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Video on demand

2001-07-07 16:49:27+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Via Hack The Planet, The Economist has a reality check for video on demand. The only surprising thing here is how many years it's taken for some of these folks to realize the obvious:

What happens, then, if CNN has a 30-second clip of President Bush that 100,000 Americans choose to view at the same time? Even at the lowest resolution, the capacity required is 30 gbps. In other words, that one 3-inch by 3-inch picture on the computer screen is hogging no less than 6% of the entire Internet backbone capacity in North America.

[ related topics: New Economy ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:05+00 by: Garth

I don't know if it has been mentioned on HTP (and don't have the time to check), but streaming video can be cached these days, just like HTTP. If enough ISPs* have the right transparent caches installed**, CNN will do just fine in the hypothetical example.

*: The Network Appliance boxes do their stuff in the microkernel, not using the streaming vendors' application code, so they're *really* fast.

**: Given enough caches, CNN would only have to serve the stream once per bitrate. That's a silly example, but not *that* silly.

Disclaimer: I work for Network Appliance. Maybe I'm biased, or maybe I'm paid to know what I'm talking about. :)

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:05+00 by: Dan Lyke

There are lots of schemes to handle caching, I've talked with someone who's just leaving Rampt, and I like their idea of putting the caches in the set-top boxes so that cache coherency is by neighborhood cable segment.

And the analysis I haven't done as effectively as I should, especially now that I'm learning about statistical analysis for the bioinformatics stuff, is what sort of distributions does caching work for? What size caches do you need to provide coverage for the way that "hey, check this cool (whatever) out" information spreads? Are the patterns geographically diverse enough that by the time you seed any affordable cache the next wave is coming through?

Since Akamai can't seem to keep up even with serving banner ads I'm still a bit dubious...