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TiVO Patent Upheld, Dish May Have to Disable DVR 235

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a ruling by a lower court that Dish Network DVRs infringe upon TiVO's patent on a 'multimedia time warping system'. According to some analysts, this could not only make Dish liable for damages, it could force them to shut down their DVR service, harming their customers. The patent in question has already been reexamined once and the ruling on appeal (PDF) was unanimous."
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TiVO Patent Upheld, Dish May Have to Disable DVR

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  • MythTV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aardpig ( 622459 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:42AM (#22270718)
    I wonder if this will have any effect on MythTV []?
  • by okmijnuhb ( 575581 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:43AM (#22270730)
    ...isn't that prior art?
  • by Port1080 ( 515567 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:44AM (#22270734) Homepage
    They'll have to shell out for licensing. If they lose the DVR option, they're going to lose half their customers. I'm with Dish now, but the minute the DVR is disabled I'll be calling up to cancel (God help them if they try to hold me to my contract, since they'll clearly be breaking it by not providing the service they promised) and calling up DirecTV to see what they have on special that week...
  • MPEG Streams Only? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JustinRLynn ( 831164 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:47AM (#22270756)
    The patent specifically mentions conversion to and manipulation of the incoming signal via an MPEG formatted stream. Does this mean that devices that use another format for manipulating the streams, say Ogg/Vorbis/Theora, would not be infringing?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:55AM (#22270790)
    Correct, unless the other format is MPEG compliant
  • GPL3 workaround (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @02:38AM (#22270956) Journal
    I'm surprised that no one is commenting on the GPLv3 and the effect this has on Tivo using GPLed products.

    I can see several situations develop. First, Tivo uses GPLed code (GPLv3) with their time shifting software and is forced to not apply the patent to derived code. Second and probably more likely, they don't use GPLed code (or GPLv3 code) for the recording and time shifting and use the patent to stop hackers from messing around and getting the Tivo functions working with non Tivo firmware or signed kernels.

    Or 3, they don't use GPLv3 code all together and nothing has changed. But it is definitely interesting to think about.
  • Re:MythTV (Score:4, Interesting)

    by marsu_k ( 701360 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:10AM (#22272600)

    all that said mythTV is only good for people that care about looks, id much rather have one of the older solutions that can record multiple channels on a multiplex.
    I assume you're talking about DVB - it already is possible []. You'll have to get it from SVN at the moment, but the branch has apparently been merged into trunk so the feature should appear in the next official version. I can record three channels simultaneously from a single multiplex just fine with a single PCI DVB-C tuner - the configuration would allow for more though, I just haven't had the need to have more. The only major bug at the moment is the fact that when recording a channel, live TV defaults to the first available tuner, which often is a "virtual tuner", meaning that one can change channels only within the same multiplex that is being recorded, even though there are unused physical tuners as well. Although it is possible to change the active tuner from the on-screen menu, it is somewhat inconvenient, so I hope that issue gets fixed before it's officially released. Other than that, it seems to work very well at the moment.
  • by LordKazan ( 558383 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:19AM (#22272662) Homepage Journal
    Substantiate your claim with specific patents violated, and how, or retract your claim.
  • Re:No... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @02:22PM (#22274396)
    I believe it was GoVideo that had the two tape VCR. With this VCR, you could record one show and watch another previously recorded program. You could also start recording a show from the point you wanted to get up. This would allow you to continue watching from the point that you left off. In essence pausing.

    Back in the early 90s Pioneer had a (professional) magneto-optical video disk recorder that had two heads.

    You could use the two heads in multiple ways.

    The standard way would be to use one head to erase and the other to record - this meant you could record on a disk that already had something on rather than have to wipe it first, or use both heads in playback which meant you could do realtime edits.

    But it could be used in other ways - for example if you had a pre-erased disk you could use one head to record and the other to playback.

    I built a system for Pioneer that, using two of these machines, basically allowed an up to one hour delay in any live video feed. IIRC it basically worked like this (I've got the code somewhere on various backups but I can't be bothered to go and find it now). Initially both disks were erased. When you started up it started recording on the first disk. When that disk was full it started recording on the second disk. When you wanted to start playback the second head on the first disk starting playing back. Once that reached the end of the disk you switched to the second disk to continue playback. Once the first disk was full and playback had to have started before it was full (hence why you were limited to IIRC 48000 frames delay) the record head returned to the start and started erasing the disk. Once the second disk was full the first disk was (almost completely) erased and so recording could start on the first disk again. (I lost something like 100 frames of space each time I recycled a disk - to allow time for the head to return to the start. Actually was only about 15 frames but I allowed plenty of leeway)

    I also built a small bit of hardware that had a video sync separator connected to one of the RS232 status lines so the computer that was controlling the two disks and the video switcher could count exactly how many frames had been recorded and I didn't have to worry about clockdrift.

    That was roughly 100K (GBP) of kit, but it was "off the shelf". Other than the video sync separator (which wasn't strictly necessary unless you planned to run this thing for a day or more where clock drift might start to matter) the only "novelty" in this over and above what was documented in the manual for the video disk recorder was using two of them to mean you could run the output delay for more than half an hour of input. It would also have been completely trivial to stop and start the playback provided the total delay didn't exceed the capacity of the disks available. Indeed, doing that with just one disk was even suggested in the marketing - the idea being that a sports match could be recorded continuously while highlights could be played back.

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @06:13PM (#22276500)
    Yet more evidence that the VCR was better. Customers aren't left holding the bag when the parent company fucks up legally.

    I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Don't buy products that depend on a connection to their home company to function or can be remotely controlled.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito