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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what size hard drives would we be talking about for this purpose? i read somewhere that HDTV uses 19mb per second of bandwidth...i don't know if that translates directly to storage requirements, but if it's anywhere near that it looks like we would need about 1gb/minute. if that's the case we'd need a 180gb drive just to be able to record 3 hours. is that about right? and i guess they would still have to work out copyright issues. are we still years away?
 

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I forcast broad adoption of HDTV (that means everyone - not just us geeks) in about 5 years. People in the industry seem to concur with me on that. So, HDTV capable 'bitstream' recorders will come at us first from companies like DISH and Comcast - probably in 3-4 years. You need a bunch of CPU power to do what Replay does to a 1080i video out.


One thing that needs to happen is that the 'world' needs to decide what the standards will be. The Cable Companies cant even agree on how they want to send HD to the consumer...


John
 

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I have a card in my PC that records HDTV to the hard drive. It uses 9 GB per hour. So two 160 GB drives gives about 35 hours of recording time.
 

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High def uses 19.2 Mbps while a Replay in low quality mode uses 2 Mbps. In low quality mode, 320 GB gives 320 hours. Since HD uses 9.6 times as much space, it would follow that 320 GB should deliver 33 hours 20 minutes of high def programming.
 

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Remember when 30 hours seemed like a long time?
 

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Plus digital audio signal. Let's say for argument's sake that an HDTV DVR with 320 GB on board can record at most 20-30 hours. That's an expensive beast for that little time. (Over $400 in drives alone)
 

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you can record the output of your hidef receiver onto the replay. you will not get true hidef - but the picture is widescreen and kicks ntsc butt. just take the svideo out or the composite out of your receiver and feed it to the replay. i use the rca dtc 100 and have replay change channels on directv for me.
 

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The thing is the HDTV format was supposed to be standard by now. And of course it isn't, because the cost is prohibitive. Price will need to come down.

Computer prices have plummeted because everyone has one. (In US something like 75% penetration. . .an amazing figure if you consider what computers were a decade ago.)

HDTV needs to do the same thing. $1000 for a good unit. When will that happen? About a year before that you'll have HDrecorders that will still probably use some form of compression.

Remember, those making up analogies, the recording on your Replay is already compressed. If you're counting on raw data recording, you're talking maybe 10 to 20 times what you're estimating in needed space.


2005. . .maybe.
 

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Actually, HDTV is supposed to be standard in 2006 I believe.


And people aren't talking about uncompressed HDTV, they're talking about a DVR that records HDTV, compression and all.
 

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There's no reason, except in terms of software development, that a current STB manufacturer couldn't come out with an HDTV PVR *now*. It would certainly be expensive, since it would be a combination STV/PVR and would have to use a large hard disk, but it's something that should have been out by now. Even a PVR with 160GB would be great for plain ole timeshifting of HD - though it wouldn't take the place of a high-capacity NTSC unit for people who like to archive - since that would be about 17 hours. Given the paucity of options for recording HDTV, a unit like this would sell like crazy.


I think there are two reasons why nobody has come out with one yet: First, is the lawsuit/standards problem, which I consider one and the same. HDCP/MPAA versus the consumers^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^Bpirates. Things are STILL in flux (some upcoming models, even with DVI, are still possibly not in compliance with HDCP) and few are certain how things are going to shake out, particularly in terms of what will have the copy protection bit set and what won't - will an HDTV PVR even *function* for most programming?


Second, it's possible that some companies are waiting out their partnership agreements with Replay and Tivo, which I am certain included verbiage restricting them from marketing their own PVR products while the agreements are in effect. Panasonic and Sony, in particular, would be in a good position - given no legal contraints - since they have done Replay/Tivo AND produce set-top boxes. Going along with this theory is that the DirecTV/Dish merger is *still* up in the air, and a combination unit would likely include satellite capability as well.


In short, my [under-educated and under-informed] prediction is that we will see HD-capable PVRs in some form sometime middle to late next year. They will probably start out with 10-20 hours of recording and ramp up according to how far hard drives get by that time.


-Aaron
 

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There are two issues.


First, a company could certainly do an OTA HDTV PVR today. The chips are all available. It would be a little expensive because you'd need big drives and the hardware needs to be able to shovel a lot of bits between the tuner, the drives and the decoder.


Then there's the issue of satellite. To do satellite, a company doing a bitstream recorder has to be able to get the satellite's bitstream, which presently means that you need to work with the satellite companies to develop an STB with them that uses their conditional access system. So, the hurdle there is the business relationship one. Similar issue, of course, for HDTV via cable if it's protected by the conditional access.


I don't think anybody makes an inexpensive HD-capable MPEG encoder that would be suitable for a set-top, so we don't yet have the option of doing something like a classic standalone ReplayTV or TiVo where you just hook up the box to the outputs of your set top box.


I'm pretty optimistic. I think we'll start to see these products next year. Dish has said as much, at any rate. I'll also note that the MPAA should probably have fairly minimal objection to a bitstream recorder like a DirecTiVo. If it's only for timeshifting, they would be hard pressed to find a workable objection. It's once you can record that content onto permanent storage or send it to a friend over the internet (for HD? Hah!) that they get their Fruit of the Looms in a twist. Of course, being able to save a tape for another day is exactly the kind of stuff we all want to do, and that's why it's important to let your Senators and Representatives know that Fritz Hollings and his Disney money don't speak for you.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyL712
Actually, HDTV is supposed to be standard in 2006 I believe.


And people aren't talking about uncompressed HDTV, they're talking about a DVR that records HDTV, compression and all.
Actually, only DTV is supposed to be standard by 2006. HD is not part of the FCC requirement, only Dolby Digital is required by the FCC rules, none of the ATSC picture formats are mandated.


/carmi
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Babbster
Second, it's possible that some companies are waiting out their partnership agreements with Replay and Tivo, which I am certain included verbiage restricting them from marketing their own PVR products while the agreements are in effect. Panasonic and Sony, in particular, would be in a good position - given no legal contraints - since they have done Replay/Tivo AND produce set-top boxes. Going along with this theory is that the DirecTV/Dish merger is *still* up in the air, and a combination unit would likely include satellite capability as well.
Sony has a long term license to TiVo technology and could release a PVR with as much of the TiVo functionality as they wish whenever they wish. They have already done this in Japan and it is a huge hit.


/carmi
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
so how much would you pay for a replaytv (let's call it model 6030) that could record 30 hours of HDTV material? $1000? more? less?
 

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Assuming it came with an HDTV tuner, I don't think $1,200 is an unreasonable price (including lifetime sub), at least as compared to pricing for other Replays.


-Aaron
 

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$1000 seems pretty reasonable when you realize that it would have to have about $400 worth of hard disk in it to fit 30 hours of HD.
 
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