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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Will Satellite ever get Picture in Picture?


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40 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   cartrivision

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 06:58 PM

What did an UltimateTV box cost when new? Do you think most folks would be willing to pay that for an HD-DVR today? How about for their 4th HD-DVR? That's what DirecTV has to look at.

PiP would be relatively expensive to implement, and would hardly be used. Sure, the .5% of people who use it regularly REALLY like it, but most folks NEVER use it.



Do you have anything to back those statements up or are you just pulling them out of the air?

Any PIP capability would be built into the chipset used for the DVR so the cost would probably be minimal, and the capability may even be in the chipset that DirecTV uses for their current DVR line. We know that the current chipset at least can do PIP with one program video stream and the GUI video stream.

On a similar note, your statement of how widely PIP is used when available seems to be nothing but a wild guess.

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#27 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:24 PM

Do you have anything to back those statements up or are you just pulling them out of the air?

Any PIP capability would be built into the chipset used for the DVR so the cost would probably be minimal, and the capability may even be in the chipset that DirecTV uses for their current DVR line. We know that the current chipset at least can do PIP with one program video stream and the GUI video stream.


The fact is that a second output decoder/processor is needed to create a second output. This is why Dish's 2-TV DVRs can do it, but their 1-TV DVRs, such as the dual-tuner HD-DVR ViP612 cannot. It's also why the HR2x-series cannot.

I grant you that it would probably only cost $5 in hardware costs per receiver (but don't forget software development costs), but DirecTV is looking at millions of receivers. $5 x 20 million HD-DVRs is a lot of money!

On a similar note, your statement of how widely PIP is used when available seems to be nothing but a wild guess.


I might have exaggerated the numbers, but as others already mentioned, there have been plenty of reports in the industry about how PiP never really caught on, and isn't much in demand overall. Very few people would list it as a "must-have" feature, though lots of people would be happy to have it if it was free. Not many would pay extra for it.

PiP is just one of a dozen features that DirecTV could have added to their DVRs. But designers have to look at production costs, and trim featuresets in order to stay within budget. That's pretty universally true in design work. Obviously DirecTV didn't feel that adding the hardware for PiP was worth the money, and given that the market hasn't run away from DirecTV as a result, it's hard to argue, even if you disagree personally.

DirecTV has to try to please a whole lot of people who all have very different ideas of what's important, but one thing that is very important to nearly all of them is the price, and the lower the better. In that environment, it isn't hard to see why an extra-cost item with a relatively low demand wasn't kept.

It's very telling that Dish didn't include PiP in the 612. Clearly they could have done so if they chose to, and they'd already paid for the development of the software and the design of the remote control, etc. But even with all that, they chose not to, to keep the price down. Kind of hard to dismiss that, don't you agree?

#28 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:33 PM

On a similar note, your statement of how widely PIP is used when available seems to be nothing but a wild guess.


As noted there have been a lot of industry studies over the past 10 years that indicate the vast majority of people never use PIP and don't find it a "must have" feature. This is a widely known fact, at least among the industry. That's not to say that there aren't people that really like it and would use it if available. It's just not something worth it for most companies to worry about. See the trend now where even higher end HDTV's don't have the ability to do PIP (my new Plasma can only do PIP with an OTA feed) that would explain why PIP isn't a top feature of set top boxes like DirecTV's DVRs.

Edited by bonscott87, 17 February 2009 - 01:39 PM.


#29 OFFLINE   CorpITGuy

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:36 PM

Sadly, those of you who believe PIP is on the way out are probably right. I used it and loved it for monitoring sports on my VIP 722 with Dish Network. I really miss it with my HR-22. My high-def flat screen TV doesn't even have PIP built-in.
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#30 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:42 PM

I definitely agree TV PIP is not a great feature. Usually too tricky and is not tied into watching two channels but is tied into watching two devices. At least that is how I remember the PIP I had on my TV.

Drawing from the Dish PIP feature.

In a DVR it is a bit different. It should be two streams you can toggle between with buffering on each stream thus not losing content as you watch two things live and toggle between the two channels. Comes in handy as you watch to live sporting events.

Would a majority of users use this feature. my guess is most people don't know about it but when people learn about it they definitely continue to use it as it comes in real handy while watching live content and wanting to jump to something during commercials.

The other times I find myself using it is if the Lakers are blowing out a team and I switch to something but still want to keep my eye on the game and watch it during the commmercials of something else.

Is it necessary? Nope.. Does PIP on TV provide value? In my opinion very minimal and I have found TV implementations to not meet my use cases. Does PIP on a DVR provide value. In my opinion yes. it is a excellent feature and if I was on the D* side of the fence it would be one I would be wishing for.
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#31 OFFLINE   Bosox07

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:10 PM

I believe the main reason that PIP never caught on is because it was nearly impossible for the average user to set up. When satellite and cable boxes became a necessity to view programming, it deemed PIP useless, unless of course you had more than one to hook up to each set.

Me, I would love for the HR's to have this feature built in and would use it a lot, especially side by side.

#32 OFFLINE   braven

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:31 PM

Which is what most people have.;)



Not this household. The VIP receivers would be pretty much worthless in our house.
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#33 OFFLINE   ImBack234

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:59 PM

December 11th, 2008 Posted in Media And Entertainment, Nielsen News

Almost one-quarter of all U.S. television households (23.3%) own a high definition TV set as of Nov. 30, Nielsen reported Thursday.

Nielsen’s estimates are based on a field staff review that identified TV sets capable of receiving and displaying high definition pictures, as well as those that are actually receiving those signals.

High definition TV penetration in the U.S. has more than doubled since July 2007, when Nielsen began tracking HDTV status. At that time, only 10% of U.S. homes had access to high definition TV.

http://blog.nielsen....ration-tops-23/

Edited by James Long, 17 February 2009 - 08:20 PM.
Fixed linking


#34 OFFLINE   Red Dog

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:51 AM

I find PIP on my TV (Sony Grand Wega) very valuable but that's only because it is a Twin-View feature rather than PIP. It allows me to divide my 42" screen into basically 2 20" screens, and I can have HD (or SD) on the left half and SD on the right. Very useful for sports. I wish DirecTV had something like that DISH VIP 722. It would work perfectly for my setup and require one less receiver.

#35 OFFLINE   DJSGP

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:15 AM

It's not the traditional PIP that's the viewers need. (Not to mention really goofy implementation by various manufacturers).

What people want is the ability to view multiple feeds simultaneously - especially when they have a humongus 90" set in the dining room.

Directs News and Sports Mix are on the right track.
Make the images HD and suddenly you can see what is on each one...
and you've got something of value.

Allow users to customize their Mix - and you would have customers thinking they had hit the jackpot.

#36 OFFLINE   Brandon428

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:21 AM

I don't see anything wrong with this option! :D


That's making me miss NFLST already. I used to have 4 tvs,1 Computer Super Fan,and my laptop for fantasy football.

#37 OFFLINE   vegasnv

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:49 AM

I used PIP quite a bit for watching sports before I had a DVR. After getting a DTivo several years ago I didn't see the need to use the PIP. My new plasma doesn't have PIP and I don't miss it.

#38 OFFLINE   prozone1

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:15 AM

I have 3 Pioneer plasma's in my theater room. Best sports room ever!!!!!!!

#39 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:44 AM

The fact is that a second output decoder/processor is needed to create a second output. This is why Dish's 2-TV DVRs can do it, but their 1-TV DVRs, such as the dual-tuner HD-DVR ViP612 cannot. It's also why the HR2x-series cannot.

I grant you that it would probably only cost $5 in hardware costs per receiver (but don't forget software development costs), but DirecTV is looking at millions of receivers. $5 x 20 million HD-DVRs is a lot of money!
...

Actually second decoder and processor are not needed. Dish uses the same chipset in the 622/722. The chipset is capable of dealing with two MPEG4 streams (tho early documentation from broadcom seemed to indicate otherwise, that clause has been removed from more recent documents.)

Now, I don't know if DIRECTV has "glued" the chipset together in such a manner that two differing output streams are possible. Or if PIP is possible, I don't have the detailed chip info to even begin to guess. :)

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#40 OFFLINE   gitarzan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:20 AM

My TV has PIP and POP. A second DirecTV receiver is not worth the hassle.

The side by side picture is something I greatly miss from once being a Dish VIP 622 owner. I used it frequently.

#41 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:27 AM

Directs News and Sports Mix are on the right track. Make the images HD and suddenly you can see what is on each one...and you've got something of value.

And make the screens bigger, then you'll have value. Right now they're way too small.




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