HD Upgrade

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J

JSB

Thread Starter
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Aug 2, 2005
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Fairfax, VA
If you have an H10 box this applies to you, although I am not sure this CSR knew what he was talking about. I just got off the phone with a CSR who indicated that the H10 boxes will be sent a software upgrade so that they will be compatible with the mpeg4 format coming out at the end of the year. Only after it is confirmed that your H10 box will not accept the upgrade will they swap out your box for the H20. The CSR also said that the newer H10 boxes on the market will accept the upgrade while the older ones originally produced will not. In essence, if you have an H10 box you may not be getting the new H20. Can anyone confirm this?

I thought that all older boxes would be replaced, end of story.
 
hancox

hancox

Pub Member / UConnaholic
Supporting Founder
Nov 23, 2003
3,588
64
Monroe, CT
everything I've heard says:

1) The CSR is wrong

2) The CSR is usually wrong :)
 
asousa

asousa

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 8, 2004
429
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Stoughton, MA
yeah, there has been NO evidence to support this....I don't think there could even be a "software" upgrade that could do the trick....
 
J

JeffreyDJ

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 25, 2005
110
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Nashville, TN
When I bought my H10, I specifically asked about MPEG4 upgrade. They indicated we *WOULD* be swapped out when the time comes.

BTW-What is the latest software version on the H10?
 
Neutron

Neutron

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Supporting Founder
Nov 7, 2003
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Unless the H10s have the MPEG-4 decoder built in, then they will never decode MPEG-4. No software upgrade could allow this.
 
J

JSB

Thread Starter
Member
Aug 2, 2005
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Fairfax, VA
I bought an H10 a little under a month ago (as an add on receiver for a new bedroom HD set) with the understanding it would get upgraded to the H20 as well. When I spoke to the CSR today he specifically said that the newer H10's could be upgraded with a software download and would not require a swap to the H20. Circuit City will take back my new H10 within the 30 day return period. I am thinking this is what I am going to do, and wait for the H20 from ValueE. I don't want to chance being stuck with the H10.
 
colofan

colofan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 2, 2004
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Loveland,CO
During the swap out if I send them my machine I assume that I will have full ownership of this box? I have no interest in leasing.
 
G

gwinchilla

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 17, 2004
23
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Hurry up and wait?

JSB said:
I bought an H10 a little under a month ago (as an add on receiver for a new bedroom HD set) with the understanding it would get upgraded to the H20 as well. When I spoke to the CSR today he specifically said that the newer H10's could be upgraded with a software download and would not require a swap to the H20. Circuit City will take back my new H10 within the 30 day return period. I am thinking this is what I am going to do, and wait for the H20 from ValueE. I don't want to chance being stuck with the H10.

Why? To hurry up and wait?

Enjoy what you have for now...it sounds like it's going to be awhile for anything new to show up...
 
J

JSB

Thread Starter
Member
Aug 2, 2005
11
0
Fairfax, VA
gwinchilla said:
Why? To hurry up and wait?

Enjoy what you have for now...it sounds like it's going to be awhile for anything new to show up...

No, but I can put up with SD for a month until the H20's come out in the beginning of Sept. I guess I should say IF they come out in Sept.
 
J

JeffreyDJ

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 25, 2005
110
0
Nashville, TN
"IF" is the key word there. :)

I decided to get the H10. I am sure technically the could be upgraded if designed properly (i.e. if the decoder is on a flashable chip), but that opens up a huge can of worms.

Either way, I don't dislike the H10 (aside from some minor hassles, like Favorites being screwed up ALL OF THE TIME), and if they want to "upgrade it" I really don't care. I evetually want the new HD DVR or Tivo HD DVR for the faily room, so my H10 will be in the bedroom at some point anyway.
 
fkostyn

fkostyn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 9, 2004
476
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F - Y - I I did recieve an update to my H10 last night at 1 AM.
 
U

Umbra_Vipera

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 21, 2005
22
0
Missouri
Software upgrade is theoretically possible

There are two types of decoders...hardware based and software based. I know very little about the decoders on D* equipment so someone with more knowledge on the physical characteristics of the boxes may prove me wrong but...a software update to decode MPEG4 is theoretically possible.

D* is able to provide firmware updates to the receivers. Therefore we know that some sort of EPROM is in use. If the receiver uses a software based decoder rather than hardware, re-writing an EPROM with new software could allow for MPEG4 decoding.

Think of it this way...if you want to play back a DVD on your computer, your PC uses whatever software you have installed for DVD playback to decode it and play it. If you want to view a QuickTime movie your PC uses whatever software you have installed to decode that material. Same hardware, same output device, just different software. :)
 
H

hahler2

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 14, 2005
454
84
Ashton, SD
PC's have a lot more computing power than a D* receiver does. I forget what exactly they have for processing power but I think someone who knows more about this than I do said that they have less than a Pentium I. Can you imagine trying to decode MPEG4 on that slow of a computer?
 
U

Umbra_Vipera

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 21, 2005
22
0
Missouri
hahler2 said:
PC's have a lot more computing power than a D* receiver does. I forget what exactly they have for processing power but I think someone who knows more about this than I do said that they have less than a Pentium I. Can you imagine trying to decode MPEG4 on that slow of a computer?
I really don't know that much about the hardware in the receivers. There are a couple of things that I want to point out though. According to the original post...
JSB said:
The CSR also said that the newer H10 boxes on the market will accept the upgrade while the older ones originally produced will not.
This could indicate that the newer models have faster processors and/or more EPROM memory. Also, please keep in mind that a D* receiver isn't processing as much data as PC is. But then again...I didn't design the receivers so I'm just speculating at best :) . I just wanted to point out that it was possible that a software update could allow for decoding MPEG4 signals.
 
riggscm

riggscm

SatelliteGuys Pro
our STB's have a hardware based decoder.

Now I guess its possible that the new STB's, like the H10 could ship with a MPEG4 decoder that is dumbed down until a update flips a switch, but that doesn't make much sense to me.

BTW take it from a IT admin, the average computer isn't processing all that much data when doing word processing or data entry, or even doing basic accounting work.
To really tax a PC you need to run games, work on CAD/CAM, or CGI and the like, unless you are running specialized servers of course.

If our STB's were doing a software decode, then they could be ALOT smaller also
 
U

Umbra_Vipera

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 21, 2005
22
0
Missouri
riggscm said:
BTW take it from a IT admin, the average computer isn't processing all that much data when doing word processing or data entry, or even doing basic accounting work.
To really tax a PC you need to run games, work on CAD/CAM, or CGI and the like, unless you are running specialized servers of course.
I, like you, am an IT Admin and I agree that the average computer isn't processing all that much. I guess I should have worded my post a little differently. The message that I was attempting to get across was that the processor in the STB wouldn't be required to process as much data as a PC could be asked to process. Therefore the processor in a STB doesn't have to have the processing power that a PC does.

But...since the decoders are hardware based...firmware updates are not going to do the trick. :)
 
H

HD-Source

Member
Aug 1, 2005
9
0
I just order a new STB from D* and they are sending me an H10 model. When I inquired as the new H20 model STB's or MPEG 4 this is what they had to say...

D* CSR said - "The H20 model should be out in the 3rd quarter of '05 but only ready for select [12] cities in the USA, no schedule yet as to how they will do the upgrade plan for existing H10 people." "We (DTV) will swap out H10 models as needed to make the move to MPEG4" (he wouldn't coment to saying if this upgrade was for free :( )"As for MPEG4 this will happen on H10 STB via a firmware update manufactured after Feb 05" (? how will we know this???) "and should also be available in the 1st generation of H20 STB's."

This guy knew exactly what I was refereing to and had instant answers to my questions. It took me a half dozen reps before somebody knew anything about this subject. Only got a first name of Chris (sorry I didn't get a last name for you all). If this story is true than how can I tell if my H10 STB is manufactured after Feb '05? I just order my H10 this month.

Thanks and if anyone else can confirm the above please do so.
 
E

EEJay

SatelliteGuys Guru
Jan 8, 2005
144
0
hahler2 said:
PC's have a lot more computing power than a D* receiver does. I forget what exactly they have for processing power but I think someone who knows more about this than I do said that they have less than a Pentium I. Can you imagine trying to decode MPEG4 on that slow of a computer?
It depends more on the processor architecture than the computing speed of that processor. Since a PC has to be so versatile, its processor is a Reduced Instruction Set Computing processor, meaning it does very simple tasks, but it does them extremely fast. If D* receivers have ASIC processors, they can run at a slower speed because those processors are optimized for a specific task. To answer your question, a Pentium running at a few hundred MHz couldn't decode MPEG4, but an ASIC processor running at a few hundred MHz could.
 
riggscm

riggscm

SatelliteGuys Pro
EEJay said:
It depends more on the processor architecture than the computing speed of that processor. Since a PC has to be so versatile, its processor is a Reduced Instruction Set Computing processor, meaning it does very simple tasks, but it does them extremely fast. If D* receivers have ASIC processors, they can run at a slower speed because those processors are optimized for a specific task. To answer your question, a Pentium running at a few hundred MHz couldn't decode MPEG4, but an ASIC processor running at a few hundred MHz could.

Sorry EEJay but you are wrong in some aspects of your post.

Specifically where you state that a PC uses a RISC based processor.
PC's use a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) processor. Anything that uses a X86 based processor architecture is CISC, not RISC. So that means that all the 386's, 486's, Pentium I, II, III, IV, AMD Duron, Athlon, Athlon64, Opteron, and Sempron (to name a few) as well as many others I did not name are CISC based. Heck Windows wont even run on RISC based machine with out the assistance from some add on software.

IMO the most well known although not very widespread use of a RISC based consumer product is/was the PowerMAC.
 
scuiuc

scuiuc

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Jul 26, 2005
7
0
Is anyone aware of what type of chip the new H10's are using? Or how different the MPEG4 compression technology is than MPEG2? Could it be possible if it was only only slightly different, that they could upgrade it?
 
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