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We Can dream, Can't We?

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Silver Contributor II
Silver Contributor II
Posts: 287
Registered: ‎10-26-2008

We Can dream, Can't We?

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I really like the picture quality and reliability of the wired system we have with FIOS, opposed to the loss of signal and compression of satellite. But as a previous  Dish subscriber, I reall miss the functionality of my 622 DVR and often wonder how great it would be if I could only have my old Dish DVR with the FIOS picture quality - ie the best of both worlds. Well, that day may soon be upon us. During CES 2009, Echostar announced the spring 09 release of the SlingReady 922 DVR. This is a user's dream - if you can think of a feature, it's got it. (Google Echostar SlingReady 922 for a complete feature review). And Echostar is going to make it available to cable and telco companies!  In other words, Echostar is producing a TIVO type device and entering the TIVO niche market. Obviously, Verizon may have contractual obligations with Motorola for the future,  but I can only imagine what is possible with multituner, OTA, Sling, 1 TB hard drive (that is correct - 1 TB), and more. (I think PIP in the box,too.) I do not understand the engineering, but some reports say the FIOS transmission protocols might be incompatible. I would expect the DVR to be tailored for specific applications and be engineered appropriately.  I consider the current Motorola DVR, program guide, and ridiculously low storage space to be the weak links in FIOS TV service. Any other dreamers? Thank you.
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Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,323
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

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Followed some Google links and there are a couple of technical issues that would prevent FiOS from using this box:

  1. Only listing MPEG-4 decoders, FiOS is currently MPEG-2 with no immediate plans to change to MPEG-4 (too much hardware already in the field for one reason).
  2. The box supports TRU-2WAY which is not compatible with FiOS.  FiOS guide and VOD are IP based and TRU-2WAY VOD is QAM channel based.  This would necessitate a unique box for Verizon.
  3. No MoCA support (although it has an RJ-45).  This is counter to Verizon's in home distribution method that carries all information over coax.
  4. It would require a whole new firmware development for Verizon since they have decided to keep the IMG in house - and then we would be stuck with the same buggy software we've all come to love Smiley Very Happy
Can I dream - YES, is it realistic to expect this in my lifetime - NO Smiley Sad.
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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

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Why not just get a Tivo?

 

TivoHD is inexpensive, does HD, is GREAT and works fine with FiOS Cablecards

 

 

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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

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@retiredme wrote:
I consider the current Motorola DVR, program guide, and ridiculously low storage space to be the weak links in FIOS TV service. Any other dreamers? Thank you.

I don't think this product is quite what you think.

 

Dish Network said they would announce a true2way version of the ViP922 hardware later this year.  You may not be aware of this, but the purpose of true2way is to allow a box to download and use the cable company's own software.  When you hear that a cable company supports true2way, that means that they have a Java version of their own software available that true2way boxes can download and use once a CableCard is installed.  You get the same program guide interface with the same program information, the same VOD interface, and the same DVR features as the cable company DVR ....in a CableCard box that you can buy at retail or online.

 

The ViP622 and ViP722 use Dish Network's own software for their satellite service.  You are not going to get that on a box for cable.  What you will get on a true2way version of the ViP922 is a main menu that lets you switch between the cable company guide, VOD, and the built-in Sling functionality.  The  ViP722 with a 500GB hard drive costs $199 to lease and $599 MSRP to own, so you can probably guess what a ViP922 with 1TB and Sling will cost.

 

Now, we can hope that Verizon convinces Dish Network to support Vuekey.  Vuekey is basically a version of true2way that supports guide data and VOD delivered over IP rather than QAM (which FiOS uses).  If the ViP922 were to support Vuekey, then the box would be able to download a version of the FiOS IMG 2.0 software.  You'd basically be getting a Verizon DVR with much more capacity and Sling...which you would own.

 

If you want a different interface, you'll have to look at a product like the TiVo or Moxi.  These companies supply their own program information, which allows them to use their own interface and software. The TivoHD is available in a 1TB model today, or you can buy the 160GB model and replace it with a 1TB drive.

Message Edited by KenAF on 01-19-2009 07:57 PM
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Silver Contributor II
Silver Contributor II
Posts: 287
Registered: ‎10-26-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

Message 5 of 9
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Thanks for the replies. You are right - further research reveals this may not be the panacea one might hope for. Oh well, it was just a dream. I consider this bubble sufficiently burst. Thank you.
Message Edited by retiredme on 01-20-2009 08:04 AM
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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

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KenAF wrote:


I don't think this product is quite what you think.

 

 


 From what I understand, it's not strictly necessary for a true2way box to retain the provider UI even if it does download the provider's software.  While the provider UI is certainly an option, I do believe it is possible to hide the provider UI completely and wrap the software in the box maker's custom UI for most things (guide, search, DVR), basically making it so the only provider interface that the user sees is the VOD interface.
 This is actually precisely what TIVO plans to do on their next hardware iteration.  Their own UI is going to serve as a wrapper around the provider software so they can continue to provide the experience that they are known for

 

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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

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bull3964 wrote: 
From what I understand, it's not strictly necessary for a true2way box to retain the provider UI even if it does download the provider's software.  While the provider UI is certainly an option, I do believe it is possible to hide the provider UI completely and wrap the software in the box maker's custom UI for most things (guide, search, DVR), basically making it so the only provider interface that the user sees is the VOD interface.
 This is actually precisely what TIVO plans to do on their next hardware iteration.  Their own UI is going to serve as a wrapper around the provider software so they can continue to provide the experience that they are known for


The standard requires that the true2way software be supported, but it can be run in the background and hidden (most of the time).  That said, true2way does not provide guide information in any sort of standard format, and there is no obvious way to "skin" or "wrap" that guide information with another interface.  If a true2way box wants to provide its own guide interface, then it must supply its own guide information.  As it happens, both TiVo and Moxi do that.


Both TiVo and Moxi do provide their own guide information, so they will be running the true2way interface in the background.  In theory, the user would only see it when they want to use VOD.

 

Dish Network does not provide its own guide information for cable service.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

Message 8 of 9
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Actually, I don't believe we know at this point what Echostar's plans are as far as guide data goes. They may very well license with one of the guide providers and provide their own guide data like Tivo.

 

Dish Network doesn't enter into the equation.  Echostar has been an independent company since the beginning of 2008. 

 

At any rate, it is nice to dream. It's also nice to see a hardware provider actually using new technology an innovating on that side.  I can tell you I'm sick of the death grip motorola seems to have on the cable market with their junk boxes.

Message Edited by bull3964 on 01-20-2009 09:39 AM
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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: We Can dream, Can't We?

Message 9 of 9
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@bull3964 wrote:
They may very well license with one of the guide providers and provide their own guide data like Tivo.

 

Dish Network doesn't enter into the equation.  Echostar has been an independent company since the beginning of 2008. 


I suppose it's possible that Dish Network starts its own subscription guide service like TiVo, but I would be very surprised if that happened.

 

As far as Echostar being an independent company, that's certainly the case on paper, but look closer.  Both companies share the same corporate headquarters, both share the same top executives, and the same four people serve on the Board of Directors of both companies (4/7 and 4/8).

 

Echostar Corporation Management


Charles W. Ergen - Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer
R. Stanton Dodge - Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Bernard L. Han - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mark W. Jackson - President, EchoStar Technologies L.L.C.
Dean A. Olmstead - President, EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.C.
Steven B. Schaver - President, EchoStar International Corporation

 

Dish Network Corporate Management


Charles W. Ergen, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer

Carl E. Vogel, Director and Vice Chairman
Bernard L. Han, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
R. Stanton Dodge, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Stephen Wood, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
James DeFranco, Executive Vice President, Sales & Distribution, Marketing
W. Erik Carlson, Executive Vice President, Operations
Thomas L. Stingley, Executive Vice President, Sales and Distribution
Tom Cullen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development
Michael Kelly, Executive Vice President, Commercial and Business Services

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