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Question Pace Home Content Sharing ( AVS Forum HDTV Recorders )
Updated: 2010-07-23 12:20:30 (50)
Pace Home Content Sharing

This thread is for the discussion of the Pace Home Content Sharing (HCS) product. HCS enables you to have a diskless, full dual tuner solution for every STB client in your home and also share/view recorded content on any client.

The recordings are stored on a NAS (aka Jayhawk) and can be accessed by any client on the network.

Background/Press Releases:
Articles on HCS:

Firmware Release Notes:
  • DC900X NAS (Jayhawk)
  • DC700X (aka Apache) client
Online manuals:

Online Advertising/Promos:

Sunflower Multi-Room DVR

FAQ:

1. How are clients connected to the NAS?

Either Ethernet (GigE if more than one client) or MoCA 1.1 (RF).

2. How many simultaneous streams are supported by the NAS in the initial release?

Up to 9 full-bitrate MPEG-2 HD streams (six recording and three playback).


3. Does Jayhawk support eSATA drives?

eSATA support is not available in the initial release. It will be added in a future maintenance release.

Answers: Pace Home Content Sharing ( AVS Forum HDTV Recorders )
Pace Home Content Sharing

Awesome! Thanks for posting

Can you give us some insight on how it is used, perhaps more pictures?

EDIT: One more question, will this still use the iGuide software interface?

trabbic

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by trabbic
Can you give us some insight on how it is used, perhaps more pictures?
I will be updating the initial post as time permits with FAQs, docs, release notes etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trabbic
will this still use the iGuide software interface?
The same revision of TV Guide is used in both HCS and non-HCS firmware releases. We've added a new screen where you can see/play/manage/delete all of the recordings on the Network but there's no new UI to learn.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

More questions:

How many clients will the MoCA 1.1 connection support?

Will iGuide support the other features of the Connected Platform product like, DLNA?

trabbic

Pace Home Content Sharing

Please add a uPNP server on the NAS that would serve all the shows (including HD content) that don't have CCI Copy Protection bit set to a uPNP client (like the PS3). Don't forget to make sure uPNP FF/RR and skip works to allow customer's to skip commercials.

I would assume that content with the Copy Protection bit set would not be allowed by cable labs to be sent over uPNP. But Microsoft Media Center and Tivo are not encrypting non-Copy Protection bit content which would allow users to currently use uPNP to share them.

This new product sounds cool.

WhatHappend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by trabbic
How many clients will the MoCA 1.1 connection support?
The system currently supports up to three fully functional dual tuner DVR clients. If you choose Ethernet, a GigE switch is a requirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trabbic
Will iGuide support the other features of the Connected Platform product like, DLNA?
Can't get into too much technical detail right now until the initial press releases/announces are complete. Hope you understand.

I will answer both of your questions in detail in the future though.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

How will the HCS handle the various Cable box tuners in a situation like this:

3 shows are recording on 2 cable boxes, if the user wants to watch a live show on the cable box that is currently using its two tuners to record, can it switch to the free tuner on the unused cable box to continue recording and display the live show?

Perhaps will it stream the show all the way from the unused tuner, as if it were playing back a recording?

trabbic

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
Can't get into too much technical detail right now until the initial press releases/announces are complete. Hope you understand.

I will answer both of your questions in detail in the future though.
Totally understand, thanks for all the info!

trabbic

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend
Please add a uPNP server on the NAS
You'll be happy to hear that the NAS is a uPNP server.

As to the specifics of your other requests, I will answer, just give me some time.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Call me cynical, but you will have to use the cablco's propritery NAS and not be able to add/upgrade HDD's?

Further, functionality will be intentionally crippled.

And not many cableco's will want the burden of more "expensive" leased hardware (NAS) & related support costs.
Heck-what does this provide which existing motorola DVR's have technologicaly provided but cableco's ELECTED to cripple for years?

Good luck-I would like to see more functionality offered to consumers, but dont see the cable operators becoming progressive thinkers anytime soon.

qz3fwd

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
Call me cynical, but you will have to use the cablco's propritery NAS and not be able to add/upgrade HDD's?
There is an eSATA port on the server (DC900X). The first software release does not support eSATA but a follow-on release will offer eSATA support as mentioned in the press release. Since you'll be able to attach any HDD you want, can you explain why you think you can't add your own storage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
Further, functionality will be intentionally crippled.
Please explain, what functionality do you believe will be intentionally crippled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
And not many cableco's will want the burden of more "expensive" leased hardware (NAS) & related support costs.
As witnessed by customer statements/testimonials in the press releases in the first post, cable companies that are our customers are extremely enthused about this solution. Reaction to the product at SCTE also has been amazing.

Judging from the PMs I've been receiving, AVS customers are extremely exited about it also. In addition, I'm in close contact with numerous people that have trialed the solution and they indicate they couldn't live without it.

Why do you believe MSOs will not be interested in this solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
Heck-what does this provide which existing motorola DVR's have technologicaly provided but cableco's ELECTED to cripple for years?
Here are some highlights of things that can only be done with this solution:
  • Ability to view/play/delete content recorded by any client in the home.
  • Ability to pause playback in one room and resume in another room.
  • MoCA 1.1 support.
  • IP streaming in the home (either MoCA or Ethernet--you are not locked into either transport).
  • Don't need to be a Ph. D to use it. Each client is a fully-functional DVR that can record two MPEG-2 HD streams and play an MPEG-2 HD stream. If you know how to use a standalone DVR, you know how to use this. Other solutions have playback only clients and a convoluted playback matrices once clients start streaming HD content.
  • Ability to see exactly what other clients are playing/recording (I'll be posting screen shots at some point).
  • Don't have to worry about clients being limited by the number of tuners on the server.
  • Don't have to worry about the kids stealing a tuner on the server away to record Barney while you're watching the last two minutes of a football game (i.e. the clients are not limited by the availability of tuners on the server).

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
but dont see the cable operators becoming progressive thinkers anytime soon.
Please re-read the Engadget article. They got to play with the system at the show and said this:

There aren't many times where we're caught off guard by a new product enough to think, why didn't we think of that, but this is one of them. The set-top-box manufacture, Pace, has just launched one of the coolest multi-room DVR solutions we've ever heard of.

Sounds pretty progressive to me.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by trabbic
3 shows are recording on 2 cable boxes, if the user wants to watch a live show on the cable box that is currently using its two tuners to record, can it switch to the free tuner on the unused cable box to continue recording and display the live show?
The tuner sharing feature that you outline above is not available in the first release. Remember, the same version of TV Guide is used in the HCS solution and that is limited to two tuners per client.

What you do get is a fully functional dual-tuner DVR in each client (i.e. you shouldn't be losing any functionality).

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Well, lets see. Motorola boxes have had:
Ethernet-Check
USB-Check
eSATA-Check
IEEE1394-Check
DOCIS Modem-Check
For years. How many of those have the MSO's enabled? Lets see:
eSATA-NO
USB-NO
Ethernet-NO
IEEE1394-Only by Federal Government Mandate!
Modem-?Presumably for communication w/head end?

So the exclusive features you mention are pretty much software.
Who controls the STB software-MSO's.
Why havent they enabled this hardware functionality?
Why dont the cable operators @SCTE you mentioned know what they could have done years ago?

Dont get me wrong-I too would love features like what you mention.
I just dont have faith in the MSO's.

I hope you guys become billionaires with this idea and it catches on in a big way-good luck.

qz3fwd

Pace Home Content Sharing

Am I correct in assuming that this product involves completely new hardware and that existing Pace PVRs, Tahoe, Aspen, Whistler, Summit etc. cannot be integrated in some useful way?

Kritiker

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kritiker
Am I correct in assuming that this product involves completely new hardware and that existing Pace PVRs, Tahoe, Aspen, Whistler, Summit etc. cannot be integrated in some useful way?
The first release supports Apache clients which have been available for quite a while now and are documented in the Pace MPEG-4 boxes thread. How they are used are described in the Engadget article. The reason for Apache as opposed to the other STBs you outlined is it ships without an HDD so its more cost effective for the cable provider.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
eSATA-NO
All of the MSOs (other than Comcast) that supply Pace boxes have enabled the eSATA port for years. The eSATA issue are/were due to problems with MOT firmware/TV Guide and not an MSO issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
So the exclusive features you mention are pretty much software.
For the most part, you are right. Software is the big differentiator. But the MoCA and Ethernet capabilities are new and different from those you outline above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
Why dont the cable operators @SCTE you mentioned know what they could have done years ago?
Are you talking about Motorola boxes or Pace boxes? Pace boxes have had some of those features enabled at a variety of MSOs. Unfortunately, I can't get into specifics about any MSO's adoption rates of new technology (or MSOs in general). Those on the thread can feel free to continue the discussion, but its an area I can't comment on publicly other than to say that they are very excited about HCS and have deployed other technologies Pace has introduced in the past that were not available in other STB providers.

If you read carefully through my post (and other posts of mine) you may find some hints as to reasons for the issues you outlined above.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

The first post in this thread has been updated with links to the Jayhawk and Apache release notes.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

This is an exciting product for sure. Now only if the people in charge of the software / user interface would spruce it up a notch.

Say, if Rovi would get with the bandwagen, would this solution be able to support an HD guide user interface? Doesn't have to be 1080p or anything... 720p would do. Anything's better than the SD "Super Nintendo" era graphics from 1992.

Now if we could install the Moxi software on it, maybe that would be cool :-)


Hope Comcast picks this up. I have a feeling Service Electric might too (they use Pace stuff already).

cypherstream

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
You'll be happy to hear that the NAS is a uPNP server.
If the NAS is only uPNP to the clients, how well does FF/RR and 30 sec skip work? Is it just as responsive as when the HDD is in the client? I am not impressed with the 30sec skip response on the PACE 779x (when you press it 5 quick times hoping to have it jump instantly forward 2.5min and instead it sequentially process each jump with a little video played between each skip).

How well does the commercial skipping work with this central storage model?

WhatHappend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend
If the NAS is only uPNP to the clients, how well does FF/RR and 30 sec skip work? Is it just as responsive as when the HDD is in the client? I am not impressed with the 30sec skip response on the PACE 779x (when you press it 5 quick times hoping to have it jump instantly forward 2.5min and instead it sequentially process each jump with a little video played between each skip).

How well does the commercial skipping work with this central storage model?
From my experience the behavior is pretty much exactly like the 779x.

toadtaste

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by toadtaste
From my experience the behavior is pretty much exactly like the 779x.
And this is what other testers have reported. Since its the same version of TV guide, this type of behavior should be unchanged.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Is this product using the latest Broadcom BCM7420 CPU?

cypherstream

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypherstream
Is this product using the latest Broadcom BCM7420 CPU?
Sorry, can't comment on this in a public forum or via PM.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Will this feature be available on the 787x DVR model?

WhatHappend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend
Will this feature be available on the 787x DVR model?
Not at the current time. The priority has been on diskless clients given the lower cost to the cable provider. However, several cable providers have requested it be supported.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

FYI,

Updated the first post with a link to Sunflower's HCS comparison web page.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

I keep lurking on Buckeyes website hoping for some info about this. This may actually cause me to own more then one box.

I saw we can use ethernet for the streams, I really hope you can include support for media players. Like my PS3.

adam856

Pace Home Content Sharing

Will there be a feature that allows the customer to backup their recorded content so if a hard drive at the server fails they don't lose everything?

icewalker

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by icewalker
Will there be a feature that allows the customer to backup their recorded content so if a hard drive at the server fails they don't lose everything?
Not in the initial release. I've logged your request (others have requested it also).

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam856
I really hope you can include support for media players. Like my PS3.
This feature is not in the first release. However, this is a popular request and I've logged it.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam856
.....I saw we can use ethernet for the streams, I really hope you can include support for media players. Like my PS3.
The only media players which will ever be allowed to stream content over ethernet will be the likes of XBOX360 & PS3 whose manufacturers are able and willing to deal with encrypted streams. My guess is that ALL content will be subject to encryption since there is the possibility of copy once/never content could be streamed. It will cost a lot of money to add this to media players and the likes of Tvix/Dune/WD wont sheel out the bucks required to appease big content/cable company paranoia.

qz3fwd

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by toadtaste
From my experience the behavior is pretty much exactly like the 779x.
I'm on Sunflower Broadband in Lawrence, Kansas and recently picked up this system. The 30-second skip, pause, FF, REW responsiveness is extremely slow and frustrating.

I love the convenience, but I sure don't like the hardware. U-Verse isn't available to us yet, but I'll be curious to see what the responsiveness is like with them.

bmwjhawk

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwjhawk
The 30-second skip, pause, FF, REW responsiveness is extremely slow and frustrating.
This is not normal or expected. Did you have a stand alone Apache or Aspen before you got the HCS setup? If so, how much slower is this than your previous configuration.

Can you please post screen caps for the MoCA diags pages (they can be found under page 26 (HCS)).

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
This is not normal or expected. Did you have a stand alone Apache or Aspen before you got the HCS setup? If so, how much slower is this than your previous configuration.

Can you please post screen caps for the MoCA diags pages (they can be found under page 26 (HCS)).
My previous standalone DVR was a Pace Tahoe... maybe it was excessively fast?

With the Tahoe, I was able to press 30-second skip 6 times in a row and blow through commercials. Now, as a PP mentioned, I have to press, wait, press, wait sometimes, the delay is so excessive that Im not sure if its received my request.

Requested screencap:

\

bmwjhawk

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwjhawk
Requested screencap:
Can you please select each node and report the MoCA info for the node?

Thanks.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
Can you please select each node and report the MoCA info for the node?

Thanks.



bmwjhawk

Pace Home Content Sharing

bmwjhawk,

Thanks for the additional screen caps. You seem to have a very nice MoCA install based on the #'s I see in diags.

Am I correct that you only have one MoCA client on your network? Do you have an ethernet client also?

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
The first release supports Apache clients which have been available for quite a while now and are documented in the Pace MPEG-4 boxes thread. How they are used are described in the Engadget article. The reason for Apache as opposed to the other STBs you outlined is it ships without an HDD so its more cost effective for the cable provider.
Yes but what about those of us with an investment in the existing boxes, Summits in my case?

Kritiker

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kritiker
Yes but what about those of us with an investment in the existing boxes, Summits in my case?
I understand your concerns, but I can only comment on publicly available information and Apache is the only publicly announced HCS client at the current time. Sorry.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Recently received my Jayhawk and three Apaches from Sunflower. I love it already. I am assuming the firmware updates haven't reached a point where external hard drives are accepted (please correct me if I'm wrong). When that happens, will the external HDD be plugged into the Jayhawk? Will formatting be similar to the previous Pace HD DVR box? I can't see an obvious way to get into any Jayhawk menus, but I know how to get to the Apache diagnostic menus.

chestergrande

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
I am assuming the firmware updates haven't reached a point where external hard drives are accepted (please correct me if I'm wrong).
You're understanding is correct. eSATA drives are not yet supported in the current Jayhawk firmware release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
When that happens, will the external HDD be plugged into the Jayhawk?
If/when eSATA drives are supported, they would be connected to the Jayhawk (server) and not the client (Apache).

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
Will formatting be similar to the previous Pace HD DVR box?
Since that functionality isn't available, I can't definitively state how you'd format it, but its likely that you'd be able to format it via diagnostics like its done today on stand alone boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
I can't see an obvious way to get into any Jayhawk menus, but I know how to get to the Apache diagnostic menus.
Since Jayhawk doesn't have an output port, its diagnostics are obtained via (through) the Apache. To get there, go to diags Page 26, then select NAS. At that point, you're in the Jayhawk diags.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Thanks, lindend. Your info is always appreciated. Functionality is great so far. However, in the last couple weeks, I have had two problems. First thing - two Apaches on other TVs (not main TV) were not be able to see what had been recorded on the Jayhawk, so I unplugged the Jayhawk and then reconnected - seemed to work. Secondly, I lost about 80% of my recordings (about 25 HD recordings), which were a mix of half hour and hour long HD shows and some HD movies. I lost them all when our house lost power two days ago. I seem to remember the previous HD DVRs having the same issue, but it was mostly HD programs over an hour that were affected (if I remember correctly), and I don't remember it happening after I hooked up an external HDD. This time, I lost most everything accept for a few seemingly random programs. Is there a reason the internal HDD recorded items are affected by power outages but my previous box with external HDD didn't seem to be affected?

chestergrande

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
Thanks, lindend. Your info is always appreciated. Functionality is great so far. However, in the last couple weeks, I have had two problems. First thing - two Apaches on other TVs (not main TV) were not be able to see what had been recorded on the Jayhawk, so I unplugged the Jayhawk and then reconnected - seemed to work. Secondly, I lost about 80% of my recordings (about 25 HD recordings), which were a mix of half hour and hour long HD shows and some HD movies. I lost them all when our house lost power two days ago. I seem to remember the previous HD DVRs having the same issue, but it was mostly HD programs over an hour that were affected (if I remember correctly), and I don't remember it happening after I hooked up an external HDD. This time, I lost most everything accept for a few seemingly random programs. Is there a reason the internal HDD recorded items are affected by power outages but my previous box with external HDD didn't seem to be affected?
Very likely its using a poorly written proprietary file system (non-journalled) due to encryption paranoia?

qz3fwd

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
Very likely its using a poorly written proprietary file system (non-journalled) due to encryption paranoia?
Jayhawk uses the same filesystem as other Pace boxes and its not proprietary...its a standard Linux filesystem.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
Is there a reason the internal HDD recorded items are affected by power outages but my previous box with external HDD didn't seem to be affected?
Its a bug and we've been investigating. When you encounter these type of issues (loss of connectivity to the Jayhawk), I'd recommend power cycling the clients first before rebooting the Jayhawk. Usually that will remedy the issue.

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
Its a bug and we've been investigating. When you encounter these type of issues (loss of connectivity to the Jayhawk), I'd recommend power cycling the clients first before rebooting the Jayhawk. Usually that will remedy the issue.
Thanks, I'll try cycling power on the clients next time. Do you recommend just powering all three clients off and then on again, or powering them all off, unplug, plug in and powering on again?

chestergrande

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
Do you recommend just powering all three clients off and then on again, or powering them all off, unplug, plug in and powering on again?
I'd only power cycle the client(s) you were having issues with. One other thing you might try before rebooting anything is to pull the ethernet cable for 20-30 seconds and then reconnect. This may cause recordings that aren't in sync to be synchronized.

How frequently are you seeing this problem?

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
How frequently are you seeing this problem?
The past week, it's been about every other day. I typically turn off each client when not in use. I never turn off the Jayhawk drive. Is that the recommended method, or should all stay on all the time?

chestergrande

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by chestergrande
The past week, it's been about every other day. I typically turn off each client when not in use. I never turn off the Jayhawk drive. Is that the recommended method, or should all stay on all the time?
The Jayhawk should be left on at all times unless something is wrong.

When you say you turn each client off, do you mean the power button on the front panel or removing the AC power to the box? The AC power should remain on at all times unless you want to reboot it.

How many recordings do you have?

lindend

Pace Home Content Sharing

Long time...

No major problems recently, other than the annoyance of a "glitch" (?) after watching a recording from DVR and then, when going to the live channel, it's not live. You have to change channels to get back to true live. And, if you try starting another recording before you do that, there can be problems (not starting, breaking into two parts, etc.). Haven't lost any recordings in some time. Maybe due to cable co. installing booster.

Any word on when the eSATA port will be activated via firmware update? The lack of space is annoying when recording HD exclusively, especially when I have 1GB that I used on previous Pace box sitting there collecting dust.

chestergrande

Pace Home Content Sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend
Its a bug and we've been investigating. When you encounter these type of issues (loss of connectivity to the Jayhawk), I'd recommend power cycling the clients first before rebooting the Jayhawk. Usually that will remedy the issue.
I too have been having the "not showing all recordings" issue. I reboot the clients, and they show back up, but it is a pain to always have to do this. I have contacted sunflower about it, and they always tell me the same thing, just to unplug and replug. Just wanted to post to let you know others are having the same issues. Let me know if you would like more details (ie dia. pages, etc).

Thanks

Gudy

gudy

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