[opendtv] Re: Comcast Exec Sees Greater Use of DVRs

  • From: Richard Hollandsworth <holl_ands@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 21:30:53 -0800 (PST)

Here's a news article from a reporter who was actually paying attention: 
http://news.com.com/2102-1033_3-6056149.html?tag=st.util.print
The new technology is called RS-DVR (Remote Storage DVR).
  
Recall that cable companies are required to cease deployment of "integrated set 
top boxes" by July 2007: 
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-257519A1.pdf 
An "integrated" STB (and presumably also DVR) is one that includes the 
encryption module. 
The customer will be expected to provide their own CableCard-II equipped HDTV, 
HTPC or DVR....or rent one from the cable company. 
 
By using a Central Server, the cable companies can retain their lucrative "DVR" 
revenue streams from CableCard-II equipped customers.
Clearly, this is an extension of the current Video OnDemand and PPV 
technology....probably using Switched Video Broadcast.
A thought: putting a video buffer into the STB (or CC-II???) could support 
short term replay requirements, rather than requiring several SD and/or HD QAM 
channel assignment for each and every active household in the node.

               holl_ands

PS: Back when I was chasing a problem in their MPEG2 Decoder equipment, the 
TWC-SD technical supervisor said that my neighborhood node served about 400 
homes.  This is consistent with numbers found in Scientific Atlanta literature.

===============================================
John Willkie <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: "Oh yeah, hang a hard drive off 
the pole in my neighborhood.  That'll last the entire winter."

They're not at the network edge, but any cable company interested in 
provisioning real telephone service has or will build out power kiosks in 
public right of way every 3/4 mile of trunk line or so.   The half-way decent 
ones have many "truck batteries" and include a Onan (or other brand) natural 
gas generator in a half-underground concrete pad.

After almost a decade of walking by one, I was able to see inside a few weeks 
back.  The guy working on it, in response to my inquiry, said "that's the first 
time in all the years I've been working on these things  that somebody walked 
up and correctly identified what these things are."  He was working on an air 
filter.

There was plentyof gear in the kiosk, but room for a few hundred harddrives, 
largely removed from the weather.  Spinning hard drives are kinda warm.  My WAG 
is that several thousand homes are served by a power kiosk in the Cox Cable 
network, and they have hundreds of these in their franchise area.

Of course, when one thinks of integrating the harddrives into the network 
topology, one shudders.  The aerial cable was actually across the street - the 
parkway was almost non-existent on that side of the street.

John Willkie
 
 
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