Registered: Jun 2000
Location: Whittier, CA, USA
What I was envisioning was a single tuner that could receive either HDTV or analog, depending on what station you were tuned to.
If you were tuned to an analog station, the analog signal (after the carrier wave was stripped away) would be sent to an A/D converter, then to an MPEG encoder.
If you were tuned to a digital station, the digital signal (after the carrier wave was stripped away) would be conditioned, then streamed into the PVR.
Thus, Tivo would have just one box which handled both HDTV and analog.
For those who wanted DirecTV, there would be just one single tuner box which handled both HDTV and non-HDTV satellite signals, and only satellite signals.
If a customer wanted both satellite and off-the-air/cable reception, he would buy two boxes (one of each) and cross-connect them. The cross-connection would blend the two boxes seamlessly, so there would be no need for an A/V switch or dual remote controls or changing the remote's address. There would be only ONE To Do list, ONE Now Playing list, and ONE Season Pass Manager for the entire system, even with multiple TVs. Whichever box was connected to the TV you were watching would allow you to schedule/play/delete for the system as a whole.
For those who were willing to spend bucks, they could purchase as many boxes as they wanted, and they would cross-connect seamlessly.
Thus, Tivo only has to deal with 2 types of boxes, and the customers can get as many tuners of whichever type (Satellite or OTA/Cable) they want and can afford. The customer gets more flexibility and Tivo gets a sale for every tuner.
Currently all boxes are supposed to call in every day. With cross-connected boxes, only one box in the system needs to call in, and it reports on all the boxes activities.
If one box fries a modem, the user just moves the phone line to a different box, and changes in the configuration as to which box has the modem.
In terms of noise issues, only one box needs to be with a TV. The other cross-connected boxes can be anywhere in the house that the cross-connect cables can reach. The box next to the TV handles all remote commands for the system.
By just making two boxes, and structuring their software for coordination, Tivo would have all HDTV, Satellite, and OTA/Cable users covered.
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