TiVo Series 4 - "UnOfficial" Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 297 Old 12-14-2007, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Since TiVo has announced a new "Series 4" box for next year (when, exactly "next year" is unknown), I've decided to start an "unofficial" thread, as opposed to the "official" thread for the Series 3, to discuss this new hardware.

Speculations or factual information, all are welcome!
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post #2 of 297 Old 12-14-2007, 10:35 AM
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I'd bet this will include the upcoming SDV dongle. I'd love to see support for PPV as well as OTA HD.

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post #3 of 297 Old 12-14-2007, 10:35 AM
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I've heard some rumors mulling around that this is going to integrate the SDV Dongle into the box.
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post #4 of 297 Old 12-14-2007, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadtaste View Post

I've heard some rumors mulling around that this is going to integrate the SDV Dongle into the box.

Right.

The Tivo Series4 -- expected by October 2008 -- is said to integrate full two-way functionality into the box. The Tivo Series3 and TivoHD are supposed to get the dongle for SDV next spring (2Q 2008).
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post #5 of 297 Old 12-14-2007, 02:48 PM
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So my question would be: will the cable companies get into the market of selling these new Tivo boxes along with their generic boxes (w/ Tivo software as well)?

I know the first answer would be NO, but I think the cable companies would be smart to start offering more powerful Tivo boxes for higher end customers. They can eat some of the cost of the box, and get a bigger chunk of the monthly sub from Tivo.
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post #6 of 297 Old 07-12-2008, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Decided to resurrect this thread because of many cable ops (like HBO, see link) deciding to move to MPEG-4. New box needed?

http://www.lightreading.com/document...27163&site=cdn
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post #7 of 297 Old 07-12-2008, 06:00 AM
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No. A simple software update for the Series3 and TiVo HD units will add MPEG-4 AVC support. Both units ship with a decoder chip that's capable of decoding both MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 - all that's needed are the details of how it'll be transported over the wire. Unlike most existing cable boxes.
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post #8 of 297 Old 07-12-2008, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

The Tivo Series4 -- expected by October 2008 -- is said to integrate full two-way functionality into the box.


Anyone know if TiVo is still on track to release by October 2008? That is only about 3 months from now. I haven't heard anything on these new boxes since about last December, that I think will have tru2way built in for SDV and 2 way communication for PPV and Ondemand.
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post #9 of 297 Old 07-12-2008, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonfoo View Post

No. A simple software update for the Series3 and TiVo HD units will add MPEG-4 AVC support. Both units ship with a decoder chip that's capable of decoding both MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 - all that's needed are the details of how it'll be transported over the wire. Unlike most existing cable boxes.

That's what we were led to believe with M-Card (in M-Mode) support on the S3. Unfortunately there can always be bugs or issues that are not known until testing with real data that make it more difficult or impossible to support MPEG4. There are different profiles, different encoding options, etc. TiVo sometimes prioritizes features different than the consumer would like. So there is no disagreement the specs for the chipset say MPEG4 is supported, but you shouldn't make the assumption that TiVo will support (enable support) for MPEG4 on the boxes with a simple software update. That's not to say it won't happen, just don't make the assumption that it will definitely happen and you are future proof w/r/t MPEG4.
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post #10 of 297 Old 07-12-2008, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub View Post

That's what we were led to believe with M-Card (in M-Mode) support on the S3. Unfortunately there can always be bugs or issues that are not known until testing with real data that make it more difficult or impossible to support MPEG4. There are different profiles, different encoding options, etc. TiVo sometimes prioritizes features different than the consumer would like. So there is no disagreement the specs for the chipset say MPEG4 is supported, but you shouldn't make the assumption that TiVo will support (enable support) for MPEG4 on the boxes with a simple software update. That's not to say it won't happen, just don't make the assumption that it will definitely happen and you are future proof w/r/t MPEG4.

It has the guts to do it, id be more concerned if theyd used a chip without the decoding power. Mcards work, just took a little time for the s3 over the thd.

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post #11 of 297 Old 07-12-2008, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sfhub View Post

That's what we were led to believe with M-Card (in M-Mode) support on the S3.

Well, there was the fact that they had a terrible time dealing with CableCARD controller chip vendor - that stymied M-Card support. We know MPEG-4 AVC support is going to work, as it's going to be required for the YouTube stuff (and the HD Unbox stuff), which is supposed to be coming in the next major software update - a lot of new stuff hinges on it, so if they were having that sort of trouble with the decoder chip, they wouldn't be doing any of that either.
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post #12 of 297 Old 07-14-2008, 08:55 AM
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Great, sort of. I was thinking about picking up a couple of Tivo's, but if a new one is due in 3 months spending that money now would be stupid. Then I should be able to get the new model or pick up the current ones at a discount. Of course, I really didn't want to wait three months, so it's annoying.
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post #13 of 297 Old 07-14-2008, 03:47 PM
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I would really like to find out for a fact if the series 4 Tivo will support DirecTV and Dish like they did in the past. Would love to have stayed with Tivo but since I have HD through DirecTV then I must use their DVR. My guess though is DirecTV won't allow them to do this just like Dish because they want a closed solution and sell their own DVR boxes.

Any thoughts?
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post #14 of 297 Old 07-14-2008, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MovieGuruJeff View Post

I would really like to find out for a fact if the series 4 Tivo will support DirecTV and Dish like they did in the past. Would love to have stayed with Tivo but since I have HD through DirecTV then I must use their DVR. My guess though is DirecTV won't allow them to do this just like Dish because they want a closed solution and sell their own DVR boxes.

The Series4 TiVo, as in the same unit that's going to work on cable? Absolutely not for Dish, and almost certainly not for D*. The only reason I say "almost certainly not" is that it might be possible to use the USB-connected dual-tuner box that D* is going to be selling for use with Vista Media Center - at least, *technically* it could work. However, given that there's been no recent apparent change in attitude from D*, I don't think they're going to allow TiVo to support them that way - and there's no other way that TiVo could integrate with either service (since they're basically indefinitely waivered from the CableCARD mandates that the cable providers are affected by). So... don't hold your breath.
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post #15 of 297 Old 01-10-2009, 12:35 AM
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No announcements. So... now what?
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post #16 of 297 Old 01-10-2009, 12:48 AM
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We do know that TiVo is working on a true2way model and a new DirecTV HDTV model. More specific information than that is currently unknown.

Traditionally, TiVo has released new DVRs in the July-October timeframe. Personally, I don't see what pre-announcing now would accomplish, besides hurting sales of their existing product.
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post #17 of 297 Old 01-11-2009, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonfoo View Post

The Series4 TiVo, as in the same unit that's going to work on cable? Absolutely not for Dish, and almost certainly not for D*. The only reason I say "almost certainly not" is that it might be possible to use the USB-connected dual-tuner box that D* is going to be selling for use with Vista Media Center...

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post #18 of 297 Old 01-24-2009, 04:30 PM
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Don't worry ...

I'm going to order/buy two of the refurb. Tivo HD DVRs from the Tivo web site.

This usually means that a newer/better less expensive product will be coming along soon thereafter.

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post #19 of 297 Old 01-24-2009, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

We do know that TiVo is working on a true2way model and a new DirecTV HDTV model.

I have no knowledge of a retail tru2way TiVo under development, and the NCTA recently confirmed for me that those specs haven't been finalized or released to manufacturers. However, it's possible a tru2way TiVo cable product is under development for a partner like Comcast or Cox. And, of course, it's possible likely even that there are many things I'm unaware of.
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post #20 of 297 Old 01-25-2009, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by davezatz View Post

I have no knowledge of a retail tru2way TiVo under development

Bummer.

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Originally Posted by davezatz View Post

and the NCTA recently confirmed for me that those specs haven't been finalized or released to manufacturers.

Really? Much of the infrastructure is supposed to be in place by July:

http://www.multichannel.com/article/..._By_July_1.php

And Panasonic is already shipping tru2way TVs in some markets like Chicago.

How could those things be going on if the specs haven't been finalized?
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post #21 of 297 Old 01-25-2009, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by spocko View Post

And Panasonic is already shipping tru2way TVs in some markets like Chicago. How could those things be going on if the specs haven't been finalized?

First, I think it's highly unlikely the entire cable industry will support/run tru2way by the summer date in the MOU (which is not legally binding and such). Next, the tru2way specs for televisions are not the same as the more complex retail DVR network interface, especially since the CE folks have been pushing to use the cable-cos guide data within their own UI. And one more point of reference, Digeo's CEO also mentioned to me that the retail specs haven't been finalized/distributed.
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post #22 of 297 Old 01-25-2009, 02:04 PM
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the CE folks have been pushing to use the cable-cos guide data within their own UI..

Have you heard anything to indicate that Cable Labs is headed in that direction?

I know the existing true2way specs do not provide the means for a third-party TV/STB/DVR manufacturer to provide their own EPG/UI that uses the cable company's information. I know CE companies have long requested that guide data be presented in a standard format, but I have not heard anything from Cable Labs' about a plan to actually do that. Have you?

To this point, I've just assumed that TiVo or Moxi would have to provide their own program information for a true2way box, much as they do today, since the existing true2way specs do not provide for a standard guide format.
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post #23 of 297 Old 01-25-2009, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Have you heard anything to indicate that Cable Labs is headed in that direction? I know CE companies have long requested that guide data be presented in a standard format, but I have not heard anything from Cable Labs' about a plan to actually do that. Have you?

Nothing official or on the record, but based on some discussions not so long ago I'm left with the feeling it's on the drawing board, in the works. However, the current intent versus what's ultimately locked down and delivered may vary. And so it goes with the cable industry... :/

Quote:


To this point, I've just assumed that TiVo or Moxi would have to provide their own program information for a true2way box, much as they do today,

I also assume they may want their own guide data, for complete control and in many cases TiVo's info is better, they pay for more thorough info than most providers. Then again, maybe there'd be a cost savings in utilizing the cable-co stuff. But I assume Digeo and TiVo don't have huge motivation anyway, since by providing their own VOD they can pull in additional revenue. The main reason to go to tru2way is to handle SDV, and with the dongles out there perhaps there's less rush - and I've heard Comcast has or may be abandoning SDV entirely - at least in some regions. Hm.
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post #24 of 297 Old 01-26-2009, 01:18 PM
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Interesting. I had assumed that tru2way and SDV would provide motivation for Tivo to produce a series 4 in the not too distant future. If that's not the case, then maybe it could be a long time before series 4 sees the light of day?
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post #25 of 297 Old 01-26-2009, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by spocko View Post

Interesting. I had assumed that tru2way and SDV would provide motivation for Tivo to produce a series 4 in the not too distant future. If that's not the case, then maybe it could be a long time before series 4 sees the light of day?

Aside from the upfront cost and monthly fee, the inability to access [free] cable company VOD is probably the #1 reason people don't buy TiVos. If I were TiVo, I would want to address that.
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post #26 of 297 Old 01-26-2009, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Aside from the upfront cost and monthly fee, the inability to access [free] cable company VOD is probably the #1 reason people don't buy TiVos. If I were TiVo, I would want to address that.

Agreed. I am hoping that series 4 has that capability. Wouldn't that require True2way, or is there some other way that Tivo can access cable company VOD?
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post #27 of 297 Old 01-27-2009, 11:13 AM
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TiVo still intends to have a retail Tru2way Series 4 but both the Tru2way DVR and TiVo Series 4 details and specs are still being finalized. It will probably be a while.

Old news but lest we forget:


1) Recent tweaks to tru2way, for example, allow for some forthcoming DVRs from TiVo Inc. to toggle between its navigation system and the operator's native guide.


2) In the FCC filing this week, TiVo notes that cable has agreed to make a few "clarifications or adjustments" to the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) in ways TiVo believes are necessary to build a "viable retail DVR" powered by the CableLabs-specified middleware.

Those "adjustments" will enable TiVo boxes with OCAP to run in two modes:

TiVo Mode: In addition to displaying all the operator's linear channels (and those offered via switched digital video techniques), this mode will preserve the TiVo user interface and tap into the box's full DVR functionality.

Cable Mode: Running OCAP, this mode will give customers access to general programming services and other MSO-supplied set-top applications via the cable operator's native user interface, and toggle off the device's DVR functions.



They obviously have a lot to work out. I wouldn't expect anything until 2010.

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post #28 of 297 Old 01-28-2009, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Aside from the upfront cost and monthly fee, the inability to access [free] cable company VOD is probably the #1 reason people don't buy TiVos. If I were TiVo, I would want to address that.

I have to agree with that whole-heartedly. That is exactly the reason why I am not investing anymore in my TiVos. I have 2 SD TiVos that was holding on to despite being more HD oriented, but the lack of VOD services has prevented me from going cablecard HD TiVo. It's been a 8 or 9 years and I'll consider resubbing when this new TiVo comes out, but for now it's just not economically viable to continue to keep those 2 TiVos. I hate to have to endure the horrible Cable DVR but at least the Dish Network DVR I have for my other service is more bearable. I'll miss you TiVo UI and I'll miss accessing my Rhapsody account via TiVo too. Hurry up and I'll be back!
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post #29 of 297 Old 01-29-2009, 03:00 PM
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:shrug: The whole point of having a DVR is to record what you want to watch, not what the cableCo thinks you might like (i.e., VOD). It's a nice to have, but I don't miss it given what Tivo offers in return.
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post #30 of 297 Old 01-29-2009, 03:56 PM
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So why not have a cable STB on one TV and your Tivo on another? That's exactly what I do. Best of both.

I saw an article last summer that there are 2.1 TVs per household. So, presumably, anyone that could afford a Tivo has more than 1 TV.
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