firmware it already has doesn't match what the headend tells it is current. It takes several minutes to download a new firmware push, much longer than reboot, after which it does the power-up reboot--I've seen it happen. Nothing is displayed on your television screen while it's happening, and it cycles gibberish through the LEDs.

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post #194 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 02:37 PM
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KC,

There is no doubt you are correct about applications contracted for and provided by cableco's. Hopefully, there will be a suite of such offerings at different prices, perhaps Navigator on the low end, some form of Passport in the middle, and the Tivo port bringing up the high end. However, TWC seems to be going to a closed system, even with OCAP, by putting so much effort into Navigator and, if Diana's thread is to be believed, they seem to want to add the features users desire. This kind of hints that Navigator will be all there is to choose from. I haven't read anything about a Tivo port for TWC, just Comcast and Cox.

Like Paul said, and I agreed, users may be able to buy various OCAP boxes in retail stores/online (maybe anyway), and some of those will probably offer extras like DVD recorders, etc., but if users continue to be saddled with a single software/IPG package, that is still not much of a choice. My semi-ideal system would be where the cableco provides the IPG data and the users buys whatever hardware/software interface they desire, plug in the cable, and enjoy whatever features they are willing to pay for, including perhaps the number of days in the IPG. I could be wrong, but I suspect cableco's have access to at least 14 days worth of data, they only give us 7 because that may be all the current generation of boxes can handle, especially older boxes.

You are also right that satellite services limit you to what they offer, so why should cable be any different. But I don't think satellite has the same legacy equipment problem cable does. Like you mentioned, cable still supports Explorer 2100's and one can only imagine how limited they are. And like you also mentioned, the 8300 platform is now 5 years old itself, so it is limited too, though I haven't seen spec comparisons with the S3 regarding RAM, etc.?

At some point though, specs will almost have to be standardized, cable/satco's and consumers can't be expected to buy new hardware every couple of years or so. Had I started with the 3100, I'd already be through 4 different HD tuners in 4 years.

I believe the 8300 has more RAM than the 8000, so that should account for some of the speed increase. One question I have is how much RAM, etc., is needed for all the services, like On-Screen Caller ID, and can the current crop of boxes (8300, 6412, etc.) handle all they want to add? I was told at one point that Cox wants to get out of the hardware business, and OCAP could allow them to do that, but I don't know how accurate that was and I don't know how consumers would react.

I have no problem buying a DVR, but it's not like replacing VCR. Since it relies heavily on cable supplied data and software, there has to be some assurance it will continue to function for quite a long time and not be orphaned by an upgrade.

Cheers, Dave
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post #195 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kcmotwcuser View Post

OCAP is really in place to allow TWC to select from several vendors for these application, rather than be locked into only the ones offered by SA, Aptiv and the like.

OCAP is in place to enable the CE industry to create televisions and STBs which will run on any system and provide all services, including the interactive ones. Any device with OCAP and an M-CARD (Multistream Bidirectional CableCARD) can run the cable provider's IPG--Samsung and TWC have demonstrated the Digital Navigator running on a prototype Sammy television, with no cable STB involved. Everything was available: the guide, Impulse Pay Per View and Video On Demand, and all the service provider has to supply is the M-CARD. When DCAS comes in, they won't even need to provide that.

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post #196 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 04:51 PM
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Mike,

Do you envision TWC providing Navigator as the only software platform? Or will they open their system to a Tivo port like COmcast and Cox? Do you expect retail DVRs to replace current cable DVRs (8300, 8240, 6412, etc.)?

Cheers, Dave
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post #197 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

OCAP is in place to enable the CE industry to create televisions and STBs which will run on any system and provide all services, including the interactive ones. Any device with OCAP and an M-CARD (Multistream Bidirectional CableCARD) can run the cable provider's IPG--Samsung and TWC have demonstrated the Digital Navigator running on a prototype Sammy television, with no cable STB involved. Everything was available: the guide, Impulse Pay Per View and Video On Demand, and all the service provider has to supply is the M-CARD. When DCAS comes in, they won't even need to provide that.

I thought that the "M-Cards" were multi-stream, unidirectional capable cards. Effectively, CableCard 1.5. They're just now appearing on the market. And that bidirectionality doesn't get introduced until CableCard 2.0, which is still vaporware.
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post #198 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 08:37 PM
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post #199 of 18661 Old 12-31-2006, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kcmotwcuser View Post

I understand that NON DVR boxes will get more features than they had with Passport. Such as being able to use a keyboard to spell out Titles you want to search for. This was only available on DVR's with Passport. I am down south of you in the Waldo area where Everest started to offer service. The stopped and concentrated on Johnson County KS.

I have an 8300HD DVR and 2 standard SA boxes.



No you won't need a new box unless the Navigator doesn't load on your box and it ends up dead. You will access OnDemand with Navigator in a different manner and have different graphics for a guide.I hear it is much slower to load the guide.

Navigator only effects Digital Cable boxes, your analog service will not be effected. So the TV's you don't have a box on will work just like normal.


Thanks for the info. I'll be waiting for this little upgrade. I have never searched for a title before, I just see whats available. I guess I will try it out when I get it though.
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post #200 of 18661 Old 01-01-2007, 08:21 AM
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KC,

You are absolutely correct, those legacy boxes probably account for a lot of defficiencies, but if some cableco's can use something more robust than SARA, why can't they all? TWC seems to be going backward at the moment with Navigator, since Passport seems quicker, etc., but it's hard to believe this isn't just because they are trying to standardize their system so they can implement more things in the coming year.

One thing to remember is that the people who are probably most affected, and most vocal, about the switch to Navigator are their DVR customers and that is still a relatively small, but growing, segment. If it's as bad as people say, they are going to have to do some heavy promoting in order to keep customers from switching.

I have the same concerns with 3rd party equipment as you do. There are already enough cableco's saying they don't support SATA expansion, what's to prevent them from saying they also don't support your 3rd party OCAP-compatible tuner/DVR and suggesting that you lease theirs, assuming they will still offer one? Of course, they do support 3rd party cable modems as long as you select one for the authorized list and 3rd party tuner/DVRs could work the same way.

I don't know what Everest Cable offers in KC, but unless it's better than Navigator, I don't know how many people will switch for that reason alone, especially if there is some compensation and a believable promise of fixes involved. I'm sure they've crunched the numbers and have a pretty good idea of what the impact will be.

Many of us have been stuck with SARA from day one so we don't really know what we are missing, but for TWC to step backwards with Navigator in the middle of the game seems somewhat foolish, at least for the short term. We SARA users always have promises of something better coming (when already?) and our only choices are to switch to satellite or shell out $$$ for an S3, so most of simply do the best we can with what we've got.

For some reason there doesn't seem to be anyone from either Lincoln or San Diego posting in this thread. It could be that they are sticking with the local Lincoln and San Diego threads, so you might check those out.

Cheers, Dave
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post #201 of 18661 Old 01-01-2007, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kcmotwcuser View Post

I was told by Customer Care here in KC when I asked about the 8300MR, that there were no plans to launch MR, it was in testing in Charlotte and NYC.........

AFAIK, unless something has changed, the current MR needs another box in each room and only distributes SD. That means you'd have to pay for the MR in one room, multiple boxes in other rooms, and then you'd be limited to SD in the other rooms. I also don't know if it works with a 2100 or if it requires something newer, like a 3250 or something.

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post #202 of 18661 Old 01-01-2007, 12:41 PM
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I thought that the "M-Cards" were multi-stream, unidirectional capable cards. Effectively, CableCard 1.5. They're just now appearing on the market. And that bidirectionality doesn't get introduced until CableCard 2.0, which is still vaporware.

In fact, there is no "directionality" in M-CARDs--they are backward compatible with singe-stream unidirectional devices and will work in bidirectional hosts. Support for unidirectional or bidirectional communication is in the card host. I haven't heard of any plan for devices using M-CARD for multi-service authorization/decryption in a unidirectional device (which I assume would be your CableCARD 1.5), though there's no reason why it wouldn't work. TiVo's STBs may make use of M-CARDs that way, though it won't solve their problem with SDV.

CableCARD 2.0 is not "vaporware", as such, unless you consider all unreleased, undeployed technology to be vaporware. The specs are done, products have been developed and interoperability testing has been performed (there was supposedly a group of 24 vendors involved in one such testing event). The FCC has mandated deployment of separable security in the STBs used by the cable operators by mid-2007, which needs CableCARD 2, and all the major MSOs have announced planned roll-outs; some of them have it in beta-test (in small communities--TWC is testing their OCAP Digital Navigator on those prototype Samsung TVs deployed in homes in Gastonia, NC). The MSOs have already had a 2-year extension of on using separable conditional access; I don't think they'll get another.

CableCARD 2 is a set of technologies, including the bidirectional host interface, M-CARD and OCAP. The MSOs could deploy bidirectional. I'm not entirely sure that OCAP support is required by the FCC--it would be possible to have an STB running Passport with a bidirectional interface and M-CARD which would satisfy the FCC's requirement for separable security. However, the FCC might further require that the eventual separable security running on consumer-owned devices give access to all services, interactive or not. They need OCAP to do that.

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post #203 of 18661 Old 01-01-2007, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

In fact, there is no "directionality" in M-CARDs--they are backward compatible with singe-stream unidirectional devices and will work in bidirectional hosts. Support for unidirectional or bidirectional communication is in the card host. I haven't heard of any plan for devices using M-CARD for multi-service authorization/decryption in a unidirectional device (which I assume would be your CableCARD 1.5), though there's no reason why it wouldn't work. TiVo's STBs may make use of M-CARDs that way, though it won't solve their problem with SDV.

CableCARD 2.0 is not "vaporware", as such, unless you consider all unreleased, undeployed technology to be vaporware. The specs are done, products have been developed and interoperability testing has been performed (there was supposedly a group of 24 vendors involved in one such testing event). The FCC has mandated deployment of separable security in the STBs used by the cable operators by mid-2007, which needs CableCARD 2, and all the major MSOs have announced planned roll-outs; some of them have it in beta-test (in small communities--TWC is testing their OCAP Digital Navigator on those prototype Samsung TVs deployed in homes in Gastonia, NC). The MSOs have already had a 2-year extension of on using separable conditional access; I don't think they'll get another.

CableCARD 2 is a set of technologies, including the bidirectional host interface, M-CARD and OCAP. The MSOs could deploy bidirectional. I'm not entirely sure that OCAP support is required by the FCC--it would be possible to have an STB running Passport with a bidirectional interface and M-CARD which would satisfy the FCC's requirement for separable security. However, the FCC might further require that the eventual separable security running on consumer-owned devices give access to all services, interactive or not. They need OCAP to do that.

Wow. Nice post. Lots of good info there, Thanks.
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post #204 of 18661 Old 01-01-2007, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Do you envision TWC providing Navigator as the only software platform? Or will they open their system to a Tivo port like COmcast and Cox? Do you expect retail DVRs to replace current cable DVRs (8300, 8240, 6412, etc.)?

I know that TWC doesn't have any current plans to offer TiVo, but they could offer it, just as Cox is offering TiVo as an option, with you getting SARA or Passport as the default.

As for 3rd party OCAP DVRs into which your provider downloaded his IPG, my problem is how do you market such a thing? It doesn't do anything without your cable provider's downloads, or does it have its own built-in IPG that you can show in ads?

There should be a way for devices to load "ala carte" OCAP-implemented features, like VOD and IPPV, while keeping their own IPGs. This would be a good way for TiVo to go; their IPG is what their fans want, but it'd be nice if TiVo users had access to current and future interactive services.

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post #205 of 18661 Old 01-01-2007, 08:44 PM
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KC,

I remember that post.

There is no doubt TWC and other cableco's have their work cut out. DVRs are becoming standard options and even I am getting restless for OCAP and the promised enhancements to come. While my 8300 with SARA has not given me any trouble and it works for me alongside TitanTV and daily HDTVMagazine emails, it would be nice to have more Tivo-like features in a software package that other cableco's are using too. My priority though is more HD and then software enhancements. Then too, when Qwest here offers an HD DVR and adds service to my area, I may have to look at that. We'll see what things look like mid-2007.

I am surprised more Lincoln and San Diego folks don't join these discussions to provide more actual experience than all the supposition here. How long will folks like you put up with Navigator before abandoning ship, especially without any kind of idea how long changes take and what direction the software is going?

Cheers, Dave
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post #206 of 18661 Old 01-02-2007, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

I am surprised more Lincoln and San Diego folks don't join these discussions to provide more actual experience than all the supposition here. How long will folks like you put up with Navigator before abandoning ship, especially without any kind of idea how long changes take and what direction the software is going?


Maybe they've already all gotten their S3's and have no need to discuss this flawed Navigator software.
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post #207 of 18661 Old 01-02-2007, 06:41 AM
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Maybe they've already all gotten their S3's and have no need to discuss this flawed Navigator software.

They haven't taken Passport away from my area yet (El Segundo/Torrance/Gardena), but i've already ordered an S3 (my first Tivo ever). My master plan is to turn in two of my three SA DVRS, then keep the one 8300HD to supplement the Tivo

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post #208 of 18661 Old 01-02-2007, 07:22 AM
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Well, it's all but confirmed that TiVo is indeed working on an OCAP port of their software. Not that this is a surprise to anyone. A recent filing by the NCTA, TWC and Comcast to the FCC puts it out there in black and white that it's happening right now. LINKY

It's only a single reference, and it's on page 3 if you don't want to read the whole filing. Which isn't necessarily a bad idea, since the filing really degenerates into a whole lot of pro-OCAP boosterism and anti-CEA rhetoric rather quickly. I could only stomach reading about half of the document before closing it up. Simply pages and pages of whining about how awesome OCAP is, how draconian the FCC is, and how brutish and hostile the CEA is. Blah, blah, blah...
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post #209 of 18661 Old 01-02-2007, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

They haven't taken Passport away from my area yet (El Segundo/Torrance/Gardena), but i've already ordered an S3 (my first Tivo ever). My master plan is to turn in two of my three SA DVRS, then keep the one 8300HD to supplement the Tivo

I have to ask - is it wise to order a box that will not work with SDV - with your cable company moving to a new software version primarily to start using SDV???

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post #210 of 18661 Old 01-02-2007, 03:00 PM
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I have to ask - is it wise to order a box that will not work with SDV - with your cable company moving to a new software version primarily to start using SDV???

Yes SDV was a concern, but most of what i record is local HD broadcasts so i can record that via the OTA tuner and leave the cable company out of it. I also record some HDNet/DiscoveryHD/INHD1 which my cable company claims will not be switched, and if they switch the few regular non-HD cable channels that i watch i can just start recording them on the one remaining SA8300HD. My local TWC office said they'll only be switching the lesser-watched channels so there's only a small chance of it affecting me, and will only mean i have to record switched channels onto my 8300HD instead of my TiVo which isn't a big deal.

I've been wanting a TiVo for many years so this Navigator changeover coupled with the recent availability of the S3 made me decide to go for it.

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