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AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

1 edit
reply to magnushsi

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

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

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

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

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...