Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

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NedS
Silicondust
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by NedS »

rpcameron wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:00 pm [*]It's been over 2 business days—and over half of a calendar week—since you've spilled the beans, but there has yet to be an official announcement. Is one still slated to be made? (The Prime 6 page is still live, and mentions it is still in development.)
[*]Is there any timeline for DRM recording availability? Many users supported the Kickstarter with the expectation that DRM would be made available to the DVR. While that was indeed years ago and Kickstarter backers haven't been additionally billed, it was still a promised feature that has yet to arrive.
(Additionally, I recall a post from 2+ years ago of Nick stating that he had DRM working in test builds; this indicates it is definitely possible on current third-party hardware. However, your statement seems to imply that only first-party hardware will be supported for the initial release. This additional hiccup appears to be ploy to garner more hardware sales while neglecting those who paid money for this long-promised feature; does SD have an official comment on this new status?)
[/list]
Letting it slip out in a forum post is a way to let the local community get wind of it first, see how people react, and plan from there. We've already had people yell at us and call us liars and dishonest just from what I've said (here and other places on the internet), and maybe some of that is just unavoidable, but we'd like to make this bad news as painless as possible (if possible).

We're also dealing with some word press issues with the website. Right now certain browsers don't even show anything at all when you view product pages, so the fact that the PRIME6 page is still up is pretty low on our priority list.

I'll let you in on a secret about the SCRIBE and SERVIO hardware: We barely make any profit on them. We saw them as a way to get people in on the DVR service, to make it easier than setting up a NAS. Once you have a DVR subscription, we are just as happy if you have your own DVR hardware, and we actually make more money that way.

Enabling DRM recording on SCRIBE/SERVIO is a short-cut, because we can control the hardware. Supporting the DRM recordings on other devices is coming, but it will require some additional software development (to satisfy the cablecard requirements). The options are: make everyone wait for DRM-recording, so they all get it at the same time, or let some customers get it as it becomes possible for various devices/platforms. That's all there is to it. There's no ploy.

kd6icz
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by kd6icz »

@NedS

I’m sad to hear we’ll never see a Prime 6. But it’s completely understandable.

Earlier in the thread another post made reference to “that other company that made a 6 tuner unit.” You said they had way more money and resources. I’m pretty sure NedS was referring to TiVo vs the post was referring to Ceton. I don’t think they had more money or resources than Silicon Dust. We all know what happened to them.... Their 6 tuner products completely sucked! I had 3 of them.

So now I’m wishing you offered your IP solution again. I’m using Channels with TVE and it works. But I would much rather pay SD for an IP solution and use Plex.

rpcameron
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by rpcameron »

Thank you for the reply, Ned. However, it does beg the question of what additional hardware—or other—requirements are required for DRM recording and playback that the current HDHR software clients cannot meet; and why does a SiliconDust provided hardware recording device differ from a third-party device for recording?

My current understanding is that a DRM-flagged broadcast is encrypted in the same way, regardless of whether it is streamed live or recorded; the only difference is the in-between. For a live broadcast, there is no interim, and it is decoded upon receipt by the viewer. For a recording, the encrypted stream is saved to disk in situ, and decoded on demand upon playback by the client. Since I haven't deeply read the CableLabs requirements, I would like to know why my server/NAS drive is different from your network drive in the chain of recording and decoding DRM broadcasts.

kd6icz
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by kd6icz »

My question is which one of the three approved CableLabs DRM encryption will you go with?

Microsoft PlayReady – the DRM that’s built into Windows Media Center and Windows Media Center Extenders.

DTCP-IP – the DRM that’s part of the DLNA. DTCP-IP is still relatively uncommon in consumer devices today, though you do find it in a handful of higher-end TVs and PlayStation.

Helix – a DRM technology from RealNetworks that is technically approved for CableCARD but is rarely (if ever)

rpcameron
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by rpcameron »

kd6icz wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:36 pm So now I’m wishing you offered your IP solution again. I’m using Channels with TVE and it works. But I would much rather pay SD for an IP solution and use Plex.
Please, no. SD's ill-fated "Premium TV" was grey-market IPTV being resold as a legit service. It was plagued with issues from day one, which continued until its demise.

By contrast, Channels' TVE implementation is using the networks' own feeds, authenticated with cable/OTT credentials, to provide a similar service. It is an apples/oranges comparison.

(On the surface, while they appear the same they are quite different things. Of course, that doesn't stop SD from doing what Channels does, which is basically implement a TVE middleware between the networks and their DVR.)

rpcameron
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by rpcameron »

kd6icz wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:49 pm My question is which one of the three approved CableLabs DRM encryption will you go with?

Microsoft PlayReady – the DRM that’s built into Windows Media Center and Windows Media Center Extenders.

DTCP-IP – the DRM that’s part of the DLNA. DTCP-IP is still relatively uncommon in consumer devices today, though you do find it in a handful of higher-end TVs and PlayStation.

Helix – a DRM technology from RealNetworks that is technically approved for CableCARD but is rarely (if ever)
Based upon previous posts and how the Prime presents URLs of DRM channels, I'd safely wager upon DTCP-IP.

kd6icz
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by kd6icz »

rpcameron wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:51 pm Please, no. SD's ill-fated "Premium TV" was grey-market IPTV being resold as a legit service. It was plagued with issues from day one, which continued until its demise.

By contrast, Channels' TVE implementation is using the networks' own feeds, authenticated with cable/OTT credentials, to provide a similar service. It is an apples/oranges comparison.

(On the surface, while they appear the same they are quite different things. Of course, that doesn't stop SD from doing what Channels does, which is basically implement a TVE middleware between the networks and their DVR.)
I’m very aware of how the two are different. I’ve been using this stuff for a very long time. I was just saying it would be nice to get a legit IPTV service that would integrate into Plex.

simas
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by simas »

NedS wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:18 pm I'll let you in on a secret about the SCRIBE and SERVIO hardware: We barely make any profit on them. We saw them as a way to get people in on the DVR service, to make it easier than setting up a NAS. Once you have a DVR subscription, we are just as happy if you have your own DVR hardware, and we actually make more money that way.

Enabling DRM recording on SCRIBE/SERVIO is a short-cut, because we can control the hardware. Supporting the DRM recordings on other devices is coming, but it will require some additional software development (to satisfy the cablecard requirements). The options are: make everyone wait for DRM-recording, so they all get it at the same time, or let some customers get it as it becomes possible for various devices/platforms. That's all there is to it. There's no ploy.
I would understand if option (b) is selected , this is logical , you deliver what you can when you can.
I also understand that there would be people complaining and accusing your company (guess what, 90%+ of those people would complain anyway regardless of what you do). Over time i learned to grow thicker skin and ignore the vast majority of complaint as that is simply how over-entitled people react (one of the 'first world' problems)


Overall, I do not know how you guys are making a living without some form of subscription services providing regular cash flow , and hope that your company would survive in terms of business plan and operations.

nateb
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by nateb »

simas wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:04 am Overall, I do not know how you guys are making a living without some form of subscription services providing regular cash flow , and hope that your company would survive in terms of business plan and operations.
We have a DVR service? Admittedly hardware sales are still the big driver, but we do have a subscription service.

trakz
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by trakz »

guess what, 90%+ of those people would complain anyway regardless of what you do
^ this, so much this.

I'll also chip in with some thoughts (FWIW), being relatively new to SD and it's products, I totally get that you can only make so much $$ from a hardware product with a limited userbase. The requirements (antenna and associated cabling, network infrastructure to stream, and endpoint configuration to get it all working) for SD products put it ever so slightly out of reach of the average user. I'd love to know what the product return rates are?

Taking a step back, the value proposition for SD is placeshifting and timeshifting. Let's call this "shifting". Other folks are making some $$ off SD's shifting capabilities (Channels and Plex) being the most obvious. One of the things that bring goodwill to SD is their desire to open the platform to 3rd party developers via the API. This has allowed SD to grow (folks purchase the product for this integration capability), so the question changes slightly: what are the recurring revenue value propositions for SD?

I would propose that building the DRM component for Prime users is an example of a recurring revenue opportunity. Grandfather in the Kickstarter users via lifetime license, but for all new folks (myself included) sell a license to use a DRM library for 12 months (similar to the DVR service). This would be a huge incentive for Channels and Plex (and anyone else) to further integrate with the SD ecosystem since we'd all get a complete (and secure) shifting service. It would close the loop. For those of us who want in on the permanent license, charge an appropriate one-time fee. Done. Over time, the price can increase to keep pace with inflation without additional substantial development.

Another option would be to end of life firmware updates and then charge for future versions. Subscribe to the current firmware update service, or don't and only get them for security patches. This might be a harder sell since the firmware updates don't substantially change how the product operates, but a product roadmap with features voted on by the community could make this compelling. Again, we're focused on software here. The hard work of hardware development is essentially complete?

TBH, maybe SD is happy with where they are and the product and growth is something they have no interest in chasing. It would be easy to respect that position. It just seems like there's a subset of customers who would be willing to go further and pay for the additional value proposition(s) SD could deliver.

Obviously, none of this talks to the future and ATSC3.0!

linkjy
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by linkjy »

Long time lurker been waiting on the 6 tuner since it was announced. I am bummed out but hope to snag a 3 tuner prime. The question is will this be a waste going forward? Will cable companies change something to break the way the 3 tuner prime receives it's channels in the near future?

NedS
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by NedS »

linkjy wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:42 pm Long time lurker been waiting on the 6 tuner since it was announced. I am bummed out but hope to snag a 3 tuner prime. The question is will this be a waste going forward? Will cable companies change something to break the way the 3 tuner prime receives it's channels in the near future?
Highly unlikely. The cable companies don't want to push anyone towards cutting the cable, so they'll probably phase out new activations, or not support cablecard in new service areas. Existing CableCARD customers in existing service areas should be fine for years, I would hope.

linkjy
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by linkjy »

NedS wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:45 pm
linkjy wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:42 pm Long time lurker been waiting on the 6 tuner since it was announced. I am bummed out but hope to snag a 3 tuner prime. The question is will this be a waste going forward? Will cable companies change something to break the way the 3 tuner prime receives it's channels in the near future?
Highly unlikely. The cable companies don't want to push anyone towards cutting the cable, so they'll probably phase out new activations, or not support cablecard in new service areas. Existing CableCARD customers in existing service areas should be fine for years, I would hope.
Thats what I am going to hope for. What if they would start broadcasting channels in h265? Would the prime be able to handle that change? Probably something that we wouldn't need to worry about for a long time though.

NedS
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by NedS »

linkjy wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:02 pm Thats what I am going to hope for. What if they would start broadcasting channels in h265? Would the prime be able to handle that change? Probably something that we wouldn't need to worry about for a long time though.
I believe we've already seen that happen in a few cases, and it works just fine. There were a few instances of them even doing 4K H.265/HEVC over CableCARD with Verizon FIOS, and I think we got it to work (after a few tweaks/updates, IIRC).

linkjy
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Re: Is the PRIME 6 soon to be released?

Post by linkjy »

NedS wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:14 pm
linkjy wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:02 pm Thats what I am going to hope for. What if they would start broadcasting channels in h265? Would the prime be able to handle that change? Probably something that we wouldn't need to worry about for a long time though.
I believe we've already seen that happen in a few cases, and it works just fine. There were a few instances of them even doing 4K H.265/HEVC over CableCARD with Verizon FIOS, and I think we got it to work (after a few tweaks/updates, IIRC).
Good deal!! I appreciate the responses. :)

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