[opendtv] Re: The End of TV as We Know It

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "OpenDTV (E-mail)" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 18:02:22 -0500

We've been over these tradeoffs many times, and the
upshot of it is that unicast cannot save on bandwidth
unless the number of viewers on the network is lower
than the number of TV channels available to choose

Certainly, viewer habits can be tracked easily with
unicast, for the purposes of more efficient spamming.

A middle ground might be IP multicast, which would
create more of a NVOD experience rather than VOD.
The viewer would join a program stream in progress.
But at the same time, what allows IP multicast to
scale well is what makes it less useful as a spam
support protocol. Membership is aggregated at the
network edge, in the purist implementation. Although
I suppose it's still far more efficient to keep
track of individual multicast members with some out
of band protocol, without requiring each program
stream to be unicast. So IP multicast with some
additional tool, to support revenue collection and
spam, would be a compromise.

I agree that over a walled garden private net these
IPTV delivery methods can be maintained more easily
at high quality levels.


Sit back on the sofa and get ready for packetized, on-demand,
digital broadcasts.

By Frank Rose
Wired Magazine
Issue 12.12
December 2004

[ ... ]

IPTV is not to be confused with television over the
Internet. On the public Net, packets get delayed or lost
entirely - that's why Web video is so jerky and lo-res.
But private networks like Comcast's are engineered,
obviously, for reliable video delivery - which means IPTV
will look at least as good as TV coming from digital cable
or satellite.

It will be accompanied by another, equally critical
change. Instead of broadcasting every channel continuously,
service providers plan to transmit them only to subscribers
who request them. In effect, every channel will be streamed
on demand. This will free up huge amounts of bandwidth for
hi-def TV and high-speed broadband. Add IP and you get
interactive services like caller ID on your TV. And the
system will be able to track viewing habits as effectively
as Amazon tracks its customers, so ads will be targeted with
scary precision. Put it all together and you've got
television that's as intensely personalized as 20th-century
broadcasting was generic.



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