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Television Media

HDTV Feeds of Internet 2 37

Floydian Slip pointed us to a story that talks about some researchers who have successfully sent HDTV over I2. Sort of a proof of concept thing for using the new network for broadcasting TV. It'll still be an ungodly amount of time before its practical, but I'm convinced on-demand media (music is already happening, TV will come) is the future. I love the idea of not dedicating a whole bookcase to VCRs, CDs, and DVDs, so I'm excited to see it.
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HDTV Feeds of Internet 2

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  • I agree with you that TV signals will be broadcast over the net. It would be super-groovy if all media started using the same lines...TV, internet, and phone service. I think this is the future, HUGE packet switched pipes that transmit everything to your home.

    In fact, I would personally like to see ALL spectrum dedicated to personal communication. Cells all over the world could be connected to the big pipes, and send you your phone calls, your movies and TV shows, and your data to you over the air.

    Of course, I DO have a vague idea about the infeasibility of using ALL the spectrum for this...obviously you can't divide lower frequencies into small cells, and the really high frequencies will just drift out into space (unless, I suppose, they could be directed AT you, via a GPS-type facility? Hmmm.) But still, I question the need for TV to be broadcast when it could just be piped all over the world via multicast to whomever is watching that channel.
  • No more of a longshot then the situation that is currently on I2. It CAN be done if you setup the same environment, but using IPv4. The I2 is providing NOTHING magical here. Raw speed of transmition has nothing to do with 'The next generation Internet'. The same technologies that they have implemented on the hardware side to PROVIDE those transmition speeds can just as easily link up on the regular old net using IPv4.
  • One of the limitations of the current internet is that at any moment your connection may drop to only a few bytes per second which is desdly for multimedia applications. I think part of internet 2 is bandwidth guarantees (correct me if I'm wrong). I.e. you can specify what bandwidth you need for a certain connection.

    Furthermore, internet 2 probably uses backbones where bandwidth is measured in gigabits or perhaps even terabit/s. This would allow for many high speed connections over one line.

    BTW. there was no mention of any compression. I hope they were not transmitting raw video signals. Surely 200 Mb/s is a bit much for high quality video.

    BTW2. I got flamed a few days ago in another thread for predicting that eventually TV signals can and will be distributed over the internet. Mr. flamer you stand corrected :).

  • Is it possible to get an IP ban on the morons who keep posting the insert moron's name here) is hated by...? They are just wasting moderation points, AFAIK. That, or don't make moderating them cost any points...

    my two cents.
  • I agree completely, another example of technology that was designed to be "cost-effective" was USB. Firewire, as you know, is more expensive, but faster, along with a few other advantages.

    And like many Americans, I've also been guilty of thinking that the US supplies the technology to the rest of the world. HA!

  • I'll tell you.
    In the Netherlands we use 128 kb (kilobit!) modems connected to the serial port! :-(
    This gives you (if you're lucky) about 5-6 KB/s.
    For surfing the web this is OK, but if you're going to do anything just slightly more fancy it sucks big time.
    We've been promised ADSL at the end of this year, but knowing our PTT (we only have one that really matters) that will probably not happen.
  • There's one big problem with broadband providers and TV streaming over the Internet. No longer will Joe Public be able to put out content in the same forum as the big corporations. Thanks to limited upstreams and ratioed connections that severely limit the upstream, the idea that gave birth to the Internet we have today (the idea that everyones voice is equal) is dying, and AT&T and the other broadband providers are killing it. Esperandi
  • I2 runs IPv6.
  • For Cable internet access? Wow. We get anywhere from 1.5 to 8 MEGABit downstream, 400-800 K upstream.
  • I agree in the near future, multicast will probably be the way most of us get hdtv access.

    As you pointed out technically 620MBPS and faster Terralink type connections are possible for the distant future.

    The extremely wealthy have access to the best technology first, but it is still fun for the rest of us to dream and speculate.
  • Look, when you do a pay per view on TV, you select between different airings of the same show that are at fixed intervals (say 5 or 10 minutes apart)
    If they take the same approach where you order a VoD viewing, then multicast works perfectly.
    Sure, you have to wait up to 5 minutes, but hey, the Internet doesn't crumble into the dust, so I think it's worthwhile

  • by Thomas Malt ( 17767 ) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @12:53AM (#1679044) Homepage
    I work on a similar video-streaming project at Østfold College in Norway, and it is my belief that On Demand Video will be available over the Internet sooner than we might think.

    The project I work on are doing live video-broadcasts of two TV-channels over IPv4, using multicast (read MBONE), with bandwidth consumption up to 2Mbit/s per stream. We are using standard PentiumII workstations running Linux-2.2.12 and bttv grabbercards throughout the whole project. As long as you've got the bandwidth it works perfectly. :) The boxes never crashes either.

    Today NASA is doing multicast-transmissions of about 20 or so educational programs. They are using MPEG-1 video, MP3 audio, 1.5 Mbit/s streams. I receive those streams perfectly at my office in Norway (other side of the world, plain old IPv4 internet, no fancy stuff, just _bandwidth_ and multicasting).

    DVD quality MPEG-2 streaming uses bandwidth up to 6-8 Mbit/s. This is the same as the european Digital TV standard. The next goal of my project is to start streaming live MPEG-2 encoded video over the Internet. We will start doing this before christmas.

    Alot of ISP's (at least in Norway) are starting to build Wireless (WaveLan) Wide Area Networks with bandwidth ranging from 2Mbit to 11Mbit per second.

    The theoretical bandwidth of one fiber-optic strand is reaching the Terrabit level and rising. As the telcos (and others) are starting to give fiber to the end user, the bandwith of the internet will reach Petabit level.

    Oh and by the way: MBONE is not dead. IETF declared Multicasting to be a part of any full IP implementation, so MBONE is not something other than IP, MBONE is a part of IP, it's just that alot of ISP's has not understood this yet. Multicasting is also an integrated part of IPv6, and IPv6 is dependent of Multicasting to a much larger degree than IPv4.

    I believe Internet Video On Demand will develop very similar to mp3. Here is a short scenario of how I think this will develop the next two or three years.
    - First computers will become fast enough to encode and decode DVD quality MPEG-2 in realtime. (1-2 years)
    - Then the bandwidth will be available to stream and download video, over the network. (2-5 years)
    - After that some people will find a way to rip the decrypted video of DVD-disks. (now-1 year)
    - Then people will start to encode favorite movies and TV-shows themselves and you and I can download all episodes of Seinfeld and Babylon 5 of the net, and then the television and movie people will have a very hard time sleeping at night. (now: mpeg1, 2 years: mpeg-2)

    ust my 2 cents of humble opinion. :)
  • I don't see how multicast solves the video on demand problem. Let's define VoD: I go to a web site, search for a particular movie, click on its link, and it starts streaming in. Like we do RealAudio today.

    Given a library of thousands of movies on a particular server, what are the odds that a paricular movie will be played by several people at the exact same time?

    If, on the other hand, by VoD we simply mean DirecTV-style staggered broadcasts, sure, multicast is fine. But that's not what I would call true VoD.

    So, given my definition of VoD, I don't see how even a Terabit backbone could carry the hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of asynchronous movies played on a particular night in a particular country. I guess we would still need some kind of centrally orchestrated broadcast system to manage that, which could indeed give you much more choice than today, but still wouldn't be true anything-anytime-anywhere, like that motel ad currently on TV.
  • by Suydam ( 881 ) on Wednesday September 15, 1999 @11:20PM (#1679047) Homepage
    What I don't get is this: over empty I2, you can send HDTV. What happens when there are 5,000 people requesting the same program? I'm forseeing major bandwidth over load....same as you have now with Real Audio and the dreaded Microsoft Steaming Media.

    Will they be able to handle the demand? That will be the true question.

  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Wednesday September 15, 1999 @11:27PM (#1679048)
    Up to now, the internet has had record companies to deal with regarding MP3s; when the bandwith becomes available (along with the requisite HDTV technology), we're all gonna be up against the movie studios as well.
    Downloading a shaky copy of Star Wars in glorious 640x480 is one thing, but when a proper (watchable) movies is available, there's the distinct possibility that people'll watch that instead of spending their hard-earned dosh on cinema tickets.
    The pondering on how do deal with this should start now...

    (yes, btw, I know that the movie studios and music studios are in a lot of cases the same people, but there aren't many artists that can bring in $100m).
  • "That 270-megabit stream represents something important to the broadcast industry in the sense it's what they use as the native feed that they process," said Richardson.

    270 Megabits? Shesh.. T1 = 1.5 Meg, to give people a reference point.

    This can be done on the regular internet now, so what if someone did it using IPv6 instead of IPv4?
  • see 7&mode=thread for world opinions of US standards. The story is about broadband access in Canada, but many world wide /.ers have chimed in about how good their lives are. Most of the world has much better stuff than the US does, because they adopt the best technologies instead of the ones that are cheapest to implement, such as widespread Asain use of HDTV. The European standards for broadband cabling are superior to th US versions, as well.

    Will I2 be a "good" thing? Or is it simply the easiest and cheapest solution right now?

  • Sorry about the link...

  • I suggest you look into the I2 before casting that judgement. If your judging by cost, it's friggen incredible. 20 Gigabit uplinks to most of the POPs.

    I'm also curiouse as to what kind of speed Europeans are getting out of their cable service?
  • It's really to bad the MBONE never really caught on. This wouldn't be the case, becouse it's only transmitted on ONE stream, hence, there is never 20,000 copies, just one being blasted to everyone.
  • IMHO Until people are able to let go of the need to possess physical media (e.g. CD's, DVD's . . .), downloaded movies, music, and the like will not replace, but enhance and supliment peoples physical collections. I say this from experiance, I love MP3's but I still can't let go of CD's. Plus, until DSL or Cable hits the whole country (world) who can afford the bandwidth.

  • Multicast will not solve the Video on Demand problem. Your description of the bandwidth problem and your definition of VoD is very good. I believe real Video on Demand most likely will be made possible by using a caching system somewhat similar to todays web-proxies and caches like squid,etc. I know several people within IETF and TERENA are working on this already. But as you, I belive the future will bring both multicasted "broadcasts" and pure Video on Demand. I think of a system similar to todays Icecast with multicast, capable of streaming video. And a network of local media-caches keeping unnecessary traffic off the common Internet backbone.
  • When it does come, all heck will break loose. Luckily for them, it's going to take YEARS before that kind of bandwidth is available to the end user. Look how long it took to just get 1.5 megabit at an affordable price via cable modems. People where streaming music since the 80's, and it's taken over 10 yearfs to become practical. I see it as another 10 before movies are as well.
  • 640x480 is actually pretty watchable, when you consider that videoCD for example is only about 320 x something...
  • by mssymrvn ( 15684 ) on Wednesday September 15, 1999 @11:40PM (#1679061) Homepage
    The biggest issue I have with this is that all of these "partners" are interested in providing nothing more than essentially an online catalog for us to buy more garbage that none of us really need all that much. I guess that's the way the world is turning (or has already become). I'm not too thrilled about having to "rent" a movie over I2, providing marketing data to the studios, and then having ads jammed down my throat in a banner at the bottom of the screen while I watch the movie. I'll stick to DVDs and flat rate watching for as long as possible, thanks - that way I don't provide as much marketing data (if any) and I can watch it without nasty PPV prices.

    Come see the Internet2: Your online entertainment and shopping complex - all from the comfort of your sofa. Don't worry, your marketing data is secure with us. *nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink*
  • What I am saying, poorly I know, is that many of the technologies we use in the usa, while adequate, are the not the best solutions. They are often simply the easiest and quickest to produce, thus creating profit sooner.

    The specs on the I2 are very impressive, but I fear that it is being implemented more for corporate reasons than altruistic ones.
  • With the increasing popularity of broadband connections and cheaper, more friendly computers, does HDTV over I2 really matter anymore? Think about it, instead of having every channel multicasted to every box, why not just make a TV that gets its channels over the Internet? You could select from a menu, perhaps a list of your favorite channels. The TV simply requests that channel, and it is streamed to you via the Internet. And since you already have a small computer in there, it would be easy to add interactivity to those channels. Not to mention that it would circumvent the need for cable or DSS - saving money for both the TV station and the viewer.

    So in other words, why should a TV station invest so much in HDTV equipment when they could spend a fraction of the amount on streaming? And if they want higher resolution or 16:9 they can simply get compatible cameras and change resolution settings - only bandwidth limits them (and that could spark a massive acceleration in broadband use and therefore lower cost).

    Why do you think Apple, Microsoft, and Real are spending so much on trying to dominate the streaming market?


  • 270 Megabits is 180 times the bandwidth of a T1. This can't be done over the internet now by a longshot except under very highly constrained circumstances. Perhaps if two hosts were directly connected to a wide pipe they would be able to do this but beyond that the chances of success are vanishingly small.
  • Good information can be found at the University of Washington's Research TV [] site.
  • The easiest way to get around the intellectual property issues would probably be to allow proprietary high bandwidth downloads originating from licensed servers only. We might also have to compromise and allow an increased regulatory presence for I2.

    Currently we regulate cable TV by providing proprietary hardware and or cabling. Sure you can get around this but you risk getting caught by the cable/dish cops. The same will have to hold true for HDTV over the internet.

    As you pointed out i'm sure it will be easy to create a lower resolution copy of the original content even if the original content streams through a proprietary server. This leads to the unpopular option of increased regulation for I2.

    IMHO we are going to have to do something serious about protecting copyright or else the major media outlets aren't going to jump on the convergence bandwagon.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.