10 Mbps = Holy Grail of Broadband???

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by TJM, May 16, 2004.

  1. TJM

    TJM Guest

    I downloaded some of the Windows Media High Definition clips at the MS
    website, and the sample 1080p clips have data rates somewhere in the 8-9
    Mbps range. I assume MPEG-4 HD clips are a little higher, maybe in the
    10-11 Mbps range.

    Since 1080p is about the highest resolution the world is going to have for
    the next 15-20 yrs, are broadband companies aiming for 10 Mbps as the "Holy
    Grail of Broadband"? I have Comcast Cable broadband and I usu. get speeds
    in the 2-3 Mbps range, so it seems the Holy Grail will be reached soon for
    the masses.

    Agree or disagree?
    TJM, May 16, 2004
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  2. Not necessarily.
    Japan's DOCOMO is already testing a 100 mb/sec WIRELESS network.
    As bandwidth increases, applications will be invented to take advantage of
    it, to wit:
    video conferencing with multiple streams
    virtual reality
    decentralization of server services
    decentralization of the workplace -- suppose video editors and their
    material were physically separated :)
    And, of course, the compression now universal in video storage and
    delivery could be reduced.

    No, I don't think 10 mbs is the holy grail, any more than 10-Base T was the
    holy grail of networking.
    However, there will be plateaus, when new technology is required to go
    further. "New technology" could be optical switchers and fiber all the way
    into the house, or it could be IEEE 802.16, which encompasses an enormous
    frequency range up to 60 gHz, ie., sub-light frequencies.
    Robert Morein, May 17, 2004
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  3. TJM

    Dave Haynie Guest

    For MPEG-4 Simple Profile, perhaps. If you go to MPEG-4 Part 10
    (H.264-based), there should be no obvious advantage in Windows Media 9
    over MPEG-4. Either way, as with any other compression scheme, you can
    produce any bitrate you like... the only question is, will the quality
    be acceptable at that bitrate.

    Before the DVD Forum accepted the AOD disc as the standard for HD-DVD,
    they were looking at alternate video CODECs on standard red-laser
    DVDs. They found both H.264 and Windows Media 9 to be acceptable for
    full length HD films encoded on standard DVD, which means, at about
    8Mb/s or thereabouts.
    Actually, digital cinema is likely to standardize on something 4x-8x
    this resolution. But it's not a consumer format, natch.
    Nope. For one, they don't care about sending you HDTV over broadband.
    Comcast runs a cable into your house. That's already something like a
    10Gb/s pipe, if they really want to push it by updating the modulation
    across the board and kicking analog out. They're not terribly worried
    about schlepping around 10Mb/s video over TCP/IP; they'd rather have
    you subscribe to HD channels directly.

    For broadband video (a thing I was doing with my own company, back in
    the late 90s and early 00s), the holy grail has long been enabling
    enough broadband clients at 1Mb/s or thereabouts to make the whole
    issue of broadband video delivery viable. At 1Mb/s, you can get
    better-than-VHS quality using MPEG-4. That's all you need, but
    naturally, if you're dealing with live video, this has to be
    guaranteed throughput. So you're really talking about 1.5Mb/s channels
    with guaranteed throughput.

    Nothing like that is even close to widespread. My solution was simple:
    the player is really a PVR, with stored videos available for "rental",
    and the _possibility_ of near-instant streaming of anything, but
    always as a rental. This way, the bandwidth could be predicted, a
    large part of the video buffered while you watch the ads and/or
    previews, and in the event of a total internet shutdown, you'll have
    the film for 24hrs or a week or whatever your rental period is.

    HDTV is kind of a glorious thing, but with under 1 million HD sets in
    the marketplace, it's not something anyone's worried about right now,
    Also, I don't think there's any plan to _settle_ for specific rates.
    There are numerous "last mile" broadband solutions available, and some
    of these can deliver well in excess of 10Mb/s. Most such things are
    intended for business support now, but anything successful may well
    filter down to the home. And of course, many of today's solutions,
    like cable networking, can scale pretty arbitrarily. When I was first
    working with cable modems, the actual channel was delivering 40Mb/s,
    and now there are channel modulation schemes that can hit at least
    60Mb/s. The DOCSIS modem will put a governor on this, as instructed by
    your cable head end, and may well have a practical limit elsewhere,
    such as in the connection between the modem and your PC. But these
    were not planned to be stuck at 2-3Mb/s or whatever, at least far as
    the infrastructure goes. That's simply a matter of how well they're
    scaling the load, and as well, competition. Cable companies are well
    versed in the notion of minimal positive satisfaction. They tend to
    optimize profits at the point at which most people are miserable with
    their service, but not over the threshold-of-disconnect.

    So basically, if the cable modem is generally seen to be faster than
    the alternatives (xDSL, satellite, microwave, whatever), they have no
    incentive to make it any faster. In fact, to an extent, enabling
    broadband video that's as good as cable would be a dis-incentive, as
    you'd then consider other service providers rather than your cable
    company, for at least some of your viewing choices.
    Dave Haynie | Chief Toady, Frog Pond Media Consulting
    | Take Back Freedom! Bush no more in 2004!
    "Deathbed Vigil" now on DVD! See http://www.frogpondmedia.com
    Dave Haynie, May 20, 2004
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