[opendtv] Re: Punching Above Its Weight, Upstart Netflix Pokes at HBO - NYTimes.com

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 09:19:53 -0500

On Feb 23, 2014, at 6:38 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> For a service like this hypothetical Netflix-to-in-home-TWC-STB, I would 
> expect it would be entirely VOD regardless. The Netflix scheme doesn't 
> include live streams, right? So they wouldn't be using the "live video" 
> bandwidth, aka MPEG-2 TS broadcast streams, *unless* TWC only offers VOD by 
> means of in-home PVRs. I doubt they do that.

Most cable, and all DBS near VOD services are on the video side of the plant. 
Comcast is one of the few MVPDs that has deployed STBs that pull video bits 
from the IP side of the plant.

> So, whatever bandwidth TWC uses for their own existing VOD service is the 
> same bandwidth a Netflix VOD service would use. I assume that even the legacy 
> TWC VOD service is provided by servers at the edges of their walled garden 
> network (don't know if it uses IP or other).

Not a good assumption. The cable company VOD servers are typically located in 
each head end, and have pre formatted streams, with pre roll and/or inserted 
commercials depending on the program. In essence the server stores the entire 
MPEG-2 transport stream for a title; when a user requests a title the playout 
begins and it is run through a QAM modulator and delivered as a live video 

The Comcast VOD service and Netflix are delivered as OTT streams. Verizon may 
use IP as well for FIOS.
> My colleague at work had Verizon FiOS installed some time ago. They have been 
> using IP (unicast, obviously) for all of their VOD, from the start. It makes 
> sense. Why reinvent the wheel?

Makes sense when you build an all IP plant from the ground up.

> Anyway, if TWC already uses IP for their VOD, as Verizon FiOS does, then it 
> seems to me that the protocol and the "bandwidth" problems are already 
> solved. VOD can't use MPEG-2 TS broadcast bandwidth unless the VOD is 
> provided only by in-home PVRs.

I do not believe TW has moved VOD to the IP side of the plant. I would presume 
this is one of the reasons they were talking to Apple about a STB that 
integrates nothing traditional QAM streams and IP streams.

And  I think MPEG-2 TS  is used by many OTT services, but the payload is 
usually h.264.

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: