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[#] Tue Jan 05 2010 14:11:30 EST from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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I'm flattered, but I was never really much more than a third-rate privilege escalator, aided and abetted by /etc/passwd crackers ;)

Did hack my uni once, using some script kiddie crap that was posted to bugtraq, but not really in a black hat sort of way...

[#] Wed Jan 06 2010 17:02:44 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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A script kiddie?  :)

[#] Thu Jan 07 2010 16:18:54 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I'm too stupid to be a script kiddie. Wouldn't know where to get the scripts.

[#] Sun Mar 07 2010 20:20:35 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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They're at it again.

Cablevision, the MSO who runs most of the cable television systems here in Uncensoredland, has shut off Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. They're locked in some sort of greed war about who gets more or less money for carrying crappy programming on a crappy cable system.

I don't know who to side with here. On one side, you've got a greedy MSO who is rapidly developing a reputation for doing this sort of thing (these are the same folks who shut off HGTV and Food Network back in January) ... and on the other side, you've got Disney, one of the Big Six media pigopolies.

I don't plan on watching the Oscars tonight (crappy mainstream awards for crappy mainstream media), but I'm still glad we don't have cable.

[#] Mon Mar 08 2010 09:36:25 EST from wizard of aahz @ Uncensored

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Actually Disney pulled the plug on WABC. Though they did get their act together right as the Oscars were starting last night.

Honestly I went back and forth on this one.

ABC makes all the money for the commercials they air and Cablevision makes money off of us who watch it. ABC airs for free over the air and yet insisted on money for over cable. Cablevision had been charging us for years and not paying ABC. Yet. Cablevision had to run wires, build satellite recievers, etc...

I think I just hate all of them. I'm gonna go read a book.

[#] Mon Mar 08 2010 11:30:20 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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ABC probably makes money off the commercials not marked for local-avail.

Cablevision (and local broadcasters) probably make money off local-avails.
I'd have to ask my boss about this (as he'd be more familiar with this area of broadcasting), but I think that's how it works.

Cablevision also makes money off the subscriptions, of course, and some of that money comes to ABC as part of a fee they require out of Cablevision.

Makes you wonder, sometimes, how actors make any money at all when musicians don't seem to make anywhere near as much (for the most part).

[#] Tue Mar 09 2010 00:34:25 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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[#] Tue Mar 09 2010 00:54:36 EST from the8088er @ Uncensored

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I want broadband toaster oven.

[#] Tue Mar 09 2010 12:41:35 EST from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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I just got AT&T U-Verse at home and wanted to share my experiences and what I've found through research so far.

First, a little background for those not familiar with it. AT&T U-Verse is AT&T's offering of digital content services. It includes a digital TV service, high-speed internet access, and digital voice service. TV service comes with an HD-ready DVR that can record up to four programs at once. As far as I know, there's currently a limit of one DVR per household. However, other non-DVR receivers can access programs recorded on the DVR, as well as schedule recordings on the DVR. Voice service includes unlimited local and long-distance calling, and interational calling packages are available for extra.

The techie stuff. From what I've read and gotten from the install tech, U-Verse is a Fiber-To-The-Neighborhood (FTTN) network, with the connection to the home using VDSL2 over a standard POTS copper pair. Wikipedia claims that in some markets, U-Verse is installed as Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP). The VDSL2 line terminates at a gateway box (made by 2wire) that provides four Ethernet ports, 802.11 wireless, a phone jack, and a coaxial connector. The set-top boxes connect to the gateway using either Ethernet or coax. When connected via coax, the STB's use the Home Phone Networking Alliance (HPNA) protocol to talk to each other and the gateway. I haven't had much chance to play with the gateway box, but the quick look I took at it didn't show any PPPoE, so I'm guessing it's clear IP with DHCP. The gateway doesn't have a "bridged Ethernet" mode, so, from what I've read, connecting a router/firewall behind the gateway, which I'm doing, requires that you configure your router as a DMZ host behind the gateway.

The TV service appears to be IPTV using IP multicast streaming. The tech informed us that U-Verse supplies four simultaneous IPTV streams to a household which are shared between all the receivers. This means that the DVR can record four channels at once, but no one else can watch anything on any other receiver. Or, similarly, each receiver could watch a different channel (up to four receivers per household). Two receivers watching the same channel only uses one stream, though.

I can't give any details on the voice service as it has yet to be installed, so I'll provide more details when that finally comes online.

My overall feeling of the install was mixed. The install tech was great.
Knew his stuff, was very friendly, worked hard, and stayed late to get everything up and running. The back-office, though, was another story. I was initially supposed to have TV, internet, and voice all installed on Feb. 23, but my phone number couldn't be ported over becuase it had the RingMaster(TM) service on it. Due to apparent FCC regulations, the AT&T U-Verse office couldn't remove that for me. I had to call "normal" AT&T to do that. At that point, my choice was to either get TV and internet installed, and wait for voice, or postpone the install until all three could be done. I chose to postpone to March 2nd. At 9 PM, March 1st, we get a call that they can't proceed with the voice install becuase of RingMaster. I called them, explained that RingMaster had been cancelled. They replied that it never showed up on their computers, and at this point, it would take them four business days to re-order the voice service. Since I had already scheduled time off work, I went ahead and had just the TV and internet service installed. The tech arrived on time around 1:45 PM, but was there until 10 PM getting everything set up. The biggest delay was due to a problem in the line upstream, which he had to call in a line technician to handle.

So far, the service is very nice. My family hasn't noticed any interruptions in the TV or internet service. Even though we're only getting standard definition (SD) service right now, the picture still seems clearer than our previous TV provider, DirecTV. Though, to be fair, the U-Verse receiver connects via HDMI to my TV whereas the DirecTV box connected via S-Video.

The stab in the heart for me? The TV receivers are made by Cisco (they bought Scientific Atlanta, one of the bigger manufacturers of set-top boxes) and run WindowsCE as the OS. For those who don't know me, I work for a competitor of Cisco, and I'm no big fan of Microsoft, either.
U-Verse Binder

[#] Tue Mar 09 2010 23:49:54 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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What's the aggregate bandwidth of the VDSL2 circuit? The bandwidth of a full 1080p high-definition broadcast is about 19 Mbps, so in order to carry four simultaneous channels plus voice channels and Internet bandwidth, they would have to run that copper pair quite fast.

[#] Wed Mar 10 2010 14:49:57 EST from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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The tech told me that given our distance to the nearest optical network terminal (ONT), 2,900+ feet, we'd be limited to a maximum total bandwidth of 19 Mbps.
He said that video + voice is only using 7 Mbps, which would leave 12 Mbps for internet traffic. When I asked him about HD service, he said that instead of four SD streams, we could get two SD streams and one HD stream simultaneously.

To get all that into only 7 Mbps tells me they're heavily recompressing the original video, but, to be honest, I haven't noticed any loss in picture quality or any artifacts during normal viewing.

I was really hoping that our house was closer to the ONT. From what I've read, VDSL2 can hit maximum speeds of 58 Mbps if the distance is close enough.

I guess I'll just have to wait until FTTH service is available here. Either that, or I'll have to set up a microwave uplink and cook some birds.
Bandwidth Binder

[#] Wed Mar 10 2010 17:30:39 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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2,900 feet is a fairly long distance for VDSL. The limitations he's describing seem about right. If they're using MPEG2, a high-def channel could consume up to 19.4 Mbps unless they're recompressing it (Comcast is notorious for this). Standard-def channels fit into about 4.85 Mbps.

Are they claiming that four SD video streams plus one telephony channel are being crammed into 7 Mbps?

[#] Wed Mar 10 2010 19:55:09 EST from Freakdog @ Dog Pound BBS II

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Tue Mar 09 2010 11:49:54 PM EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored
What's the aggregate bandwidth of the VDSL2 circuit? The bandwidth of a full 1080p high-definition broadcast is about 19 Mbps, so in order to carry four simultaneous channels plus voice channels and Internet bandwidth, they would have to run that copper pair quite fast.

Total bandwidth is around 28Mbps, if I recall...and as I've noted, the HD is compressed, allowing for more HD across the line.

[#] Wed Mar 10 2010 23:18:23 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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And you get to have those unsightly VRAD's all over your town :)

[#] Thu Mar 11 2010 12:24:52 EST from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Right now, we've gone with the 6 Mbps internet service to save a few bucks a month, but I asked the tech what he felt would be the maximum speed we could get if we decided to upgrade. He said given the distance, we'd be limited to 12 Mbps. Since he said that the total bandwidth of the line is only 19 Mbps, that would seem to say that, yes, U-Verse is cramming four SD video streams and one voice stream into 7 Mbps.

Either that, or the numbers he gave were wrong and either the total bandwidth is much higher, or the leftover for internet is much smaller.
Bandwidth Binder

[#] Thu Mar 11 2010 12:31:50 EST from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Here's the WikiPedia article about U-Verse:

It mentions that video streams are encoded with H.264, and that 7 Mbps is currently reserved for video. That would seem to say that 7 Mbps is just a minimum, not a maximum, so the actual bandwidth used by the video streams may actually be higher.
U-Verse Binder

[#] Fri Mar 12 2010 19:35:20 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Ok, H.264 (MPEG4) does compress better than MPEG2, but at the rates you're quoting, it's still got to be recompressed an awful lot.

I wonder what AT&T considers the lifespan of this service to be. I can't imagine they would consider it futureproof -- not even as much as HFC (which has quite a bit of life left in it) or PON (which could potentially have a service life of 50 to 100 years on the fiber plant, which will continue to be useful through many generations of equipment upgrades).

[#] Mon Mar 15 2010 13:23:23 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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I'd like to think that it's a stop-gap solution until they can roll out enough fiber to do FTTH. However, much of that thinking could just be me wanting to have a 1 Gbps Ethernet fiber link into my home. :)

[#] Tue Mar 16 2010 10:24:19 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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As a FTTH subscriber, I can assure you it's worth dreaming about. I've had it for nine months and I'm still giddy about it. :)

[#] Tue Mar 23 2010 03:18:10 EDT from fireball @ Uncensored

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This town is gonna go all FTTH thanks to my brothers company and a large
government loan and grant for underserved areas (they run fiber all over
Needless to say the compeditors aren't too happy, mostly because they're
doomed. Currently they're running retarded "our cable company has had
fiber deployed for years" ads and trying to find some method of getting
the goverment to revoke the loans, which isn't going to happen.

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