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post #1 of 14 Old 05-12-2016, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Where is TiVo headed?...Right here!

There's been tons of speculation over on TCF about where the next TiVo platform is headed, especially with the latest Rovi acquisition. Well I say, it's headed right here based on this latest press release from Rovi:

Quote:
Evolution Digital Launches eGUIDE, Powered by Rovi’s Fan TV Platform, on New eBOX IP Hybrid
Evolution Digital’s eBOX™ will include newly developed eGUIDE™, powered by Rovi’s Fan TV platform, to enable immersive viewing experiences
eVUE-TV™ video solution integrated onto eBOX for thousands of hours of top-rated Video on Demand content and live IP streaming programming
May 12, 2016 08:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Evolution Digital today announces a new version of its eBOX IP Hybrid Set-Top Box with the new eGUIDE interactive guide, powered by Rovi’s Fan TV platform, enabling cable service providers to gain access to Rovi’s enhanced metadata and pave the way to future innovations that enhance the discovery experience. The newly developed Evolution Digital set-top box allows cable operators to deliver QAM linear channels and IP video services through a streamlined and integrated user interface.


(Poster's comment: This looks suspiciously like the TiVo Guide, no?)

“We are excited to further our relationship with Evolution Digital to offer cable operators eGUIDE, powered by Rovi’s Fan TV platform, which we announced earlier this year at CES”

Evolution Digital’s eBOX can be configured to support an all-IP platform, including live linear channels, IP Video on Demand programs, network DVR (nDVR) content and the leading OTT services. Finding content across these offerings has never been easier for consumers, as eGUIDE features universal search, 16:9 HD graphics and a simplified interactive grid guide to view traditional cable channels and IP video options.

“It is my pleasure to announce our newest integrated IP hybrid solution, eBOX with eGUIDE, powered by Rovi’s Fan TV platform,” said Brent Smith, president and chief technology officer. “Rovi is known for their strength in metadata that drives entertainment discovery, and this device and interactive guide offers consumers an unparalleled user experience. Additionally, the Fan TV platform offers flexible APIs so we are able to integrate quickly on eBOX with eGUIDE, and provide our customers a solution today that fortifies our strategy as a business as we continue to develop products and software that help cable providers migrate to all-IP.”

Future enhancements will include adding popular third party apps and enabling universal search across all entertainment. In addition, eGUIDE plans to integrate additional features from the Fan TV platform, including 360 Discovery, which delivers an immersive experience that combines related show recommendations, critic reviews, sophisticated relational metadata and actor photos and biographies. Evolution Digital also plans to incorporate catch-up TV, caller ID features and the Fan TV Conversational Interface into eGUIDE enabling users to simply say what they want to watch in a natural way and then find any movie or show in the world of entertainment.................
If you follow this link at the bottom, some details and hints emerge:

Quote:
eBOX™ IP HYBRID SET-TOP BOX

The Cable TV + OTT Game Changer

The Evolution Digital eBOX IP Hybrid Set-Top Box builds on Evolution Digital’s fundamental digital converters by adding IP connectivity for QAM and IP video functionality.

Now MSOs can enhance their HD offering with a managed IP video experience. The eBOX combines QAM-delivered traditional linear TV with IP delivered content, including operator IP VOD services, OTT and TV Everywhere services; through one user interface, on one box, on the HDMI 1 input.

The eBOX includes HDMI, MoCA, Ethernet, AV and RF ports, supports Rovi Fan TV platform or TiVo® Experience, and enables Universal Search across all content libraries.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

Compact High-Definition single tuner STB with IP Connection

TV/OTT Combo with Game Changing Video Search Engine

Traditional TV Service

Low Energy Consumption

Support for Rovi Fan TV platform or TiVo® Guide

Universal Search Across Platforms

IP Video Content

Small Size, Many Capabilities

Access to linear and IP content in OTT, TVE and MSO VOD offering

Supports MoCA or Ethernet

Viewer Recommendations

Cost-Effective Solution


In the diagram/picture, you see all the MSOs, one of them is DirecTV, who is going OTT this fall, so maybe they could be a player on this next generation box. Possibly also PS Vue, SlingTV, etc.

I'm also sure it wouldn't be too hard to ace the QAM tuner and replace it with an ATSC (or combo) tuner for OTA/OTT/IP melding of services on this device.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-13-2016, 05:57 AM
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Yep, it sounds like my 8 year old Moxie with Play-on installed. It is good to know I can get this after Moxie fails. (The Grand canyon was a mountain at one time. Everything fails)
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-13-2016, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Harper View Post
There's been tons of speculation over on TCF about where the next TiVo platform is headed, especially with the latest Rovi acquisition. Well I say, it's headed right here based on this latest press release from Rovi.
Nice find, Dave! This makes a lot of sense ... I've been saying for awhile now that cable TV is headed in the direction of all-IP (no more QAM tuners), with only cloud/network DVRs (no local hard drives). This new platform from TiVo/Rovi is all about providing the transition to that future while delivering video convergence/integration between MSO-supplied, authenticated and OTT sources for viewers. Sounds like this platform will be branded in two "flavors" with slightly different UIs: FanTV and TiVo (both brands part of the same company now). As before, TiVo will be pitching this solution to those small-to-midsize MSOs who don't have the resources to develop their own platforms to compete with Comcast and New Charter.

As for your last thought about TiVo swapping out the single QAM tuner for an OTA version aimed at retail, I'm doubtful ... an OTA version would almost certainly require a local hard drive and would need multiple tuners, not one. Given their recent decision to stick with the (last-gen) Roamio OTA as the current product for that market, I don't think the economics make sense for them to repurpose the platform outlined above for the OTA retail market. It's all about partnering with MSOs to help them stay in the video entertainment business (rather than just give up and become dumb broadband pipes) -- that business, not retail, is TiVo's future. TiVo better watch out for Umio/Level 3, though, as they could be poised to fight for that same market...

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-13-2016, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, it's going to be interesting.

Here's a juicy nugget and good read from an interview with Naveen Chopra at TiVo:

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/da...UnhRckU9In0%3D

Quote:
..........But some of the key elements are being able to move content into a much more mobile environment, being able to integrate traditional television and over-the-top television, being able to do everything on a stream on-demand basis, being able to wrap it up in a very high-quality next generation interface. And whenever an operator is in a situation where they are looking to achieve those things, that’s why they come to TiVo. So they’re not coming to TiVo talk to talk about DVR, they’re not coming to TiVo to talk about a box. They are coming to TiVo to say, look we need to take our video product to the next step, we need to make it more current, we need to embrace OTT and that’s where our software and our services come into play.........
Quote:
..........<<Brian Fitzgerald, Analyst Pitz & Fitz Internet Research, Jefferies>>

So you mentioned or highlighted the retail business it’s actually returned to growth and that’s a tailwind for sure. Is that a major focus that’s just come with the playing field because you always have to be innovating in order to deploy services into carriers, so what’s driving that retail growth? And then you made the recent acquisition of Aereo, how important is that to the retail story?

<<Naveen Chopra, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy >>

So the retail business which - and for the uninitiated I want to be a little careful using the word retail because it’s really a direct consumer business we sell probably online more than anything else at this point. But the consumer business is highly strategic for us, it is the source of all of our product initiation, it really drives our product roadmap, it’s the thing that defines the user experience, defines the brand and all of these are key aspects of the business that a lot of service providers that find a benefit from. So there’s a lot of leverage between the consumer business and the service driver business. Now the interesting thing is the consumer business for many, many years was kind of a declining business, so subscribers were declining, revenues were declining. And over the last year we have been able to reverse the trend from a subscriber perspective.

The revenue declines are still there, albeit at a much more modest level than they were. So the way we think about it is, we kind of got a stable consumer business. We would like to grow that business than we have been able to thus far. And I think our view is that the best way to do that is going to be to diversify the product a bit, and we have plans in place, we have announcement all - in terms of specifics to bring some new consumer products to market over the course of this year. And the strategy there is to really to try to grow the consumer business beyond what we’ve been able to do purely on the back of the current generation product. But regardless, it will be a very nice source of revenue, it’s a very nice source of barging and it is highly strategic to the service provider business.

<<Brian Fitzgerald, Analyst Pitz & Fitz Internet Research, Jefferies>>

And that’s kind of where the Aereo acquisition fits in?

<<Naveen Chopra, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy >>

Yeah, to be clear what we bought with Aereo trademark it’s just part of the asset sale that happened and we don’t have any plans to utilize that at this point.......
Quote:
.....Digitalsmiths has been another very strategic high growth acquisition that we’ve made. You may not know, but digital smith is kind of the cloud service that powers the user interface in lot of the largest paid television operators in the United States. So it powers element of the dish experience, Time Warner Cable, Charter, DirectTv, Verizon, these are all people who rely on Digitalsmiths to power various elements of their set-top experience over there,.........
Quote:
.....<<Naveen Chopra, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy >>

Yeah. I might even back up a little bit and kind of talk about the rationale behind the deal generally and then we can lead into why that structure was the right one and how that works. I think if you step way back, the fact is understanding the rationale for this deal is intimately high to our views is how the broader entertainment landscape is evolving and no one here would argue with the premise that the broader entertainment landscape has changed dramatically over the last 4-5 years and we have gone back to the world where pretty much any form of video content, any show that you’re interested in is available for consumption probably on an on-demand basis through some service on some sort of device.

So it’s evolving to a world of effectively infinite content. In fact it’s starting to look a lot like the internet in the sense that you can pretty much get to anything you want. Now the problem is unlike the internet where we have very sophisticated, very elegant tools for helping you find navigate, if you get to the content you ultimately care about, which by the way have become extremely invaluable asset, people like Google, Facebook, Bing may be either ultimately tools for navigating for highly desperate world of content. Those tools do not exist in the world of television video entertainment today. And the reality is while all the content is becoming available and in fact, consumption of that content is growing, the ability to find, navigate that content is still very rudimentary.

And from our perspective, that is the opportunity. We know that that’s very valuable real-estate whether want to occupy is directly or help others develop solutions to it. What we do know is that the combination of TiVo and Rovi has a lot of key assets that you need to solve that problem. So if you think about it, between the two companies we have a kind of a best in class next generation user interface, we have the metadata, we have the analytics tool, we have search and recommendation capability and we have advertising technology to help monetize that experience. Those are kind of all the key ingredients to build the answers to how do we make the next generation of video entertainment television as simple and elegant as Google has made the internet.

So, from our perspective, that’s the opportunity, it’s the rationale, we think it’s a big opportunity whether we look at it through the lens of the future of pay-Television, whether we look at it through the lens of future of OTT, whether we look at it through the lens of advertisers, lot of different constituencies that need the technology that we bring to market. So that begins to speak to structure. We are very bullish about what the combined company can create. We think it’s a big market opportunity and we’re going to be one of the biggest players in it. And we wanted to make sure that we had a way of allowing our shareholders to continue to participate in that future and therein was much of the thinking around the deal that has an equity component.......
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-13-2016, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nice find, Dave! This makes a lot of sense ... I've been saying for awhile now that cable TV is headed in the direction of all-IP (no more QAM tuners), with only cloud/network DVRs (no local hard drives). This new platform from TiVo/Rovi is all about providing the transition to that future while delivering video convergence/integration between MSO-supplied, authenticated and OTT sources for viewers. Sounds like this platform will be branded in two "flavors" with slightly different UIs: FanTV and TiVo (both brands part of the same company now). As before, TiVo will be pitching this solution to those small-to-midsize MSOs who don't have the resources to develop their own platforms to compete with Comcast and New Charter.

As for your last thought about TiVo swapping out the single QAM tuner for an OTA version aimed at retail, I'm doubtful ... an OTA version would almost certainly require a local hard drive and would need multiple tuners, not one. Given their recent decision to stick with the (last-gen) Roamio OTA as the current product for that market, I don't think the economics make sense for them to repurpose the platform outlined above for the OTA retail market. It's all about partnering with MSOs to help them stay in the video entertainment business (rather than just give up and become dumb broadband pipes) -- that business, not retail, is TiVo's future. TiVo better watch out for Umio/Level 3, though, as they could be poised to fight for that same market...
Maybe this device would be more of a TiVo Mini replacement that can read from a Host TiVo and integrate its local cable/ota recordings, OTT Streaming, IPTV, etc. and also has a single tuner so it doesn't have to steal one from the host when channel surfing, a la' the DISH Joey, I think, that also has a tuner? But it can also stand on it's own, unlike the Mini.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-13-2016, 09:22 PM
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Maybe this device would be more of a TiVo Mini replacement that can read from a Host TiVo and integrate its local cable/ota recordings, OTT Streaming, IPTV, etc. and also has a single tuner so it doesn't have to steal one from the host when channel surfing, a la' the DISH Joey, I think, that also has a tuner? But it can also stand on it's own, unlike the Mini.
It looks to me like the hardware in question, the eBOX, is from Evolution Digital, which is a separate company that is partnering with Rovi/TiVo to supply much of the software and data that the product uses. It doesn't appear to be a TiVo-branded piece of hardware. So I'm doubtful that we'll see this product as any kind retail TiVo product, such as an updated TiVo Mini. Looks like Evolution Digital deals exclusively with small-to-midsize cable MSOs. The eBOX is apparently rolling out first with WOW!
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I don't have an example for you, but I am hearing negatives about Rovi's guides, like they're sort of kludge-ey or something.

Tivo already nailed the guide, so it would be a shame if part of the buyout means they have to submit to using Rovi's genius guide instead.

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post #8 of 14 Old 05-17-2016, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This thing is going to be the new TiVo Mini.


http://www.fiercecable.com/story/wow...ces/2015-07-22
Quote:
The set-tops will use security typically deployed on universal digital transport adapters and will operate as a standalone HD set-top, a client to a TiVo DVR, or as a client to future cloud-based video services.
And today's latest announcement:
http://www.fiercecable.com/story/wow...Z0ajg9In0%253D

http://go.questexweb.com/dc/Pbv9O4c1...0B1Fe8006aeI00

Oh, and thanks for the plug for me finding this long before that post on TCF there NashGuy!
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-17-2016, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by NashGuy View Post
It looks to me like the hardware in question, the eBOX, is from Evolution Digital, which is a separate company that is partnering with Rovi/TiVo to supply much of the software and data that the product uses. It doesn't appear to be a TiVo-branded piece of hardware. So I'm doubtful that we'll see this product as any kind retail TiVo product, such as an updated TiVo Mini. Looks like Evolution Digital deals exclusively with small-to-midsize cable MSOs. The eBOX is apparently rolling out first with WOW!
If you read the links in my previous post they talk about only 60% of the hardware that runs TiVo is made by TiVo and they're going to decrease from there and eventually move away from hardware into software only.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-18-2016, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Harper View Post
This thing is going to be the new TiVo Mini.


http://www.fiercecable.com/story/wow...ces/2015-07-22


And today's latest announcement:
http://www.fiercecable.com/story/wow...Z0ajg9In0%253D

http://go.questexweb.com/dc/Pbv9O4c1...0B1Fe8006aeI00

Oh, and thanks for the plug for me finding this long before that post on TCF there NashGuy!
Yeah, I see the reference there to this eBox being able to serve as a client to existing TiVo DVRs, which means that one of the use cases for MSOs that deploy this box is for it to serve as a thin-client/extender STB on additional TVs in the home if they already have an existing hard-drive based TiVo installed on the main TV. In other words, yes, the eBox can act as a Mini.

That said, I still don't see this particular box getting marketed to the retail market as the next-generation TiVo Mini (and maybe that's not what you were implying anyhow). A retail TiVo Mini wouldn't need a QAM tuner. And Evolution Digital doesn't serve the retail market. That said, perhaps much of the software/tech inside this box will end up in future retail TiVo hardware. Honestly, the future of TiVo retail devices is a huge question mark right now given that CableCARD is dying and getting replaced with the sort of software-based MSO-issued security that the eBox uses.

It doesn't surprise me to read what you posted about TiVo/Rovi looking to move further out of hardware and focus on software/services. But again, what does that mean for retail products? Depending on the outcome of the FCC's current "Unlock the Box" push, cable companies may no longer be forced to deliver their services to consumer-owned retail devices. If they aren't, and an MSO chooses not to work with retail TiVo devices (by letting them access their software-based security), the only way that TiVo will be able to work with cable TV in the post-CableCARD landscape will be through MSO-partnered devices like the eBox. And existing CableCARD-based TiVos would become useless.
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Yeah, I see the reference there to this eBox being able to serve as a client to existing TiVo DVRs, which means that one of the use cases for MSOs that deploy this box is for it to serve as a thin-client/extender STB on additional TVs in the home if they already have an existing hard-drive based TiVo installed on the main TV. In other words, yes, the eBox can act as a Mini.

That said, I still don't see this particular box getting marketed to the retail market as the next-generation TiVo Mini (and maybe that's not what you were implying anyhow). A retail TiVo Mini wouldn't need a QAM tuner. And Evolution Digital doesn't serve the retail market. That said, perhaps much of the software/tech inside this box will end up in future retail TiVo hardware. Honestly, the future of TiVo retail devices is a huge question mark right now given that CableCARD is dying and getting replaced with the sort of software-based MSO-issued security that the eBox uses.

It doesn't surprise me to read what you posted about TiVo/Rovi looking to move further out of hardware and focus on software/services. But again, what does that mean for retail products? Depending on the outcome of the FCC's current "Unlock the Box" push, cable companies may no longer be forced to deliver their services to consumer-owned retail devices. If they aren't, and an MSO chooses not to work with retail TiVo devices (by letting them access their software-based security), the only way that TiVo will be able to work with cable TV in the post-CableCARD landscape will be through MSO-partnered devices like the eBox. And existing CableCARD-based TiVos would become useless.
In contrast, I CAN see this being a viable retail product for them. The QAM tuner is justifiable so that the Mini wouldn't have to borrow one from the already stretched thin 4 tuner base models Premiere 4, Roamio and Bolt lines. Maybe it can be authenticated through it's host TiVo DVR.

I'm not saying Evolution Digital would be the forward facing hardware manufacturer to the end user, but nothing stops TiVo from contracting them to build the box, like they do with Pace, etc. I don't think the Bolt was designed in house.

I think it's too coincidental that TiVo and Rovi are merging AND this device from ED just so happens to be able to support both Rovi and TiVo's GUIs AND there's rumors that TiVo is releasing a newer updated Mini AND they've also said that they will be going in an entirely new direction like this device offers with IP/OTT/QAM. This device can be a mini client for those that already have a TiVo DVR, can be a stand alone single tuner QAM device with OTT apps, and can also be an IPTV and OTT stand alone device, supporting OTT apps a la' SlingTV, Vue, new DirecTV OTT, etc., which I happen to believe is what TiVo will venture into next.

This could also be the thing that kicks their built in software IP TA service off. Roamios and Bolts are capable of this. It's just a matter of support from the MSOs.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-18-2016, 11:09 PM
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TiVo is fairly limited right now in their ability to deliver OTT apps. They're dependent on Opera/HTML5 apps and that's just not a very popular platform for major developers. HBO Now, Showtime, Sling TV, PS Vue, Starz, CBS All Access, Crackle, CBS News, Vevo -- none of those OTT apps are available on TiVo. And there's also a ton of authenticated apps for cable TV subscribers -- stuff like Showtime Anytime, Watch ESPN, Watch Disney, Fox Now, HGTV, etc. -- that aren't available on TiVo either. Maybe TiVo will be able to sway one or two of those big names to bring their app to TiVo this year but I don't see a lot of them coming on board. They're all preoccupied with Apple, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire, XBox, and PlayStation. Streaming is a real weak spot for TiVo and, given their relatively small install base, I don't know how they fix that short of making their boxes capable of running Android TV/Fire TV apps. (Android is open source and Fire TV is simply a fork of it.)
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-19-2016, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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TiVo is fairly limited right now in their ability to deliver OTT apps. They're dependent on Opera/HTML5 apps and that's just not a very popular platform for major developers. HBO Now, Showtime, Sling TV, PS Vue, Starz, CBS All Access, Crackle, CBS News, Vevo -- none of those OTT apps are available on TiVo. And there's also a ton of authenticated apps for cable TV subscribers -- stuff like Showtime Anytime, Watch ESPN, Watch Disney, Fox Now, HGTV, etc. -- that aren't available on TiVo either. Maybe TiVo will be able to sway one or two of those big names to bring their app to TiVo this year but I don't see a lot of them coming on board. They're all preoccupied with Apple, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire, XBox, and PlayStation. Streaming is a real weak spot for TiVo and, given their relatively small install base, I don't know how they fix that short of making their boxes capable of running Android TV/Fire TV apps. (Android is open source and Fire TV is simply a fork of it.)
Exactly, and this eBox CAN do all those apps, so doesn't that actually prove my point? Even if your existing TiVo DVRs can't do them, by adding this device to your whole home system it would add that capability, at least on that device as a client. I would consider replacing all my minis with these and using the Bolt as a gateway type decide like an HDHomerun (similar to what is mentioned for the FCC's replacement for Cablecards that Dan talks about over there at TCF)
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-19-2016, 10:35 PM
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Exactly, and this eBox CAN do all those apps, so doesn't that actually prove my point?
What are you basing that on? I know there's that one graphic with a bunch of logos on it but I'd take that with a grain of salt. Is there a press release or something that specifically names the apps that this platform supports?
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