DVR whole house competition

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DVR whole house competition

Xfinity (Comcast Cable) is advertising in my area that their whole house DVR can record 5 HD shows and watch a 6th show at the same time.  Does anyone know if Uverse is going to keep up with competition?

Message 1 of 46 (1,987 Views)
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Re: DVR whole house competition

[ Edited ]

texasguy37 wrote:

No, the Ingress profile determines the combination of the recordable streams.  All 7 streams (4 SD and 3 HD) were recordable.

Also, there used to be a 5 SD profile.  All 5 SD streams were recordable.


No, the egress profile determines the recordable streams(it says he could only record 3 HD, 0 SD). The ingress determines the combination of watchable streams.

According to the numbers he's using, 3 SD streams = 1 HD stream. So with the profile the DVR has now 3 HD + 1 SD = 10 SD, so the 5 SD profile is nothing. Smiley Tongue

Message 31 of 46 (842 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: DVR whole house competition


Steven- wrote:

No, the egress profile determines the recordable streams(it says he could only record 3 HD, 0 SD). The ingress determines the combination of watchable streams.

According to the numbers he's using, 3 SD streams = 1 HD stream. So with the profile the DVR has now 3 HD + 1 SD = 10 SD, so the 5 SD profile is nothing. Smiley Tongue


Sorry, No.  The egress profile defines the output of the DVR.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 32 of 46 (829 Views)
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Re: DVR whole house competition

WOW, enough is enough from all you guys on this one question.  All responses must have been done by tech people since the simple tv user couldn't understand any of the many comments.  All I wanted to know is Uverse was going to increase there capability of recording/watching more than 4 shows at a time.  Of course, half the time my Uverse doesn't even allow that.

Message 33 of 46 (806 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: DVR whole house competition


Denver_1 wrote:

WOW, enough is enough from all you guys on this one question.  All responses must have been done by tech people since the simple tv user couldn't understand any of the many comments.  All I wanted to know is Uverse was going to increase there capability of recording/watching more than 4 shows at a time.  Of course, half the time my Uverse doesn't even allow that.


There are some reasonably technical folks on these forums and it tends to leak out.

 

The short answer is that the scuttlebutt is that AT&T intends to increase their number of streams, but have not yet made an official announcement.  They have clearly announced that they are expanding the amount of bandwidth to be available to each house.

 

If you're not getting the streams you're supposed to, then contact AT&T Support and get them to fix it.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 34 of 46 (800 Views)
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Re: DVR whole house competition


Steven- wrote:

No, the egress profile determines the recordable streams(it says he could only record 3 HD, 0 SD). The ingress determines the combination of watchable streams.

 

According to the numbers he's using, 3 SD streams = 1 HD stream. So with the profile the DVR has now 3 HD + 1 SD = 10 SD, so the 5 SD profile is nothing. Smiley Tongue


As JefferMC stated, your comments are not correct.  This is what the profiles mean:

 

The WAN Profile represents streams into the RG. It determines the watchable streams.

 

The Ingress Profile represents streams into the DVR.  It determines the recordable streams..

 

The Egress Profile represents streams out of the DVR.  It determines the number and type of recordings that can be watched on the non-DVR receivers.

 

Also, the point about the old 5 SD profile had nothing to do with bandwidth.  It was to point out that there is no hardware limitation which restricts the total recordable streams to 4.

Message 35 of 46 (778 Views)
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Re: DVR whole house competition


texasguy37 wrote:

 

Based on that, would you say that the ability to record 4 HD streams at the same time would be within those bandwidth limits?


 

Yes, I would think so.  Since we know that for the brief period, 3HD + 4SD (24.3 Mbps) was fully recordable, 4HD + 0SD (22.8 Mbps) should also be.

 

Sorry for the technical diversion in this thread, but it's an interesting analysis and supports the rumors that increases in both total streams and recordable streams is very possible.

 

 

Message 36 of 46 (749 Views)
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Re: DVR whole house competition


texasguy37 wrote:

Also, the point about the old 5 SD profile had nothing to do with bandwidth.  It was to point out that there is no hardware limitation which restricts the total recordable streams to 4.



That has nothing to do with anything that has been discussed. No one at any point said there was a limitation on 4 SD streams. The bandwidth is the total amount of data that can be transmitted to/from the residence and has nothing to do with the DVR. I explicitly stated it was not a bandwidth limitation. The throughput is the hardware limitation/the amount of data the DVR can process; which I was speculating to be 3 HD + 1 SD since some recordings already get choppy. If they were to increase the load on the hardware, how much choppier/laggier would recordings get?


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

texasguy37 wrote:

 

Based on that, would you say that the ability to record 4 HD streams at the same time would be within those bandwidth limits?


 

Yes, I would think so.  Since we know that for the brief period, 3HD + 4SD (24.3 Mbps) was fully recordable, 4HD + 0SD (22.8 Mbps) should also be.

 

Sorry for the technical diversion in this thread, but it's an interesting analysis and supports the rumors that increases in both total streams and recordable streams is very possible.

 

 


He said it was going to be a minimum of 6 HD, and possibly 8 HD. I don't now why he changed it to 4 HD now...which is still one less than Xfinity, not one more as he claimed. Also, why is AT&T's bit rate so low when the lowest acceptable should be 8 Mbps? What is the average throughput of the NIC if 100 Mbps is the max? The average and max can be drastically different.

Message 37 of 46 (733 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: DVR whole house competition

[ Edited ]

Steven- wrote: 

... when the lowest acceptable should be 8 Mbps? 

 

Please cite your source for this.

 

What is the average throughput of the NIC if 100 Mbps is the max? The average and max can be drastically different.

 

On full duplex 100baseT, you can get pretty dang close to the theoretical maximum of 100 Mbps.


 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 38 of 46 (708 Views)
Expert

Re: DVR whole house competition

[ Edited ]

Steven-,

You have some assumptions you've made that are leading you to the wrong conclusions.

1. The wiki you cited regarding bitrates for H.264 video are only typical averages across many different encoders and mechanisms. No H.264 stream is required to be within those cited bandwidth values. AT&T has chosen a lower bitrate to send their H.264 video streams over IPTV, specifically to address the number of streams that you can watch within the typical VDSL maximum bitrates.

Also remember that bitrate, quality, and processing power can be traded around. AT&T has increased quality over the past few years because they have changed to new encoders which have more processing power to analyze and compress the video stream. Thus, at the same bitrate (5.7 Mbps for HD), the new encoders can deliver more quality.

 

The following is what I call the "3-slice pie chart".  It shows graphically the tradeoffs that can be made with video compression.  Three factors are at work: The video bitrate, the processing power to compress (and to a degree, decompress) the video, and the visibility of compression artifacts in the decompressed video - i.e. the video quality.

 

 

 

You can move the dividing lines around as much as you want.  But to increase any one slice of the pie, some other slice has to get smaller.  If you want to increase video quality (i.e. reduce the compression artifacts pie slice), then you have to either have more processing power or more bitrate.  The same goes for any other tradeoff.

 

For AT&T, the most important thing to them is to get more streams into the home.  To do this, they have to decrease the bitrate.  This means either more processing power or lower video quality (or both).



2. You are assuming that increases in watchable streams and increases in recordable streams go hand-in-hand, because that's what has happened in the past. e.g. We were once able to watch and record 1HD, then it went to watch and record 2HD, then watch and record 3HD, and now we can watch 4HD but can only record 3HD. You cite this as evidence of a hardware limitation with the DVR, but that's only one possibility. AT&T may have chosen this as a policy limitation, or chosen it as a result of a software limitation to be fixed later.

As we've seen, there have been observed instances where the DVR's recording capability has been proven to be beyond a 3HD + 1SD limit. Several people confirmed recording 3HD + 4SD during a brief period, and others have confirmed recording 5SD for a time. We've also seen that the resultant bandwidth of 3HD + 4SD exceeds our current ingress bandwidth of 3HD + 1SD, and also exceeds the expected bandwidth for 4HD. So we've observed, and thus proven, that the current set limits of the ingress profile represent neither a bandwidth nor a stream limitation. We can conclude that this limit can be safely raised in the future.

3. Nowhere in this thread has anyone mentioned a specific value or number of streams that AT&T will be rolling out. Unsubstantiated rumors are that there are new VDSL line profiles in test at the moment that will allow more streams than we currently have, but nothing specific has been claimed. So no one in this thread has specifically mentioned "6HD" nor "8HD", nor has anyone then "changed it to 4HD". The bottom line is that we know nothing specific.

4. I cannot speak for others, but I do not have any problems with "choppy" recordings. I routinely record at the maximum limits of my DVR (3HD + 1SD) and have not run into such as issue. I see no physical evidence that the DVR, network, or system is being stressed at these limits. For the record, I have all 1st-generation equipment (RG = 3800HGV-B, DVR = Motorola VIP1225). Logic concludes that any 2nd-generation equipment would be even further away from a stress point given the faster and larger hard drives, higher speed processors, updated HPNA chipset, and higher processing power in the RG.

 

 

Message 39 of 46 (675 Views)
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Re: DVR whole house competition


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

AT&T has increased quality over the past few years because they have changed to new encoders which have more processing power to analyze and compress the video stream....

...You can move the dividing lines around as much as you want.  But to increase any one slice of the pie, some other slice has to get smaller.  If you want to increase video quality (i.e. reduce the compression artifacts pie slice), then you have to either have more processing power or more bitrate.  The same goes for any other tradeoff.


 

No, moving the line and increasing the processing power will not decrease the bit rate. If that were to be the case, I think you mean for that slice to be system load. Increasing processing power could allow an increase in bit rate, and hence quality; so all slices could increase by increasing processing power. Also, encoders don't have processing power, that is a characteristic of hardware. You seem to only know half of what you're talking about.

The compression/encoding is a one time thing, and the video is stored on the server side in that state, not something that happens live everytime you want to watch something. The proccessing power of the server side equipment doesn't determine the quality of the video, it merely determines how long it will take to complete the task. Whether it takes hours or seconds, the video quality will be the same with the same encoder and same number of passes/settings.

The decoder on the client side/DVR is the one that has to do work everytime you want to watch something.


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

For AT&T, the most important thing to them is to get more streams into the home.  To do this, they have to decrease the bitrate.  This means either more processing power or lower video quality (or both).


I personally would not like to trade quality for quantitiy. To increase the processing power would necessitate a change of DVR equipment, which I am fine with.


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

3. Nowhere in this thread has anyone mentioned a specific value or number of streams that AT&T will be rolling out. Unsubstantiated rumors are that there are new VDSL line profiles in test at the moment that will allow more streams than we currently have, but nothing specific has been claimed

 



dhascall wrote:

Denver_1 wrote:

Xfinity (Comcast Cable) is advertising in my area that their whole house DVR can record 5 HD shows and watch a 6th show at the same time.  Does anyone know if Uverse is going to keep up with competition?


When it comes to stream count alone, when U-Verse rolls out its new profile, it will again be the stream king, upping Comcast by at least one.


Some one absolutely did mention a specific number. It wasn't texasguy37 (I apologise texasguy) it was dhascall.


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

4. I cannot speak for others, but I do not have any problems with "choppy" recordings. I routinely record at the maximum limits of my DVR (3HD + 1SD) and have not run into such as issue. I see no physical evidence that the DVR, network, or system is being stressed at these limits. For the record, I have all 1st-generation equipment (RG = 3800HGV-B, DVR = Motorola VIP1225). Logic concludes that any 2nd-generation equipment would be even further away from a stress point given the faster and larger hard drives, higher speed processors, updated HPNA chipset, and higher processing power in the RG.

 


I have the 3800HGV-B and newer Cisco DVR and occasionally get choppy video.

Message 40 of 46 (647 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: DVR whole house competition

[ Edited ]

Steven- wrote:

 

No, moving the line and increasing the processing power will not decrease the bit rate. If that were to be the case, I think you mean for that slice to be system load. Increasing processing power could allow an increase in bit rate, and hence quality; so all slices could increase by increasing processing power. Also, encoders don't have processing power, that is a characteristic of hardware. You seem to only know half of what you're talking about.

The compression/encoding is a one time thing, and the video is stored on the server side in that state, not something that happens live everytime you want to watch something. The proccessing power of the server side equipment doesn't determine the quality of the video, it merely determines how long it will take to complete the task. Whether it takes hours or seconds, the video quality will be the same with the same encoder and same number of passes/settings.

The decoder on the client side/DVR is the one that has to do work everytime you want to watch something.




 For on-demand the encoded video may be stored on the servers, but for all normal channel content from providers, the encoding is being done in real time by encoders.  The ability of these encoders to run encryption algrorithms on the video in real time determines how well effictively they can compress the input stream and thus possibly reduce the bitstream while maintaining quality.

 

The decoder, on the other hand, doesn't need near the power to decompress the stream nor does the encoded bitrate change things much for it.   Try this experiment with a computer based file compression:  Set it for maximum compression and see how long it takes to compress.  Set it for minimum compression and time that.   Then expand each of the compressed files and see the difference in time.

 

SomeJoe7777 worked in this industry for a while and clearly knows what he is talking about. 

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 41 of 46 (652 Views)

Re: DVR whole house competition


texasguy37 wrote:

Does anyone remember the 7 stream profile (4 SD/3 HD) that was released by mistake to some customers last year?  All 7 streams were recordable.  

 

SomeJoe, how much bandwidth would you calcuate would be in use during those 7 recordings?


Not sure what happened to my post from yesterday, but when I first had UVerse installed at my new home I had 7 streams as well.  Granted it was 3HD/4SD but with people living in the house that don't care about HD it was perfect. I would love to be able to go back to that line up once again.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 42 of 46 (594 Views)
Guru

Re: DVR whole house competition

Wow, someone deleted my post here.  Ah crap, I'm not going to recreate my post because it took me about five minutes to type it all out.

 

Suffice it to say with Project VIP coming down the pipeline I think we're going to be seeing some very interesting things coming soon.  I see massive bumps in sync rates with Project VIP, even on loop lengths as long as 4000 feet.  I predict profile rates as high as 75 to 100 Mbps even on 4000 foot loops using a combination of the new K-Cards and the new NVG589 gateway.

 

What does that mean for us uVerse subscribers?  More bandwidth for AT&T to play with not only for Internet but HDTV as well.

Message 43 of 46 (587 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: DVR whole house competition

[ Edited ]

[Lithium, the company that runs this board for AT&T, suffered a long outage and lost a couple of days of content.]

 

Yes, there were some very content-rich (and some not-so-rich) posts in this thread that "got deleted" by the data loss.  SomeJoe had provided some good details about compression options.

 

 

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 44 of 46 (575 Views)
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Re: DVR whole house competition

Really?  For a company that professionally hosts forums, I'd expect far more than that out of them.  Where's the database redundancy?  The massive RAID arrays mirroring data along with parity data?  Redundant hardware that can kick in at a moments notice?

 

Seriously, I've seen cheap and free forum solutions that have better disaster recovery plans in place than what happened here.

 

I'll try and remake my full post.  It's going to be painful.

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