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Is IPTV pure hype?

  1. May 16, 2005 #1
    Is IPTV pure hype?!?!

    I was reading some articles on the "future" of TVIP, that is TV over the internet. Is this stuff for real ?

    How on earth can a tv signal be broadcast over the internet? I think this is a case of really PURE HYPE! A tv signal needs at least 4MHZ bandwidth so if 1000 people over the internet want to see that station (from anywhere in the world) the tv station server would have to send the digital IP packets at 4GHZ! and what if all of a sudden 10,000 people wanted to see the station? then the TVIP server would have to send the signal at 40GHZ! THAT TO ME SOUNDS LIKE PURE HYPE!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2005 #2


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    I agree with the idea that there is much more hype than reality, but you can look at it quite differently too.

    While the analog NTSC signal does fit into a 4MHz range, this is not neccessarily true of its digital counterparts that almost all use some form of compression. The DVD, satellite, or digital cable all use some form of it, something like MPEG level 2 compression to achieve data rates of managable size. If you look at some of the higher consumer standard recording technologies like MiniDV for example, its ~3.6MB/s data rate is at a 5:1 compression ratio and you spend an incredible amount more to step up to less compression in the pro level equipment. So this side of very expensive equipment used only for recording and storage but not broadcast, digital compression is a given.

    In addition, the use of multicasting would be similar to the existing broadcast format for TV. For example, Victoria's Secret had some online multicast of one of their fashion shows. But unlike standard internet connectivity, each person didn't setup in individual session with the server to get their own individual data feed. Instead they joined a multicast session where the data is sent only once to everyone who is a member, thus saving an incredible amount of bandwidth.

    If you wanted to watch TV that had your programming, you could either watch it in realtime or have the computer queue up the shows off multicast sessions to view at a later time, roughly equivalent to DVRs like TiVo offers now. Given that it offers little to zero advantages and a few downsides like the extra cost and complexity, I doubt it'll be something that will take off anytime soon. Maybe some wireless handheld video device that could recieve programming on the go....in the automated hovering cars featured in the 50s films... :smile:
  4. May 16, 2005 #3
    Thanks for the clarification! So then, if I understand well, it really will not be TV over IP or "internet TV" but some different kind of technology that requires your PC or set top box to receive a "multicast" stream of data from the phone/TV company using special software and hardware/modem.

    I just can't fire up the browser and point to an address and receive the TV, right ? Even because as I thought a point to point data stream as the internet is usually used could never reach the maybe trillions of bits per second to feed millions of disitnct clients.
  5. May 16, 2005 #4
    nameta9, have ya heard of streamer peer to peer?
    it is place to go to listen AND also watch ..what others are broadcasting over the net..
    Streamer is a small program which allows you to listen & watch & also to broadcast your own station to other streamers..
  6. May 16, 2005 #5


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    Ok, I could be way off track here but a few weeks back got an ad offering TV over 8 Mb ADSL .... and the thing seems to work fine as far as I know :confused:
  7. May 16, 2005 #6


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    Pick a media player from Microsoft, Apple, or Real and they all support one or more forms of multicast.

    If a place decided to setup themselves to transmit on the internet and allowed you to join it would be as simple as pointing your media player to that address.

    Yes, point to point would require many times more traffic. It would be nice in one sense, most multicast transmissions are sessionless which is unlike most internet functions that are session based and have acknowledge/receive actions to ensure you get all your data. With satellite TV there's probably once a month or two I loose some picture from a bad storm, but its not like its all that important anyways so not a real worthwhile benefit.

    PerennialII - anyone could offer it, but what is the business model? Someone has to pay for it whether it be advertiser or subscriber or both. I doubt any major channel is going to give their content away for free when cable and satellite are more than happy to pay for it. Yes the broadcast laws already require the networks to do this but I doubt they would continue if not required.
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