[opendtv] Re: TV Technology: FCC Video Report Finds Expansion of Broadcast Services

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:15:57 -0400

On Jul 22, 2013, at 8:04 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Some interesting numbers here. Plus a new acronym, OVD, I guess online video 
> distribution (Deborah says "provider," but that would be OVP).
> Here's the one thing that troubled me:
> "The commission said OVD accounted for a growing portion of Internet traffic 
> during peak hours, and noted that most major cable operators imposed 
> bandwidth caps or metered pricing during the first half of 2012. Phone 
> companies are said to be following suit."

I mentioned this recently. AT&T imposes a 200 GB limit on my DSL. You can be 
sure I will be asking Cox if there is a cap when I switch to their broadband so 
that I can stream OTT programs without constant buffering.

> That could definitely get my PVR back into high gear. Interesting how the 
> cable providers took this tack, to prevent people from getting their TV 
> online via their cable's broadband link, rather than dedicating more of their 
> infrastructure to broadband and less to MPEG-2 TS signal broadcast, eh? If 
> wired telcos go this route too, I'm hoping that will create a huge uproar.

Depend on it. As many of us on this list have noted, the capacity does not 
exist for a large scale migration to OTT streaming. The telcos have the upper 
hand here as they mostly skipped the dedicated digital distribution strategy 
and moved directly to IP distribution. But they are not likely to offer 
unlimited broadband in order to attract customers from cable; they want them 
subscribing to extended basic too.

You failed to mention the part of the story that should be somewhat encouraging:

> Technologically, cable systems are catching up with telcoTV, which delivers 
> only the channels being watched at a given time versus the entire package a 
> la traditional cable. At the end of last year, more than half of the 
> footprint of the top eight cable providers was all-digital, with 43 percent 
> of that portion using switched digital video delivering only those channels 
> watched.

So there is some progress with the underlying technology, which is moving 
toward switched IP delivery, but no progress with bundling. 

> The FCC report also disputes that close to 20 percent figure of households 
> using OTA exclusively. However, the word "exclusively" is the problematic 
> word here. It sort of depends how the questions are phrased. Quoting,

I think the 20% number was somewhat suspect. 

> "Reliance on over-the-air TV has remained steady at around 11.1 million 
> households, according to the report. This figure is in agreement with one 
> proffered by Nielsen in January, but far short of another published last 
> month in GfK's Home Technology Monitor, an annual survey that found 19.3 
> percent of U.S. TV households rely exclusively on over-the-air reception."
> My bet is, that extra ~9 percent of households did not clearly answer, "We 
> don't use MVPDs for TV, but we supplement OTA with ... .

A large portion of the OTA audience is "economically disadvantaged." This 
suggests that they probably cannot afford broadband and Netflix/Hulu either.

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