|Vecta on Broadband|
|Broadband has evolved
rapidly from any "always on" data service whose
rate exceeds 100K bits per second towards a expectation
of at least 10M bits per second.
Broadband works at rates above 500K bits per second which support modest resolution video delivery to medium-sized displays but really comes into its own for multi-channel IPTV and similar services once the 5M bits per second threshold is crossed.
broadcasters, whether over cable, satellite or
terrestrial, are converting their distribution networks
to digital technology.
Broadband streaming, which uses Internet Protocol to deliver video, is a key piece of the technology jig-saw that provides a much more personal service than is possible with "one size fits all" broadcast and the slower, but broader, physical distribution alternatives. However televison, despite progress towards interactive TV, remains essentially focused on viewer choice amongst a few hundred channels supported by a limited amount of textual information.
The Tablet and Internet PC, in contrast, select among billions of pages offered by the Internet's millions of web sites which increasingly include, admittedly moderate quality, video alongside their text and graphics. Now that MPEG4 capture equipment is widely affordable, a host of websites have the potential to provide good quality user created content on a scale impossible to achieve with broadcast television.
The limited bandwidth of the communications pipe delivering the video is the main barrier to provision and takeup of services based on this technology. Few of today's PCs or TVs are connected to pipes of adequate size for an effective service to a full-size PC or TV screen. However this is changing.
Faster Broadband is reaching more people day by day through digital cable modems, optical fibre, xDSL upgrades to copper telephone lines, satellite and wi-fi links, or digital Set Top Boxes. Some governments, notably Korea and Singapore, have invested heavily to accelerate access to education and information resources and have seen Asian broadband take-up lead the world; others, like the UK, have left rollout to the slow pace of their incumbent wireline telecom operator and the heavily debt-laden cable TV companies and, as a consequence UK take-up lags many European players, the US and Asia.
Who will win and how? Distribution specialists risk regulatory pressure keeping margins low while Content providers face pressure from talent costs. Will mobility compensate for reduced bandwidth and interactivity?
|Broadband is changing things; cable, fibre and xDSL rollout are slowly widening the pipe to PCs, Set Top Box makers are beginning to incorporate Internet Protocol and, perhaps most important, 4th Generation LTE wireless systems will eventually provide the megabits per second necessary to deliver video to the smaller mobile screens. Many-to-many broadband services may then displace few-to-many broadcast providers. Emerging "over the top" services delivered via broadband to Set Top Boxes are just the start.|
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|More info from: Terry.Moore@vecta5.com|
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