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Comments on news posted 2008-10-16 12:08:00: Back in January, the cable industry announced Tru2way, a re-imagining of OCAP technology that's intended to integrate set-top box functionality into TVs and other devices. ..


MystBlade
Premium
join:2002-10-21
Lacey, WA

I would love this

My HD Comcast Box is bulky and is not very attractive. Intergrated with the TV would be fantastic!!! Sign me up, oh and take that rental fee out of my bill
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: I would love this

You don't think you're going to avoid a monthly fee per TV do you?

Satellite came out with the "purchase your own box" and still charged you $5.00 per room/box active. They bashed cable for years for what they ultimately did. (To be fair, cable based Sat for things and they too now do them)

The monthly charge will happen for a reason.. its going to cut down on fraud. With a -no charge- tv set on an A/O, people would share accounts with friends and neighbors. Funny, however, how a $5.00 fee will make people actually think twice about letting their neigbor get service on their bill even with a small fee.

What will happen is simple.. you'll get a mirror fee, and no longer rent their box. For some people this is great, for others, it will be a deal blocker or severely delay their desire to flip out $1500 for a new set.

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD
said by MystBlade:

My HD Comcast Box is bulky and is not very attractive. Intergrated with the TV would be fantastic!!! Sign me up, oh and take that rental fee out of my bill
However, would you pay (at minimum) an additional $400 USD for it to go away? The new 42" tru2way 1080p plasma TV (TH-42PZ80Q) costs $400 more than the same TV without it (SRP vs. SRP) (TH-42PZ80U). (Source: Panasonic)

Further, two things must happen for tru2way to be deployed in your area:

1. ADS is a requirement. (The two markets that have deployed tru2way are ADS.)
2. 750 MHz, at minimum, is also a requirement.

The first one already has plenty of protestors (the screaming was pretty darn loud in Chicago).

markofmayhem
Why not now?
Premium
join:2004-04-08
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: I would love this

I've never seen a protest of ADS. ADS is not analog reclamation, it is analog-digital simulcast. The screaming in Chicago was over the removal of all analog stations above 24 (25, can't remember). ADS is when a digital copy of an analog station is placed on the network so that digital only tuner STB's can be deployed (such as the Motorola 34xx series DVR instead of the 64xx series) which reduced cost and increases picture quality. I reread it, but I can not see where Tru2Way calls for support of digital only tuners.

1 ghz, at maximum, is the requirement (minimum for CE's). 750mhz minimum requirement may be areas the MSO will choose to upgrade, but is not part of the Tru2Way licensing, roll-out, or specifications listed at CableLabs. »www.opencable.com/specifications/

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
said by MystBlade:

My HD Comcast Box is bulky and is not very attractive. Intergrated with the TV would be fantastic!!! Sign me up, oh and take that rental fee out of my bill
It'll just filter into some other BS fee. CABLE BILLS DO NOT GO DOWN!
--
When I gez aju zavateh na nalechoo more new yonooz tonigh molinigh - Ken Lee
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

HTPC

I would like to see a device that can be installed into a Home Theater PC to work with the DVR functionality.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2

Re: HTPC

I seriously doubt that you'll see a good solution for that any time soon. The content producers will attempt to block that at every turn.

rv65
Premium
join:2008-08-02
USA!!!!
kudos:1

Re: HTPC

openbox9,

All Vista Cable Card PC's use DRM on all their content. This was to appease the content providers. So the new multi stream PC's will likely have that type of DRM.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2

Re: HTPC

Yeah, but it's Vista, and I've read several pieces regarding the challenges/pains of using Vista MC....most probably due to the heavy handed DRM.

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD

Re: HTPC

said by openbox9:

Yeah, but it's Vista, and I've read several pieces regarding the challenges/pains of using Vista MC....most probably due to the heavy handed DRM.
Then you're reading FUD.

I came to the Vista Media Center from that of Windows XP MCE (which Vista MC is based on) and found it not only no harder to use, but actually much easier to use, than XPMCE's WMC. Also, unlike the wide variety of third-party media-center-type applications (especially BeyondTV 4, the only one that supports the built-in TV tuners in the older ATI All-In-Wonder line in Vista), it mostly *just plain works* with devices that have drivers available. Most of the complaints about *DRM* are really about the issues involved with hacking in features (ala Linux) that aren't normally supported by specific combinations of hardware and software (never minding that the success of the hack is almost always entirely due to what software is on an individual computer). Nowhere is this more true than in terms of hacks involving the HDTV Wonder from ATI, an OTA-primarily TV/HDTV tuner card (there have been tales of hacking this card to support 256QAM; however, I actually suspect that most fall into the category of *urban legend*).

rv65
Premium
join:2008-08-02
USA!!!!
kudos:1
There are standards for tru2way on PC but it will require new tuners and hardware. You can't build your own HTPC with digital cable since it has to be certified. New chipsets and CPU's may be tru2way certified. Will require new tuners though. It might intially be OEM's only that offer tru2way PC. MCUR and BOCUR will happen probably next year. You will need Windows Vista or Windows 7 when it comes out.

kfsutops
Premium
join:2002-08-19
Tampa, FL

Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

The cable companies will never get rid of the boxes. I pay close to $20 per month for an HD DVR. Why would the get rid of that revenue stream?
--
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots"

CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

said by kfsutops:

The cable companies will never get rid of the boxes. I pay close to $20 per month for an HD DVR. Why would the get rid of that revenue stream?
The revenue stream from leasing boxes is more or less recouping the cost of maintaining them, purchaseing them to lease and processing them.
The real revenue stream is Impulse PPV and added value to the product such as VOD, the interactive guide, etc.

So cablecards arent really going away. A smarter way to use them is all that was needed.

DVRs incorporated into TVs is also coming up next. However, If youve ever purchased a TV/VCR combo back in the day and had the VCR crap out its the same thing. Just a lot more expensive.

Its a neat product, has a cooler interface and is convenient. We have one in our offic.

But it IS a lot of money to spend just to avoid having a cable box.. especially with high end set ups were the cable box is sitting right with the home theater system taking up just as much room as all the other AV equipment.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

Comcablrtl

join:2003-10-25
Midwest

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

New tru2way TV designs do not feature integrated hard drives. For the reason that you mentioned (TV/VCR combo) the hard drive will connect to the back of the TV. By having it externally affixed, the TV would avoid excessive heat, and the repair/replacement of a faulty hard drive would be consumer friendly. Look for several new advances and applications of tru2way in the first and second quarter of 2009.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
said by kfsutops:

The cable companies will never get rid of the boxes. I pay close to $20 per month for an HD DVR. Why would the get rid of that revenue stream?
They will just start makeing you pay cable card, outlet fees, mirring fees, guide data fees, and more.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3
said by kfsutops:

The cable companies will never get rid of the boxes. I pay close to $20 per month for an HD DVR. Why would the get rid of that revenue stream?
Revenue stream? ha.

kfsutops
Premium
join:2002-08-19
Tampa, FL

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

So you are saying that these charges are not an important revenue stream?

Come on you know better than that...

As for the it basically being a break even product as someone suggest. Really? Do you really believe that too? I am sure that Brighthouse is not making any money on the DVR box that my parents have had for over four years now.
--
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots"

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

said by kfsutops:

So you are saying that these charges are not an important revenue stream?

Come on you know better than that...

As for the it basically being a break even product as someone suggest. Really? Do you really believe that too? I am sure that Brighthouse is not making any money on the DVR box that my parents have had for over four years now.
They are not an important revenue stream. They end costing the company more money than anything.

I see the records myself - the cost to the MSO and the overhead. It's not a pretty sight.

kfsutops
Premium
join:2002-08-19
Tampa, FL

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

Come on now. You know better than to spout that out.

I pay for rental. Then I pay a month charge for DVR service? What is that service for? For Tivo's and Realplay TV it was/is for the downloading/updating of the guide.

Now. Why should I have to pay for the same guide on a DVR box but not on a non DVR box? This is the one thing Tivo has had a positive impact on, people paying for a stupid guide that they already received for free.
--
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots"

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3

1 edit

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

said by kfsutops:

Come on now. You know better than to spout that out.

I pay for rental. Then I pay a month charge for DVR service? What is that service for? For Tivo's and Realplay TV it was/is for the downloading/updating of the guide.

Now. Why should I have to pay for the same guide on a DVR box but not on a non DVR box? This is the one thing Tivo has had a positive impact on, people paying for a stupid guide that they already received for free.
You're obviously misunderstanding me. I'm not saying what they are doing is right, all I am saying is that the boxes are NOT revenue streams for them. If they break even, that's a good day.

There is so much cost added for these boxes, from the purchase price, to paying techs, agents, and not to mention the boxes that end up on ebay. The overhead for those boxes are atrocious.

The sad part is when they stop using boxes, because cable cards or a newer technology allows for delivery of digital service without the need for the box, then they will have a revenue stream - and we can all expect they will not lower our bills.

kfsutops
Premium
join:2002-08-19
Tampa, FL

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

said by Rob:

The sad part is when they stop using boxes, because cable cards or a newer technology allows for delivery of digital service without the need for the box, then they will have a revenue stream - and we can all expect they will not lower our bills.
Of course they will not lower bills.
--
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots"

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3

Re: Of Course Boxes will Still Be Around

said by kfsutops:

said by Rob:

The sad part is when they stop using boxes, because cable cards or a newer technology allows for delivery of digital service without the need for the box, then they will have a revenue stream - and we can all expect they will not lower our bills.
Of course they will not lower bills.
At least we agree on something!

Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY

CableCard

Wasn't that better design?
My TV is cableCard compatible and I'm just waiting to get my hands on that. The drawback is that I cannot schedule recordings, but in theory cableCard should be universal and used in various devices.
--
Semper Fi
AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: CableCard

In theory, you would be correct. CableCard has a few limitations as well - no support for OnDemand and no direct support for SDC (switched digital video) are two of the first that come to mind. The SDV tuner may allow some CableCard enabled devices to operate correctly, but right now TiVo is the only major manufacturer that I have seen stating they will support the SDV tuner for existing customers.

OCAP (tru2way) is a lot more than just a cable box tuner inside of a TV, if you really want to know more about it, you can read the Wikipedia entries about the subject as a starting point and make your own choice.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tru2way
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCable_···Platform

Everybody, except for maybe the manufacturers and MSOs, want to get rid of the cable box. However, this unfortunately is a bit more than that and quite frankly not something I am exactly jumping on getting personally. As far as fees associated with the device, I haven't heard any announcement from Comcast either way. Last I read, there were "per subscriber" licensing fees involved with the technology so I don't know that I would exactly assume that you can have all the OCAP (tru2way) TVs you want without paying additional per device (outlet) fees. If it comes out to a fee (or outlet fee) for using your own purchased TV, it might not quite take off the way they are hoping.

OCAP (tru2way) is an attempt to turn your TV in to a multimedia platform similar to your computer, unfortunately in this case it is a platform that will still be controlled by the cable operator and their advertising partners.

Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY

Re: CableCard

Looks like OCAP is a part of CableCard 2 standard, so in the end is the same thing. We will see what will happen.
magnushsi

join:2002-11-06
Cedar Springs, MI
Some corrections: Cable cards have ALWAYS had support for onDemand and SDV. The devices that they are sometimes plugged into, do not. Due to reverse path tuners, etc. The recently released tuning adapter/resolvers are not for cable card deficiencies, but the host (Tivo) they are plugged into.

And once again, cable companies would LOVE to get rid of every cable box. Hence the network DVR development, etc. Cable boxes cost MSO's way more than they make in rental fees.
AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

1 edit

Re: CableCard

If you want to get that level, no, they really haven't had support for onDemand or SDV either. The CableCard initial specifications don't deal with the actual communications protocols but I believe instead just the encryption and decryption of the data. So, in a sense, yes, the device could theoretically allow decryption (to customer) and encryption (from customer) but if you never tell them how to send and agree to listen to such devices - what's the point? You can look at it as a deficiency of the host device if you like or more practically as a deficiency in the communications protocol standard, or as in this case, the lack there of.

Are you really trying to propose / advocate that cable operators are providing cable boxes at a loss? The box itself? No, not even in the slightest, they cover their costs and have a bit left over. If you count support of the devices, cost for inventory management, etc - you might have a point, but unfortunately OCAP (tru2way) is not going to get rid off that, just change how and where the money is spent to support essentially the same goal.

How does a network DVR help get rid of cable boxes? The OCAP (tru2way) method? That just offloads the burden of integration to CES manufacturers with support likely still a burden of the MSO and ultimately the subscriber. If a customer is not using OCAP (tru2way) device, they still have an external box. So, how does that help again?
magnushsi

join:2002-11-06
Cedar Springs, MI

Re: CableCard

If you want to get to that level we can. Actually the cablecard does have a communication protocol that it uses to communicate. It supports TCP and UDP just fine. It does not have the hardware to support the actual path for communication, i.e. davic/docsis tuner. I'm not sure what communiction standard deficiency you refer to as TCP is pretty reliable, at least last time I checked. Lets not forget that cable cards have been in every newly manufactured and deployed cable box since 07/07 for most major MSO's. All supporting interactive services, VOD, SDV, IPPV, etc.

I absolutely 100% am saying that after the MSO purchases the box, stores it, manages it as inventory, employs techs to stage, clean/repair, etc. It is years before they come close to recouping the costs. Even at just the bare bones purchase price. A DVR purchased for $400, and yes most MSO's pay near that amount, you are talking 2+ yrs to recoup at $15 per month. I know some pay more, some pay less. But like I said, add in the additional "back end" support and you will see it's no $ maker like people believe.

It helps to get rid of the $400 DVR and can be replaced by a basic $150 SD or $200 HD box. So you are right, it does not help totally get rid of boxes, just reduces the initial costs and the complexity of the repairs/churn etc. I can't see how it's a burden if the CE manufactures are choosing to integrate these devices. The CE manufactures have been trying to get into the cable box business for years. Many have tried but have failed or pulled back for numerous reasons. It all depends on the services you want, if you need a box or a tru2way device. If you just want to watch digital television, no IPPV, VOD...a simple CC ready qam tuner TV fits the bill.
AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: CableCard

The communications protocol that I am referring to is an API built on top of the TCP session layer that would allow the subscriber's device to access basic functionality such as SDV handling instructions or even possibly VOD functionality. None of which requires a "platform", just a specification that all will honor. As that API or communications protocol does not or did not exist, yes, that is where I would say the deficiency lies. With the SDV tuner project, if they have not released a specification that a CE manufacturer can incorporate in to their devices, then it still doesn't exist - an external USB solution should only be for existing devices.

Yes, depending on the type of unit, it will take a cable operator a couple of years to recover the cost of the unit. But, there's a big difference in recouping an investment in infrastructure over a period of time versus providing a service or device at a loss. I agree its not the money maker that a lot of people like to think, more a cost of being able to provide the primary service in the fashion desired by the cable operators, but especially over a number of years they do make a bit of profit on the adventure.

I'm sure every cable operator has a different cost for the "boxes" and I definitely have not been privy myself to a copy of their purchase order. However, I can say based on other CE devices if a fairly large cable operator is paying the prices you stated for their boxes in volume, I think I would start bidding for other OEM manufacturers if I was that cable operator.

I don't want to speak on behalf of the CE vendors, but if you compare the proposal the CE vendors came up with versus OCAP (tru2way) there are a few distinct differences.

markofmayhem
Why not now?
Premium
join:2004-04-08
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: CableCard

said by AVonGauss:

The communications protocol that I am referring to is an API built on top of the TCP session layer that would allow the subscriber's device to access basic functionality such as SDV handling instructions or even possibly VOD functionality.
Today, VoD is THE single most advanced protocol on a cable coax, not much basic about it. On the consumer end, SVD is VoD, the "length" of the "movie" or "show" is unlimited. VoD has huge encryption and back-talk verification between the physical hardware on both ends of the plant. A piece of software won't cut it. Tru2Way was a nice compromise for CE's to get their hands on a Rosetta stone and the MSO's to not have to replace all of their VoD servers. Tru2Way certification ensures that the encryption, identification, and cross-talk adherence's are met so that your neighbor can't steal VoD off your billing. As SVD doesn't require such scrutiny in security, a simple USB dongle can do the talking.

quote:
I'm sure every cable operator has a different cost for the "boxes" and I definitely have not been privy myself to a copy of their purchase order. However, I can say based on other CE devices if a fairly large cable operator is paying the prices you stated for their boxes in volume, I think I would start bidding for other OEM manufacturers if I was that cable operator.
You can't. If you purchased a Cisco head-end, you need a Cisco certified box. Cisco charges a very nice penny to those who want the keys to the safe. The other devil, Motorola, is slightly worse. $400 for 10,000 HD-DVR's ordered is a bargain, I guess prices have come down. You see, in order for two-way communication, the extremely proprietary language, protocol, and security with Motorola and Cisco is very, very expensive to license. Otherwise the head-end won't only ignore you, it will through you out (you'll loose all subscription keys except "clear QAM" and analog) Since they are part of CableLabs as well as MSO's and Verizon, they made sure to put a large stake for royalties in Tru2Way certifications, though they should be credited as being the mad scientists that actually got Tru2Way functional. So while Tru2Way will become cheaper, in the early years $400 extra per device is very low.

quote:
I don't want to speak on behalf of the CE vendors, but if you compare the proposal the CE vendors came up with versus OCAP (tru2way) there are a few distinct differences.
DCR+? Sure does.

Cable's take: »www.ncta.com/IssueBrief.aspx?con···2&view=2
quote:
How Does tru2way Differ from the ¡°DCR+¡± Proposal?

Unlike tru2way, the ¡°Digital Cable Ready Plus¡± (DCR+) proposal, which has been put forward by the Consumer Electronics Association, will not bring two-way plug and play devices to the market soon, if ever. It is based on specifications and standards that don¡¯t exist and can¡¯t be delivered to consumers by the February 2009 digital TV transition.

Other shortcomings of this approach include:

¡ö¡°DCR+¡± devices would be instantly archaic; they would only receive a subset of existing interactive cable services and no future ones.
¡öConsumer electronics (CE) companies offer absolutely no assurance that any CE company would ever actually build a ¡°DCR+¡± device ¨C or that any consumer would want one if it were built. Beyond cable operators, content owners and others have said DCR+ is a nonstarter for them.
¡öThe FCC¡¯s approach should be guided by practical lessons from the CE industry¡¯s failed experiment with one-way digital cable products, which are not able to receive interactive cable services. In 2002, CE companies insisted that consumers would want a one-way plug-and-play TV. Cable complied, but one-way sets failed in the market because consumers wanted interactive services.
CE's complaint to FCC on OCAP:
»fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retr···19613024

CableLabs beat them to market. Tru2Way exists, DCR+ still has the technical white-papers unwritten and "in negotiations".
AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: CableCard

Well, then I'll take away from this discussion that I should consider ourselves very lucky to have obtained a unified standard for DocSIS. Personally, I think I will just wait for the televisions with Ethernet jacks before upgrading...

swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia
said by AVonGauss:

OCAP (tru2way) is a lot more than just a cable box tuner inside of a TV ... OCAP (tru2way) is an attempt to turn your TV in to a multimedia platform similar to your computer, unfortunately in this case it is a platform that will still be controlled by the cable operator and their advertising partners.

This is the problem with "Tru2way": it gives the cable company control of any device that supports the technology, including TV displays and DVRs.

The providers talk about it in public in terms of benefits to subscribers - compatibility and so forth. But once it is widely deployed, they'll start using it:
* to prevent recording
* to prevent changing the channel or muting the volume when advertisemnts are showing
* to restrict output resolutions
* to make the TV incompatible with competing providers' signals (or hold it hostage for a termination fee)
* and other abuses.

Some may see this and say, "no, that's not the intention" - such people have believed the hype. If the companies have power over your electronics, they will inevitably abuse it.

said by Wikipedia article on OCAP :
The Consumer Electronics Association and other groups argue OCAP is intended to block features that compete with cable company provided services and that consumers should be entitled to add, delete and otherwise control programs as on their personal computers.

And their televisions and recorders as well. The only acceptable arrangement is that each party (content provider and subscriber) is in control of the equipment it owns.

•••••

Caddyroger
Premium
join:2001-06-11
To the west

I will not be buying a Tru2way

I bought a new tv last year so it will be awhile before I buy a Expensive set. Now if a 32 in or 36 in comes down to around $600.00 I'll may buy one for my bed room.
--
Caddy
GTFan

join:2004-12-03

Cablecard still needed for tru2way

tru2way still requires a Cablecard, and therefore (possibly) a truck roll with associated install charges. Given the cable company reluctance to deal with them properly so far (because you're not renting their box), expect this to have problems too.

•••
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Full Chicago area?? as Chicago has 5+ comcast zones?

Full Chicago area?? as Chicago has 5+ comcast zones.

And some don't all the full hd line up and other still have more along then others.

Comcablrtl

join:2003-10-25
Midwest

Re: Full Chicago area?? as Chicago has 5+ comcast zones?

Chicago has 4 Comcast areas, and 3 of them are Tru2way ready. Rockford and Central Illinois are not yet.

i1me2ao
Premium
join:2001-03-03
TEXAS

1 edit

new charge

the below fee will be used to upgrade home office of comcast

non converter box tv must pay 9.99 plus city,federal,county,street tax. just announced..

the above is a joke that will probaly come true..
--
»www.thereligionofpeace.com/

••••

rv65
Premium
join:2008-08-02
USA!!!!
kudos:1

DCAS

DCAS is the future of tru2way. It's tru2way but with downloaded security. It will use a chip that can mimic the cable card. It then gets the security off the network. This way MSO's will no longer need cable cards. It will finally allow for cable ready TV's.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: DCAS

said by rv65:

DCAS is the future of tru2way. It's tru2way but with downloaded security. It will use a chip that can mimic the cable card. It then gets the security off the network. This way MSO's will no longer need cable cards. It will finally allow for cable ready TV's.
But will there still be a per tv DCAS device fee + digital outlet fee.

Also that seems like a dump way to do stuff what do you do when the cable software messes up the chip that can mimic the cable card vs swiping out the cable card.

CableGei
Premium
join:2004-05-27
Brookville, OH

Short and simple

From the cable guy perspective, I see it as good and bad.

Good: The cable company's responsibility will be ensuring that your signal is good..... and that is it!

Bad: I just see it as another device that consumers will think can't possibly have a problem because they own it and "this is a brand new tv, it can't be the problem!"
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: Short and simple

said by CableGei:

From the cable guy perspective, I see it as good and bad.

Bad: I just see it as another device that consumers will think can't possibly have a problem because they own it and "this is a brand new tv, it can't be the problem!"
add the 2 way blame game cable say call the people who made the tv they say call the cable co.
mrvid

join:2007-06-19
Levittown, NY

4 edits

Why I dont like it & the set-top should stay...

What about if there are issues or new formats, who knows, maybe mpeg5, then what, I have to buy a new HDTV. I wouldn't just sign off on those settop boxes just yet. Sounds cool until it isn't working properly, then what do I do?

Great idea Panasonic but I don't think standalone is the answer. I think, instead, these boxes could be tomarrows, high def, gaming system, net to HDTV interface (for playback of net videos such as Netflix, Movielink, etc.), Multiroom DVR (or just DVR) with separate output to record to VCR while watching another show, etc & as well as remote programming of it. I see more than just a settop box, what about a USB port for a racing wheel, we could play against other people in other households, that would be cool, also, Baseball, Boxing, etc. or a keyboard for quick IM'ing of friends. This wouldn't take away from other gaming systems such as Sony's PS3, Xbox 360, the Wii since they have games made for their systems specifically and they can play anyone, not just people on the providers network with a settop setup. The settop box can be much more than just the "so called" generic cable box while keeping TV simple.

As we get into more grand technology, keeping the price down will allow the cost to stay focused on the TV's picture quality. M-card support to avoid a box is one thing but this tru2way just drives the price up further when it could be focused, instead, on larger screen, higher detail, better quality, etc.