View Full Version : TV programmes on Broadband

Richard Waller
09-09-2007, 04:27 AM
The BBC is threatening to offer most or even all their programmes on demand via Broadband. The techies at BSG Broadband Stakeholders Group are jumping up and down about this, saying that the Internet was not designed for this traffic.

I have cable TV (and broadband) which is fibre optic to the local junction box and co-ax from there to my set, but I still get anoying delays while the cable gets round to delivering the past TV programmes on-demand.

And the cable TV has poor synchronisation between sound and vision, the spoken word is just a fraction late with the lip movements which makes it difficult sometimes to understand what the idiots are rabbitting on about.

I have not been at all impressed on my PC with the video at 2mb. What speed to you need to get full screen TV? Germany has a VDSL service at 50mbps, and Japan and South Korea have 1Gbps if you install fibre. Sounds expensive either way.

09-09-2007, 02:31 PM
I'm already using the BBC's iPlayer service where you can download a program from the previous 7 days, and then you have 28 days in which to watch it before the file auto-destructs. Really good for those programs you have missed. Sky already have a similar scheme for films (movies).

On-demand over broadband won't be available to all, but the content suppliers are competing to be the first to offer the service. I think BT are already trialling a service where the program is downloaded onto a local hard disk store and can be viewed from there. With UK broadband speeds on the increase (thought to be to 14Mb/s next year and double that within a further 18 months) and bandwidth increasing as the whole telecoms network moves to a fibre and and IP based system, even full HD with Dolby5.1 is likely.

09-11-2007, 07:45 AM
I don't know the answer, but I'll chime in with my experience with our TV/Internet connection.

We have fibre optic all the way to the house. From the box outside our garage, it's coax to the router. It's reportedly 50Mbps or 30Mbps depending on the location. The router is a hybrid thing that feeds the set-top boxes at high speed. Currently, we don't have an HD TV, but the set-top box converts from digital and digital HD-TV to NTSC.

Video-on-demand is impressive, at least as good as the live video. Rarely do we have unsynchronized video/audio. Usually this occurs only on DVR'd shows, and I can usually get it to synch-up by pausing and playing. Our provider doesn't have HD video-on-demand yet, but I think that's coming eventually.

Computer Internet connection is limited to 5Mbs down, 2Mbs up, although you can pay for more. When testing, I regularly get 3.5-4.5Mbs downstream depending on the location of the remote server.

The TV seems to be provided via the company's internal networks, etc., so video-on-demand does not rely on the Internet. For video over the Internet, I'm sure it would be throttled at the 5Mbps. I'm not sure how full-screen TV would look over that.


Richard Waller
09-13-2007, 12:32 AM
On BBC you have to download iPlayer, which incidently only works with the latest windows software, and this enables you to download programs at whatever broadband speed you have. Then you can play it, pausing, running fast, or backing. ITV are promoting a lot of programs streamed to you with about the same picture quality as we are getting with facebook or whatever. Apparently ITV have a lot of material, and it is hard to find the program you want. BBC, together with Sky and Virgin cable have programs also arranged by date and channel, which seems logical. If you are into BBC you cannot get ITV programs, and vice-versa.

Richard Waller
09-17-2007, 04:15 AM
Internet on your mobile sounds a good idea. But interestingly the kids all have mobiles but round here, none of them ever seem to use the phones; they have them for the built in games and the street cred.