Satellite TV provider EchoStar has been ordered to disable DVR functionality in their set-top boxes and pay Tivo $103 million for allegedly infringing on the company's digital video recorder patent. US District Court in Texas on Wednesday ruled Echostar, a spin-off of Dish Network, is in contempt of an injunction on DVR tech …
Existing subscribers not immediately impacted?
I note the use of the word "immediately" there. I wonder if now would be a good time to explore other television avenues?
Not required last time I checked
What, now Tivo has a patent on recording streams on the hard drive? Paris, cause she knows streams
Tech savvy users will just hack it anyway.
The EchoStar box will just be hacked anyway eventually. I don't really know exactly how the TV systems work in the US, but this DVR box sounds very similar to the way Sky+ works in the UK.
What exactly is the patent for that Tivo has anyway? It seems to be the same as every other generic PVR/DVR box - I have a JVC DR-MX1 DVD/VHS/HDD PVR combo for example.
Re: Not required last time I checked
The patent is question is # 6,233,389 (http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6,233,389.PN.&OS=PN)
It describes a system that "allows the user to store selected television broadcast programs while the user is simultaneously watching or reviewing another program."
So does this mean...
That, Linux based Open Source Software: MythTV and V-ideo D-isk R-ecorder (a.k.a. VDR), are also in violation of this Patent? What about Humax?
I suppose that this "Patent" only effects the 'Merikans, but IIRC Humax also does business there as well.
Oh well let's see them try to take down VDR!!
Tux, is in the HTPC and all is well with the World!!
I feel this is a dumb question . . . .
. . . . but as I say to anyone who asks . . . . "There's no such thing as a 'dumb question' unless you already know the answer!!".
So my question is . . .
"Is a TiVo PVR/DVR one and the same (or linked/manufactured/marketed/sold) in much the same way as a TVonics PVR/DVR piece of kit?
I only ask because my TVonics box . . .
"allows the user to store selected television broadcast programs while the user is simultaneously watching or reviewing another program."
If they are the same company then ignore my post . . . . otherwise . . . .Echostar may have a point!!
\Coat on before I posted . . . Tin foil hat donned already . . . Just firing up the fusion reactor to deflect/deter all and any "Tosser" responses!!!
Correct me if im wrong, but were we not all doing that with PCI TV Cards many many years ago?
Hmmm, I wonder?
Ok, I'm not sure of the specifics but I was wondering along line of:
(a) USA patents can cover concepts or ideas
(b) UK patents do not directly cover ideas and are limited to things that are replicable
So, if a product is limited in USA by intellectual patent does it hold in the UK?
it has to do with the fact that a Tivo box can be simultaneously recording and paying back a stream. I can be watching a pre-recorded stream from disk while recording a new stream. Or i can be watching at point x in a stream while the recording is already at point y ( so called timeshifting . let's pause it for a minute and then watch it from where it was halted.)
That is patented. Any box that has such timeshifting capability and record while playing back is subject to this patent. Several companies have licenced this technology. Echostart did not ....
...there's been a stay of execution!
I remember writing Ring Buffer code while at UNI (late 1980s), I am also confident I did not invent it.
A byte is a byte is a byte, wether vt100 esc codes, file transfer or video stream. Any one who started playing an mpg stream whilst it was still downloading provides prior art (and should sue TiVo).
@Austin Modine - I wonder
Thanks for posting that link Austin.
Geek mode on:
I had a quick browse and noted immediately that the patent (debateable whether it should have been allowed but anyway) makes several specific references to MPEG encoding.
I just happen to know due to alot of fiddling with these things, that PC based PVRs and Humax PVRs do not store programmes as MPEG but instead use the native over the air format for digital TV, called Transport Stream (TS) format.
End Geek Mode:
I wonder if that is the reason that Humax, Hauppauge et al are still in business? If so then this patent is full of holes.
Tip of the day: The multi-platform VLC player can convert between multiple media types including TS and MPEG
Ohhh can I make a claim!
Given that the company that eventually created Tivo started in 1997 and I was using exactly the same functionality in 1995 with two TV cards and "cheap" PC can I have my $200m please....
v+ and sky+
both these do the same as tivo but the V+ can record 2 things whilst watching another, and timeshifting.
as someone said this tech has been around for years before tivo.... is this just another case of yanks ripping off other people's ideas and patenting them?
@ Citizen Kaned
You're right, V+ and Sky+ let you do this, and guess what? They've licenced the technology from TiVo.
A patent doesn't mean another company can't do it - it just means they need to ask permission first and pay a fee.
@spegru and @Richard Jukes
> ... do not store programmes as MPEG but instead use the native over the air format for digital TV, called Transport Stream (TS) format.
From Wikipedia: "TS is specified in MPEG-2 Part 1".
This should be your clue that most of these DTV systems (DirecTV at least, and I think the others) use MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 as the on-air format.
And from http://filext.com/file-extension/TS:
VOB files you find on a DVD are MPEG2-PS files. The PS format, however, is not adapted for streaming video through a network or by satellite. Another format called Transport Stream (TS) was designed for streaming MPEG videos through such channels. VideoLAN software can handle these streams.
@Richard Jukes :
> Correct me if im wrong, but were we not all doing that with PCI TV Cards many many years ago?
No , people were not "all" doing this in the past. And in any case, the patent (which I've not read) almost certainly does not claim the obvious "any scheme to record to a PC" but instead covers specific DVR features such as "watch while still recording" , "pause live TV", etc.
If you had a PCI card that did *all* of that before Tivo then you have a claim, but not otherwise.
Utter BS as usual with US Patents.
I think I'll patent "A method of writing and/or drawing using an expendable graphite core enclosed in an inert sacrificial casing".
Pencil pushers of the world YOU ARE BELONG TO ME!!!