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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Motorola's venerable line of DCT set-top boxes is set to be replaced by the new DCH (the "h" is for host) set-top boxes that were unveiled at CES.


With the Federal Communications Commission's July deadline for separable security on the horizon, both Motorola and Scientific Atlanta showed set-top boxes with removable CableCards.


Motorola also announced it had expanded a previous agreement with Comcast for a multi-year purchase of set-top boxes, but didn't say how many boxes were included in the deal.


Under the agreement announced at CES, Comcast will purchase several set-top models from Motorola, including dual-tuner, HD DVRs and all-digital cable receivers. These next-generation digital set-tops will support Comcast's Residential Network Gateway (RNG) specification along with the OCAP initiative. Several of the models will support Motorola's "Follow Me TV" solution and Motorola's Linux-Java software platform as well as the models with CableCards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Product Features and Specifications


There are six models in the new Motorola DCH Series of digital cable set-tops:


Motorola DCH100 - An all-digital, standard-definition (SD) interactive cable set-top with an integrated MoCA home networking interface.


Motorola DCH200 - A standard-definition interactive digital cable set-top with support for analog services.


Motorola DCH3200 - An all-digital, high-definition interactive cable set-top.


Motorola DCH6200 - A high-definition interactive digital cable set-top with support for analog services.


Motorola DCH3416 - An all-digital, high-definition digital video recorder and interactive cable set-top with a standard 160 GB hard drive for storage of content.


Motorola DCH6416 - A high-definition digital video recorder and interactive digital cable set-top with support for analog services and a standard 160 GB hard drive for storage of content.


All products comply with the FCC separable security mandate with support for CableCARD technology. In addition, these products support Motorola's Linux-Java software platform and the Open Cable Application Platform (OCAP) initiative.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 /forum/post/0


I cant believe they are still going to roll out a new suite of HD DVRs and are still using 160 GB hard drives. I hope they have figured out how to get the eSata active.

I agree 1000%. It's totally absurd to be putting in small HD's (still!) and then not allowing people to use external HD's.
 

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I'm sure scanpa can confirm or refute this, but I believe that the 160GB limit is inherent in the deepest layers of the DVR. Even if replaced with a larger hard drive, folks report that only 160GB of the drive are usable.


I'm also sure scanpa will correct me if I'm wrong, but the eSATA limitation is related to problems with DRM, and it is being worked on by Motorola. It's not an easy thing to fix. They've "been working" on it for months now with no resolution yet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 /forum/post/0


I'm sure scanpa can confirm or refute this, but I believe that the 160GB limit is inherent in the deepest layers of the DVR. Even if replaced with a larger hard drive, folks report that only 160GB of the drive are usable.


I'm also sure scanpa will correct me if I'm wrong, but the eSATA limitation is related to problems with DRM, and it is being worked on by Motorola. It's not an easy thing to fix. They've "been working" on it for months now with no resolution yet.

I have read about both limitations. It just seems that now would have been a good time to fix these issues. Instead a new lineup wihh the same limitations, fix the limitations first, then roll out a new line up.


Hell with the eSata thing i can understand, it would be an easy update down the road, but seriously 160GB, you can get drives double that size for a marginal price difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 /forum/post/0


I have read about both limitations. It just seems that now would have been a good time to fix these issues. Instead a new lineup wihh the same limitations, fix the limitations first, then roll out a new line up.

The new line-up is not being driven by marketing or sales, but rather by the fact that it will be illegal for MSOs to deploy boxes from the old product line after July 1. They have no choice but to roll out a new line-up right now, if not sooner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 /forum/post/0


Hell with the eSata thing i can understand, it would be an easy update down the road, but seriously 160GB, you can get drives double that size for a marginal price difference.

Again, you can put a 320GB drive in the Motorola DVR right now, and it will still only be able to use 160GB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 /forum/post/0


I'm sure scanpa can confirm or refute this, but I believe that the 160GB limit is inherent in the deepest layers of the DVR. Even if replaced with a larger hard drive, folks report that only 160GB of the drive are usable.


I'm also sure scanpa will correct me if I'm wrong, but the eSATA limitation is related to problems with DRM, and it is being worked on by Motorola. It's not an easy thing to fix. They've "been working" on it for months now with no resolution yet.

Correct on both. There is alowence for larger internal and external HDD, but I have yet to see the code used. I have seen a 250 gb external HDD used on a Moto 6412, when we had one open on the test bench, it formated the eSata drive just fine, but after recordings were recorded on the external drive, they would not play on the STB let alone have the correct playback flags.


Motorola does offer a 320 gb HDD model of the 64xx & 34xx DCT HD DVR STB series, but the price per unit is 500 bucks more then the 160 gb drive.


remember these 120 & 160 gb units are only for short term timeshifting. record today and watch and delete within 24 - 48 hours. There not ment for long term storage of tv shows. Not what it was designed for.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 /forum/post/0


Again, you can put a 320GB drive in the Motorola DVR right now, and it will still only be able to use 160GB.

I understand that but as scanpa said they do have the ability to put in larger drives during production, once again they chose not to.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa /forum/post/0


Correct on both. There is alowence for larger internal and external HDD, but I have yet to see the code used. I have seen a 250 gb external HDD used on a Moto 6412, when we had one open on the test bench, it formated the eSata drive just fine, but after recordings were recorded on the external drive, they would not play on the STB let alone have the correct playback flags.


Motorola does offer a 320 gb HDD model of the 64xx & 34xx DCT HD DVR STB series, but the price per unit is 500 bucks more then the 160 gb drive.

Do you know why there is such a difference in Price, it obviously is not because of the cost of the larger drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa /forum/post/0


remember these 120 & 160 gb units are only for short term timeshifting. record today and watch and delete within 24 - 48 hours. There not ment for long term storage of tv shows. Not what it was designed for.

I get that, but if I went on a 10 day vacation, when i got back the box would have erased recordings I never got to see because it ran out of space. In the grand scheme of things its not a huge deal, I mean its just TV., but it would be nice to be able to record a few movies a week from the premium channels without having to worry about running out of space for the weekly shows I like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 /forum/post/0


I understand that but as scanpa said they do have the ability to put in larger drives during production, once again they chose not to.

I feel you're using the word "chose" in a manner inconsistent with how I understand the word.
Let's see... $500 extra in up-front (presumably b2b) cost... that translates to about an extra $30 per month on the rental fee. So instead of DVR service for $10 per month, it would be $40 per month. Are you still interested?
Seriously, you would need to find a whole mess of customers willing to pay an extra $40 per month for the larger hard drive. I doubt you could find even 1% to be willing to pay that much. I sure wouldn't.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 /forum/post/0


I get that, but if I went on a 10 day vacation, when i got back the box would have erased recordings I never got to see because it ran out of space.

One idea to address that is to get a second DVR for the week of the vacation and the week or so after that it takes you to watch everything you record on the second DVR. Then just return the second DVR. That would probably cost you a total of $9 ($5 for a half-month rental on the DVR, and $2 for each service change.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 /forum/post/0


One idea to address that is to get a second DVR for the week of the vacation and the week or so after that it takes you to watch everything you record on the second DVR. Then just return the second DVR. That would probably cost you a total of $9 ($5 for a half-month rental on the DVR, and $2 for each service change.)

I actually use FiOS and the QIP6416, and in VA there are no VZ drop off locations. so it would actually cost me $50 for the install of the second box, then $50 for the disconnection because it would require a technician to drop off and pick up any equipment.


But really this thread isn't about me, I still dont get where the $500 price increase comes from. the Hard drive cost maybe $50 more what accounts for the other $450?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks like Charter has there first shipment of Moto DCH STB. That means there shipping.


Charter is currently testing Panasonic and Motorola DCH 6416 set-top boxes with CableCards, as well as host devices from Motorola and Scientific Atlanta.
 

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I take it the upcoming TIVO software will load right onto a DCH-34xx / 64xx ? Or will it take extra time to 'port' the software to this platform? Hopefully with the neat new box design, they added some extra horsepower and Mpeg 4 decoding while they were at it. It would be cool if they added more flash memory space and a larger ram footprint for more advanced guides.


I'd say they look pretty cool. When someone gets one in, let us know what the stock firmware version is and what code module versions load on it. Also let us know if the diagnostics are the same. Among the performance issues and connectivity options on the back of the box. It would be nice to see S-Video ports on the SD boxes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa /forum/post/0



remember these 120 & 160 gb units are only for short term timeshifting. record today and watch and delete within 24 - 48 hours. There not ment for long term storage of tv shows. Not what it was designed for.

I partially disagree with this assertion. We in the HD world think of these units as only holding a small amount of programming, but plenty of customers use them for SD only and can record more than hundred digital SD hours per unit, and so much SD space implies a much longer timeshifting horizon than 1-2 days. Just because HD uses much more space than SD is no reason that HD DVRs shouldn't eventually provide as much functionality for HD as DVRs once did for SD, particularly when hard drive space is becoming so inexpensive. They may not be meant for long-term storage, but they should be designed for more than 1-2 day timeshifting.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftjab /forum/post/0


I partially disagree with this assertion. We in the HD world think of these units as only holding a small amount of programming, but plenty of customers use them for SD only and can record more than hundred digital SD hours per unit, and so much SD space implies a much longer timeshifting horizon than 1-2 days. Just because HD uses much more space than SD is no reason that HD DVRs shouldn't eventually provide as much functionality for HD as DVRs once did for SD, particularly when hard drive space is becoming so inexpensive. They may not be meant for long-term storage, but they should be designed for more than 1-2 day timeshifting.

Having just made the switch to a DCT6412 (they didn't have a 6416 when I went to get it), I can't believe how limiting the storage space is compared to my old ReplayTV (non-HD of course). I find myself recording the SD version of shows sometimes intesad of the HD version cause space is always a premium.


Anyone know when we might expect the new line of DCH boxes? Sure would be nice if they wold allow and external drive.
 
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