PVR's and SKY High Def?

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by Maxheadroom, Aug 5, 2005.

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  1. Maxheadroom

    Maxheadroom
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    Could someone just clarify something for me please?

    When Sky launch High Def they'll be using HDCP encryption, so you'll need a HDCP tv to play High Def Sky on - Fair enough.

    But what about PVR's? As far as I know none of them (Tivo, Windows MCE or home grown PVR's like my SageTV box) have or plan to have HDCP.

    Sure the new Sky boxes will probably be able to output a downgraded composite or RGB signal that you could pipe into the PVR but that defeats the whole purpose of going High Def.

    So if I want to use a PVR with my Sky HD I've got a choice of Sky+ or err.. Sky+? is that right?
     
  2. Cyril

    Cyril
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    TiVo High Def units have been out for a while - but only in USA and Japan :(

    I'm hoping for an HD UK TiVo, but unless I win the lottery 3 times in the next year it's probably not going to happen here for quite a few years.

    Even though Murdoch has a High Def DirecTV TiVo out in the USA, I doubt he will release a UK one here as the TiVo brand is nowhere near as well known here as in USA or Japan.

    Of course if TiVo UK do not release anything HD in the next 5 years most early adopter TiVo users will switch to Sky HD

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=3119847#post3119847
     
  3. Maxheadroom

    Maxheadroom
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    Anyone know what the odds are of TiVo releasing TiVo in the UK again? I'm sure I read somewhere that TiVo were at some eurpoian trade show showing off their V2 machine.

    It's criminal really. Sky already have the 'off the shelf' PVR market sewn up but with HDTV they're going to freeze out MCE and home builders too.

    I've nothing against Sky+ I just don't like being told I haven't got a choice.
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I would say that the chances of TiVo returning to the UK market are very good - but I wont be holding my breath waiting :rolleyes:
    It was reported on the TiVo community forum (and repeated on this forum by me & others!) that TiVo were at a UK trade show a few months back. This obviously got all the TiVo fans hopes up of a return, but we have also learnt through bitter experience not to expect things to happen too quickly - if at all :mad: . TiVo have been saying all along that they have not abandoned the UK market and are actively seeking a manufacturer of another UK TiVo. Lets just hope that the launch of HD TV in the UK (and possibly by the BBC before Sky if I believe what I have read elsewhere) is enough of a push to get things moving :lease:

    Only time will tell, but here's hopeing!

    Mark.
     
  5. Cyril

    Cyril
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    Humax considered entering the UK maarket with a TiVo a while ago, but decided to release a US TiVo only.

    It's anyones guess as to whether TiVo will return to the UK.

    Hopefully Sky HD will be significantly better with EPG metadata than Sky+
    It has been 4 years since the lauch of Sky+, but the functionality and flexibility of the NDS software and EPG metadata still trails far behind TiVo. So unless NDS make some huge steps forward TiVo still has a chance in the UK HD market should they find a manufacturing partner and Murdoch agrees.

    In the USA the DirecTV TiVo is pitched as the top-end product, with the upcoming NDS DVR as a midddle-end slightly cheaper product.

    Murdoch knows that the TiVo brand is strong in the USA and helps him shift more DirecTV subs. However as he has to pay license fees to TiVo and decided not to buy TiVo the company, he is bringing out his own NDS DVR, which is likely to be similar to Sky+. This will cater to the middle-end market, thus maximising his profits.

    As the UK has almost zero brand recognition for TiVo, I think he will stick with NDS.
    99.999% of people don't know TiVo's advantages and features here, or if they do they don't realise how much better they are.
    Once he has a big enough take up of Sky+ and HD Sky, I think there is a possibility of a release of an HD Sky TiVo so he can sell a top-end box and make more profit.
    However, I see that happening in 2011 or 2012.
    By then Windows MCE should be common enough so that people have a good understanding of sophisticate PVR usage. XBox 360's successor and Playstation 4 will probably have DVR features and maybe their successors will have full PVR functions built-in as well. Microsoft already have a deal with TiVo to give the XBox 360 connectivity with TiVo boxes.


    I am a pessimistic 'dumbass' :) I have been wrong quite a few times in the past though!
    In 2000 I never thought I would still be using the same TiVo box in 2005.
    I have been waiting for a DVD/Hard Disk/Freeview combo box for 5 years too and now suddenly 4 are being released! However, being spoilt by TiVo's features I am unlikely to buy such a combo without TiVo-style PVR features!
     
  6. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    It's the price we pay for Europe not adopting the US HD standards when it had the chance. Companies don't invest in making goods for a smaller market like Europe unless they are sure of a good financial return.
     
  7. jelockwood

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    Sky HD will use DVB-S2 and MPEG4. Sky SD uses DVB-S with MPEG2. Both use Videoguard encryption via a CAM.

    RF and S-Video connections are analogue and only SD resolution. It is possible to connect a HTPC as a PVR to a current SD Sky box (or Sky+).

    It is also possible to buy a DVB-S card for a HTPC and fit it with a Dragon CAM which can do the Videoguard decryption (still needs a valid Sky viewing card). Note: while Microsoft MCE 2005 does not yet support DVB-S cards Media Portal does.

    Currently no DVB-S2 cards exist for PCs at all. Nor am I aware of any retail PVRs that do it. This will change in time.

    So at the moment the only option will be to use the Sky HD box. This will be able to output (and downgrade) signals in SD resolution but the only HD outputs will be DVI or HDMI (both with HDCP protection) or Component output (without protection but possibly will not support by all HD channels). Note: only first generation Sky HD boxes will have this component output.

    As far as I am aware there are no DVI or HDMI capture cards for PCs. This leaves Component as a possibility. For this there is a card available (the Sweetspot). This is already being used with SD signals and does give much better quality than RF or S-Video. I cannot say for certain it can cope with HD, but if it does the quality will be excellent. Unfortunately again it is not supported by Microsoft MCE 2005.

    So in summary, while there are options for current SD resolution broadcasts from Sky, there is nothing really available for HD except Sky's own Pace designed Sky HD box.

    In any case, at the moment I suspect the only way to subscribe to Sky HD will involve the compulsory purchase of a Sky HD box.

    Microsoft in particular need to address this as at the moment as HTPC is looking like a dead end with no hope for HD support (except free to air in the US only).
     

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