What's next after WMC?

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Re: What's next after WMC?

Post#21 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:47 pm

adam1991 wrote:Never read it, no.

But with all that SD needs to work on, I would put live TV *way* at the bottom of the list.

Frankly, this live TV thing tells me that SD has little to no intention on focusing on the more important things like DRM channels.


That link says precisely for protected content and is coming soon to XBOX One and Android TV. This is exactly what we have been waiting for
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Post#22 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:42 am

I agree that this is a big milestone. This would be the first application that would allow you to watch DRM/copy-once/copy-protected channels across multiple platforms (and only the second one on the PC).

The next step is to certify a file format that can be used for long-term storage of these copy-protected recordings. I would guess it would be a very tedious and expensive process to get this certification from Cable Labs. Especially one that is acceptable across multiple platforms.
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Post#23 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:35 am

If you haven't seen it already, you should really watch this interview with the CEO of Silicon Dust. It answers a lot of questions. The issue with DRM isn't necessarily expense or complexity but fear of failure. As the video says, putting DRM software into the wild exposes them to fines that could bankrupt them overnight if it was ever hacked. And we finally get a definitive answer and logic explanation about the lack of a grid guide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFiIcXeKdf0
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Post#24 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:53 am

So what's the short story on why no grid guide?
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Post#25 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:36 am

Yes, but that is just one of the issues, at the end he says it takes a lot of "expense, time, and protection (making sure protected recordings can't be copied or used by others)" to get the DRM product working.
I don't know if Cable Labs is involved in certification of how the recordings get stored, so that might be separate. Essentially SiliconDust has to implement something on par with Microsoft's PlayReady that works across multiple platforms. They have to be sure this works and does not allow someone to circumvent the protection.


It's also interesting that they appear to be planning to announce a new version of the HD Homerun Prime with more than 3 tuners (12:44 in the video) "within the coming months"...

I've been under the impression that CabeCard is going away in the "near" future, so building a new product for CabeCard is interesting.

The short story on why no grid guide is: TiVo (Rovi)

They own the patent on it and SiliconDust does not want to pay for the rights, nor for a court battle (which I believe they should (would?) win).
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Post#26 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:39 am

adam1991 wrote:So what's the short story on why no grid guide?
Rovi holds the patent on the grid, and SD would have to pay royalties to use it. So they did their own thing to keep costs down. It's ridiculous that such a thing is even patentable, but that's the state of things. Only non-obvious things are supposed to be patentable. Presenting information in a grid seem pretty damn obvious to me. Wonder if Rovi has to pay the inventor of Visicalc.

When we asked SD about the grid from the very beginning of the kickstarter, they simply remained silent, making many angry, including me. If they had just told us the truth, we could have accepted it and moved on. I also completely understand the DRM issues now. Again, I wish they had just been straight with us from the beginning. I would be very wary of risking my company's net worth for DRM as well.

I now fully grasp the challenges they face. It will be interesting how this all plays out.
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Post#27 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:46 am

Space wrote:Yes, but that is just one of the issues, at the end he says it takes a lot of "expense, time, and protection (making sure protected recordings can't be copied or used by others)" to get the DRM product working.
I don't know if Cable Labs is involved in certification of how the recordings get stored, so that might be separate. Essentially SiliconDust has to implement something on par with Microsoft's PlayReady that works across multiple platforms. They have to be sure this works and does not allow someone to circumvent the protection.
Bingo. I never believed Cable Labs certification alone could be complicated or expensive enough to take 2 years and all the kickstarter money. But I can completely understand failure could ruin the company. I wasn't aware of the magnitude of the risk until I saw the interview. I got the impression that risk is the major factor.
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Post#28 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:33 am

Interesting story...

FCC Chairman Scraps Plan To Promote Set-Top Box Competition
http://deadline.com/2017/01/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-scraps-plan-promote-set-top-box-competition-1201898265/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it

I wonder what this means for CableCard, it just goes away (which was always the plan) with no replacement?
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Post#29 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:41 am

mdavej wrote:
adam1991 wrote:So what's the short story on why no grid guide?
Rovi holds the patent on the grid, and SD would have to pay royalties to use it. So they did their own thing to keep costs down. It's ridiculous that such a thing is even patentable, but that's the state of things. Only non-obvious things are supposed to be patentable. Presenting information in a grid seem pretty damn obvious to me. Wonder if Rovi has to pay the inventor of Visicalc.

When we asked SD about the grid from the very beginning of the kickstarter, they simply remained silent, making many angry, including me. If they had just told us the truth, we could have accepted it and moved on. I also completely understand the DRM issues now. Again, I wish they had just been straight with us from the beginning. I would be very wary of risking my company's net worth for DRM as well.

I now fully grasp the challenges they face. It will be interesting how this all plays out.


Ah. So they very deliberately remained very quiet up front, because they knew if they laid it all out they would have scared off way, way too many investors.

I can't imagine investing in something without all the information like that.
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Post#30 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:09 pm

adam1991 wrote:
mdavej wrote:
adam1991 wrote:So what's the short story on why no grid guide?
Rovi holds the patent on the grid, and SD would have to pay royalties to use it. So they did their own thing to keep costs down. It's ridiculous that such a thing is even patentable, but that's the state of things. Only non-obvious things are supposed to be patentable. Presenting information in a grid seem pretty damn obvious to me. Wonder if Rovi has to pay the inventor of Visicalc.

When we asked SD about the grid from the very beginning of the kickstarter, they simply remained silent, making many angry, including me. If they had just told us the truth, we could have accepted it and moved on. I also completely understand the DRM issues now. Again, I wish they had just been straight with us from the beginning. I would be very wary of risking my company's net worth for DRM as well.

I now fully grasp the challenges they face. It will be interesting how this all plays out.


Ah. So they very deliberately remained very quiet up front, because they knew if they laid it all out they would have scared off way, way too many investors.

I can't imagine investing in something without all the information like that.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKd6ZxCEJdI
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Post#31 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:46 pm

Protected content viewable on Xbone...

https://forum.silicondust.com/forum/vie ... 99#p286699
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Post#32 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:27 pm

mcewinter wrote:Protected content viewable on Xbone...

https://forum.silicondust.com/forum/vie ... 99#p286699


I have pretty much had it with MS. if the price of admission is an Xboxone or Windows 10 computer at each TV I'm not going.

I have no faith that at some future date MS won't decide to pull the plug on this new functionality as well.
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Post#33 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:47 pm

mdavej wrote:
adam1991 wrote:So what's the short story on why no grid guide?
Rovi holds the patent on the grid, and SD would have to pay royalties to use it. So they did their own thing to keep costs down. It's ridiculous that such a thing is even patentable, but that's the state of things. Only non-obvious things are supposed to be patentable. Presenting information in a grid seem pretty damn obvious to me. Wonder if Rovi has to pay the inventor of Visicalc.

Yep, I always thought that's the reason the SD DVR does not include a channel guide grid. But, the Tablo DVR does have a grid, so does that mean they had to pay royalties to include it?

https://youtu.be/hCYXythQnyU?t=25s
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Post#34 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:01 pm

mdavej wrote:
adam1991 wrote:So what's the short story on why no grid guide?
Rovi holds the patent on the grid, and SD would have to pay royalties to use it. So they did their own thing to keep costs down. It's ridiculous that such a thing is even patentable, but that's the state of things. Only non-obvious things are supposed to be patentable. Presenting information in a grid seem pretty damn obvious to me. Wonder if Rovi has to pay the inventor of Visicalc.

When we asked SD about the grid from the very beginning of the kickstarter, they simply remained silent, making many angry, including me. If they had just told us the truth, we could have accepted it and moved on. I also completely understand the DRM issues now. Again, I wish they had just been straight with us from the beginning. I would be very wary of risking my company's net worth for DRM as well.

I now fully grasp the challenges they face. It will be interesting how this all plays out.


According to the latest Rovi 10-K filed with the SEC (which was for year 2015), they made about $217 million on patent licensing to service providers with those licenses covering 166 million devices. So about $1.30 per year per device on average. Silicon Dust, being small, would probably pay a little bit more than that average. So maybe $3 to $5 per year. A grid guide would certainly be well worth more than that to me. I wouldn't mind paying even $10 or more per year. The Silicon Dust DVR as-is is unusable to me without a grid guide.

(note: The intellectual property licensing revenues from Rovi also include catch-up payments from companies who signed an agreement with them and agreed to pay money for past "infringement" of the Rovi patents. So the average per year fee per device is actually even lower than $1.30)
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Post#35 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:42 pm

Space wrote:Interesting story...

FCC Chairman Scraps Plan To Promote Set-Top Box Competition
http://deadline.com/2017/01/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-scraps-plan-promote-set-top-box-competition-1201898265/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it

I wonder what this means for CableCard, it just goes away (which was always the plan) with no replacement?


From a legal standpoint I don't think they can just ditch the cable cards... and if they do there may be an uproar about it.

I don't see the cable cards going away any time soon, all cable boxes are basically a tuner that uses a cable card to decrypt the cable streams. Ever look on the back of your set top box? Comcast cable boxes have the cable card specifically labeled on the back of the box, there is indeed a card in there otherwise you wouldn't be able to tune to any station. This would also cost cable companies a huge amount of money to replace all of their set top boxes with something else. Also I think a lot of cable companies do offer a free standard cable box with their service, you get charged extra when you get a DVR box which I think is acceptable because you are getting additional features with DVR.

This picture is the back of the X1 cable box from comcast...
Image
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Post#36 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:49 pm

ucfknight wrote:
mdavej wrote:
adam1991 wrote:So what's the short story on why no grid guide?
Rovi holds the patent on the grid, and SD would have to pay royalties to use it. So they did their own thing to keep costs down. It's ridiculous that such a thing is even patentable, but that's the state of things. Only non-obvious things are supposed to be patentable. Presenting information in a grid seem pretty damn obvious to me. Wonder if Rovi has to pay the inventor of Visicalc.

When we asked SD about the grid from the very beginning of the kickstarter, they simply remained silent, making many angry, including me. If they had just told us the truth, we could have accepted it and moved on. I also completely understand the DRM issues now. Again, I wish they had just been straight with us from the beginning. I would be very wary of risking my company's net worth for DRM as well.

I now fully grasp the challenges they face. It will be interesting how this all plays out.


According to the latest Rovi 10-K filed with the SEC (which was for year 2015), they made about $217 million on patent licensing to service providers with those licenses covering 166 million devices. So about $1.30 per year per device on average. Silicon Dust, being small, would probably pay a little bit more than that average. So maybe $3 to $5 per year. A grid guide would certainly be well worth more than that to me. I wouldn't mind paying even $10 or more per year. The Silicon Dust DVR as-is is unusable to me without a grid guide.

(note: The intellectual property licensing revenues from Rovi also include catch-up payments from companies who signed an agreement with them and agreed to pay money for past "infringement" of the Rovi patents. So the average per year fee per device is actually even lower than $1.30)


While I agree about the SD application lacking a grid guide I dont think it's totally unusable. It still gives you a smaller what's currently on sidebar that you can scroll into to see upcoming shows. The guide seems more like a netflix feel where it has all the upcoming shows in squares. Truth is SD already makes you pay for the DVR service so why not increase the cost of the DVR service to include a grid guide. If you don't pay for DVR you dont get the grid. I'd be fine with that! SD may make more money as well using that as an option because I know people would probably be willing to pay for it. With a small markup for them seems like they could make some money.
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Post#37 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:52 pm

vaju0503 wrote:Truth is SD already makes you pay for the DVR service so why not increase the cost of the DVR service to include a grid guide.

They would have to increase the cost exponentially because the royalty fees to use a grid guide are probably very high.
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Post#38 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:21 pm

I'm sure it's based on how many subscriptions they are selling, so low yield at first would mean higher cost to SD... but as more people start subscribing the cost to them would likely be less per active subscription. It's hard to say what Rovi would get for royalties, but agreed that the guide or lack thereof with SD's Homerun View application sucks... But I think most changes related to PC's suck... Win XP to Vista or 7 was a large change and really sucked... Win 7 to Win 10 sucked even harder... but as I got used to Win 10 the better i thought it was and the pro's now definitely out way the cons for a PC enthusiast like myself.

Honestly how many ways is there that one could display guide data... seems a listing is the only good way to do it... does zap2it have to pay rovi for using a table layout for displaying it's tv listings? Seems really dumb to me how something like this has a patent on it... heck when I was younger the newpapers had the local listings in a grid in the newspaper... seems like the most logical way to show tv listings.
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Post#39 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:30 pm

If I was Silicon Dust there is no way I'd be paying Rovi/TiVo anything for a grid guide, just out of principle. That patent should have never been issued, it is ridiculous to have a patent on that. Just stupid.

I wish a court battle wasn't so expensive (and the result unpredictable).

Rovi/TiVo has already lost several similar patents in recent court cases.
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