Thursday, March 15, 2007

'The Internet Can't Handle Full-blown TV'

(Ed. Note: This is old "news" -- now backdated over a month! -- but it's stuck in the back of the mind as being one of the issues of larger import heard in the intervening time.)

The top man for TV technology with Google, which acquired YouTube last year, told a European cable group that the Internet was not designed for TV. Companies working on putting broadcast quality TV shows and movies through the Internet were told to rethink their plans.

"'The Web infrastructure, and even Google's (infrastructure) doesn't scale. It's not going to offer the quality of service that consumers expect,' Vincent Dureau, Google's head of TV technology, said at the Cable Europe Congress."
Because (to put it in a few nutshells that I gathered from the article):
"The data involved in one hour of video can equal the total in one year's worth of emails. ISPs are already investing heavily every year just to keep up. YouTube et al may bring the global network to its knees."

("One cable boss in Belgium said it was 'the best news of the day' to hear that Google could not scale for video.")
So, it's looking like we should expect the no-longer "coming" but very much happening TV-Internet convergence to ride on the rails of cable television for the near future, not on just the Internet as is. It'll be a blend, certainly, but with cable companies carrying a lot more of the load than you usually hear. Until the telcos invest heavily enough in fiber optic, that is, at which point all bets are again off.

And, of course, cable's particular capability for this job won't become apparent until worsening response time on the Net starts scoring prominently on the society wide Pain-In-The-Neck Register. Because it does seem, unfortunately, the little ever happens without things first going wrong in dramatic ways.

Google and cable firms warn of risks from Web TV
By Lucas van Grinsven, Reuters, Wed. Feb 7, 2007

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