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I used to be a rocket scientist
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"Record a whole transponder" is kind of a loaded phrase; it's so ambiguous and technically imprecise that it could mean almost anything. For instance, I have 6 locals carried in HD by Directv spread across two physical transponders. With 5 tuners, the HR34 could certainly record all the channels off of one of those transponders and be accurately said to be "recording the whole transponder."
 

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LameLefty said:
"Record a whole transponder" is kind of a loaded phrase; it's so ambiguous and technically imprecise that it could mean almost anything. For instance, I have 6 locals carried in HD by Directv spread across two physical transponders. With 5 tuners, the HR34 could certainly record all the channels off of one of those transponders and be accurately said to be "recording the whole transponder."
It isn't ambiguous compared to the Dish Hopper which is why I mentioned it in that context.

I am referring to storing the entire transponder stream at once and parsing it later off the hard drive instead of breaking out the individual channels live and storing them as individual channels.

I am guessing that the chipset in the HR34 is general purpose and can be re-purposed for that functionality if Direct chose to.
 

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I expect it could record an entire encrypted transponder today.

I don't think D* will ever attempt anything like this. The concept of "you can record these things at once because they are on the same transponder but not those because they aren't" doesn't make much sense from a user perspective.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something, but a quick look at the Hopper it doesn't look like it will record a whole transponder as the OP purported. It does say it has three tuners and can record 6 HD channels at once. One tuner is dedicated to record the four major networks during primetime + the other two tuners gives you six. Seems like a fine idea, but wastes disk space, since not everyone needs to record all primetime from the four networks. I know I don't.

Help me understand why this Hopper is a great idea?
 

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FWIW, this Dish Hopper info page explains that "Primetime Anytime" is a VOD service. I could be wrong, but I assume that means you'll need internet connectivity (and no bandwidth cap) to view those shows.

The Hopper's exclusive feature, PrimeTime Anytime, gives you instant On Demand access to your favorite shows on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC in HD. Over three hours per night of HD primetime programming are available to you On Demand anytime for up to eight days from the initial air date. You'll have instant access to the best primetime programming without having to set timers or using up your personal DVR hard drive space. Plus, you can save your favorite On Demand primetime content forever.
 

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Steve said:
FWIW, this Dish Hopper info page explains that "Primetime Anytime" is a VOD service. I could be wrong, but I assume that means you'll need internet connectivity (and no bandwidth cap) to view those shows.
On Demand in the sense that the previous 7 days of PrimeTime is already recorded and available to watch "on demand". Local HD channels are required. This is not VOD via internet.
 

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"David Ortiz" said:
On Demand in the sense that the previous 7 days of PrimeTime is already recorded and available to watch "on demand". Local HD channels are required. This is not VOD via internet.
But if it's not via Internet, how can one tuner tune to four channels simultaneously? I'm having trouble with that concept. I always figured that even for PIP, it needed two.
 

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Depends how the channels are relayed on the satellite. Consider OTA... When you tune to a channel, with 4 subchannels, its actually receiving the entire channel, and you select the subchannel, which causes the box to select with stream(s) in that broadcast you see.

Think of a DVD. Its all on one disc, but you can select different audio tracks (stereo, dolby, DTS, etc).

So, its possible for the receiver to just record the entire transponder if programmed to do so, rather than just recording the selected video PID + audio PID(s) subcontent as it does now. The downside, is you will be recording 4X as much data (actually a little more) that way.

Specifically, the HR34 (and all Directv boxes) can only record one video PID, and two audio PIDs at once (think thats correct). It would take some major software rewrite to get it to record the entire transponder. Especially difficult since they are using multiple formats MPeg2/Mpeg4.
 

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dpeters11 said:
But if it's not via Internet, how can one tuner tune to four channels simultaneously? I'm having trouble with that concept. I always figured that even for PIP, it needed two.
The key is that the channels are all on the same transponder. That is the only way that one tuner can record them all at the same time. I wonder if the PrimeTime Anytime tuner is unavailable from 8-11 for any live viewing. The Hopper box may be limited to two live tuners during primetime, while the PTAT tuner is busy recording the big four's feeds.
 

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It's starting to make sense. I have to admit, it's pretty impressive and some high end mojo going on. Having said that, I like the idea that my DVR is mostly recording stuff I'm interested in and not stuff I have no interest in. But, it's an interesting way to handle recording shows that don't repeat with a limited number of tuners.
 

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Yeah, interesting idea;

Though even if the HR34 could record an entire transponder stream, DIRECTV would have a problem implementing such a scheme. At least in the NY and LA markets, since their big four network locals (both HD and SD) are almost all on different CONUS beam transponders at 99(c) (101 for SD) so they can double as DNS service feeds.
 

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Why would anyone want to use dishes new method over just recording the programs you want anyway, since you would only have 7 days and you won't be able to skip commercials. I know people complain about Direct keeping 100 gigs of space on their dvrs, but this is even more than that, and is silly IMHO. They should have just built a 6 tuner dvr and been done with it instead of a marketing gimmick. I am sure they think this will help increase ad revenue, but I doubt it will have any real impact. Frankly, no one should use it, because it could be the first shot in all of dvr land to try and get rid of ffwd on all dvrs.
 

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I dont see it that way. If written correctly, it just locks onto the selected video PID with corresponding audio PID and plays as normal. I dont see any reason that should disable trick play. Its just streams in a file.
 

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Davenlr said:
Its just streams in a file.
I think this might be a bit simplistic.
First, the transponder has a much wider bandwidth.
Second, if the network channels are broken down into individual files, there is a lot of decoding and multiple files having to be stored at one time.
Third, if the tuner does have the bandwidth, and not the decoding chips, then the whole encoded [muxed] transponder is one big file.
Fourth, to play back, the whole "file" needs to be separated [with a tuner?] into the single channels and then decoded.

Back to the topic of "can the HR34"... with "only" three dual tuner chips, nope.
 

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veryoldschool said:
I think this might be a bit simplistic.
First, the transponder has a much wider bandwidth.
- not that wide - around 30 Mbps, ie 3 MBps total of TS per transponder, so any HDD will sustain the speed
Second, if the network channels are broken down into individual files, there is a lot of decoding and multiple files having to be stored at one time.
- nope, not necessary at all, that TS [transport stream] processing fine during direct viewing, so - read whole TS from HDD and send it same way as normally;
Third, if the tuner does have the bandwidth, and not the decoding chips, then the whole encoded [muxed] transponder is one big file.
- sat tuner by design has ability to cut just one transponder (mux after demod chip); no need to decode it - all info for off-line decoding in the mux - save it and reuse later;
Fourth, to play back, the whole "file" needs to be separated [with a tuner?] into the single channels and then decoded.
- nope, tuner and demod (modern time it's combined in one physical chip like BCM4505/6/7) are not using for process stored TS of whole mux (all video/audio/system PIDs), the TS file would be 'pumped' to main chip (like BCM7420 in Hopper), parsed, decoded and separated by user request for viewing and stored separately.

Back to the topic of "can the HR34"... with "only" three dual tuner chips, nope.
I would add a couple cents. :)
 

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P Smith said:
I would add a couple cents. :)
You might need to "rethink" your couple of cents.
You've seemed to substitute Mb/s for MHz and not accounted for the Spaceway TPs that are about twice the size.
I haven't gone through the Broadcom chip details, but it's a tuner and I've worked with tuners for years.
The SAT tuner does have to receive the whole TP, where it then picks out the channel and processes it and sends this to the drive as a file.
I don't see any chip maker including the ability to process four streams at once and not be promoting this in a way that their customers wouldn't have exploited this already, which hasn't happened.
If Dish does have a receiver that will receive four HD channels through one tuner, this chip is not what's being used by others.
 
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