I have an idea for the Nextbox (4.0) and it is to make the Nextbox broadcast a feed wirelessly to smaller units - so that families don't have to buy 4 big consoles (Nextbox's) for their families to get the premium content or down grade to other channels in other rooms.
The component would be build to recieve a signal from the larger main component (the Nextbox) - ither wirelessly (by creating a web link and auto-feed to the unit) or through traditional DSL/HDMI connecting them.
This idea is affordable because the connection can be split between units by attaching DSL outputs or HDMI outputs to the new model and building a smaller unit to receive, edit, and display content. -OR- you can build them an online access portfolio attached inside the unit that basically post your channels online and allows the smaller units to get channels wirelessly through the larger console (because I'm not sure if DSL or HDMI can go wireless).
Ps. The reason it would Need to be done like this is the smaller component would be build to work together with the larger unit to display HD content - when the options currently are buy 2-5 different Nextbox 3.0's. It would allow families to access their premium content throughout the house for more reasonable prices and be geared towards making better options then downgrading content amoungst the rooms in the house.
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Bells FIBE remote unts are more like this currently, where there are no tuners in the units themselves, and pull off the PVR unit.
Though.. the cost for those boxes.. is not really any different than getting the regular HD boxes with rogers.
Currently you dont have to get many nextbox 3's... you really only need ONE to record content. You can get the 4642 units for the other rooms.
They have their own tuner for watching stuff... but with the whole home setup, can easily access with an internal network on the cable in your house, the content of the PVR.
Bigest downside, is these boxes are pretty BIG.
The 8642 is unfortunately the newest regular HD boxe from cisco. HOPEFULLY they can release something smaller (like how the new NB3 is a fair bit smaller than the NB2)... and with the NB3 having 8 tuners, its would be more of a possibility of it USING the tuners on NB3 like in bells setup.
The current nextboxes.. actually ARE a docsis3 cable router as well... IF enabled. You can use them as an all in one modem, would just have to add a 3rd party router for wireless, etc.
Problem is, they can not currently do so.. as the signal range used for home phone, internet, and TV are seperated.. as well as what processes them in the back end... this means if one part of the network goes down, the others can stay up. (not so much, IF they were on the same with the router enabled).
Not saying any of this is BAD ideas Again, MOST of the stuff you have mentioned, is the way that Bell FIBE is doing it. FIBE is IP based, and works pretty much the way you have described.
Hardware costs, are a little higher though than $7 though.
The NB3 currently is the step in the right direction. Rogers themselves dont make/market/R&D the hardware though, so this is something someone else would have to make, for them to adopt. They seem to be stuck with CISCO, so something they would have to make/develop.
Its not all out of the realm of possibility though.