[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 09:54:30 -0500

On Feb 23, 2014, at 7:17 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> See my response to Jim. VOD has been offered by cable systems, using their 
> "internal"http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/Cable-and-VOD-Are-Complementary-Not-Exclusive-Says-Comcast-94666.aspxDVRs,
>  for many years now. If you add a new VOD source, I would expect the same VOD 
> scheme, or IP unicast if they didn't use IP before, to be used for the new 
> VOD content. This content *always* must have used "bandwidth" that was 
> separate from their live broadcast streams. More VOD options should *not* 
> translate directly to more VOD bandwidth requirement. Users can only watch so 
> much VOD at any given time. (Yes, eventually, if many people love VOD, you'd 
> see a net increase in total VOD bandwidth needed.)

I addressed this in another response. Bandwidth is not infinite -about one GHZ 
to each neighborhood mode. This includes several hundred MHz for the legacy 
analog cable tier, several hundred more for QAM streams, and two bands for 
upstream and downstream IP services. All of the live channels are a constant. 
The QAM VOD channels and the IP bandwidth requirements are variable, based on 
customer demand. They have some flexibility with both, but there are finite 
limits. The only way to increase bandwidth for on demand services is to 
eliminate live channels, or decrease the number of homes on a network mode.

> Why shouldn't they? They have the content people want to watch, not just here 
> in the US, but overseas everywhere. Of course, they will use whatever tools 
> they can to get the content out there.


We agree on something.
>> It's Netflix, Amazon, Apple et al, that are on the rug; the congloms can
>> pull it out from under them whenever they please.
> Again, that's exactly what I've been saying, Craig! The congloms hold all the 
> cards, because they have the content. They will use middlemen as required, to 
> get the content distributed. The congloms that can best exploit the new 
> technologies will ultimately win out.

Again, we agree in principle. But you disagree that they will use this power to 
protect the walled garden business model. You seem to think they will just let 
you access EVERYTHING from them via the Internet...

For free (with commercials).

> BTW, I've noticed that CBS (also ABC) has been experimenting with their web 
> site. I've noticed a very telling shift recently. It used to be that at their 
> main portal for catch-up viewing, the episodes available online were arranged 
> by their broadcast schedule. So for example, you went to Monday, and they 
> would show the Monday prime time shows, click on one and you'd see all the 
> available episodes of that show.
> They got rid of that structure. Instead, now the show only the most recently 
> updated shows first, then the less recently updated, independent of any daily 
> broadcast schedule. They do give the date of when the episodes aired, but the 
> emphasis on the weekly schedule is totally absent.
> Very telling. This type of shift is why I think the networks "get it."

If you have not already done so, please listen to the panel discussion I posted 
the link to Saturday. They talk a good deal about what is working and why. They 
believe, with some good evidence, that using the OTT portal for catch-up is 
driving viewers back to live TV when they have caught up. They also believe 
that authentication Is fundamental to the new TV everywhere business model they 
are advancing; pay once, view everywhere...

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