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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What really bothers me is that ReplayTV has not been able to make a deal with DirecTV. Which means most likely the DirecTivo will be the first HD DVR, since there is very little that needs to be done technically to change the existing DirecTivo into a high def recorder for satellite programming (over-the-air is another story, since they'd need to add an 8VSB over-the-air tuner). I really like my ReplayTV 4000s, and will have a very hard time getting used to forwarding through commercials manually.


I really don't know what ReplayTV is planning to do when TV goes hi-def in a few years. Compressing uncompressed 1080i takes a lot of processing power, and the results arn't going to match the quality of the original stream. An integrated DVR will not have to do any compressing, since the signal from satellite will already be compressed. So a DirecTivo will look better and cost a lot less than a ReplayTV. And so I will have to skip commercials manually - and I HATE that. I wish there was a way so that I could pay a fee and not have to watch any commercials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Thompson
From what I've read on the Replay 4000 series component specs. The MPEG2 *hardware* on the Replay is completely capable of 1080i.
Please elaborate. I don't know of any realtime MPEG2 compressors that can handle 62 million pixels per second (1080i). What components are you talking about? Essentially, you'd need 3 very fast A/D converters (say 8 bits each for 24bit color) with a sample rate of above 60 MHz and an MPEG2 compressor that can take all those samples and compress them to some reasonable stream, such as the 19Mbps rate of HDTV. Then you could get approx 1 hour of storage per 8 or so megs of hard drive.


I really don't think the above technology exists for the price any consumer would be willing to pay. Until, of course, HD camcorders start becoming mass produced (since no other equipment will need a hidef compressor as all signals are already compressed).


But I may be wrong.


Regards.

Moaz
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also another thing that bugs me is that ReplayTV will not add music storage capabilities to their DVRs for political reasons, they don't want to compete with their own "Rio" line. That's mighty stupid, since I'm guessing most people would rather buy a Tivo with MP3 capabilities than a ReplayTV with broadband.

It makes me sad to say this, but I don't think ReplayTV will survive. They don't have the marketing muscle (no deals with satellite or cable providers, and very poor brand recognition - everyone knows what a Tivo is) and they are even internally sabotaged by the Rio line as I've stated above.

Don't get me wrong, I love ReplayTV, I own four of them! I pre-ordered a 2000 before they were shipping, then got a 3060, and recently a 4040 and a 4080.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hmoazed



Please elaborate. I don't know of any realtime MPEG2 compressors that can handle 62 million pixels per second (1080i). What components are you talking about? Essentially, you'd need 3 very fast A/D converters (say 8 bits each for 24bit color) with a sample rate of above 60 MHz and an MPEG2 compressor that can take all those samples and compress them to some reasonable stream, such as the 19Mbps rate of HDTV. Then you could get approx 1 hour of storage per 8 or so megs of hard drive.


I really don't think the above technology exists for the price any consumer would be willing to pay. Until, of course, HD camcorders start becoming mass produced (since no other equipment will need a hidef compressor as all signals are already compressed).


But I may be wrong.


Regards.

Moaz
An HDPVR would work like a DirecTiVo, in that it would just record the ATSC stream that it would demultiplex from the 8VSB transmission. It would not compress the signal from an analog source so it would have no need for a realtime compression chip.


/carmi
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hmoazed
What really bothers me is that ReplayTV has not been able to make a deal with DirecTV.
Given the contracts that DirecTv has with its content providers, there is no way that Sonic Blue can produce a DirecRePlayTV receiver without disabling their most interesting features (show sending/sharing/extraction, and possibly CA). This pretty much guarantees that you will not see a DirecRePlayTV as it would have no benefits over a TiVo and may things lacking. Additionally, if they were to sign a license with DirecTv it typically takes over two years to go through the DirecTv design engineering review process to produce a DirecTv receiver. I think that TiVo holds the current record at just under 14 months, Microsoft took much longer.

Quote:
Which means most likely the DirecTivo will be the first HD DVR, since there is very little that needs to be done technically to change the existing DirecTivo into a high def recorder for satellite programming (over-the-air is another story, since they'd need to add an 8VSB over-the-air tuner).
To do this, they would need to add component video out, and maybe a DTCP encrypted 1394 port (or a HDCP DVI port). They might need to increase the speed of their processor a bit and would probably want to add a pair of 8vsb tuners (for OTA capture). An HD receiver would need a minimum of 160GB (that would give just over 20 hours of HD at 1080i or more at 720p).

Quote:
I really like my ReplayTV 4000s, and will have a very hard time getting used to forwarding through commercials manually.


I really don't know what ReplayTV is planning to do when TV goes hi-def in a few years. Compressing uncompressed 1080i takes a lot of processing power, and the results arn't going to match the quality of the original stream. An integrated DVR will not have to do any compressing, since the signal from satellite will already be compressed. So a DirecTivo will look better and cost a lot less than a ReplayTV. And so I will have to skip commercials manually - and I HATE that. I wish there was a way so that I could pay a fee and not have to watch any commercials.
An HDPVR would just record the pre-compressed ATSC stream and not try to re-compress it. I do think that one would need two 8vsb tuners to be of interest to the HD crowd (as a member, I would not buy one that could not record 2 streams at the same time).


/carmi
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
The 4000 series already has component video out. The chip that does it is fully capable of 1080i and 720p too.
From what I recall, the component D/A's cannot do HD. Also, the box would need to add one or more 8VSB tuners, and (again based on my recollection) a faster processor. Basically, a complete redesign.


/carmi
 

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Well, the DACs can already do 480p, 540p/1080i is only a wee-bit away from that. Maybe they can't, I don't know what the part number is, or even if they are discrete chips rather than part of the decoder, but it would have been remarkably short-sighted of SB.


I envison a ReplayTV 5000 with an 8VSB tuner or two which is fully functional in its own right, but can also stream HDTV to a 4000 for playback. At least, that's how I would implement such an upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by majortom



An HDPVR would work like a DirecTiVo, in that it would just record the ATSC stream that it would demultiplex from the 8VSB transmission. It would not compress the signal from an analog source so it would have no need for a realtime compression chip.


/carmi
That's only true for OTA signals. The only way to get to satellite signals is through the analog YPrPb or VGA outs of sat boxes (unless you're Tivo and can get the raw compressed signal, but I've already mentinoed that in my post). So to connect an HD-ReplayTV to satellite box you'd need to take the analog signal, digitize it, and then compress it. As I said in my post, Tivo would not have to do this, since they are integrated with the sat tuner and get the raw compressed data "for free".

Hollywood will fight any attempt by manufacturers to have a "digital out" of any kind for HD material (unless maybe a downconverted 480p version of the original). So unless you're inside the box, as Tivo is, you're SOL.


Regards,

Moaz
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hmoazed



That's only true for OTA signals. The only way to get to satellite signals is through the analog YPrPb or VGA outs of sat boxes (unless you're Tivo and can get the raw compressed signal, but I've already mentinoed that in my post).
Under the 5C and HDCP requirements, a box cannot have a full resolution analog out. Given this, next generation DBS boxes will likely have either a DTCP 5C Firewire port or an HDCP DVI port and an analog 480P output only and the way to get the DBS signals it to hope for a DTCP Firewire port that will carry the encrypted data and to build a DTCP Firewire equipped HD-PVR.

Quote:
So to connect an HD-ReplayTV to satellite box you'd need to take the analog signal, digitize it, and then compress it. As I said in my post, Tivo would not have to do this, since they are integrated with the sat tuner and get the raw compressed data "for free".
Actually, because of the 5c and HDCP requirements, this is the one way that it will not be able to happen. Current DirecTv HD boxes are already designed to down-res on demand and it is my guess that future HD boxes will likely not even have an analog out.

Quote:
Hollywood will fight any attempt by manufacturers to have a "digital out" of any kind for HD material (unless maybe a downconverted 480p version of the original). So unless you're inside the box, as Tivo is, you're SOL.


Regards,

Moaz
Actually, you have it exactly backwards. They will only allow a digital output, but it has to be encrypted in some way.
 

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Quote:
Under the 5C and HDCP requirements, a box cannot have a full resolution analog out.
Unless the box you're talking about has a DVI/HDCP input, no HDCP restrictions apply. Unless the video is coming into the box from a firewire/5C input and it's encoded as "copy never" with the image constraint flag set, full resolution analog output is allowed under DTCP (5C) rules. It is usually the upstream license that governs analog outputs (e.g. the satellite company's license).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Cambridge Bob
Unless the box you're talking about has a DVI/HDCP input, no HDCP restrictions apply. Unless the video is coming into the box from a firewire/5C input and it's encoded as "copy never" with the image constraint flag set, full resolution analog output is allowed under DTCP (5C) rules. It is usually the upstream license that governs analog outputs (e.g. the satellite company's license).
Right, but the whole point of having analog inputs would be to capture the output of a DBS HD box, which will all have either have DVI/HDCP or 5C/Firewire outputs by the time one of these boxes is ready, and would be expected to down-rez their analog output, making analog input unimportant.


/carmi
 

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The more time I spend thinking about it HTPC is really the only way to go. I'm in the process of pricing out parts now.


I could take the $700 for a new replay 4504, apply that to a new good PC. $400 for the hipix card and have an HDTV tuner/recorder. $300 Video capture card and all the directv stuff can be recorded too. Add on a dvd-r/dvd-rw drive use dScaler and I've got a great progressive scan dvd player with the ablility to make my own DVD's. For $1000 more I've got a HDTV tuner/recorder, progressive scan dvd player with scaling, AV capture from DSS, and enough hard disc space to keep me happy from now til the end of time.


The best part... the system it totally upgradable, as I need more I get more, one component at a time. Sounds great to me!
 

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Yes, but where is the software to grab the guide and record all this stuff from a simple remote from your couch?


Until that software is out, it won't be very practicle.


J
 

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Quote:
Right, but the whole point of having analog inputs would be to capture the output of a DBS HD box, which will all have either have DVI/HDCP or 5C/Firewire outputs by the time one of these boxes is ready, and would be expected to down-rez their analog output, making analog input unimportant.
I agree - a satellite STB needs a 5C/Firewire output for any external PVR or D-VHS recording. In the near term, there's no other practical solution. My point was only that it is the satellite companies that call the shots w/r/t the analog outputs. If they follow the 5C encoding rules, only PPV will be down-rezzed on the analog outputs. The same material that is down-rezzed won't be recordable via the Firewire connection either (more or less). So if it was feasible to build a PVR with a real-time MPEG2 compressor that handles 1080i (which it currently isn't), you would be able to record the same programs that are recordable via Firewire.


Most of the new DTV STBs seem to lack a Firewire connection, while the new Dish STB/PVR has it. I can't imagine why. I know on-screen display is an issue, but why do you need the on-screen display when the signal is only going to and from a recorder?
 

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To be clear, DTCP/5C does *not* prohibit full-resolution analog output. The box is required, however, to be capable of down-rez to 1/4 resolution (1/2 vertical, 1/2 horizontal) depending upon the flags in the stream. Down-rez is only *permitted* on paid, commercial-free content like HBO. It is not allowed on OTA programming, nor on "pay cable" programming like Discovery that also carries commercials.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mlrtime
Yes, but where is the software to grab the guide and record all this stuff from a simple remote from your couch?


Until that software is out, it won't be very practicle.


J
There is software, not as great as the superior replay guide, but it exists. And there are IR receivers for a PC which can make your remote MORE POWERFUL (imagine a booming god-like voice) =)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Cambridge Bob
I agree - a satellite STB needs a 5C/Firewire output for any external PVR or D-VHS recording. In the near term, there's no other practical solution. My point was only that it is the satellite companies that call the shots w/r/t the analog outputs. If they follow the 5C encoding rules, only PPV will be down-rezzed on the analog outputs. The same material that is down-rezzed won't be recordable via the Firewire connection either (more or less).
Although the 5C people has suggested that they might allow a PVR to record when a non-PVR could not. That would mean that you would be able to connect a 5C-compliant Firewire device to a 5C-compliant Firewire PVR and get recordings that you could not otherwise get via the analog component outputs.

Quote:
So if it was feasible to build a PVR with a real-time MPEG2 compressor that handles 1080i (which it currently isn't), you would be able to record the same programs that are recordable via Firewire.
Again, my point was there would be no reason to compress the analog out when the Digital stream would be better and easier to use.

Quote:
Most of the new DTV STBs seem to lack a Firewire connection, while the new Dish STB/PVR has it. I can't imagine why. I know on-screen display is an issue, but why do you need the on-screen display when the signal is only going to and from a recorder?
What Dish STB/PVR has Firewire?


/carmi
 
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