Who will be the first On-Line service provider? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-17-2012, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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What will it look like?

I was watching an early episode of "The Glades" last night from Netflix via my Roku box. The sound was great, DD 5.1, and the image was as good if not better than many of the so called HD channels on Directv. Now this is the new Roku box outputting the supposed 1080p Netflix signal and I'm on a 12M connection.

I have to believe at some point, I'd bet sooner than later, there will be a provider like Directv, or Comcast, or any of the other providers putting together an internet only package.I would think that costs involved would be much less than operating satellites in space, or wiring whole communities. There would be a gatekeeper cost, I'm sure Comcast and ATT would through a fit if someone used their system to deliver a competing product, but that is what Govt. regulation is supposed to be for. If this service was coupled to an on demand type system there would be no need for a DVR, just a simple Roku type box could do it all. If Netflix could stream a Billion hours of programming last month and the infrastructure supported it I can't see any reason that an online provider could not do the same.

Your thoughts?
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-17-2012, 11:20 PM
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I like it, and I think ultimately that's where we are headed.

My problem with it is going to be the number of services. Already we have Hulu and Netflix competing for my $8/mo. Currently, I give that money to Netflix. I am not wiling to give money to both of them right now. If a new service starts up, I'll have to evaluate if I cancel Netflix or if I run both services.

The point I'm getting to is that eventually, if I signed up for Netflix, Hulu, a hypothetical new service (maybe its a re-work of HBO to Go, or some kind of DirecTV online, or who knows) and each one costs me $8 a month, eventually I'm going to be paying the same price I was paying for cable before, and that's the whole reason I cancelled cable in the first place.

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post #3 of 20 Old 07-18-2012, 01:19 PM
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I agree with tighr. My tv is OTA only and I supplement that with my $8 monthly Netflix cost. If I want to pay for a movie I can via iTunes, Vudu, etc. or I can stream it from my laptop to the tv. Internet packages are just changing delivery formats. The ever-increasing costs will still be there. Not to mention the hit in quality. Not everyone has a fast connection or a reliable enough one. I would think that the hit on the ISPs with HD packages would be a lot worse than it already is starting to become for some. Besides, if your internet connection ever goes down for one reason or another, you've lost everything. I guess you could read a book in the interim. wink.gif
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-18-2012, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I agree with tighr. My tv is OTA only and I supplement that with my $8 monthly Netflix cost. If I want to pay for a movie I can via iTunes, Vudu, etc. or I can stream it from my laptop to the tv. Internet packages are just changing delivery formats. The ever-increasing costs will still be there. Not to mention the hit in quality. Not everyone has a fast connection or a reliable enough one. I would think that the hit on the ISPs with HD packages would be a lot worse than it already is starting to become for some. Besides, if your internet connection ever goes down for one reason or another, you've lost everything. I guess you could read a book in the interim. wink.gif

... like I did when I had cable, and it went out? Back when I had cable and internet, through cable, they both went down several times.
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-18-2012, 03:11 PM
 
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I have to wonder about how more use of video streaming providers will play out. First, a user should have at least a 10mbs service otherwise video quality suffers in the form of dropped frames, pauses, or poor overall quality. I'm not 100% up on what technology is in place to boost bandwidth, but if 1/2 or even the majority of viewers go to online streaming where is this bandwidth going to come from? Even AT&T U-Verse and many high speed cable providers have issues . . . depending on the market like where I am. If high bandwidth and therefore good video quality aren't there, I sure won't buy into it. And neither will most folks with this economy.

There are a lot of customers besides the "Left" and "Right" coasts and if infrastructure is not improved I don't see people wanting to buy in on it when SD picture quality ( or worse) is all that it produces for many customers. I'm weighing if I want to try Charter again or not. I am satisfied really with my general internet speed of just 2.5mbs with AT&T for in home computer use and some limited streaming. It costs me about $30/mo. with taxes. Charter at a claimed 10mbs ( probly 6-7) would cost about $27/mo more. And last time they relentlessly kept bugging me by phone calls to get their phone and cable TV service. . . . which I DO NOT want. I was an early adopter of DirecTV in 1996 and had them for 7 years. I wanted a DVR and they wanted more than Dish so I switched and stayed with them for 6 more years. Finally in late 2008 I said enough when my TV bill was pushing over $70 for essentially the same 220 to 250 channels I had for 13 years and originally was $29.95/mo +tax even AFTER the promo period. And more and more commercials were being added to the pay TV I had opted for that originally had no commercials.


I have been so far very satisfied with my OTA reception and programming that I have augmented with some online TV at times via HTPC which I bought for less than 10 months of Dish fees. I get 27 channels on OTA, some redundant, but more TV than I can watch and waaaay less channels to flip through that I don't watch like I did when I had DirecTV/Dish. I have tried a few streaming services and only HuLu and NetFlix seem worth the fee. . . but it's still more video than we can or will use. I love TV, movies, and sports, but one has to wonder how much time do we need to spend on watching all of this.
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-18-2012, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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We each watch television differently, but the type of service I envision would be very much like Directv, Dish or Comcast - a package of "channels" whatever that is comprised of - made available by subscribing. I do not expect it to fall in the Netflix price range, I'd anticipate $30-$50/m range, which is still much less than most are paying now.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 02:10 PM
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I don't like streaming when something has commercials. I try to find a certain spot jumping forward or backward, it switches to the commercials, and it's always the same ones.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Agreed. Any online service provider would have to offer DVR like functionality to be considered viable.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

Agreed. Any online service provider would have to offer DVR like functionality to be considered viable.

would you put up with pop ups or even edge tv ads or product placements?

cause a service wont last without ad revenues and if a DVR like controls are involved, say good bye to regular commercials...

leo d.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ldivinag View Post

would you put up with pop ups or even edge tv ads or product placements?
cause a service wont last without ad revenues and if a DVR like controls are involved, say good bye to regular commercials...
I think the fact that you often see the same ad over and over during the preroll and within streamed shows is telling of just how little potential there is as a business model at this point. There would have to be a really fundamental shift in how Madison Avenue sees streaming, value-wise, before the system can succeed in place of the existing multi-channel universe model.

Having said that, though, it's a serious flaw in the playback system on most of these sites where simply going back a few seconds within the same show segment pops the stupid ad back up at you. It's one thin if you're either restarting a full segment or are jumping forward into a new one: it's annoying to keep getting slammed when you simply want to hear a piece of dialog you missed.


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post #11 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 10:40 AM
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I guess all of you think the Internet has unlimited bandwidth. rolleyes.gif

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I guess all of you think the Internet has unlimited bandwidth. rolleyes.gif
The internet has plenty of bandwidth - it's just artificially restricted for reasons of increased profitability. There is literally gigabytes worth of fiber under the ground, of which only a fraction is being used. The biggest technical hangup is older switches and servers that have to throttle things to avoid congestion during heavy traffic times.

The problem is, most of the major ISPs are also multichannel service providers. If they actually gave you the means to stream unlimited video in the best possible quality, why would you pay $80 a month or more to watch it through cable or satellite which makes it difficult or expensive to watch on anything other than your TV?

Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those folks who has no problem paying for multichannel service. I just hate things like monthly transfer caps that are billed as freeing up bandwidth when they do no such thing. Monthly caps have no bearing on moment to moment traffic.

As ISPs continue to clamp down on the amount of data you can transfer each month, they keep increasing speeds - meaning you can hit that cap all that much sooner. If bandwidth were truly an issue, they would do the opposite: slower speeds and more monthly transfer to spread things around.


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post #13 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post


The problem is, most of the major ISPs are also multichannel service providers. If they actually gave you the means to stream unlimited video in the best possible quality, why would you pay $80 a month or more to watch it through cable or satellite which makes it difficult or expensive to watch on anything other than your TV?

Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those folks who has no problem paying for multichannel service. I just hate things like monthly transfer caps that are billed as freeing up bandwidth when they do no such thing. Monthly caps have no bearing on moment to moment traffic.

As ISPs continue to clamp down on the amount of data you can transfer each month, they keep increasing speeds - meaning you can hit that cap all that much sooner. If bandwidth were truly an issue, they would do the opposite: slower speeds and more monthly transfer to spread things around.

 

1. Access speed has very little to do with viewing content as has been proven most aren't (very) concerned about quality... rather content.

 

2. Monthly caps have a tremendous affect on traffic usage. They shape how and when you use the service. As an example when I had AT&T I could easily exceed their monthly cap and as such I often didn't stream during the evening hours (when they are hit the heaviest). Just like the streets the Internet has to support peak usage times and caps (can and will) play a large role.

 

3. Increasing speed (offering tier services) allows them to charge more for different levels of service. Mostly a revenue producing tactic. Data caps are more a cost reducing tactic with the ability of increasing revenues. Much like the wireless providers charging for various tiers. 


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post #14 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

1. Access speed has very little to do with viewing content as has been proven most aren't (very) concerned about quality... rather content.
I was responding to this:
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I guess all of you think the Internet has unlimited bandwidth.

The ISPs have plenty of bandwidth, they just don't want you to use it. Now, whether people use it or not when given it is another issue. Most people don't, which is why these caps can exist.
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2. Monthly caps have a tremendous affect on traffic usage. They shape how and when you use the service. As an example when I had AT&T I could easily exceed their monthly cap and as such I often didn't stream during the evening hours (when they are hit the heaviest). Just like the streets the Internet has to support peak usage times and caps (can and will) play a large role.]
That makes no sense. Why would time of day make a difference in how much of your monthly cap you use? Bits are bits. Whether you watch a movie at 3PM or 3AM makes no difference: it's the same amount of data at the end of the month. A monthly cap has nothing to do with congestion. The amount of bandwidth at any given moment does, which is why, if the ISPs were really interested in relieving this congestion they keep harping about, they would sell slower speeds and not worry about the amount used each month.
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3. Increasing speed (offering tier services) allows them to charge more for different levels of service. Mostly a revenue producing tactic. Data caps are more a cost reducing tactic with the ability of increasing revenues. Much like the wireless providers charging for various tiers. 
..and that's what they eventually will do in regards to caps. They set an artificially low one now, but then claim they somehow have the infrastructure later (without doing anything different) and charge more to get a larger cap.

It's always been and will always be about the money, not some actual shortage of bandwidth.

The wireless companies keep whining about bandwidth, too. So much so, they want the broadcasting spectrum. The problem is, unless they make a fundamental change in their technology, they'll burn through that in short order, too. What they have to do, but won't do because it costs money, is create more "micro cells" that can cover more people with the same frequencies. Instead of one tower for a given area, you get several lower power towers that can support many more people by allowing the same frequencies to be re-used in more areas.

Unfortunately, it's cheaper to buy more spectrum, then charge customers to not let them use it.


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post #15 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 04:27 AM
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The internet has plenty of bandwidth
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The biggest technical hangup is older switches and servers that have to throttle things to avoid congestion during heavy traffic times.
Those just contradicted each other. What good is having a 500 HP motor and a five gallon gas tank in a vehicle??After reading TWC's 2011 annual report, that admitted they are charged for the amount of data that their customers transfer over the Internet, so it's easy to understand if they can limit that some way, it saved them money.
Quote:
1. Access speed has very little to do with viewing content as has been proven most aren't (very) concerned about quality... rather content.
Anyone trying to watch any type of TV program on one of those ridiculous portable electronic toys some call "smart phones" kinda proves that.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Those just contradicted each other. What good is having a 500 HP motor and a five gallon gas tank in a vehicle??
It contradicts nothing. Those switchers and servers are for individual sites and isolated networks. The major backbones and most large media sites have more than enough juice to keep up.

My point was, there's plenty of bandwidth out there. It's those few places where the equipment slows things down when you visit certain sites.
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After reading TWC's 2011 annual report, that admitted they are charged for the amount of data that their customers transfer over the Internet, so it's easy to understand if they can limit that some way, it saved them money.
...even if true, they charge their customers a king's ransom to use it compared to similar bandwidth plans even here in the US - not counting those overseas.

If TWC is somehow losing money on broadband, then they aren't doing it right.


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post #17 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 08:08 AM
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If TWC is somehow losing money on broadband, then they aren't doing it right.
They're probably not losing money, they're probably just not making as much as they wish they were.

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post #18 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 09:10 AM
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If TWC is somehow losing money on broadband, then they aren't doing it right.
Never said they were. How did you come to that conclusion?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Never said they were. How did you come to that conclusion?
That's why I said "if".

I was just making the poin that they aren't pointing out their costs out of the blue. Maybe it's simply an excuse to raise prices or cut services or maybe their margains really are that thin.

Either way, they need a better business model if they can't provide what the pipes can. TWC is not unique in paying for the bandwidth customers use. Nearly everyone from Google to Netflix does and many of these guys use a lot of bits without charging customers $40 or more a month.


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post #20 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Getting back to an earlier point about backing up a few seconds of playback the issue as I see it is the lack of a buffer. A lot of issues could be solved if customers were able to buffer a few minutes of any streamed program, but we are not allowed that luxury because the various companies are so afraid if we buffer we will steal their content. The simple fact is their content it out there whether they like it or not.
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