Originally Posted by Ray Lucca
I read a balanced interview with Mark Cuban where even he doubted Google or Apple could pull it off. People are used to and expect pristine HD Video quality and he doesn't think the current or near term infrastructure could support it. Some Bars/restaurants don't even have a Cable modem connection available to them. Think of the commercial market at a Sports Bar that is currently showing 8 early games at 10 AM in HD. How much band-width would that Bar need to have to show the 8 plus the transition time as a few games always run late at 1pm, and then stream the late games.
[I'm on the W. Coast]. Say 11 games at 1 time, most Bars have at least 15 HD Direc receivers running, there is usually Golf, Nascar and other sports also on. How will a Bar Blend the current satellite offerings, and the New Google set-ups?? How can a guy sitting in his living room do it???
I think that's the biggest issue right there: the infrastructure.
The only ones who have pipes big enough for multiple streams of HD are the providers themselves. By the time it gets to the customer, there's simply not enough overhead to provide for that many streams without dramatic loss in quality.
That's where the linear technologies are better. Those same dozen games are sent to a lot of locations and it doesn't matter how many locations there are, the bandwidth is the same. It's just frequencies and tuners. In fact, those linear technologies rely on the economies of scale: the more viewers, the less cost.
That's the opposite of how IP networks work: every single viewer uses bandwidth for every single event they wish to view. The more viewers, the more cost.
Plus, unlike the buildout of the linear systems that is controlled completely by the provider, IP technologies are at the mercy of the slowest point in the chain. That means if one router, server or patch along the way slows down, everything slows down.
Sure, with cable, a pole could get knocked down. With satellite, bad weather could interrupt the signal. However, those events are rare compared to data issues among the thousands of devices your stream touches along the way to your destination - and very few of those devices belong to you, either. That means, you're at the mercy of everyone else's stuff for high value content.
Plus, as was noted, few sports bars are going to have anything close to a high end internet access connection. Heck, some places still dial in for credit card transactions. The idea that they would have anything close to able to stream multiple HD games is fantasy for most places.
Having said that, Mark Cuban has been wrong things before when it comes to HD. He once said that cable and satellite systems would likely not have the bandwidth to support a large number of HD channels for a long time. It was less than five years later, the HD explosion happened. The result was, HDNet quickly outgrew its name.
He was also wrong about demand for powdered milk, too....