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X1 IPTV service

536
I Plan to Stick Around

Last year Rogers announced that it will be using the American IPTV platform X1.  Does this affect any of the current cable television customers?  Will current customers automatically be updated to this new platform or will this be in addition to the current cable service?

 

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292 REPLIES 292

Re: X1 IPTV service

Meowmix
I'm a Trusted Advisor
Hey guys.

Here is some more information that just came out.

" According to Natale, the platform is currently being tested by 500 employees, and Rogers is adding 120 to 150 beta testers each week. “This is a premium product and therefore it must have premium experience,” said Natale, during the January 25th, 2018 investors call.

The company has yet to formally announce a public launch date, but Natale said he expects a full commercial launch later this year.

Before then, the company will allow customers to trial the service as well. Rogers’ IPTV service is based on U.S. telecom Comcast’s X1 technology. "

Re: X1 IPTV service

wayner92
I'm a Reliable Contributor

Sorry if this is a basic question but what are the benefits to the end user of an IPTV system compared to the current system(s) offered by Rogers?  I can understand how this is beneficial to Rogers' network architecture, but how does it benefit your average TV watcher?  Is it supposed to be better interactive and on-demand services?  

Re: X1 IPTV service

DeanLubaki
I Plan to Stick Around

*Runs, pushes everybody*
mmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeee FIIIIIIRRRSST!

Re: X1 IPTV service

wayner92
I'm a Reliable Contributor

You first for what?

 

Colour me skeptical but I find it hard to believe that X1 IPTV will be all that great.  It may have stuff like "deep Netflix integration" which makes it good for TV plus Netflix but what about Amazon Video, YouTube, CraveTV or MLBtv, etc.  There will always be services that we want that won't be available on Rogers' boxes for technical, competitive or other reasons.  I doubt that a closed architecture system like this will meet my needs as a more sophisticated consumer.  I will still likely need or want something like a Roku or AndroidTV or AppleTV at each TV.  Having Rogers Cable be an app on that box would be better IMHO.

 

It looks like this service may allow you to rent small wireless boxes.  That sounds good in theory but I have learned the hard way that rule number one when distributing video is to hardwire if at all possible.

 

What I want from Rogers is a high quality signal 1080p or 2160p that is easy to record onto a PC without DRM.   CableCARD would be AWESOME!   But I am in a very small minority.  I really wish that cable system became more open and that you could buy an STB from any one of a variety of companies, like TiVo, Win MCE, or others.  But that battle was lost a while ago.

Re: X1 IPTV service

How and where can I apply to become a beta tester ?

Re: X1 IPTV service

pvanb
I Plan to Stick Around

@wayner92 wrote:

CableCARD would be AWESOME!


CableCARD in itself is very much not awesome, but I would welcome it warts and all if only to be able to go back to using my beloved TiVo.

 

Aaaanyway... since that's never going to happen I'd be happy to get on the Beta Train for this X1 thing. Are people selected at random? There must be somewhere to opt into the program, right?

Re: X1 IPTV service

wayner92
I'm a Reliable Contributor

There are PC based tuners for CableCARD - SiliconDust just announced a new one at CES a few weeks ago.  But they can be foiled based on the DRM settings from your cable company.  CabeCARD rental should also be much cheaper than renting STBs.  But it is a moot point in Canada, unless we can get the CRTC on board for this or future versions of the same thing.  

But as we move to IPTV it really makes me wonder - why do we need Rogers to provide us with proprietary hardware?  Surely there are many devices that we already have under our TV that can receive a video stream over an IP network.  As long as we can make "Hollywood" happy with DRM then why not let us use our own hardware like TiVos, PCs, ShieldTVs, etc?

Re: X1 IPTV service

rvsoo7
I Plan to Stick Around

That's right... You can access Bell's Fibe TV with an Apple TV.  I hope Rogers has plans to have a similar app for the Apple TV to access the IPTV programming.

Re: X1 IPTV service

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

The Apple TV box with Bell requires you to still have their primary HD box - nice thing though is that you have access to apple TV and other options of that device on the TV it is plugged into, while getting your Bell.

 

Comcast in U.S. is beta testing of Roku on some of their affiliate provider locations of XFinity.  So it may come to Rogers with time, but step one is to get it fully tested as mentioned earlier.

 

One thing of note - in the financial statements, Rogers no longer calls it X1 which is a Comcast IPTV model, they now call it IP based video - no reference to Comcast anywhere.

 

And as to the question there are many boxes out there that provide integrated search and provision of the various Internet versus broadcaster based TV.  Tivo can do exactly the same thing, Channel Master and Tivo do the same thing with connections to an external antenna.  Any company can choose any box, just that most companies decide to go proprietary.  And is there benefits to IPTV over Cable - in the posts I have read in various google searches, not really any - the benefits are stated to be for the provider as they can provide more channels and reduces potential congestion on the network in that with IP, they are sending only the channels, signals you are requesting, say recording a lot of shows, or multiple connections in the home, whereas with Cable, the whole channel mix is being pushed down multiple QAM channels.  Cloud PVR designs also provide for the Bell feature of watch 3 days back.

 

But from the user point of view, not really any benefit - for the last number of years, Bell could say Fibe TV was better than Rogers, which when you compare their PVR to Navigatr, they win hands down and a broader feature set because of the limitations of the box, not cable (just need a cable and cable Internet connection coming to the box.  Notice they didn't say IPTV is better, they said their product was better.  Not all companies are going IPTV - cogego for example has chosen not to for most of their service locations, and they have also chosen not to go with GB internet either as IPTV on a basic level does not need that speed, just an issue as we keep adding more devices in our homes.

 

So from a user point of view, quality and experience on IPTV and Cable with the new boxes that permit for OTT and other features like deep integration to IP based services are pretty much the same.  As the research I did suggests, the big winner is the networks and the ability for them to use one platform to provide many more choices of services  - less cost, and hopefully more revenue.

 

Just my perspective having seen both in play and researching the topics.  Lots of discussion on it on a simple Google search.

 

Someone more technical may be able to comment in more detail, but if you are a TV watcher like me who records a few shows for watching at another point, has a bit of OTT like netflix, and uses minimal Internet, and only runs one TV at a time, what ever is cheapest is all that matters to me. 

 

Just my two cents.  To be honest, expect to see a big giant marketing race by Rogers and current IPTV providers, maybe some temporary decreases in price during competition, but at the end of the day, it is TV.

 

Bruce

Re: X1 IPTV service

DeanLubaki
I Plan to Stick Around

This is not true: Bell Fibe ALT doesn't require you to have any Bell equipment. You can use an Apple TV, mobile device or any computer. 

I had that service before.

Re: X1 IPTV service

wayner92
I'm a Reliable Contributor

@BS wrote:

 

.  And is there benefits to IPTV over Cable - in the posts I have read in various google searches, not really any - the benefits are stated to be for the provider as they can provide more channels and reduces potential congestion on the network in that with IP, they are sending only the channels, signals you are requesting, say recording a lot of shows, or multiple connections in the home, whereas with Cable, the whole channel mix is being pushed down multiple QAM channels.  Cloud PVR designs also provide for the Bell feature of watch 3 days back.


Hasn't Rogers hadn't SDV (Switched digital video) since about 2008?  And doesn't that provide the same benefit of only pushing the channels that are being watched, rather than the whole channel mix?  Or does that not scale as well as IPTV over a large network?

Re: X1 IPTV service

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@wayner92 : Yes Rogers has had SDV for a long time, however, the most watched channels are still sent full time and all the channels are still sent to the node.  This shouldn't really make much difference because FTTN has plenty of bandwidth.  So I'm unfamiliar with exactly what bandwidth issues there are, but I guess it's perhaps from the node to the home for high speed internet options not yet available, as well as other technology.

 

I believe there are also other compression technologies available for IPTV which again require less bandwidth for "equivalent picture quality".  More on IPTV:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPTV



Re: X1 IPTV service

Lurker
I'm a Senior Advisor

@DeanLubaki wrote:

This is not true: Bell Fibe ALT doesn't require you to have any Bell equipment. You can use an Apple TV, mobile device or any computer. 

I had that service before.


GEntlemen, gentlemen, you're both right!

 

1. Bell allows you to use an Apple TV box as a wireless cable box on its Fibe service - for which you need to have and register it with a Fibe TV service

 

2.  Alt TV is a different, app-based TV product that allows pure streaming through Apple TV - no cable box required (you do need Fibe Internet).

 

3. I cant believe how many times Fibe TV has been mentioned on a Rogers forum.

Re: X1 IPTV service

Darkfire64
I've Been Here Awhile

Any updates on the rollout of the new service? My parents miss several features from Bell Fibe (restart, Netflix) and are considering switching back.

Re: X1 IPTV service

Sundog1966
I Plan to Stick Around
It was supposed to be available in March but information I am getting is it won’t be available till late this year or Q1 2019

Re: X1 IPTV service

Spoke to a Rogers service agent on the road today and he said they have been trained on the new platform and thought it would be launched in 2-4 weeks.

Re: X1 IPTV service

Pauly
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

You guys all mention some great points about the differences between Rogers vs. Bell, and Digital Cable vs. IPTV and the more popular Over The Top TV service.  

 

I have said this before, there will be a time in the not so distant future that Rogers and Bell will no longer need bulky Set Top Boxes or Modems or Receivers or what ever. Bell and Rogers, and possibly other Cable companies like Cogeco, Telus, East Link, Video Tron, etc, They will become an APP on your smart TV, you simply launch the App and start watching their channels,  They already are an App for your tablet or smart phone, and you can watch live and on demand TV while you are out of home, but I predict the time will come where there will be no difference between watching TV on your Smart TV thru the Rogers App, or watching TV on your Tablet thru the Rogers App, or Watching TV on your Mobile Phone via the Rogers App.  Right now, there are restrictions on where it works and what channels are available in your home network and outside your home network, but I'm pretty sure those content restrictions will be replaced with more up to date rules.  It will no doubtingly take time but It's already happening. But yes, Set Top boxes will not go away just yet, there will be people out there without a smart TV or with an older TV set who still require one, that will not change, but as more and more people move to Smart TV's the Cable companies have to eventually evolve and morph their TV service in such a way otherwise they will feel the pain like Rogers did by delaying their IPTV launch. 



Re: X1 IPTV service

wayner92
I'm a Reliable Contributor

I don't think that Cable TV will become a smart TV app and here is the reason - smart TV apps become obsolete WAY too quickly.  Yes, you can watch TV on your phone, but how old is your phone?  I am guessing that it is no more than 2-3 years old.  We replace our phones every 2-3 years, or even more frequently, but we keep our TVs for a decade or more.  If you have any Smart TVs older than about 5 years I am guessing that the Smart TV apps may not work so well as it is very likely that the app stopped being updated a few years ago.  It is like trying to watch Netflix on an original iPhone  - you will have to use a very old OS since newer OS won't run on an old phone.  And the Netflix app for that phone won't have been updated in a long time so it may not work and if it does work it may have limited functionality.  I have nine TVs in my house and at least two of them are over a decade old.  I saw an illustration of this last night - my 9 year old daughter picked up an iPad1 that we have and she was saying how funny the old icons looked for stuff like YouTube and Netflix.  And she was complaining that lots of stuff didn't work.  The iPad1 came out less than 8 years ago and is hopelessly obsolete today.

 

We are actually starting to see variations of mobile OSes installed on TVs.  Sony and Sharp TVs now come with AndroidTV installed as their SmartTV OS.  But they problem that I highlighted here will likely be an issue on those TVs - in a few years you won't be able to upgrade the version of the AnroidTV OS so it will lag behind.  And the Rogers/Bell/Shaw/etc app will stop supporting older versions of AndroidTV.  So then you will need to connect a box.  (Note - AndroidTV is not quite the same as Android on a TV, it is a variation of Android written for STBs or TVs where you use a remote control rather than a touchscreen.  The best known AndroidTV device is a Nvidia ShieldTV)

 

By the way, AndroidTV is the OS that would make the most sense for the future that you describe.  But I believe that I read that there is no AndroidTV app for Rogers - there is an Android app but not AndroidTV.  You might be able to sideload the Android app but it won't work as well without a Touchscreen UI.  See this thread on these forums about Rogers AnyplaceTV and AndroidTV. http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/TV/Anyplace-TV-Apple-TV-and-NVIDIA-Sheild-TV-Support/td-p/41648...

 

 

Re: X1 IPTV service

Pauly
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
The fact that their competitor Bell has launched a TV service that does NOT require a Set Top Box, which you can watch TV on a Phone (Via App), Tablet (Via App), Computer (Via web browser) or thru an Apple TV Box tells me that The day is definitely coming and we are closer than we think. Maybe I am wrong in the exact specifics but trust me, It is coming. I have predicted about this and talked about this with my friends and family at least 5 years ago and especially at a time when I was NOT working for any major telecommunications firms, I thought of this idea all by my self with of course the help of my knowledge of how this stuff works.



Re: X1 IPTV service

Loving the discussion here.

 

@wayner92 makes a really good point about TVs.

 

TVs have become pretty darn reliable in my opinion. You don't replace them because they wear out, you upgrade for a better picture. Upgrading has become a want over a need and it's hard to justify paying $1000+ for a slightly better picture when I'm still happy with my current TV.

 

But if I have to start thinking about my TVs processing power to run apps because set top boxes are no longer a thing? Perhaps set top boxes aren't going to go away as quickly as we think. Consumers may reject the notion of shorter TV upgrade cycles when they take full stock of all the other upgrade cycles they're caught up in.

 

I could see our phones becoming the "set top box" before consumers fully accept a short TV upgrade cycle.

 

If only TV prices were cheaper in Canada! Maybe I wouldn't fear the possibility of a 2-year upgrade cycle as much.

 

RogersCorey

Re: X1 IPTV service

Sundog1966
I Plan to Stick Around
I think in the long run we may end up with some type of very high capability home server that has storage and say 16 cpu cores. I think that media storage and presentation is only part of it. It will likely be cloud based with inheritance right to allow family members to maintain media and e-book licences. I also think utilities will want to be part of this for service management. You also may be able to rent out processing power to companies for data analysis. Apps will then run cloud based. This way the tv just has to be smart enough to access its server on the net.
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