Say Goodbye To CableCARD DVRs

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Imagine if you could record anything you want from any source. Imagine if you could install your DVR as easily as a TiVo Series2.

 That’s a long way from what cableCARD allows with its SDV limits, no PPV or VOD, copy flags, etc.

This new device records component HD and has not one but two HDMI inputs. It apparently records in mpeg4 format, has an SD slot for additional storage (portability?) and may cost $999 to start.

SlingMedia is introducting a box (PRO-HD) which records component HD for $399.

The day has finally come when you will never again here it costs too much to record analog HD for a consumer device.

Such devices can record from any source – cable, satellite, etc. You are no longer subject to cableCARD or proprietary standards.

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7 Responses to “Say Goodbye To CableCARD DVRs”

  1. HDTiVo Says:

    A little link on Google told me you can get this Gefen thing for under $800. 🙂

  2. Scott Says:

    Except now you lose the quality of original-bitstream, recompressing already overcompressed video to mpeg4 again is going to be a fairly ugly affair.

  3. megazone Says:

    Want to bet that, like other, existing HDMI capture devices, the Geffen DVR cannot record HDMI that has HDCP?

    Being able to cost-effectively record from component is becoming possible, as chips have gotten more powerful. The Slingbox PRO HD is the first good example I know of. But it is still going to be a premium priced product.

    But over the next year it would be economically practical for someone like TiVo to produce a DVR that can record HD from component.

    But it will never be as good as CableCARD. You’re recompressing the signal on the fly – losing the original fidelity. And you’re back to all the issues of having an STB, IR blasters, etc. I’d rather have CableCARD, especially with the SDV solution coming.

    Now, for satellite or countries with no native solution (Canada) it makes more sense.

  4. MickeS Says:

    This thing is also obviously single tuner.

    But might be a good companion to a real multi-tuner DVR for certain programming.

  5. HDTiVo Says:

    My interest is primarily the technical ability to do these things coming to a consumer price point.

    I don’t know the reasons HDMI could not be stored – compressed or uncompressed – provided the device adheared to the copy protection rules and encrypted the data on its hard drive.

  6. Dave Zatz Says:

    Technically, it’s probably not a big deal. From a certification/licensing stand point – supposedly it’s not permissible… assuming I understand it properly. And maybe I don’t. However, I’ve verified the HDMI recording does work as advertised HBO via CableCARD:

    http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2008-03/gefen-dvr-records-via-hdmi/

  7. HDTiVo Says:

    Dave & Mega:

    From the time I first heard about this device, I felt that the licensing rules, if prohibitive, would be in for a change with these types of devices. Afterall, the HDMI is just a derivative of a compressed signal which was itself recordable. It is perfectly reasonable to expect such an HDMI recording could be securely stored on a DVR. Further, we know that Gefen is recompressing to mpeg-4 and storing…

    Then there is what Dave & Co found… 😀

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