Recent Posts

  • BT Developing Content Platform

    BT Developing Content Platform

    BT Wholesale has releaved it has been developing a content delivery platform to try and ease the burden on the infrastructure brought on by the increasing usage of web based TV playback systems like the BBC’s iPlayer, 4oD and Five on Demand.

    Called “Content Connect” the service is being developed by BT Wholesale with BT Retail and other ISPs trialling it. Currently several thousand users are testing the service with a planned launch next year.

    With the uptake of streaming services, providers are needing to find alternative ways to reduce the overall load on their networks, hundreds of users each watching the same program over the internet takes its toll on finite resources. Bringing the content closer to the edge of the network reduces the load on the core infrastructure and will also decrease the time it takes for a user to download a show to watch it.

    The ideal answer is to cache the programmes at the Exchange, as close to the user as possible but this would involve co-operation from all ISPs to enable a service like this. Only time will tell what and how this service will work and how much benefit it will give to the end user.

  • The IPTV Future?

    The IPTV Future?

    The Press has been making a lot of noise about the recent decision to screen one of the England World Cup qualifiers exclusively on the internet. The match is being screened online because of the collapse of Pay to View TV provider, Setanta Sports. The FA needed to look for a way to make up the lost revenue because of Setata’s demise.

    At a price point of £4.99 to watch the single match, the price point could however put a lot of users off. This is quite steep for a 90 minute game. The service is being provided by streaming provider, Perform. It claims its service will be able to support up to 1 million subscribers, however it hasn’t been tested that far.

    While IPTV provides a good way to get TV content out to users, no mater where they are, there are a few issues that come up with it. The quality is going to vary based on the amount of data (the bandwidth) of the connection available, with the average connection in the UK about 2Mb, this should be enough for most streaming, but at peak times the main pipes ISPs use may get congested.

    Not only is there the bandwidth to worry about, but also there is monthly usage limits. Gone are the days of completely unlimited connections, we are now stuck with lower and lower caps while providers fight for the cheapest price / most users. Even if your not on a hard capped package, I would say your connection is “subject to fair use” – i.e. if your provider thinks your using too much, you are!

    I can’t see many things being IPTV exclusive, however I can see more and more going online, the BBC for an example allow live streaming of some of their channels already through IPlayer. The increase in web based viewing is going to force internet service providers to rethink how they sell their connections, low caps are going to be frequently met with the increase in streaming and videos online.