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841 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 48


  Reply # 832610 8-Jun-2013 12:00 Send private message

My two cents on the market for this is:

If it is a non-technical customer you will be lucky to get them to pay for a lot of features as they don't care or don't understand the benefit. Also by nature they are likely to find it difficult to understand a number of useful features eg. NAS, VPNs and/or multiple DNSs. I think they would even find it hard to use a bandwidth monitoring tool given that most people don't know what an ip address, a mac address or the difference between ipv4 and ipv6 and the utility of NAT.

If telecom are planning to sell to geeks, we probably want features which I believe are well outside the ability of Telecom staff to maintain or develop to a solid standard. Therefore I think the idea about using DD-WRT or Tomato is good, but given most of us know how to get this and which routers are compatible, unless the hardware is really good, most of us aren't going to be interested.

I suppose the only group left are those in the middle who know you might be able to obtain and store your media centrally somehow, but don't know how to do it. Telecom doesn't really have any experience in delivering this sort of product, so I fail to see how they could make something that is both easy to use and powerful enough to deliver what is needed to do this, given the difficulty in doing this well faced by most of us (need I mention EPGs?).

That being said this has kinda been a kinda fun brain teaser.

Jon

163 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 23


  Reply # 832623 8-Jun-2013 12:24 Send private message

The unfortunate thing with adding media/TV capabilities in a device like this is, it is difficult to get it all working flawlessly. Not to mention dedicating enough processor cycles to actually do the devices primary function.... move the frames/packets. And then there's the resulting heat from trying to do too much at once!!!

TiVo was a bit of a flop in my humble opinion (sorry Telecom). No effort has been made to release a new unit and I understand things are not looking good for Australia either.
So why are Telecom looking to reinvent the wheel?
Is TiVo really going the way of the dodo.

I believe the argument that lots of people don't have media capabilities in the home is flawed. There are lots of more compelling options these days (PlayStation/Xbox/Raspberry Pi/Ouya). Some of them very cheap and easy to setup.

I myself, wouldn't buy such a unit, but would develop my own - sans media capabilities.
I want a packet pushing device please.

1603 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 64

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  Reply # 832781 8-Jun-2013 20:33 Send private message

Built in HDD: Nah whats the point when its not a core function that enhances usability, and probably makes it harder to use for people that aren't networking geeks. Theres nothing wrong with USB3 for this, and even 3 or 4 USB ports that can be used for 2 hard drives and/or a drive plus extra functions (like direct battery backup, monitoring a UPS, console/network links to computer, flashing firmware etc).

TV tuner: Its hard to justify putting a tuner on a gateway that may or may not be near an aerial cable or outlet, while the TV or sky/freeview box usually IS connected already. DLNA isn't ubiquitous enough that everybody should be hanging out for it to replace their existing media. They do often have content on an existing hard drive they want to share, but won't be sharing it on HDMI unless they have invested in HDMI stuff already or if they keep their media server/gateway next to their only TV. Freeview boxes etc should be easy to find already, so no point in making it an obscure (but basic) feature of the gateway that also introduces more confusion and special video wiring (which can get confusing more many people). And really streaming content is more relevant than broadcast for this device since its something that users are less likely to have sorted.

External antenna: Wifi or mobile antenna? If it can't do both then you may need 2 or 3 of them to get a clear wireless signals out of whatever cabinet houses the gateway, which can be like a faraday cage. This will depend on what and how the wireless is implemented. It should be a more or less standard antenna connector.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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  Reply # 832806 8-Jun-2013 22:22 Send private message

plambrechtsen: My personal view as a geek and not anything about my employer as I am not involved per-se in this project apart from keeping an eye on this is that having the internal/external storage is a must IMHO.

If the device had a eSATA port + space inside for a 2.5" disk and have DLNA/Twonky support in the box and we would be onto a winner.

I believe having the DVB-T Tuner / HDMI port all in the one box is probably the wrong path as others have said many people have Freeview/sky/HDHomerun/Pi etc.  So keep the TV & Video in a separate box so that can be upgraded as needed when 4K / MkV or whatever new TV/Video standard comes out.

Making it fully managed and backup to Dropbox or similar cloud storage backup solution with the traffic being zero rated as an "paid for" option I think is the future. With the obvious caveats around storage of legitimate content only that you already own and the ISP is not held accountable for any content. That would be what I would give to my parents and say "just make sure you save your photos/documents/paid for music/.. onto this place and we will know they will be backed up automagically in the kloud Laughing".  So then if the house catches fire or the HDD dies then it can all still exist somewhere that the end-user can retrieve without too much drama.

Again my views, not those of my employer.


Sounds about right. It could even be designed as a series of modules that stack into a coherant "midi" kind of side-by-side component system, maybe with stacking ports so it all just clips together without cables. A side-by-side router/gateway base unit with addon modules for DSL, storage, extra storage with RAID1 controller, battery, security alarm, extra processing power/memory, whatever else.

I can see that Telecom might want this device to be the TIVO replacement. In a fibre world there might be some kind of RFoG freeview receiver but I don't think its a gateway function; its networked as a separate device (usually located by the main TV).

However, with enough processing power and a function that shuts down non-critical functions when battery runs low, cloud content could be a big part of the marketing/business model. On-demand video, off-site storage, secure backups, home and remote site surveillance, and no doubt plenty of other new tricks could all become items in Telecom's SOHO cloud offering that gets bundled with the gateway device. Further entertainment or business cloud services could be sold as added value that brings Telecom into a wider range of services than telcos get into traditionally, using the bundled services to get customers' feet wet. But its not a media box anymore, it doesn't sit next to a TV or HDMI switch, doesn't broadcast low quality analogue signals. It might broadcast HDbaseT video if worth selling a matching switch/receiver. It definitely has links to devices spread around a house that aren't near Ethernet, so POTS, wifi, powerline and/or HPNA, possibly G.hn.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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  Reply # 832808 8-Jun-2013 22:27 Send private message

StarBlazer: We don't know the price point at this stage - but it's not just $150 for an AppleTV!  How do you get content to your AppleTV?  You can't plug a USB drive into it - you need to be running something else that will serve to it.  People want ubiquitous solutions - with a home gateway/media device it's one thing to just plug and play.

And Telecom will probably be selling their own "TeleTV" version thats guaranteed to plug n play with the gateway...

EDIT: an internet TV device that integrates with the gateway without needing setup would remove many of the usability concerns. For example... User tries to store broadcast content for later playback without storage -- message pops up "please specify the storage device or connect a network hard drive to your Telecom home gateway." User requests some video on demand for later playback -- internet TV queues downloads on Telecom gateway direct to storage via cloud service, user takes internet TV, away or unplugs it, downloads are waiting on the gateway storage when user reconnects internet TV.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

1332 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 152
Inactive user


  Reply # 832863 9-Jun-2013 03:04 Send private message

Only number three in this list is a good idea. People are already able to run DLNA rom their PCs/notebooks and if they haven't figured that out already do you honestly think they will manage with NAS DLNA?

A TV tuner is a waste of time. If you're building a product you want to last into the UFB era then you should understand that as it becomes more available that IPTV will increase in popularity. I won't say it will kill television transmission immediately but it will do a lot of damage very quickly. The other factor to consider is that for the last five years, the first thing anyone who buys a television is asked is whether they can receive Freeview and if they would like to buy this television with it built in? Even those still upgrading will probably prefer and understand the television tuner being in the TV.

1125 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 72


  Reply # 832872 9-Jun-2013 08:01 Send private message

For me one of the stand out suggestions on this thread was zero rated cloud storage traffic, if I could get an included quota of cloud storage from Dropbox/SkyDrive/Box/Drive/[any other well supported third party provider], then I can upload my own media and consume it at will on any of my devices anywhere in my house, best of all I don't need a fancy modem to do it, my existing modem will suffice

18574 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 736

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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 832886 9-Jun-2013 08:55 Send private message

Wade: For me one of the stand out suggestions on this thread was zero rated cloud storage traffic, if I could get an included quota of cloud storage from Dropbox/SkyDrive/Box/Drive/[any other well supported third party provider], then I can upload my own media and consume it at will on any of my devices anywhere in my house, best of all I don't need a fancy modem to do it, my existing modem will suffice


This is nothing to do with the capabilities of the hardware, it simply comes down to an ISP's billing policies.

Zero rating their own cloud storage / backup solution is easy. Zero rating major cloud providers is becoming increasingly difficult as they become part of major CDN's and differentiating traffic for an individual company on that CDN becomes impossible. iSky moving to Akamai is an example of this - zero rating all Akamai content would literally mean users would get a big chunk of the internet for free.

 

1063 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 121


  Reply # 832991 9-Jun-2013 12:56 Send private message

sbiddle:
Wade: For me one of the stand out suggestions on this thread was zero rated cloud storage traffic, if I could get an included quota of cloud storage from Dropbox/SkyDrive/Box/Drive/[any other well supported third party provider], then I can upload my own media and consume it at will on any of my devices anywhere in my house, best of all I don't need a fancy modem to do it, my existing modem will suffice


This is nothing to do with the capabilities of the hardware, it simply comes down to an ISP's billing policies.

Zero rating their own cloud storage / backup solution is easy. Zero rating major cloud providers is becoming increasingly difficult as they become part of major CDN's and differentiating traffic for an individual company on that CDN becomes impossible. iSky moving to Akamai is an example of this - zero rating all Akamai content would literally mean users would get a big chunk of the internet for free.

 


i'm not going to complain about getting more free internet ;)













22 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  Reply # 832994 9-Jun-2013 13:03 Send private message

I would love to know what percentage of Telecom's traffic traverses the southern cross cable, and how much is cached in NZ by the likes of Akamai.

1036 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 39


  Reply # 833001 9-Jun-2013 13:21 Send private message

Wade: For me one of the stand out suggestions on this thread was zero rated cloud storage traffic, if I could get an included quota of cloud storage from Dropbox/SkyDrive/Box/Drive/[any other well supported third party provider], then I can upload my own media and consume it at will on any of my devices anywhere in my house, best of all I don't need a fancy modem to do it, my existing modem will suffice


dropbox/skydrive are overseas.  never heard of box or drive.  but if you awnt zero rated traffic it really should be NZ based..


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Uber Geek
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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 833063 9-Jun-2013 15:51 Send private message

greven: I would love to know what percentage of Telecom's traffic traverses the southern cross cable, and how much is cached in NZ by the likes of Akamai.


Australia is becoming a regional CDN hub, so a growing % of traffic is now heading to AU rather than the US. The decision by Vodafone and Telecom to build a new cable to Australia is a very significant one.

1125 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 72


  Reply # 833096 9-Jun-2013 16:35 Send private message

@sbiddle - I realise this is not hardware related but a common discussion point is media storage and its highlights and pitfalls, this would be a good alternative to a physical data solution built in as capacity could be tailerod to the end users requirements more easily than a built in HDD.

@mercutio - What I would want is support by one of the popular cloud solutions that is well supported by the various OS's and hardware we use on a daily basis, the Telco would probably want a locally based solution because they have to make the numbers stack up cost wise :P

1603 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 64

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  Reply # 833212 9-Jun-2013 20:23 Send private message

Wade: @sbiddle - I realise this is not hardware related but a common discussion point is media storage and its highlights and pitfalls, this would be a good alternative to a physical data solution built in as capacity could be tailerod to the end users requirements more easily than a built in HDD.

@mercutio - What I would want is support by one of the popular cloud solutions that is well supported by the various OS's and hardware we use on a daily basis, the Telco would probably want a locally based solution because they have to make the numbers stack up cost wise :P

And Telecom is looking for money to be made on services that are enabled by this gateway. Whether or not it has its own storage in some way, there is an opportunity to backup any storage to a cloud service so it might as well be Telecom's own one. If selling a device can simplify cloud storage and backups by hiding the remote addresses etc then its all helping to build a seamless marketing package.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

1063 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 121


  Reply # 833215 9-Jun-2013 20:44 Send private message

how about some kind of cache, so that some websites that dont change much, like google would just be stored on said hard drive in the router?













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