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Old Sep 5, 2010, 02:05 AM   #1
matruski
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AppleTV, Google TV, Boxee Box

What, exactly, stops these devices (or software) from working as a DVR? Could someone, theoretically, take Google TV and put it in a box that includes DVR functionality? I would love nothing more than to have one set-top box that could connect to my LAN, the internet, have a Blu-Ray player, and DVR functionality so I could declutter my cabinet.

Anyone know what's preventing someone from making a device like this?
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 02:30 AM   #2
ovrlrd
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I believe there is a Google TV set-top box from Logitech that does exactly what you are saying, where it will connect to your cable box or whatever and function as a DVR. The only problem with this is that it will use an IR blaster to control your cable box. It's a horrible setup which requires you to program things and set it up correctly. Plus it still doesn't get rid of your cable box. Even still you basically are still dealing with delays while you wait for the IR blaster to change the channel for you.

On the other hand I think DirecTV is working on a Google TV box as well, which will function directly as a DVR and skip the whole IR blaster deal. The only problem with this is that not everyone wants DirecTV. Plus nobody knows how limited it will be, if it will have all the same features as other Google TV boxes. They could choose to not fully support apps for example.

What's to stop other TV providers from making their own set-top boxes with Google TV and DVR functionality? Really it's mainly greed, power, and fear of the internet. A lot of the big cable providers (Comcast as an example) own quite a big portion of TV networks and channels, and so they have direct control over where those channels go and how they are used. If some provider wants to use those channels, they have to agree to the terms of network provider.

This is a huge complex issue that basically ends with the companies not wanting their content to be associated with the same box that lets you stream shows from Amazon, Hulu, etc. The stuff that is a direct competitor to advertising revenues from live TV channels.

This is why Apple is taking a different approach, they are going to the content providers and striking deals to offer TV rentals. This makes the providers happier because they see it as a new revenue stream instead of a replacement for the old one. Most providers are still very afraid of the internet though and don't really understand the potential (remember the music industry when iTunes first started?), and thats why Apple hasn't gotten more on-board (yet).

I really hope Apple's model works out honestly, because internet delivery is so stupidly obviously the future
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 12:29 PM   #3
matruski
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Another solution

Here's one:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/27/m...streaming-box/

GUI will probably blow, and who knows how stable the company will be. Still - no optical drive so it's not the "complete" system I'm looking for. I almost want to buy it though, just to support them.

Good points in your reply. I have some beef with Apple's approach, I'm not a huge fan of "streaming only" I like being able to download a rental and then watch. Basically guarantees that there won't be any network interruptions that screw up the picture. I also don't like having to have other computers on just to stream from them. Very sloppy. If you could at least plug in an external, I might be more tempted.
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Old Dec 15, 2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matruski View Post
What, exactly, stops these devices (or software) from working as a DVR? Could someone, theoretically, take Google TV and put it in a box that includes DVR functionality? I would love nothing more than to have one set-top box that could connect to my LAN, the internet, have a Blu-Ray player, and DVR functionality so I could declutter my cabinet.

Anyone know what's preventing someone from making a device like this?
I searched all over MR looking for a thread like this one... too bad nobody knows

I think the main issue is that its very hard right now to get a device certified to tune digital tv over cable (using the cable card interface). The Cable Labs company that certifies devices is funded and overseen by the cable companies themselves, and they have a very difficult, complex certification process for new products.

It's a shame. Set top boxes have the same anachronistic interfaces that cell phones had in 2005. We know that the expertise to create a better user experience is out there, but a government-endorsed cartel is preventing anybody from building what the market wants.

The ideal solution (to me) would be a TV that has this tuner/DVR/internet device built on a slideout module so that the computing part can be upgraded independently of the screen.
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Old Dec 15, 2010, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovrlrd View Post
I believe there is a Google TV set-top box from Logitech that does exactly what you are saying, where it will connect to your cable box or whatever and function as a DVR. The only problem with this is that it will use an IR blaster to control your cable box. It's a horrible setup which requires you to program things and set it up correctly. Plus it still doesn't get rid of your cable box. Even still you basically are still dealing with delays while you wait for the IR blaster to change the channel for you.

On the other hand I think DirecTV is working on a Google TV box as well, which will function directly as a DVR and skip the whole IR blaster deal. The only problem with this is that not everyone wants DirecTV. Plus nobody knows how limited it will be, if it will have all the same features as other Google TV boxes. They could choose to not fully support apps for example.

What's to stop other TV providers from making their own set-top boxes with Google TV and DVR functionality? Really it's mainly greed, power, and fear of the internet. A lot of the big cable providers (Comcast as an example) own quite a big portion of TV networks and channels, and so they have direct control over where those channels go and how they are used. If some provider wants to use those channels, they have to agree to the terms of network provider.

This is a huge complex issue that basically ends with the companies not wanting their content to be associated with the same box that lets you stream shows from Amazon, Hulu, etc. The stuff that is a direct competitor to advertising revenues from live TV channels.

This is why Apple is taking a different approach, they are going to the content providers and striking deals to offer TV rentals. This makes the providers happier because they see it as a new revenue stream instead of a replacement for the old one. Most providers are still very afraid of the internet though and don't really understand the potential (remember the music industry when iTunes first started?), and thats why Apple hasn't gotten more on-board (yet).

I really hope Apple's model works out honestly, because internet delivery is so stupidly obviously the future
To the OP, this maybe the best and most informative answer or comment you will ever hear. this poster struck every possible aspect of this industry and addressed them with educated comments.

To the Poster, well said and I agree with most of your points, have more to add myself but I think you summarized it well enough for me leave it at that.

Thank you
AE
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