: Battle of the Bandwidth
2008-05-12, 10:55 PM
A look at the bandwidth crunch in the U.S. that is similar to the pressures facing Canadian providers:Battle of the Bandwidth
Cablers, telcos plan to add over a thousand titles of High-definition VOD content by end of year. How are they finding the bandwidth?
by George Winslow
2008-05-13, 12:54 AM
Cablers, telcos plan to add over a thousand titles of High-definition VOD content by end of year. How are they finding the bandwidth?Simple... throttle the daylights out of their internet customers :(
2008-05-13, 01:50 AM
And compress the heck out of the MPEG-2 streams, because it is easier/cheaper to provide poor video quality than to upgrade to MPEG-4.
The overcompressed 3 HD or 12 SD per QAM we get now may seem like the good old days in just another year or two.
2008-05-13, 09:43 AM
Technut, can you expand/clarify on your post? Specifically the "3 HD or 12 SD per QAM we get now" part.
I am on Rogers (Ontario) and from what I've read here Rogers does not compress their "regular" channels (i.e. whatever they get from the networks is what they send on to the customers). However I am not sure what happens with VoD (or PPV, for that matter). I am assuming that, just like the other channels, Rogers is not altering the signal from the provider, but have no idea what that signal is. Having watched a few high-def movies on-demand I have not been terribly impressed with the extra $2 I'm paying over the standard fee (if it wasn't for the widescreen presentation I probably wouldn't even bother except for a very few, select movies).
2008-05-13, 09:45 AM
Rogers has floated some trial balloons about deploying real time compression to get more bandwidth. There's a separate thread about it.
They have not yet implemented it but I would't be surprised to see it happen.
2008-05-13, 12:38 PM
1: Upgrade plant to support higher bandwidth.
2: Further segment nodes to allow the same VOD slots for fewer customers, with a net increase of VOD/SDV slots.
3: Put lesser viewed channels on SDV.
4: Possibly change modulation/compression techniques.
(Satellite is doing it, but cable has more of a legacy installed base, I suppose).
2008-05-13, 01:35 PM
When cable finally cuts analog it will be good for them.
2008-05-13, 01:49 PM
This would relieve some of the load: equip Digital OTA tuners into all satellite and cable STBs and design them to kick in when local signals are available and signal the provider's plant not to send those channels. This would work well in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver right now and elsewhere in the years to come and especially after the 2011 analogue OTA cutoff. Customers would get a discount on their montly bill for putting up an OTA antenna and thus contributing to lightening the system's load. It would screw up simsubbing though unless it applied only to Canadian stations...
stampeder, that would be pretty much impossible since the cable company would then be responsible for the customers OTA equipment, antenna etc. In addition, most customers got cable long ago because of lousy OTA reception so I doubt they would want to go back let alone invest is antenna's etc.
The best way I see to free up bandwidth would be to get rid of all the analog signals.
2008-05-13, 02:10 PM
But you know yourself that digital OTA reception is not lousy. It is either full-on glorious or full-off no joy.
Also what I'm envisioning is automatic - if a good enough signal exists, the box tells the plant to stop sending the channel / if it isn't good enough, keep sending it.
About equipment responsibility, that's a non-issue. Today if something goes wrong with your HDTV the cable or satellite companies tell you to go get it fixed because it isn't their property or responsibility. Likewise if something goes wrong with your OTA gear (whether its a small indoor antenna on top of the set or a deepest fringe rig on a tower in a rural area) they'd say the same thing and you'd call a service person.
I don't see the trouble that you're suggesting. I agree with getting rid of all the analogue channels, BTW.
2008-05-13, 02:11 PM
Technut, can you expand/clarify on your post? Specifically the "3 HD or 12 SD per QAM we get now" part.It's another thread (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=84230) in this forum. A lot of them are degrading the quality by adding their own extra compression, but Rogers and Videotron are two of the exceptions (so far).
2008-05-13, 05:57 PM
Shaw is an example of how bad it can get. Hopefully they can get there act together and put some efforts into making a lot of systems better/techniques
2008-05-13, 08:38 PM
Your suggestions assume the cable companies would actually want the customer to save money... :p
They could implement a switch system like that, but they sure wouldnt reduce your price.
Also, about the cable co's upgrading - hah! That costs money.. its the same reason they throttle now.
Its cheaper than actually upgrading their network, and it lets them be the monopoly.
Look at Bell - they recently started throttling EVERYONE (there was no current bandwidth crisis, however) - the cost of buying DPI boxes to do this must have been immense.
Had they just upgraded their capacity, everyone would be happy. But these boxes give them "ultimate" control. And that = more money.
"For only $20 more per month, get full speed, all the time!"
I wouldn't be surprised if things like that started up.
(The relevance to tv? It is suggested that bell is doing this to start up IPTV)
2008-05-13, 10:35 PM
Classicsat, I like your #3. (3: Put lesser viewed channels on SDV.). It gives a good litmus test of the popularity and future success of certain diginets and if the CRTC lets them abolish genre protection, you'll know which channels will more likely be going through a "rebranding". :p
MPEG-4 is where it's at and BEV is already doing it with future-ready receivers. Rogers couldn't care less and will cut corners whichever way possible until they're innevitably forced to switch to MPEG-4 and swap out STBs to do so... which is why they're digging their heels in the ground fighting to do (because $$$). Bell has superior technology, yet no encryption security; Rogers the opposite.
2008-05-14, 12:38 PM
Bell has superior technology? That makes me chuckle.
2008-05-14, 02:43 PM
hahaha ya right... if Echostar even made anything decent I would be shocked.
2008-05-14, 08:15 PM
It's kind of true though. They have the technology available to them. It's just they choose to hold it off right now, also they wasted so much money on IPTV don't forget, who know's what's going on with that
2008-05-14, 08:26 PM
I wish there were a FiOS alternative, either locally or preferrably on a national basis. I'd like to have the option of getting full bandwidth services (eg. 19.4 Mbps HD, unthrottled Internet, etc) instead of the choked low-quality variety offered by most of the other providers.
I'm not sure what it would take to make it viable, but I'd pay a $500-$1000 install charge to get fiber to my house if the monthly service charges were similar to the competition.
2008-05-14, 08:46 PM
My guess, at least for quebec. Is that videotron will offer a seperate fiber to the home package eventually, they already have a interntet package in Laval 50 Mbps internet.
2008-05-14, 09:31 PM
If you've ever had to suffer through the bush league user interface (UI) of the Scientific Atlanta Explorer and you compare it to the deluxe BEV HD PVR, you'd see night and day. Believe me, you're not missing anything not getting our broke-a** VOD service, when it works!
While I haven't played around with a DirecTV receiver ever since the P3 (football) card was up and running, even the most basic RCA receiver was better than what Rogers is offering now.
I'm with others who want a AT&T U-Verse service to be able nationally or regionally.