Sky HD Box Speculation

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by HSC, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. HSC

    HSC
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    Hi All

    I sure you have all seen the pics and brief specs floating about by now...
    However, there was one feature on that spec that has intrigued me more than the endless discussions over HDMI/YUV.......the Ethernet port....


    I can come up with the following scenarios for its possible use...:
    1./ Third Party Control / Updates
    2./ Streaming SD content to IP devices
    3./ Content Backup/Transfer
    4./ Replace Telephone port with Broadband for Interactive services
    5./ Downloadable EPG similar to Windows Media centre - for less frustrating experience.
    6./ An item added on for no reason - like the USB ports on the Sky+160


    anyone else care to speculate....???
    should I be thinking about plumbing in some more network cables....? (or buy an ethernet bridge) - will this be another hidden cost to consider....?


    added another
    7./ broadband connection for "renewable" DRM license system.
     
  2. owain_thomas

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    I bet its option 6. unfortunately.
     
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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  4. binbag

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    It'll be more for their benefit than ours - whatever the reason they give. If its like the phone line will it become a condition of use to have it connected?

    My thoery is that its for HDMI recodes to defeat all the naughty black boxes that will steal away their pennies. Of course I'd like to believe that it would allow you to store and playback all your 'net downloads a la showcentre but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  5. cerebros

    cerebros
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    Why only 2 weeks? It should be a whole month. I'm fed up of having to set reminders for myself on my PC to record stuff that's listed in the Sky mag at the end of the month.

    make it properly searchable too, add some intelligence so that the box can work out programming clashes and record another broadcast if need be.

    Hell, why don't they just licence the Tivo OS and EPG? Why develop your own when you can buy in?
     
  6. Starburst

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    I wouldn't trust any listings service to be accurate 1 month in advance:)

    TIVO software won't be cheap and why force your subscribers to pay a third party when they can pay you instead. It was both an economic and political decision, keep services in house and don't be at the mercy of another company.
     
  7. cerebros

    cerebros
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    But why would Tivo make themselves expesnive? Any customer with any brains would have bought their Tivo and paid the £200 lifetime sub. With Sky charging a monthly fee for customers to use Sky+'s recording ability (wonder how many people would jump at the chance to pay a one-off £200 fee to Sky to use the recording facility of Sky+ and not have to subscribe to premium channels to get it "free") they could have split the revenue between them. Sky then benefit from an existing EPG and not having to pay salaries and pensions etc.

    If i were in Tivo's position I'd be actively looking at ways to licence the EPG at the very least to new partners outside of the US, so i'd make sure my pricing was attractive...
     
  8. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    I would expect the most likely use for the Ethernet connection is for a reverse channel for interactive services, allowing people to use broadband connection instead. This would allow for always on connectivity, without the delay of dialling up, and faster connections.

    However at the moment some Sky interactive services can use premium rate phone numbers to charge for some services - and make money this way. I suspect they will need to find a different funding model if Ethernet connectivity is used in this way.

    Presumably the Ethernet would also allow for implementation of something akin to Tivo's Home Media Networking and Tivo-to-Go functionality? Allowing programmes recorded on one Sky+ HD to be replayed on another, or transcoded to a compact format for viewing off-line (though the latter would require some kind of decryption independent of viewing?)
     
  9. Jimbo73

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    Or, it could be used for streaming content straight into the box? Imagine that, you missed last night's episode of "Lost", and everyone's been talking about it today, so you could order it online (for a minimal fee, of course) to be downloaded direct from C4 to your STB for when you get home from work.

    True movies on demand, similar to London's Homechoice network?

    I think (1) and (4) are the most likely for the launch, with the rest to come on line as more and more people move over to the HD service.
     
  10. Starburst

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    Granted some companies let their intellectual property be used for a nominal fee and generate revenues from it's use. The actual licensing costs of embedding TIVO into hardware is unknown to me but I seriously doubt they give it away for free so there would be a cost involved in using it not to mention higher costs to merge that OS into the basis STB OS at the R&D stage.

    The actual figures (last time I read them) in the US is the split between monthly and lifetime subscribers is roughly 50/50 and there have been a number of prices increases since launch with the UK subscribers not being affected but then again being left behind in the development stakes.

    Putting aside the licensing and onging costs of TIVO compared to an inhouse solution you come to a critical point, the control of the system.
    SKY have demonstrated that they have no desire to let other companies have a lot of control over their hardware and the services in can provide. The exception being when it suits them and OFCOM has a hand in it (EPG allocation and listings maintenance) which a third party broadcaster has to agree to when signing up.

    It has indeed been a bit of a mystery why TIVO haven't made a second foray into the UK market either as a fully fledged product or a "lite" system as used in some US DVD recorders.
    Perhaps the UK simply have adopted "dumb" recorders to such an extent the majority will not be willing to pay anything above the cost of the hardware and even SKY seem to have acknowledged that they can not rely on people paying a tenner above the cost of their package.

    Even in the US all is not rosy, with the loss of multi-millions from DirecTV TIVO users thanks to the adoption of mpeg4 and the giving away or heavy subsidies of new DVR's it questionable how TIVO will adapt to the ever increasing power and flexibility of rival non-subscription systems.
     
  11. Dominic

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    jimbo

    surely any on demand downloads is done by the little ol black dish bolted to your wall. After all it is pointing at a sat, and they do stream data :smashin:
    im sure the ethernet is likely to be 6. no reason just for us suckers to speculate as to its possible uses, which turn into nothing.
     
  12. Bill S

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    An extended EPG need not be expensive.
    It would be very nice if the ethernet port would allow control from Digiguide
     

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