Will online video cause the net to melt?

8 09 2007

No, claims The Exabyte Era, a 24-page white paper from Cisco Systems.

Extract from the Exec Summary:

YouTube is just the beginning. Online video will experience three waves of growth.

Thanks to the YouTube effect, online video has grown rapidly. In North America, online video has jumped from 7 percent of traffic in 2005 to18 percent of traffic in 2007. In response to this remarkable development, many service providers are accelerating their capacity upgrade plans. But the Internet is not collapsing under the weight of YouTube traffic, nor is it likely to.

Global online video traffic is still relatively modest at 11 percent of consumer Internet traffic, and even as it increases four-fold between 2007 and 2011, Internet video to the PC screen will soon be exceeded by a second wave driven by the delivery of Internet video to the TV screen. Beyond 2015, a third wave of video traffic will be driven by video communications.

Other highlights:

  • IP traffic will nearly double every two years through 2011
  • Consumer IP traffic will surpass business IP traffic in 2008
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) download traffic will quadruple between 2006 and 2011 (the equivalent of 10 million DVD’s-worth every month growing to 750 million DVD’s-worth every month)
  • But P2P will decrease as an overall proportion of internet traffic, but until 2011 it will grow by CAGR of 34%
  • Global internet video traffic (excluding P2P) already generates more traffic than the entire U.S. backbone in 2000; by 2011 this is expected to grow by a factor of 86
  • Internet video-to-PC and TV will increase ten-fold each thru 2011
  • The internet is not collapsing under the weight of YouTube video traffic, nor is it likely to
  • The second wave of online video adoption will be marked by a growing appetite for high-definition content: 40 hours of hi-def TV is equivalent to one million email messages

BBC iPlayer: first publicly-released uptake stats; 4oD update

3 08 2007


BBC iPlayer launched in beta a week ago today. According to this report, 100,000 users are up-and-running on the service.

paidContent says the BBC puts the number of users so far at 120,000; with a forecast of 500,000 registrations to the service during its first six months. Meanwhile, Channel 4’s 40D service will soon reach 500,000 users, according to The Guardian.

40D has so far recorded 2.5m unique users and 20m downloads of shows since the launch in December 2006.

In a possible hint at the forward roadmap for BBC iPlayer, Jeff Richards, vice president of digital content services at Verisign, which provided the peer-to-peer download technology underlying both the BBC and Channel 4’s services, said: “Over time, the iPlayer could be modified to allow users to embed video.”

Live streaming video – even HD – without the burp

2 08 2007

Technology firm Swarmcast has announced the release of a new platform for live video streaming, promising greater QoS, even for high-definition video. The company claims the solution eliminates re-buffering and stalling of long-form video content, over a standard broadband connection and without compromising on picture quality.

The solution “aggregates packets of data from multiple sources in real-time… by blending resources,” [augmented by servers, according to posted feedback from the company’s PR] claims the press release.

Last month the company released Autobahn Accelerator, a free downloadable tool which it claims optimises both video streaming and downloads.

p2p is a ‘national security risk’

25 07 2007

ROTFLOL, from this report by CNet: US Members of Congress actually believe that peer-to-peer technology poses a risk to national security “because they enable federal employees to share sensitive or classified documents accidentally from their computers.”

Aside from the obvious issues around privacy online – not restricted to mere p2p distribution – this is laughable. Note to Pentagon: the only thing servicemen are likely up/downloading over the net is prawn.

Anyway, I’m off to Limewire to do a search for “nuclear submarine blueprints”. Echelon, are you listening? Or maybe Joost is a deep cover op for disenfranchised youth 🙂

The silly season is in full swing.

Microsoft brings you… live television

8 07 2007

Interesting post from Erick Schonfeld, Microsoft Research and UK company Skinkers are testing p2p software called LiveStation for streaming live television to PCs (a Mac version is also being developed) using Microsoft Silverlight. The technology was first unveiled at NAB in April and is due for full release in October.  There’s nothing particularly new about streaming live TV over the web: in the UK Channel 4 already simulcasts a proportion of its primary network schedule via the 4oD service; ITV is working on similar plans for ITV Broadband; the BBC began live simulcasting of its News 24 network in May; last week Zattoo announced the launch of a UK localised version of its service (which re-transmits TV channels with a 1-second delay); whilst this is something JumpTV has been doing for a while.  But using p2p as a means for live streaming is a more efficient means of distribution bandwidth-greedy TV. Microsoft, Skinkers and any broadcaster partners they eventually sign up will need to do much to educate ISPs on the benefits of this technology, given that regular access to it by an end user on a fixed cap broadband plan will likely result in additional usage charges.

Here’s an interview with Matteo Berlucchi, CEO and co-founder of Skinkers, plus some coverage on arstechnica.