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Comcast's Network DVR Clears the FCC
The XI3-H Hints at Network DVR Recording
by Karl Bode 10:17AM Thursday Nov 29 2012
As Comcast slowly expands the footprint of their new X1 set top, a more advanced IP set top has cleared the FCC approval process. While the upcoming X1 is widget-heavy and utilizes some cloud storage -- mostly playing catch up with services already offered by AT&T and Verizon TV services -- the X13 is expected to ramp up cloud use significantly, including remote DVR network storage. First spotted by Wireless Goodness, the device sports Cable In (MoCA), TV out, SPDIF out, HDMI in/out, SD slot, Ethernet and USB ports.

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There is no internal hard drive, seemingly confirming the fact that Comcast will finally follow on Cablevision's heels and offer a remote DVR option. Based on some of the copyright information attached to the FCC documents, it appears that the device should see a launch sometime in 2013. Since it's really only in pre-production, Comcast has been mute about specifically what the device will offer.

Comcast has also been tinkering with allowing customers to attach external drives to their DVRs, so that functionality may also be supported. Since at least Spring Comcast has been engaged in a very small trial of a network DVR in Boston, where fewer than a dozen people are testing a proof of concept for Comcast's implementation of the technology.

Full details can be found here on the FCC website.

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seamore
Premium
join:2009-11-02

OUT

" TV out, SPDIF out, HDMI in/out, SD slot, Ethernet and USB ports".

and all "OUT" ports will be disabled.

TsarBomba

@ca.gov

Cheaper lease fees?

So does this mean we can ditch our old DVRs and pay less in leasing fees given the unit lacks a physical hard disk drive? Sure would love to see my current DVR lease go down from 14.99/month to 4.99/month or better yet none at all.

seamore
Premium
join:2009-11-02

Re: Cheaper lease fees?

said by TsarBomba :

So does this mean we can ditch our old DVRs and pay less in leasing fees given the unit lacks a physical hard disk drive? Sure would love to see my current DVR lease go down from 14.99/month to 4.99/month or better yet none at all.

Prices for cable service NEVER decrease, only increase. so yes, you can expect and increase for this service "that the customer demands".

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1
I'm sure they will find some new way to justify price increases.

Perhaps they will offer different tiers of space to lease?

So you still pay the same base rate, but now you will be charged $4.99 for 80GB of space, $9.99 for 160GB of space, etc..

The real question I care about is whether I can continue to skip ahead 30 seconds? Right now I'm using a hack for the remote control to make a specific button do this, but it is not officially supported. Will we even be able to fast forward through commercials?

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

Re: Cheaper lease fees?

They don't need to justify it....have we ever seen them actually prove their justification in the past?

They use the same words, same statements, etc....and we just take it for face value and move on.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: Cheaper lease fees?

I think they have about reached their peak. Consumers are going to stop paying more money and simply look to reduce their services to keep their bills from increasing any way they can.

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

Re: Cheaper lease fees?

said by jmn1207:

I think they have about reached their peak. Consumers are going to stop paying more money and simply look to reduce their services to keep their bills from increasing any way they can.

The amount of coverage about it has increased dramatically the last few years but I suspect that right when we are about to jump that point where it becomes an actual national story....the ISP's will start to use different language...or hell, outright lie.

Heck, who will stop them?
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
why not be like directv and have a flat DVR fee per home?

each added outlet for any box is the same price.

joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
No!

New and improved DVR only $24.95/month. $1200 lost equipment fee!
--
PRescott7-2097
Dan2112

join:2001-08-24
San Jose, CA

But what about the bandwidth ....

Ok I'll ask it... are you required to have a Comcast Internet connection to make this work or can you BYOB.

If you have Comcast Internet does this service count towards your cap? I would say yes, but you get a "bump" in the cap...

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: But what about the bandwidth ....

I think they will charge based on the amount of DVR storage a customer wants and they will charge more if you want to record in HD (which would not bother me as the TiVo DVR in my house that gets the most use is connected to a standard tube TV in the living room). I only need a small amount of HD storage as the only HDTV in my house is in the bedroom and that does not get as much use as the standard definition tube TV in the living room (mostly use the HDTV to watch the news and play Music Choice for some noise while I sleep at night to drown out all the noises coming from the outside such as the fire trucks as I live near a busy fire station, car accidents, gunshots in the nearby housing projects, etc).

Our former neighbors in the other side of the duplex used to have loud parties playing hip-hop music very loud at all hours of the night and I would use the Music Choice channels to drown it out. I would like to use my SiriusXM subscription indoors with a pair of speakers as I have an active radio that I used in my car but the car is out of service so I am trying to locate a home kit for it but the radio I have is obsolete.
majortom1029

join:2006-10-19
Lindenhurst, NY
kudos:1
If it works like the cablevision dvr+ (their network dvr they had a court case over) then the network dvr does not come from your internet bandwidth.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: But what about the bandwidth ....

cablevision uses QAM over there SDV cable system for that.
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

Certainly not worth paying extra for

Network DVR would be rendered useless during a cable or power outage.

My Tivo can still play it's recordings anytime, no cable connection needed.
--
Bellingham Scanner Kicks Ass! »bhamscanner.kicks-ass.org/

baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI

Re: Certainly not worth paying extra for

even with the power outage? impressive.
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

1 edit

Re: Certainly not worth paying extra for

said by baineschile:

even with the power outage? impressive.

Yeah, there's this magical invention called a UPS »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterrup···r_supply
--
Bellingham Scanner Kicks Ass! »bhamscanner.kicks-ass.org/
JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
While I can certainly see that point, think about the other side to that coin. What if your Tivo (or insert other DVR) dies, chances are your recordings die with it. Sure there's the ability backup your Tivo/DVR but how many people actually do that? I know I would but I can see some not doing it either because they don't know how to or don't care to. Of course those that don't care to backup their DVR won't care for the "network backup" point either so shrug.

There really needs to be a kind of middle ground here where there can be local storage either for specific shows you store locally instead of on the network or have a local copy of all shows. Also consider the streaming aspect of this. With your shows recorded on the network, thanks to Netflix style apps they could tie in to your recorded shows and let you watch your recordings anywhere. Will they actually do this? No idea but it would need network storage to be possible.
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

Re: Certainly not worth paying extra for

Sure Tivo dies you lose your recordings. But I have to say I am amazed by the longevity of Tivo hardware. I bought my first generation Tivo in 99 and it ran 24/7 without a hiccup until I replaced it with a Tivo-HD in 07. The Tivo-HD has been running the same. I did have a WD-DVR extender external hard drive fail after three years, but it did not just quit it sort of puttered out. So I managed to transfer my recordings off of it. A year a go I upgraded the Tivo internal drive to a 1TB.

Most of what you call middle ground can already be done with a Tivo and a local network. I can transfer recordings from my Tivo to a computer, remove the Tivo DRM and stream them to any device using streaming software. Also the Slingbox will play recordings right off a Tivo and stream them to any device.

None of this stuff is rocket science, but I guess you would have to want to do it.
--
Bellingham Scanner Kicks Ass! »bhamscanner.kicks-ass.org/
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Disgusting...

It's disgusting the way companies have to pretend that TV shows are still unique, one-time only events. If a subscriber doesn't record a particular show, they've missed it. Despite the fact that probably 500,000 other subscribers DID record it. Not to mention the horribly inefficient system they're forced to use where each subscriber is allotted space for their one individual copy of a show, rather than just keeping one copy and letting people access it.

The most efficient and intelligent system would be to just record a copy of everything and let subscribers watch it up to a week later. Of course they can't do that because of copyrights and because apparently the world as we know it would end if they did that...

baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI

Re: Disgusting...

Um. That exists.

Its called OnDemand.

Bubble/Bursted.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: Disgusting...

said by baineschile:

Um. That exists.

Its called OnDemand.

Bubble/Bursted.

Not every show is available on demand. For example, my friend is a big fan of the show Criminal Minds and that's not available on demand from Comcast.
JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
Data Deduplication: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_deduplication

Basically they can let each and every user store individual copies of the recordings. In the background it'll only store one copy and the rest are just glorified shortcuts/pointers. It's not to the point of the OnDemand style access where they would just let everyone watch every show for various reasons but it's not as inefficient as you might think.

It's actually more efficient than that if they use block level dedupe. If it goes down to the block level, every common block can be deduplicated. Things like common commercials can be deduplicated further saving space.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: Disgusting...

said by JoelC707:

Data Deduplication: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_deduplication

Basically they can let each and every user store individual copies of the recordings. In the background it'll only store one copy and the rest are just glorified shortcuts/pointers. It's not to the point of the OnDemand style access where they would just let everyone watch every show for various reasons but it's not as inefficient as you might think.

There's just one problem with that; The studios argue that if there's only one copy of the program being watched by multiple people, regardless if they specifically requested to record that program, then it constitutes a public performance of that work and is a violation of copyright.

This is why Cablevision's network DVR service stores a unique copy of each program for each subscriber who wants to record it. In court they successfully argued that this wasn't a public performance of a single work because each subscriber has their own unique copy of the program and only this copy is streamed to the subscriber who recorded it. In effect being no different than a traditional DVR, except for its physical location.

This is why it was ruled legal and why Comcast will have to duplicate their horribly inefficient system if they want to avoid being sued out of existence by the studios.

It's also why Aero has to have individual antennas for each subscriber rather than just putting up one antenna and connecting everyone to it.

Copyright law today is a minefield and you have to really contort new technologies to not get blown up.
Telco

join:2008-12-19

Re: Disgusting...

And only in America will there be somebody look at this and say, yep this is rational. It's absurd yet we will continue to use this model as that's how we roll.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI

So, if a network DVR is legal for them...

what makes a network DVR not legal for Barry Dillers new startup Aero?

joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6

Re: So, if a network DVR is legal for them...

Comcast is working with the MPAA to ensure their product is properly crippled.
--
PRescott7-2097