Broadcast TV will never die.

When was the last time you recieved a live multicast feed across multiple networks over the internet? What’s a multicast stream? It’s a stream of bits that can be just about anything, a software program, a movie, a game, a tv show. It doesn’t matter.

When a file or live event is multicast, rather than having a copy of the program delivered, uniquely from each source to each destination (unicast delivery), the stream of bits is replicated through the routers on the network so that one copy exists on the network at any given time. The router basically grabs the stream and provides it to the users on its network segment that want it.

The value in doing this is that the bandwidth savings are huge. For live events it’s the only way to truly conserve bandwidth. For on demand, it even blows away Bit torrent type peer to peer delivery because the routers are always there toact as the peers on any network segment and you can control and monitor the distribution more cleanly.

But anetwork of multicast enabled networks,linked together to form a more efficient internet doesn’t exist. At least that I know of. But it almost did.

Back in the late 1990s, Darin Divinia and our engineers were working hard with UUNet and other networks to test and optimize multicast tunnels on their networks and to peer them with some level of QOS so that Broadcast.com could deliver live events and files more cost efficiently.

We also worked hard with Microsoft Windows Media and Real Networks to deliver live events via multicast. We even had seperate links for users who were on multicast enabled networks to click on so they could pull a multicast feed of a live eventat a higher quality. I think we may have even gotten as high as 12 pct of users on some events. It was one of the most important projects we had going.

But unless it has been hibernating somewhere without me knowing about it, the project died when I wasn’t at Yahoo to champion it any longer.

This isn’t to say that an internet with multicast tunnels routed throughout the net to any end user cant happen. It’s just to say that it isn’t anywhere I can find it right now.Without it, there is no such thing as bandwidth efficient LIVE internet TV. Without it, there is no equivalent to broadcastTV on the internet. Without it, there is no possible way broadcast TV, defined as what we see on major networks that own broadcast spectrum, ala ABC, CBS, NBC, WB, UPN, etc. is going away anytime soon.

The internet can’t support the equivalent of broadcast TV because the internet can’t broadcast. It can deliever individual (unicast streams) streams, but that’s it. This is why AOLstreaming 350k simultaneous Live8 users was a big deal. Instead ofa single 300k video stream that every one tuned into, every viewer had to have their own 300kstream. That’s a boatload of bandwidth and is expensive.

Whathappens when 80mm people want to watch the SuperBowl?What happens when a measly 4mm want to watch a show? What happens when they want to see the show in 1080i HD?

Aslong asthere are TV shows or events that can capture audiences in the millions, the only place to deliver those shows live will be on good old fashioned cable, satellite or broadcast or some other broadcast spectrum delivered TV. It ain’t gonna be the net anytime soon. That’s why broacastTV ain’t going away.

And while I’m on the technical side of TV, it’s going to be very, very interesting to see how IPTV plays out on networks. Traditional TV delivered on cable like networks is basically multicast. It’s always on and viewers just turn the channel to tap into the channel feed. There is enough bandwidth for each channel, and the network can support an unlimited number of viewers.

In the IPTV world, a TV signal for a channel is only delivered if someone has requested it. So if no one is watching VH1 Classics, the channel is not delivered over the network , saving bandwidth. Bandwidth conservation is particularly important in a world of ever expanding digital services including HDTV, where the capital isn’t available or it doesn’t make sense to add more bandwidth to the network.

But the problem with IPTV is the N+1 Disaster. In an IPTV world, there isn’t enough bandwidth reserved on the network so that ifeverychannelis requested, it can be delivered. Which means that it’s possible that someone could change to a channel, lets say BET Jazz, be the first to want to watch that channel in a while, and they would get a message saying it wasn’t currently available, try back later.

That is the N+1 Disaster.

Networks can statistically optimize so that the chances of this happening are reduced, but they cant ever elminate it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens, when it happens.

36 thoughts on “Broadcast TV will never die.

  1. I assume you’ve come across this already

    Comment by Napi -

  2. My last post was double posted and subsequently removed. What it said was there is a broadcast network on the internet (unbeknownst to Mr. Cuban) that is operating 24-7 over the internet with 40 affiliate stations.

    Comment by Greg Martin -

  3. As an engineer working for a large CATV MSO, our team has developed a technology called Swtiched Digital Video (SDV). Think of this as IP multicast in the MPEG transport stream world. It works just like regular multicast in that we only send a video stream to a viewer when it is requested, and multiple viewers share viewing of the same stream.

    Our field trial showed very fast channel change times (no one could tell the difference), and stream use statistics that were suprisingly flat and predictable. Peak use occured at or near prime time. Your N+1 scenario (in the telco world this is called the Mother’s day problem) will only be a factor if each viewer simultaneously requests a DIFFERENT channel. Our stats show that we can design very close to the actual stream usage curve with a vanishingly low risk of service denial, so low as to be less frequent than a network outage. (Cut the cable jokes, now!)

    This technology uses settops already in the field, does not further compress the streams, and offers the potential of vast amounts of real time programming selection with little or no last mile bandwdith demands to existing cable network physical plant. Live HD content will be the big winner because SDV-equipped cable TV systems will no longer be bandwidth constrained.

    Comment by Paul Brooks -

  4. For those of you that are interested, Mark will be giving a keynote at MEDIA Magazine’s Forecast 2006 Conference at the New York Marriott Marquis on September 26, 2005. Content hint: HDTV Media.

    Comment by Jim Dorey -

  5. I quit watching broadcast or cable TV 30 years ago. I don’t mind watching video on the internet because I can choose what and when. Even my radio listening is that way – no broadcast radio and even broadcast stations like kcrw allow me to listen to any program on demand, whenever I want. Enough people like me and broadcast TV is dead, probably already are. Look at the ratings.

    Comment by Clarence -

  6. Fiber to the home should allow unlimited bandwidth via a Universal Telecommunications stream. Unicast, multicast and broadcast of any digital media (but not wireless)can become a reality, today with a little proactive prodding of the FCC, the RBOCs, the CATV MSOs to make music with the population, rather than continuing to prevent such a union. Then, we do live in the capitalistic democracy.
    Active participation may only become the norm for shepards, not the sheep. TV may never go away.

    Comment by Brian -

  7. There are lots of challenges with IPTV but I don’t think the biggest immediate challenges are mentioned in this blog post. If you have deployed an actual iptv installation you know that SYSTEMS INTEGRATION is the biggest challenge by a significant order of magnitude. How many people make set top boxes in the cable market? Guess how many people make set top boxes in the IPTV market. About the same as cable times 100. Try getting STBs, VOD servers, conditional access, set top software, billing systems, support systems ad management software to all play nice when (thankfully) there are no virtual monopolies. That’s the IPTV market and that’s why BellSouth and SBC haven’t deployed yet. They know people need a service that is not only ON PAR with cable but, frankly, a “me-too” service isn’t going to cut it. Telcos can have advantages but they will need to do three things:

    1) Get shit to work
    2) Be competitive on price
    3) Offer more functionality

    That’s possible but hard.

    Comment by Kelly Smith -

  8. Google and Yahoo are both now betting that broadcast tv and television middle-men such as cable tv and RBOCs will eventually be eliminated. Once home access bandwidth reaches an average of 30-40Mbps, studios and content providers, such as HBO, will be able to directly stream to the household on a per view or subscription basis. Yahoo and Google’s video-search initiatives are based on this eventuality. Betting on an N+1 disaster or that backbones won’t catch up is a losing argument. With MPEG4 and intelligent tunneling and network architecting, you don’t have to worry about bringing down the backbone. Compared to HFC networks where everything is broadcasted, IPTV multicast/unicast networks have an exponential advantage over the bandwidth limitations of HFC.

    Comment by BM -

  9. Google and Yahoo are both now betting that broadcast tv and television middle-men such as cable tv and RBOCs will eventually be eliminated. Once home access bandwidth reaches an average of 30-40Mbps, studios and content providers, such as HBO, will be able to directly stream to the household on a per view or subscription basis. Yahoo and Google’s video-search initiatives are based on this eventuality. Betting on an N+1 disaster or that backbones won’t catch up is a losing argument. With MPEG4 and intelligent tunneling and network architecting, you don’t have to worry about bringing down the backbone. Compared to HFC networks where everything is broadcasted, IPTV multicast/unicast networks have an exponential advantage over the bandwidth limitations of HFC.

    Comment by BM -

  10. Yep – pretty interesting stuff. Every day, something exciting comes along.

    Comment by Ben Adams -

  11. The Trump blog is up. Blogmaverick versus Trumpuniversity?:

    http://donaldtrump.trumpuniversity.com/

    Comment by Ron Mwangaguhunga -

  12. Mark,

    I have obviously missed something, but I think your assertion is really only valid for “Live” broadcasts that attract the millions: when every viewer wants to watch it at the very same point in time. Not on-demand, as you seem to allude to in your opening remarks.

    I cannot see how you get bandwidth savings from a multicast for on demand content. So long as we all grab streams at different points in time.

    I think for all non-live content via P2P like bit torrent is an optimal distribution of content rather than traditional broadcast. It is better for the user, as I do not have to program my vcr or tivo. I just order it up. It is a dead heat for costs to the content providers.

    TV broadcast will – eventually – be the exclusive domain of Live events. And even then, I think the multi-cast problem will sort itself out, or bandwidth will continue to collapse to ‘near zero’. Either way, broadcast TV is going the way of the dodo.

    Comment by David Gratton -

  13. So now that you’ve totally got us — what do YOU think is the way for media channels to get past that problem? Seriously, bandwidth always gets down to multiplexing vs. attenuation, right? So if there are multiple repeaters out there (like your Akamai’s)… is this really a problem, or do we need bigger, better Akamai’s?

    Comment by Kevin Glennon -

  14. Responding to Sean Sullivan’s post up above:

    One thing Mark did recommend (in one of his blogs awhile ago) that broadcasters do to overcome the TiVo/DVR problem (people fast-forwarding through the ads) is that somebody create some software that when a person hit fast-forward while watching a DVR, rather than fast forwarding through the commercials people watching the broadcast saw, it would just show the name of the sponsor or some other type of ad that wasn’t the same as the ad that played on the broadcast.

    I was interpreting this to be something similar to what has happened to soccer broadcasts on ESPN in recent years. I remember watching soccer in the 1980s and being annoyed that sometimes a goal would be scored during the commercials (because of course the game doesn’t stop for the commercials in soccer like it does baseball, etc.). Then sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s ESPN started broadcasting soccer games without commercial interruption. But Budweiser or Nissan or whoever would have their logo around the little scoreboard/clock graphic on the screen for 10 minutes straight or something. I don’t know how effective that is as an advertising tool, but it seems like it should be pretty good. It’s like a billboard. Just getting the advertiser’s name in front of the customer’s eyeball and have it sit there. I look directly at that clock/scoreboard thing a lot while I’m watching soccer.

    Rambling now … the product placement and stuff that happens right in the middle of the content (I’m thinking at the moment about the first season of Blow Dry, where Jonathan was always talking about how great Revlon products were and the stylists were always using Revlon products on the show.) seems like a very effective way to avoid the problem too. Maybe networks are just going to have to scrap the 30-second spot in its entirety and do all the advertising right in the middle of the content.

    Interesting times. Some of those stocks of straight TV broadcast companies are getting pretty beat up and I’ve been trying to decide whether I think that’s appropriate….

    Comment by Garrett -

  15. Multicast shouldn’t be considered solely for live content. When you record the Soprano’s on your TiVo you are essentially broadcasting to a hard-drive rather than a screen. It’s efficient because there are enough viewers for the show. My company, Wavexpress, has built a RSS delivery system that supports multicast or unicast delivery interchangeably. A popular video blog could someday chew up tremendous bandwidth. With multicast the cable and satellite ISP’s have the tools to reclaim that bandwidth.

    It seems universally agreed that all pre-recorded content should be available on-demand, but this shouldn’t preclude the use of multicast delivery for the most popular episodic programming.

    Comment by Michael Sprague -

  16. it is nice!!
    I think it is a very great site!

    Comment by meck -

  17. I gotta disagree with Mr. Cuban. The success of DVRs (Tivo and those leased directly from the cable companies) shows that people would much rather select a show from a menu than to veg to whatever is currently on.

    My personal experiences have been that I thoroughly enjoy HBO On Demand vs. eight running streams from HBO. Also, I hardly ever watch anything during its live stream. Rather, we heavily use our Time Warner-supplied DVR.

    It may still be way off because of hardware constraints, but IP TV will be a scorching hot service in the marketplace.

    Dana McCall, DDS
    Raleigh

    Comment by Dana McCall, DDS -

  18. I run a top P2P program. We have spent the last year developing a new p2p networking infrastructure that will allow the multicasting of video to hundreds of thousands of users at once, usuing virtually no server bandwidth. We will unleash it later this year.

    In addition to exclusive content we plan to broadcast to a mass audience, we hope our users submit new indie content to the network. Warez.com and Warez P2P chose its controversial name for marketing reasons of course, but we know that content availabilty will rule in the long run.

    We will continue to promote indie content to save mankind from Clear Channel. We will broadcast new content from sources like HDNet and Magnolia Pictures. We will find ways to have advertisers support and compensate artists for copywrited material that is downloaded and seen by millions of “pirates”.

    As Mark Cuban always said, Content will always be king. We will have the P2P technology to broadcast events to the masses now, and we will see a world where the user will be able to watch the content we feed them, and then download/stream everything else in the world that the entertainment industry hasn’t yet discovered to feed them.

    Kaleb

    Comment by Kaleb -

  19. Mark,
    I like the points you bring up here (and you are the expert here) but, doesn’t the fact that bittorrent traffic makes up something like 1/3 of all internet traffic tell you something about the desire for on demand content? It seems like an obvious idea to me, but why don’t the networks provide their shows for download on a micropay biases? I hardly watch TV anymore but I hate having to be tied down to a specific time to watch the few shows I do enjoy. Why not provide me with a fast simple and legal means to watch Battlestar on Saturday afternoon? What huge a revenue stream Network television is missing out on. Broadcast TV will never die but it will have to change.

    http://thetechnologist.blogspot.com/

    Comment by thetechnologist -

  20. Mark,

    Recently in a separate thread I mentioned connectivity is the answer for delivery…here we are again, except your talking about connectivity at the top end.

    Look at the statistics on net traffic and you’ll see a spike starting roughly around 9 PST (lunch time on the east coast) to 1 PM PST (end of lunch west coast). Why? because people are connecting at work during lunch…because they can. Once they get home the connection is not quite like the fast connection at the office and traditional activities take more importance …eating, chores etc.

    As broadband (maybe even satellite wi fi) expands and the speed increases (clarity of delivery) it will become more profitable to have networks like your mentioning in place. Then it becomes a question of how you view it.

    What size is your TV 19″…i think not😉 Do you have it connected to your puter? Most people don’t have video cards that can deliver the signal to the TV and if it does a 300k product has much less resolution than what they want to watch.

    It’s connectivity my friend…at the home and the display! As connectivity spreads out networks like you mention will need to be in place.

    Comment by mrbshouse -

  21. Mark, I was at a conference hosted by Gavin Polone that had many of the TV and advertising heavyweights discussing the effects of TiVo on broadcast TV revenues, and their outlooks were dire for the health of their businesses. They look upon TiVo as a Napster, in that people can essentially watch TV without paying for it (as advertisers begin to shy away from buying spots that consumers can avoid). Please blog us your thoughts on this, because without a solution, the concept of broadcast TV period takes on a new issue if these companies can’t stay in business (many were talking about potential bankruptcy).

    Comment by Sean Sullivan -

  22. IPTV in it’s broadest sense doesn’t operate on multicast. MS has grouped together IPTV and VOD under the same group. Their plans for STB’s are basically just a streaming box with hard drive added to your home network, nothing really revolutionary except Microsoft are putting their brand behind it. It’s a very smart idea, getting all that content protected with Microsoft DRM, who’ll use open source when you can’t listen to music/watch videos or do anything else with the protected content?

    Unicasting is what it’s all about, we’ve spoken about bittorrent before. BT can actually stream content, it just involves telling the tracker to get the next bit in sequence rather than a random bit. The problem is that DSL and cable connections have a very limited upstream so nothing of any importance could be streamed (the N+1 theory but worse, 1 viewer=4 upstreams). P2P has a commercial future, perhaps forever as a grassroots content delivery system, ie cheaper content for students/etc but losing some of the convienience of traditional download methods.

    Multicasting and IPTV aren’t going to link well, IPTV will be all about VOD, give the people what they want, when they want it.

    Comment by Adam -

  23. It is short sighted for anybody to say TV, Radio or Newspaper will go anyplace. The Web is merging with all these other media. You won’t have a TV, Tivo or Playstation, you’ll have the enertainment & information portal. One master box communicating wirelessly with the miniboxes throughout the house or workplace. Release of the counterpart, PCIMM, is scheduled for 2020. http://www.cybervillage.com/pcimm/

    Comment by Rob Thrasher -

  24. Mark,

    I think the true opportunity for broadcasters is full utilization of the digital spectrum. After all, even today a broadcaster can do a tremendous amount with 19.4 Mb/s. Imagine what a little innovation will do… The question is will broadcasters and viewers come together in digital? Will viewers realize that on average they can recieve 12.3 totally free digital channels from their local broadcasters? Will broadcasters be smart enough to tell them the signals are out there? Viewers are no longer forced to watch a snowy signal. Like HDNet, the picture viewers get free over-the-air from local broadcasters is perfect. To me, the opportunity is in combining the various routes into the home: cable (or DBS), over-the-air, and broadband. The reason TitanTV.com works the way it does is the EPG needs to be the point-of-navigation for all routes of entertainment content into the home. The future, I believe, will not solely be cable, DBS, over-the-air or IPTV, it will be some or all of those sources combined by the viewer.

    I agree with you, but would add that broadcast television will never die for a couple more reasons. First, local, local, and local. Second, 19.4 is a big pipe. When broadcasters fully utilize it the game changes…

    Broadcasting will never die because broadcasters should (and will) take advantage of all routes into the home, cable, DBS, over-the-air and broadband.

    Comment by Jack Perry, Chief Titan -

  25. You should take a closer look at current cable distribution systems Mark. They are multicast IP systems.

    Fanning out from the headend the systems run fiber out to coax segments. The size of the coax segments depend on how much VOD or Internet capacity is needed.

    GigE and WDM have driven data distribution costs way down. It’s more economical to distribute broadcast video as IP traffic over a fiber network.

    Telco infrastructure will be able to distribute Video about as well as cable companies. The technology is fundable today on an ROI basis (especially if you are a telco and consider the alternative) and will get better over time.

    You’re absolutely right that the big question is how to do it right. Great presentation and promotion of what’s compelling about the triple(quadruple) play network service is the key.

    Thanks very much for putting your thinking out there in this interesting game. You’ve got great instincts about markets.

    Comment by MikeM -

  26. I’m thinking the critical thing when we talk about filmed entertaiment, is what kind? A live event, like a soccer match, is one thing. An episode of the Sopranos is another.

    An event is something that people are sort of going to be drawn to, because it only takes place at a given time, and that is when everyone, communal type of way, is going to tune in to it. The company that provides this would want to do so it the most cost effective method possible, and of course draw income from either a subscription fee or selling ads.

    Whereas, with episodes of a show, it appears that consumers are wanted to, and enable to, exert more power of where, when, and how they watch the show. They can use Tivo or whatever.

    This leads to an imperative to change the business model to accomodate changing consumer habits, which is coming partially out of new technology.

    It seems to be that where you make your money on shows is by having the better show, so that people demand it.

    The money to be made on an event is the sole fact that the event is popular and only takes place at a given time.

    This involves movies, too. Movies are subject to consumers increasing need for control as well. So, what I see is a problem for exhibitors, who traditionally have made money by positing a movie as an event. In fact, they throw a hell of a lot of ad money on that — a huge risk for them. If a movie is not necessariy an event any more, then, if I’m an exhibitor, I want to look at offering real events at my theatre. Abandon the movie’s-only approach. Use the theatre for what it can do best — offer a big screen and large number of seats so that a lot of people can get together and watch and event together (one that they really cannot see anywhere else).

    Cost-wise, this would seem efficient — theatre gets all the ticket revenue but only has the fixed cost to meet.

    TV, on the other hand, would have to compete with the exhibitors. Instead of having kind of a stalemated relationship they would be battling it out.

    This would require the theatre to create a value proposition to consumers sufficient to make them want to come in to the theatre, versus sitting on their duff at home… But I think it would work, if they’d only be willing to try it.

    TV would certainly not go away, because people are always going to want TV… it has obvious appeal, as Mark has noted previously. Plus, the technology limitations of the internet make TV necessary for the ability to broadcast.

    The big change that I see is exhibition houses totally changing the business model, offering a whole variety of products… but basically resolving to what is really their core competency — the ability to provide pictures on a large screen in a large theatre setting, where people get together to view stuff. Some, not all, of the movie stuff shifts to a different distribution channel — provided on demand. The provider’s job is to help the user select what to download. There’s a shift of that business from the exhibitor to the online content provider. Also, you’ll see more indepedent productions since the technology totally enables it. Studios will have less of a lock on the movie-making process. They will have to compete by making a better product (like it should be).

    As the “event” aspect erodes, the studios aren’t going to be able to continue to throw such much money in attempt to create an event where there really is much of one. They are not really creating an event, they are just taking advantage of the intertia that the advertising generates, plus the fact that consumers’ tendancy to act like a herd… but this effect is steadily eroding, too.

    Comment by Shawn -

  27. I’m thinking the critical thing when we talk about filmed entertaiment, is what kind? A live event, like a soccer match, is one thing. An episode of the Sopranos is another.

    An event is something that people are sort of going to be drawn to, because it only takes place at a given time, and that is when everyone, communal type of way, is going to tune in to it. The company that provides this would want to do so it the most cost effective method possible, and of course draw income from either a subscription fee or selling ads.

    Whereas, with episodes of a show, it appears that consumers are wanted to, and enable to, exert more power of where, when, and how they watch the show. They can use Tivo or whatever.

    This leads to an imperative to change the business model to accomodate changing consumer habits, which is coming partially out of new technology.

    It seems to be that where you make your money on shows is by having the better show, so that people demand it.

    The money to be made on an event is the sole fact that the event is popular and only takes place at a given time.

    This involves movies, too. Movies are subject to consumers increasing need for control as well. So, what I see is a problem for exhibitors, who traditionally have made money by positing a movie as an event. In fact, they throw a hell of a lot of ad money on that — a huge risk for them. If a movie is not necessariy an event any more, then, if I’m an exhibitor, I want to look at offering real events at my theatre. Abandon the movie’s-only approach. Use the theatre for what it can do best — offer a big screen and large number of seats so that a lot of people can get together and watch and event together (one that they really cannot see anywhere else).

    Cost-wise, this would seem efficient — theatre gets all the ticket revenue but only has the fixed cost to meet.

    TV, on the other hand, would have to compete with the exhibitors. Instead of having kind of a stalemated relationship they would be battling it out.

    This would require the theatre to create a value proposition to consumers sufficient to make them want to come in to the theatre, versus sitting on their duff at home… But I think it would work, if they’d only be willing to try it.

    TV would certainly not go away, because people are always going to want TV… it has obvious appeal, as Mark has noted previously. Plus, the technology limitations of the internet make TV necessary for the ability to broadcast.

    The big change that I see is exhibition houses totally changing the business model, offering a whole variety of products… but basically resolving to what is really their core competency — the ability to provide pictures on a large screen in a large theatre setting, where people get together to view stuff. Some, not all, of the movie stuff shifts to a different distribution channel — provided on demand. The provider’s job is to help the user select what to download. There’s a shift of that business from the exhibitor to the online content provider. Also, you’ll see more indepedent productions since the technology totally enables it. Studios will have less of a lock on the movie-making process. They will have to compete by making a better product (like it should be).

    As the “event” aspect erodes, the studios aren’t going to be able to continue to throw such much money in attempt to create an event where there really is much of one. They are not really creating an event, they are just taking advantage of the intertia that the advertising generates, plus the fact that consumers’ tendancy to act like a herd… but this effect is steadily eroding, too.

    Comment by Shawn -

  28. Another issue not mentioned is current limitations on ISPs imposed by hardware manufacturers. My internet subscription is rated the fastest in the country — CableVision’s Optimum Online service — but has the potential to be much faster and they have had the technology for years.

    Then there is the cost of better bandwidth pipelines like the OC-3 (Optical Carrier Level-3 standard) that is only available to people with large amounts of computers. Lightpath, a subsidiary of Cablevision, requires a minimum of 300 computers to do business with a company for its T3 backbone services. T3’s cost significant amounts of money that few people can afford and is definitely out of the reach of the home consumer. OC-3, like the connections at MIT, I believe cost in the millions per month.

    This means there is a very obvious business reason why finely sliced aggregation of TV programming is not feasible; past a certain point greed and generosity would have to intersect and the person aggregating the content would have to use a large sergies of unpopular programs as a loss-leader. Even if this strategy was taken, it fundamentally reinforces the broadcasting infrastructure: It creates more hits, not less.

    There are also several myths about fiber optic technology that lead people to believe unicasting should be more efficient: Namely Enron’s collapse and subsequent flooding of the market (and driving down the price) of fiber optics during liquidation of its assets.

    Comment by John "Z-Bo" Zabroski -

  29. I assume you’ve come across this already
    http://support.bbc.co.uk/multicast/

    Comment by Minty -

  30. Sounds like a marvelous opportunity for some technologist to take the Web to the next level. =)

    Comment by Charles -

  31. Mark,
    Many large ISPs now run native multicast. There is no longer a need for tunnels. The biggest use for multicast these days is within enterprises, more specifically finance departments. There are many trading systems that use multicast to push quotes to trading desks. For consumer multicast the killer app hasn’t shown up yet. Furthermore since the demand for Internet-wide multicast hasn’t grown the router vendors have not made maintaining and improving the multicast codebase a top priority.

    Comment by Shawn Morris -

  32. The big change that I see is exhibition houses totally changing the business model, offering a whole variety of products… but basically resolving to what is really their core competency — the ability to provide pictures on a large screen in a large theatre setting, where people get together to view stuff. Some, not all, of the movie stuff shifts to a different distribution channel

    Comment by runescape money -

  33. The question is will broadcasters and viewers come together in digital? Will viewers realize that on average they can recieve 12.3 totally free digital channels from their local broadcasters? Will broadcasters be smart enough to tell them the signals are out there? Viewers are no longer forced to watch a snowy signal. Like HDNet, the picture viewers get free over-the-air from local broadcasters is perfect.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  34. The TV through the Internet, and in general display something in a mode of real time is abruptly!!!

    Comment by whales -

  35. I’m not the most technical person with it comes to television broadcast. I’m on the other end of the board- a broadcaster in the military. However, I read an interesting article this week concerning a little “mill” town got tech in Washington state. Everett (the mill town) is looking to provide the entire city with wireless internet service- through a single server? Or something to that affect. If your main rebuttle is that systems can’t handle mass traffic- how in the world could that ever work?

    Comment by julieanna carsen -

  36. I think I’m a bit late. Here in Germany (my current home, former NY) IPTV is a big word
    spoken by all relevant network companies.
    But reality is different. I think broadcast television will NEVER die here, at least in 20 or 25 years. The same problems are here with high definition tv – great hype but nothing that works in sight.

    Comment by Jeremy -

Comments are closed.