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Thousands and Thousands of Hours of PVR TV

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the no-prior-restraint dept.

Television 264

Thomas Hawk writes "Cory Doctorow is posting over at Boing Boing about some technology that he apparently saw this weekend at London's Open Tech conference. According to Cory, this new technology from Promise TV takes the form of a home-built PVR with lots of high-capacity hard drives and claims to be able to record every show on every channel being recorded in the UK for an entire month. 'Why program a TiVo to get certain shows for you when you can record every single show on the air, all at once, and then use recommendations, search, a grid, or any other means you care to name to figure out which of those thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of programming you want to watch.' The company seems somewhat cryptic with a simple website that appears to be collecting your email addresses for an announcement in August. "

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sounds like a spam list (1)

rockytriton (896444) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163991)

Just collecting email addresses now? Sounds like spam to me!

http://www.dreamsyssoft.com [dreamsyssoft.com]

Re:sounds like a spam list (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164240)

You, Sir, are a true genius.

Hooray for vaporware!

bazunok aka the fire horse is a fucking fag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163996)

fp (fail post)

G N A A 4 L Y F E (0, Flamebait)

GNN (817159) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163998)

tru dat

Places Pinky Against Lip (2, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164000)

I won't buy it until it can record...

ONE
MILLION
HOURS!

MWHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Where are the frickin sharks with laser beams?

A month later (5, Funny)

jcayer (206087) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164009)

and there is still nothing to watch on TV!

5 channels (0, Flamebait)

garvald (547907) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164013)

considering that the UK only has FIVE channels, i think a 60GB IPOD would be enough to record for a month.

Re:5 channels (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164041)

considering that the UK only has FIVE channels, i think a 60GB IPOD would be enough to record for a month.

Five TERRESTRIAL channels, and a whole bunch more on Digital (Freeview). Plus Cable and Sky, but I'm not counting those since they're not accessible to everyone.

...and it's four channels; Channel 5 disnae count ;-)

Re:5 channels (1)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164069)

Five TERRESTRIAL channels, and a whole bunch more on Digital (Freeview). Plus Cable and Sky, but I'm not counting those since they're not accessible to everyone.

Even that's not right really. Five ANALOGUE terrestrial channels, DIGITAL terrestrial has dozens. Cable/Sky has hundreds.

Re:5 channels (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164117)

Even that's not the whole story. There are a few low power local stations. I remember receiving one in Bristol, and I'm fairly certain Oxford has its own channel.

Re:5 channels (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164146)

Even that's not right really. Five ANALOGUE terrestrial channels, DIGITAL terrestrial has dozens.

Aye, that's it. Temporary analogue/digital/terrestrial confusion caused by five days at music festival without the colour teevee... oops!

Re:5 channels (4, Informative)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164042)

30 actually:

http://freeview.co.uk/whatson/index.html [freeview.co.uk]

I doubt you'd bother making something that recorded from an analogue source - too much CPU power.

Re:5 channels (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164258)

Unless you've got a Hauppage PVR350 or similar card that does hardware mpeg-compression. If you do you need basically no cpu at all. (I get my 900mhz low-power Via Neremiah to 5% load or so, but that's a very weak cpu)

The storage-requirements would still be humongous though, recording *one* channel 24/7 requires on the order of 1TB/month, so you'd like 4*250GB drives for each channel. (yes, there's bigger disks, but they cost *more* for the same storage)

Total BS (3, Insightful)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164044)

The UK has hundreds of channels, so I don't know where you get your dumb ideas from.

Re:Total BS (2, Insightful)

hopelessliar (575886) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164082)

I believe that we are very close to 400 channels now. And yes, most of them are turd.

Re:Total BS (-1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164106)

"most of them are turd"

Ah yes, the turd network.

Re:Total BS (0)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164114)

I believe that we are very close to 400 channels now. And yes, most of them are turd.

They are completely NOT turd! 200 channels of either selling me crap or some dumb blonde bint flashing her bits telling me to txt her for £2/message is the height of modern culture.

Stop wasting your time with pointless TV like news, documentaries and movies!

Re:Total BS (1)

RackinFrackin (152232) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164338)

Butthead: "hey beavis...i heard that pretty soon, they're gonna have, like, 500 channels.That's gonna be cool."

Beavis: "really? that would be cool."

Butthead: "you know what would be really cool, though? if like, one of the channels didn't suck."

Re:5 channels (1)

DanUK (676625) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164168)

You fuc|http://www.sky.com/skycom/tvguide

Re:5 channels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164183)

No, actually, my Baird Television receiver only receives one channel. In a monochrome 30 line display.

Why do Americans seem to always have a totaly outdated view of british life?

You just need one hardcore nerd per block... (3, Funny)

jarich (733129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164014)

With one hardcore nerd (yes, that's YOU) recording ~everything~ that's aired, you have a killer app. You can now buy your own T1 and resell internet ~and~ TV service to your neighbors!

Before you trot out all your legal objections, just let me say that you now have a legitimate reason to talk with the cute girl three doors over you've never met.

;)

Re:You just need one hardcore nerd per block... (1, Funny)

Scott Swezey (678347) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164140)

Before you trot out all your legal objections, just let me say that you now have a legitimate reason to talk with the cute girl three doors over you've ever met.

Got my vote

Timing (4, Insightful)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164017)

If they're going to be making an announcement in August, then why not wait until August to post the article?! There is no product and no information. It doesn't even say whether it records only the UK terrestrial TV channels (just 5) or the UK digitial ("Freeview") channels (MUCH more than 5).

I can understand how you could feasibly mock up a machine that recorded the 5 main channels to a RAID array or something, but I fail to belive that you can actually record "the entire UK channel multiplex" of ~30 digital channels in anything of a sensible size or price. It would have to save out 30 high quality(ish) feeds to very very large hard drives permanently. I can't see how you could do that with less than a few thousand pounds of disks and capture cards.

Re:Timing (1, Funny)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164048)

you can't have a dupe posting without an original posting, so naturally when August rolls around in a few days we'll be able to point to today...that's why not.

Re:Timing (0)

henrygb (668225) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164059)

My thoughts exactly - presumably you need one decoder/capture card per channel. One hard disk per channel might also help.

Re:Timing (5, Informative)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164085)

well, with my PVR machine I record at 9Mbps for video and 384Kbps for audio, barely over 1MB/s. With two tuners, that's just over 2MB/s. Watching one of the previous recordings while recording two shows at the same time, that's just over 3MB/s. Even a mediocre HD can handle that no problem. Hell, while it's doing that it's also either scanning a show for commercial breaks or recompressing that 4GB/hour mpeg2 stream to a 1GB/hour mpeg4 stream, so there's a bit more workload, still doesn't break a sweat. So, one HD per recording is way overkill.

Re:Timing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164137)

The version of show recorded 5 main channels, plus a couple of digital channels, such as CBeebies.

The machine _was_ as simple as you think: a few grands worth of discs, one TV card per channel (with hardware encoding), and some reasonable hardware.

The control interface was custom.

(yes, I saw it on Sunday :)

Re:Timing (1)

matthew.thompson (44814) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164164)

It's quite easy to record all of freeview as the data is sent multiplexed.

Playing around with the Linux DVB information you'll see that the DVB streams are easy to save off to disk or transmit across a network. As there are only 5 or 6 multiplexes it wouldn't take that much to save them all off to disks.

Get a decent controller and the right software and you're effectively time-shifting the entire broadcast spectrum.

Of course this doesn't come close to enough if you look at Sky's 60+ transponders each pumping out 20mbps+ on DVB-S :)

Re:Timing (1)

farnz (625056) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164176)

Recording all the Freeview multiplexes isn't too hard; the QAM 16 multiplexes (4 of the 6) are 18MBit/s each, while the QAM 64 multiplexes are 24MBit/s each. Thus, you get a total of 120MBit/s (15MByte/s) to record. A single ATA disc from Western Digital (WD1200JB) can store at 30MByte/s, so all you need is enough disc space in a JBOD form. Still expensive, but so as bad as you might think, and I'm assuming you store the full multiplex in transmitted form, without dropping padding, and depacketising it.

Re:Timing (5, Insightful)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164301)

Insightful? Hah!

Capture cards? 30 feeds? Don't be so analogue and old school. It only needs to save the multiplexes. Which on terrestrial digital is about eight including all the radio stations.

Right assuming it's digital only, it needs as many 'frontends' as there are multiplexes. Modern day silicon (non can/discrete component) tuners are pretty cheap and rather small. You'll also need the demodulators to go with them. All of which would fit easily on a single PCI card. Then you just process each of the multiplexes' transport stream enough to remove the redundant data such as the NITs and record the rest on to the harddrives as a stream.

Something like a Sky box already does this with two transport streams. One is recorded for the 'trick mode' pause live TV etc and one for recording a program. It will also play back a third stream from the disc. A more powerful PC based machine could easily cope.

Re:Timing (2, Interesting)

dagenum (580191) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164312)

I thought this was total bunkum just because of the storage requirements but after a few (very rough) calculations based on my experience with mythtv and recording freeview I'm not so sure now.

There are 30 channels, of these 21 are 24hr and I'll assume the rest are 12hr making 25.5 24hr streams.

There are 3 shopping channels so ditch them making 22.5 streams.

Recording on myth each of these streams is approx 1.3Gb/hr, if you don't care too much about the picture quality compress this to ~400M/Hr.

So, that's 9Gb/hr, 216Gb/day and 6480Gb/month. I don't think I'd be too far off by saying that 50% of all the shows are repeats that have been shown earlier in the day/week/month so cut that figure in half and you end up with a requirement of 3240Gb of storage which is "only" 11 300Gb disks.

It certainly looks like you could do this with a multiple backend myth setup with a DVB card for each multiplex (once you can record a whole multiplex at a time) so I'm not as sceptical as I was.

I'm not saying it would be particularly quiet or energy efficient though.

Ummm... (1)

DanielNS84 (847393) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164018)

Does anyone else think this would require significantly more bandwidth than is currently available? I mean, every show on every channel? Unless they have like 20 channels there...

Re:Ummm... (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164110)

Unless you count freeview we have 5 channels. Yep, 5.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164160)

> Unless you count freeview we have 5 channels. Yep, 5.

And if you only count 60% of those 5 you end up with 3. Sure, just 3. That's 40% down on your bizarre subset of the channels available for free.

Re:Ummm... (2, Funny)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164236)

> > Unless you count freeview we have 5 channels. Yep, 5.

> And if you only count 60% of those 5 you end up with 3. Sure, just 3. That's 40% down on your bizarre subset of the channels available for free.

And if you don't count those 3, we have no TV.

MY GOD, WE HAVE NO TV! Who will watch the tellytubbies now?

Re:Ummm... (1)

sonixtwo (878390) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164148)

BBC1 BBC2 BBC3

Re:Ummm... (1)

drownie (901913) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164179)

You realize that you don't need any kind of internet connection to watch TV ? Do you ?

Re:Ummm... (1)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164220)

You realise that they're proabably talking about hard drive bandwidth. Do you?

Channel Hopping (4, Funny)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164019)

"...use recommendations, search, a grid, or any other means you care to name to figure out which of those thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of programming you want to watch..."

Those poor channel-hoppers, who can't watch a programme for more than 10 minutes without wondering what else might be on, will now have all the material from the past to choose from aswell. Lucky them!

I promise.. (1)

inkdesign (7389) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164020)

.. that you will never see this product on a store shelf!

They neglect to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164021)

...that each show will be recorded at 220x176 pixels and can only be viewed on an iPod.

My PVR (-1, Redundant)

timtwobuck (833954) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164022)

My TimeWarner supplied DVR can hold ~35 hours of NON-HD content. Mix in some HD and the quantity of content drops.

Now you show me this item and say it can record all the shows on TV for a month..thats 672 hours at least, for just one can it view? Is this HD or non-HD content? What will this due to the bandwith coming into my apt? They'll need an awfully large pipe to get in all 400 of my channels.

This summary / article really don't tell me anything useful other than a vaporware update.

Re:My PVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164045)

I suspect they're talking about the 20-odd "free" terrestrial digital channels (FreeView) rather than the hundreds we can get on Satellite (Sky) or Cable (NTL/Telewest). Also, HDTV hasn't really made it to the UK yet, so we're talking standard res.

Too good to be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164023)

Am I the only one who thinks this sounds to good to be true. I could see how this might work with conventional cable, but wouldn't you need a special digital cable box or dish receiver to be able to receive multiple channels at once?

seems to me... (1)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164028)

that having PVR will help me in my eventual goal to become an extreme PVRt.. I mean every euro channel recorded? I could perv out for years...

Perfect /. article (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164035)

The summary is nearly as long as the actual article, and contains practically all the information. It can't get any better for /. readers - even those that don't RTFA have all the information available.

That said, this is about as useful as,well, nothing. A spam collector ad? At least the previous /. ads were for products. Wake me when there's news. And when DirecTV supports this.

Re:Perfect /. article (1)

buro9 (633210) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164150)

I suffer ADD only have the patience to read headlines you insensitive clod!

Re:Perfect /. article (0)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164257)

The other thing that makes this a perfect /. article is that most of us read this already when it was originaly posted on boingboing. /. seems only to agregate news from about a dozen other sources these days - with the odd 'ask /.' thrown in to the mix.

I'll wait for tomoros dupe to post comment about how this vapourware is physically impossible without a box the size of a fridge.

Why stop there? (5, Funny)

rustbear (852420) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164036)

Their next product: a home-built device that downloads the entire Internet for you to browse at your leisure...

Which channels? (1)

Morinaka (874174) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164037)

It doesn't say which channels it will record. But based on the claim, probably only BBC1 & 2, ITV1 and Channel 4. Though if it records all the freeview programs it will definitely show promise.

On Demand Programming? (1)

js9kv (690351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164039)

This sounds like a perfect start for on-demand programming services to me. And at least in GB, you won't have as many channels of crapola as you'd have in the USA. A good delivery system could make this into the DVR killer app.... just.... need..... bandwidth..... urg...

Re:On Demand Programming? (3, Insightful)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164072)

.... just.... need..... bandwidth..... urg...

Or maybe some script which prevents it from downloading the stuff you already know is rubbish (I hate soap operas and daytime TV generally - why waste bandwidth). Or maybe, just maybe, a script which only downloads things you've specifically asked for.... hang on this is starting to sound like another product....

TV Ratings (1)

astralbat (828541) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164047)

If everyone had one of these, wouldn't it mess up with the statistics showing how many viewers were viewing certain programmes?

How do they know anyway how many people are watching those programmes? Isn't receiving a broadcast a passive thing?

Re:TV Ratings (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164056)

Random people are given boxes that record which channels they watch and when.

Re: not quite correct (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164173)

It's not random people, it's the Neilsen Borg [wikipedia.org] .

So if you were ever worried your vote didn't count, TV's the place to worry. That, and government. ;)

I hear it now. (0)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164049)


The massive groan of thousands of couches under the collective weight of their potatoes as this device reaches a release date.

Every Terrestrial channel? (2, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164058)

There are about 300 digital satellite channels in the UK, maybe 250 digital cable channels and about 30 digital free to air broadcast channels (Freeview). There are 5 analogue terrestrial channels - and I'm assuming this is what they're talking about when they say the can record every single show on the air. It all just seems a bit pointless.

and maybe... (1)

Scott Swezey (678347) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164063)

And maybe they can get together with Infinium Labs and merge it with the Phantom game console.

Besides, its not like price will matter to anyone anyways...

This was featured at OpenTech (2, Interesting)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164073)

This was supposed to have been featured at OpenTech 2005, according to their website [ukuug.org] .
OpenTech 2005 was featured in a Slashdot article a few minutes ago here [slashdot.org]
Did anyone go to OpenTech and see this thing?

Although... it says there that it will record an entire week, not a month. So maybe that was this one's baby brother.

Re:This was featured at OpenTech (1)

rooijan (746599) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164144)

From the summary:

"Cory Doctorow is posting over at Boing Boing about some technology that he apparently saw this weekend at London's Open Tech conference."

So, yes, at least one person did...

allready spoken of in ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164075)

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams (NewRomancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, one of the Cyberpunk Fathers)

There was a video-recorder, so he watches TV for you and you have time for your own, and an electical monch, which prays for you, so you got your own time.

More channels = bigger videorecorders. nnuts. (nothing new under the sun)

Seriously Doubt (4, Informative)

3CRanch (804861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164094)

I seriously doubt they'd be able to record everything out there.

I mean, just look at a standard Tivo box. 40G hard drive gives you about 35 hours of recording time. And that is just one or two shows at a time.

A month's programming on 200 channels simultaneously?

c'mon.

Re:Seriously Doubt (2, Interesting)

3CRanch (804861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164123)

Unless, however, they plan on recording it with enough reduced quality that maybe you could replay everything on your cell phone...

There are hundreds of UK TV channels (4, Interesting)

rklrkl (554527) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164096)

This is utter bunkum because there are hundreds and hundreds of UK channels - 5 analogue terrestrial, about another 25 on digital terrestrial and about another 300 (!!) on digital satellite. Yes, with 5 analogue or digital tuners, they could record BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, but let's face it, most of that's now rubbish and the better stuff is on digital satellite (which they will *not* be able to record massively in parallel - Sky who run it currently only have a twin tuner for example and that needs a dual LNB on your dish too !).

I'd rather see some effort made to allow broadband users to download TV shows (even a small fee for this would be acceptable - a few pounds a month) from the time they are aired on normal TV for, say, up to 2 months afterwards. Now this would be *far* more useful, especially now that 2Mbit/s is starting to become the normal for UK broadband.

Re:There are hundreds of UK TV channels (3, Informative)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164155)

You can be sure that this won't record any Sky channels, because they are all encrypted and can only be received with equipment provided by Sky.

It would be relatively easy to record all the Freeview channels at once. You only need one receiver per multiplex, not per channel, then you just record the raw data stream which contains all the channels on that multiplex. IIRC there are only about half a dozen multiplexes. So 6 tuners would be enough to record everything on Freeview.

Tuners ? Why tuners at all, if it's cable (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164237)

I'm curious as to why you would need a tuner at all in case of cable TV. (over-the-air (which freeview is?) is a different story, satellite would only apply to the signal being received)

For those who don't know... the tuner is the block in your TV/VCR/etc. that 'tunes' to a basic channel frequency and grabs the signal off of that. That's why you need 2 tuners or a dual-tuner for picture-in-picture ( unless that picture is of the same channel %) ).

However, all the channels -are- already on the cable line. So, at least in theory, you could store all the data coming across it. It'd take some massive storage space, but it's doable.
Then when you want to watch a show, send the signal back out and through a tuner, and you're all set.

Re:There are hundreds of UK TV channels (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164339)

they could record BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, but let's face it, most of that's now rubbish and the better stuff is on digital satellite

Bollocks.

A little more information on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164097)

Being a registered uk Ltd company, companies house has some public data on them:

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/76c266b3e165fd88 87ceeea9b0a0c4ae//compdetails [companieshouse.gov.uk]

Re:A little more information on them (1)

HaydnH (877214) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164305)

Nice, from companies house:

Nature of Business (SIC(03)): ... 3720 - Recycling metal waste & scrap ...

And I thought there was a hard disk heaven! I've been proved wrong, they get turned in to VCR's!!

This or VoD? (1)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164103)

So is this a suitable alternative to video on demand?

True, it has a much higher direct cost to the consumer for the extra kit, but you're not replying on the broadcasters to buy into the VoD deal, and you wonl't be paying the undoubtedly higher prices they'll be charging for it, along with bandwidth costs.

Other than movies, there's very little reason to have the expense and trouble of Vod until we all have very high bandwidth connections at a low cost. I'm talking 100mb/s here.

Until we all have terrabit connections ot our handheld PCs, this just seems the better way to go to me - a PVR or steroids for those who want it.

Is this really a feasible home appliance? (5, Interesting)

ErpLand (105292) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164109)

Let's make some calculations assuming that they're going to record all the DVB-T ("Freeview") content in the UK. I watch DVB-T in Spain using a MythTV [mythtv.org] box but the numbers should be roughly the same as for the UK.

45 mins recording of one channel = 1401390703 bytes
=> 1 hour = 1868520937 bytes
=> x 24 hours/day x 30.5 days/month = 1.37 TB per month per channel

Now there are about 30 freeview channels so we would need 41 TB of storage .... that's 82 500GB hard disks in RAID0! Which would occupy something like half a rack and use about 1kW of power ...

Even to record the 5 main channels would be nearly 7 TB - still a lot of noisy spinning hard disks to stick under the TV. This doesn't sound like a feasible idea with the size of today's hard disks.

Re:Is this really a feasible home appliance? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164149)

And of course out of the 41TB of storage you used there is probably one or two shows a week you really wanted to see anyways... so ... maybe you need a GB of space ;-)

This seems like yet another "we can do it so we must". Eventually we're just going to run out of natural resources to make that a useful argument...

Why not spend the time and energy on better codecs? Oh wait, because that would be hard work and useful...

Tom

Re:Is this really a feasible home appliance? (0)

ggzeama (886517) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164151)

Remainder: since crap is redundant in each TV show, it may be possible to aquire high rates of compression using Lempel-Zip or something.

Huh.

Re:Is this really a feasible home appliance? (1)

neryshughes (668552) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164175)

You are correct, it does take up about half a rack. www.suitcasetv.com [suitcasetv.com]

When will the crapfest end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164113)

Never .. while you are watching one channel filled with crap 100 other channels full of crap are bieng recorded. So you spend eternity watching crap. I dub thee the CrapboX

Great (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164120)

So can I record a month of QVC to watch later?

Re:I love QVC too (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164281)

Best part about QVC - no commercials.

(totally plagiarized from some comedian)

Re:I love QVC too (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164351)

5 great things about QVC...

1) The people who phone in. 2) The 80's TV presenters who you wondered "where are they now?" 3) Diamonique. 4) Comparing prices of computer kit with prices online. 5) That it's not as crappy as the other shopping channel on Freeview.

Also, don't start watching bidup.tv. It's completely addictive.

So What? (1)

neryshughes (668552) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164124)

Go to www.suitcasetv.com [suitcasetv.com] and look at Purple Logging. REAL multichannel logging, not vaporware. Nerys hughes

Television is dead! (1)

kulakovich (580584) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164138)


Long live television!
Television is dead!
Long live television!

Now, studios are no longer in control. A 'amateur' show can compete with everything, based on your friendsters. Neilsen will have to find a way to cope with this.

kulakovich

And why watch that much TV? (1)

Nijika (525558) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164157)

Cool, but not practical. We're already well into information overload to the point where I watch (or have intellectual time to watch) about one show a week, and as of late I haven't watched television in about two months.

Well, call it off, then... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164331)

This guy watches one show a week and hasn't watched TV in months. Clearly, the entire television-watching world has been spoken for.

In other news, I don't really like coffee all that much, so I think making better coffee makers is stupid.

late night porn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164162)

At least you now don't have to explain why you're recording channel5 at 2 in the morning

Yeah but... (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164170)

able to record every show on every channel being recorded in the UK for an entire month

Yeah but that's only three shows, right?

Simple Math (5, Informative)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164177)

As this sounds like pure marketing, we can make some assumptions:

a) Number of channels included will be the minimum available to all.
b) It'll be "VHS quality" recording.

There are 5 terrestial TV channels in UK:
BBC1
BBC2
ITV (commercial)
Channel 4 (commercial)
Channel 5 (commercial)

We've about 50 via digital TV, and loads more via cable or satellite.

However there are only 5 available right now.

So, that's 5 channels * 24hrs * 28 days = 3360 hours of recording.

Lets assume a VCD bitrate of 1300kbit/s video 128kbit/s. Total 1428kbit/s.

Number of seconds in 3360 hours
= (3360*60)*60
= 12,096,000

So, for all that video we'll need
= 1428 * 12,096,000
= 17,273,088,000 kbit
= 17,687,642,112,000 bits
= 2,210,955,264,000 bytes
= 2,159,136,000 kilobyte
= 2,108,531 megabytes
= 2,059 gigabytes

So that's like 4 * 500gb drives plus 1 * 120gb drive to correct for the drive maker's marketing departments.

I'm using VCD/MPEG as a basis for this, they'll invariably be using a better codec, probably with far stronger compression.

Feasible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164193)

DVB-T is broadcast in a number of muxes (5?), each containing a number of channels. For instance, iirc, all of the BBC channels are in Mux1, Channel 4 and some others in Mux3, etc.

Most DVB cards now are capable of streaming an entire Mux to disk for later decoding. I *think* mplayer has the ability to play back individual channels from a recorded Mux now.

So, in theory, to record the entirety of Freeview at any one time you'd need 5 DVB cards, not 30 as has been mentioned elsewhere. Of course, disk space would still be an issue...

FWIW, more than half of the channels are utter crap, so could safely be ignored :)

Ant.

A bit of digging on promise.tv (2, Interesting)

mustafap (452510) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164203)


Web site source code says 'Promise.tv Ltd'
Companies house gives
http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/b09fe60fa8e4ad5f 3ea4d24014a52ce2//compdetails [companieshouse.gov.uk]

A quick search on the registered address gives
http://www.touchslough.com/business/list/bid/91560 0 [touchslough.com]

A TV repair centre in Ascot. At least these people will be able to repair the thing when it goes wrong :o)

Call me crazy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164226)

but doesn't cable have a **HUGE** bandwidth? I remember hearing 500 MBps, but that could just be wrong. Even if you figure:
50 channels x 500 MB/hour => 25 GB/hour.
Ok, so storage isn't a problem.

But 25 GB/hour => 7 MB/sec writes..

Hmm, I guess it's possible.

VDR, 6 dvb-t cards and a bunch of hard drives (1)

Smuttley (126014) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164230)

job done

How about processing power (3, Insightful)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164243)

TiVo is not only limited by hard drive space, but also by processing power. Without the help of a special mpeg chip it wouldn't be able to encode even one stream to disk as fast as it came in.

Just having the disk isn't enough. You need a multi tuner to be able to break the spectrum in to n streams and you need enough processing power to be able to encode all of those streams at once.

Although, in theory I suppose it is possible that you could compress the entire spectrum in one block, but I think that the channels that have nothing but static would kill your compression ratio.

It also might work for satelite where you are getting all the channels already compressed. Then it might just be a simple matter of saving them all.

Some digital cable works by only sending you one stream at any given time (and when you switch channels the office starts sending you a different stream). With that kind of setup, you can only save what you can get.

Currency convertor where you can type "US dollars to rupees" and it knows what you mean [coinmill.com]

Re:How about processing power (1)

ErpLand (105292) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164332)

There are 30 channels of "Freeview" TV in the UK which are broadcast using the DVB-T standard. This means that an MPEG2 stream is sent digitally over the airwaves and all you need to do is save it to disk.

Why not? Here's why... (4, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164260)

'Why program a TiVo to get certain shows for you when you can record every single show on the air, all at once, and then use recommendations, search, a grid, or any other means you care to name to figure out which of those thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of programming you want to watch.'


Because the amount of overhead involved is ludicrous?

Downloading every show broadcast in a month would be like downloading the entire internet and then running searches on your local server for the information that interests you.

Imagine duplicating this in EVERY household in the country. The impact to our energy grid would be sickening. We should be looking to lessen the amount of power we are sucking down, not increase it.

Moreover, there's no need -- TV listings are announced, you know what's going to be on, you can narrow down significantly what you know is highly unlikely to be of any interest to you. You don't want to capture something and then have to sift through it all. Finding that one good show or moment in a month of crap content will be like finding a needle in a haystack, unless you can find a way to dope the captured video stream with some metadata that you can use to aid your search.

There might be the occasional oddball thing that no one predicted would happen on TV that you might miss, but (and this is the true beauty of the internet) if that happens, there's sure to be SOMEONE who captured it, and it will be hosted on the internet somewhere (copyright laws be damned). It's just a matter of finding it. Google can make that reasonably easy. Friends and family forwarding links that they found interesting to your email can take up any slack.

hardwired torrent appliance, natch (2, Interesting)

madeye the younger (318275) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164276)

Lots of 'it can't be done' posts, but a simple solution occurs to me - a pvr with a hard wired torrent application, which will record a random channel. Sell a few thousand of them, all the channels get covered/seeded, and although what you want may not be *immediately* available, with a broadband connection it can be had reasonably soon.

First step towards Adblock for TVs? (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164283)

Finding the redundancy in a month's worth of TV is a remarkably similar task to finding the adverts... if any 5 or more seconds occurs more than (say) 5 times thenI think it's highly likley to be an advert, trail or station ident.

If this thing can be modded to adblock TV, then I'm buying it just for that, any PVR features are just a bonus.

The point? (1)

Speefnarkle1982 (901875) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164284)

I can see it being an impressive feat recording every show of every channel for a month, that takes a decent amount of hardware. But, I guess the real question is, why? Seems like it's a bit overkill for me at least. Besides, the best archive one can have without all the bandwidth or hard drives included is the library! Read a book instead!

Sometimes these things answer themselves... (3, Insightful)

telstar (236404) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164286)

"'Why program a TiVo to get certain shows for you when you can record every single show on the air, all at once, and then use recommendations, search, a grid, or any other means you care to name to figure out which of those thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of programming you want to watch.' The company seems somewhat cryptic with a simple website that appears to be collecting your email addresses for an announcement in August."

That's why.

One WEEK's worth, BBC Freeview only. (2, Informative)

TheBarnoid (779896) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164293)

I was at the Open Tech conference and also saw this PVR box. Actually there wasn't much box to it. It consisted of several large capacity hard drives (maybe about five SATAs) and a few DVB PCI cards, connected to a motherboard on a wooden base, no case.

It recorded one WEEK's worth of video from, as far as I could tell, only the BBC's Freeview channels (BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, News24, CBeebies, CBBC). The quality seemed fine judging from an episode of Doctor Who which went out on BBC3 the previous Thursday being projected behind the presenter.

Record Free to Air Net TV? (2, Interesting)

Paraplex (786149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164340)

I'd be more impressed if it could record all the "TV" broadcast over the net.

Seriously. They think we want their channels of media?

Keep your "TV"
Keep your "Blockbusters"
Keep your "Idols"

You had control in the past, but now its shifted and not even Boxes capable of holding a *million* hours of reality TV and home renovation or "Trusted Computing" or DRM or "The next big Justin Timberlake" will bring us back.

RIP centralised media

compress/recycle commercials (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13164345)

It might be possible if they used one drive for commercials and only recorded each unique commercial once. I don't know about the UK, but here in the states if you were recording regular tv and you could do this for cialis and capital one, you could probably fit a year on a floppy :)

Can do this with mythtv already (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13164357)

Honestly you can. yes it would require racks of mythtv slave recorder boxes with 2 -3 tuner cards in each one but it certianly can be done.

when i was dinking with mythtv I tinkered with that aspect of it, and it was really cool. I had 2 recording boxes with 2 mpeg cards in each and had the playback unit act as the database. it was really cool and certianly looked expandable enough to handle scaling up to 20-30 recording slaves with a decent enough database/server controlling the backend.
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