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Network DVR "more elegant engineering solution"

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by phrelin, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. Aug 7, 2008 #1 of 53
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    OK, I think this is a significant potential looming change for Echostar. When I brought it up under the 2nd quarter financials thread nobody seems to understand the potential of this, so I'm going to explain how it could work.

    1. Customers are assigned an average of (you fill it in, 500GB, 2TB?) of storage.

    2. Customer 124356 tells the system he/she wants from Monday night's 8 pm prime time slot Terminator, Chuck, Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl and Dancing With The Stars recorded while the two members of the family watch Dancing with the Stars live in HD in the home theater room so they can vote.

    3. Cable company directs a copy of each show from the local channel feed to the customers storage area.

    4. Mom, who's working swing shift at Denny's comes home and watches Dancing with the Stars in the kitchen in HD to unwind. Then sometime later, one member of the family watches Gossip Girl in HD in bedroom A while another is watching Big Bang Theory in HD in bedroom B. Several members of the family at different days and times watch Terminator and Chuck in HD in bedroom C and the home office respectively.

    That's five shows shown in the 8 pm time slot on Monday. To record those 5 shows and distribute them around the 6 rooms indicated the cable company provides 6 receivers that access the storage in much the same fashion they access the VOD.

    At this time, the typical Dish and DirecTV customer would go bonkers trying to accomplish this with DVR equipment. In fact, I'm not sure how to provide 6 rooms with access to view the same recorded content in HD.

    I think that the "centralized network DVR" shouldn't be dismissed by anyone at Dish Network even if we need to wait for a Supreme Court decision. Consider this from Multichannel News:
    Congratulations to the DirecTV forum members for discussing this intelligently. I'm afraid Dish forum members tend to think like Charlie - they want to fiddle with troublesome hardware while the business burns.

    If the Supreme Court OK's this or when the media companies and the cable companies work out contracts, I'd be on cable in a minute because my wife's not that enamored with "check switch", "soft reboot" and "hard reboot" before waiting a week for Dish to ship a new box that might not work even if she would want to hook it up. And she's like the millions of urban TV viewers out their. I know I'm not typical of any mass consumer group when it comes to this technology.

    But if anyone thinks that Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and AT&T can't start making this work well enough for most of their typical urban customers within three years, your wrong. These companies are in the business of creating "wired" networks. Even I, who still has two Tandy Model II computers (stored in the basement), can acknowledge this.

    IMHO it would be a death knell for any business focused on manufacturing DVR's for the mass market regardless of all the things I don't like about centralized network storage.
     
  2. Aug 7, 2008 #2 of 53
    dorfd1

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    where in the subscribers place would they put the dvr? I don't see the courts or television company's allow a vod system where you choose what to be on it.
     
  3. Aug 7, 2008 #3 of 53
    Redlinetire

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    Before you start challenging people, you might want to get the difference between 'your' and 'you're' down pat.... :lol:


    All kidding aside, I do agree with most of it. Except that I'm not confident that cablecos are capable of making it 'work well enough'. In my area, Comcast charges $77/month for the same service I get for $60 through Dish. And the cable equipment is far inferior and was not reliable.

    So is it technically possible? Absolutely.

    But it means nothing if they can't implement it. And that's a BIG if in my book...
     
  4. Aug 7, 2008 #4 of 53
    BattleZone

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    DirecTV is already working towards this. If you look at their slide that shows their set top box strategy, they are working towards a single networked "whole-house" DVR by 2010-11.
     
  5. Aug 7, 2008 #5 of 53
    Schizm

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    They'll probably use some of the MoCA (Media over Coax Alliance) technology. They've been members for a while now.

    175Mbps over existing coax cable so it will work in homes that do not have Ethernet pulls.
     
  6. Aug 7, 2008 #6 of 53
    elbodude

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    I also heard they could "disable" commerical skipping with this technology. That would not go over well.
     
  7. Aug 7, 2008 #7 of 53
    jacmyoung

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    It has nothing to do with what the OP talked about.
     
  8. Aug 7, 2008 #8 of 53
    jacmyoung

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    Exactly what I said to the OP in the other thread.

    What happens if the network DVR screws it up and lose the recordings or cannot play it back at the time of your choosing? Are you ready to sleep in the street that night? Cuz that will probably be what I have to do if my wife can’t watch her favorite shows because of my stinking new ideas:)

    Don't tell me cable cannot screw it up for us, they do so often for things many times less complicated than what you have described.
     
  9. Aug 7, 2008 #9 of 53
    jacmyoung

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    Can you give us the link?
     
  10. Redlinetire

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    Huh? :confused:
     
  11. jacmyoung

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    Sorry I was talking to the OP.
     
  12. phrelin

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    Northern...
    If you haven't gotten a quiet stare or two while trying to explain why your Echostar DVR didn't get the whole show or any of the show or lost the signal in the first 12 minutes, you're luckier than I am.

    I recognize that there will be lost recordings, etc. There'll be issues over enabling commercial skipping though now I'm looking at commercials during the shows. And my rural area will never get the service from Comcast or AT&T iin my lifetime - it's not economically feasible to "wire" for that level of bandwidth.

    What I'm saying is that Echostar and Dish Network have no exclusive on the future of television delivery technology. I think my 722 was far and away the best in the business in August 2007. In August 2008, it's good. By August 2009, it'll be 2006 technology - based on 3-year-old hardware.

    Charlie is still embroiled in, and discussing it like it's significant, a lawsuit with TiVo over technology designed for 2002 hardware. Meanwhile, the cable companies are holding their breath for a final court decision on technology that could leave the DVR as a "Yeah, that's one choice, but...." for millions of urban viewers.

    For me, the 2009-2011 DVR should be a state of the art Echostar quad-core 8GB RAM 2TB HD computer-8-receiver/DVR with 6-HDMI and 2 component connections with a built-in wireless home network connection and a version of Firefox so I can both download and stream video from the web.

    My daughter in SFO who is currently a Dish customer? She and her roommate would probably be more contented with either Comcast or AT&T offering the service described in the beginning post of this thread then they are with their 622. And they are the mass market.

    So at quarterly time I don't want to hear from Charlie about the TiVo lawsuit, the Rainbow lawsuit, what handful of national stations we're adding. Settle the lawsuits and, yeah, everyone including Dish is going to offer all the important and not-so-important HD channels in a year or two.

    My questions have been:

    When are you going to get web browsing technology on your box, dimwit. You're the hardware guru aren't you?

    Why instead of Echostar does Dish Network (my TV service provider) trying to own wireless frequencies that are going to require a huge hardware capital investment?

    What's Plan B if the Ciel-2 satellite launch doesn't work?

    And, new to my list, have you considered how are you going to counter what appears to be a likely reasonably priced challenge to your core technology from the cable companies - centralized network DVR?
    There's a thread on this subject here and the DirecTV thread I mentioned is here.
    And if I do err in my rant writing, tell me so I can maintain my sense of humor about this stuff.

    As some of you may be aware, I actually am looking at the split companies quarterlies in some detail. For the first time and not for the reasons analysts are pontificating on, I'm beginning to think someone really lost focus trying to be the new Intel or something, and Dish Network which really shouldn't need Echostar may end up in a really bad place if the Board of Directors doesn't get things refocused.
     
  13. Christopher Gould

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    How much money is this going to cost the cable company's to does this. In my small town the headend is in another town 20 miles away which feeds us plus another town 15 more miles away by fiber. The headend is barely big enough to fit the equipment they have now. We are just now seeing cable modem. Small cities will never see this. A city the size of new york could u image the equipment that would need.

    What about lag in the ff/rw/pause button? i can't image that thats going to work very well.
     
  14. Nick

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    The...
    Naysayers rule the world.
     
  15. HobbyTalk

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    The centralized network DVR has nothing to do with offering the customer more. It has everything to do with the ability for the CableCo's to eliminate in-home DVRs with the expense of purchasing and maintaining them.

    Instead of an expensive computer settop box for every customer they will be able to have a relitively inexpensive dumb tuner. No more truck rolls for dead HDs or over heated boxes. Customer wants DVR services, flip a switch at the head end and start charging them $14.95 a month for the service... no truck rolls to swap boxes. Also, that means once the customer runs out of HD space on the networked device, you're out of luck (no external HDs) or maybe they'll let you have more HD space for a "small" fee.
     
  16. phrelin

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    That's exactly what it's all about. It's a win for them. No capital upfront for $600.00 boxes to install and maintain "in the field" for a lease fee. Just a $5.95 monthly fee, let's say, for some hard drive space which they already are used to providing as the ISP for their customers. Want another 500 GB? Another $2.00 a month.

    And its a win for the customer. No EHD to drag around between boxes because any of your boxes in any room can tap right into whatever is stored. My three EHD's are cool, but I had to buy them, the technology will change perhaps making them useless, and inevitably they will crash someday and there are no backups.

    With that said, I would prefer my own system.

    Dish could compete creating a home TV network built around a "state of the art quad-core 8GB RAM 2TB HD computer-8-receiver/DVR" which could connect through coax to digital tuners. But if that is not in engineering being tested with a good DRM system and in legal negotiations with the media companies, they've already got a timing problem comparable to not getting those HD channels up last year. Time Warner Cable already has the core of the centralized network DVR system in place. They just have to wait for the Supreme Court. After reading this in the LA Times, I think the Supreme Court will refuse to hear the case. The Appeals Court ruling is consistent with prior rulings, narrow, and logical.
     
  17. MrDogDad

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    I can see a lot of problems with this being done by satellite. The cable companies will have to install equipment at their head end while sat customers will need much more complex equipment at each subscriber's end. A complex 6 room system would be a nightmare customer support. If the popularity of the system increases, the sat users will eat up more and more bandwidth which is very expensive to increase. Cable and telco systems can increase bandwidth by distributing equipment at remote head ends.
     
  18. jacmyoung

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    There you go. In the end those of us who ditched cable and went for DBS in part because we like to have more control of our own TV viewing, I don't like having everthing I like to watch stored somewhere at the pleasure of the cable headend, dictated by them as what commercials I may skip, how much the added fees, and outages that is so common.

    The DBS home network you proposed as several of us already pointed out will be too complex and too many opportunities to fail. It does not have to be so complicated, make the HDDVRs each able to access the internet, and be able to share storage space like PC workstations without the need of a mega server which will be costly too. A lot of those are already reality, the whole house network solution is what is left out of the focus for right now.

    But so far I have yet seen any real application yet. I will read more on the cable's headend DVR approach but I don't like the sound of it simply because for one, I don't trust cable to make it a trouble free arrangement, for another I simply do not trust anyone to have full control of my own viewing habit.

    My four D* HDDVRs are fully networked, for now the only benefit is the VOD service. I don't use the PC audio streaming and some other fancy PC related benefits and I suspect the mass out there care little about such functions either. While D* is a little bit ahead of E* on the network capbility of their HDDVRs, E* can easily get ahead if they try. Remember it was E* that came up with the TV1/TV2 DVRs which was way ahead of the time in terms of networked DVRs. Only that the HDTV1/SDTV2 concept isn't much of an appeal like it used to be, E* needs something new to save them.
     
  19. grooves12

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    I don't beleive there is any dedicated space being allocated to individuals in the system cable plans on deploying. All it really is doing is creating a link on your GUI to VOD streams that you wish to see. It wouldn't make sense to do it any other way... and wouldn't be saving them any space, cost, or complexity if there was dedicated space on the servers.
     
  20. jacmyoung

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    But the only reason the court allowed (for now) such DVR service was because the recorded contents will be exclusive to the viewers who recorded them with their own remotes, and such recorded contents are not available to anyone else outside of the same household. I am afraid if in the end cable simply records all the live shows on its server, and link the shows to an individual account of which the shows are asked to be recorded, then let the viewers play them back from that general server, it will be deemed illegal by the court.
     
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