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Vint Cerf Says Fix the Net With More Pipe

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the works-for-hunger-too dept.

The Internet 341

CWmike writes "While ISPs may fret about Netflix, Hulu and other streaming media services saturating their bandwidth, Internet forefather Vint Cerf has a simple answer for this potential problem: Increase bandwidth exponentially. With sufficient bandwidth, streaming video services of prerecorded content wouldn't be necessary, said the now-technology evangelist at Google. With sufficient throughput, the entire file of a movie or television show could be downloaded in a fraction of the time that it would take to stream the content. Cerf, speaking at Juniper Network's Nextwork conference, spoke about the company's decision to outfit Kansas City with fiber-optic connections that Google claims will be 100 times faster than today's services. The purpose of the project was 'to demonstrate what happens when you have gigabit speeds available,' Cerf said. 'Some pretty dramatic applications are possible.' One obvious application is greater access to high-definition video, he explained. 'When you are watching video today, streaming is a very common practice. At gigabit speeds, a video file [can be transferred] faster than you can watch it,' he said. 'So rather than [receiving] the bits out in a synchronous way, instead you could download the hour's worth of video in 15 seconds and watch it at your leisure.' He adds: 'It actually puts less stress on the network to have the higher speed of operation.'"

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You heard the man! (4, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540920)

Give her more pipe!

The internet... (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541142)

..is a series of tubes! (and it's also made of cats)

Re:The internet... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541308)

and it's also made of cats

Both Dead and Alive?

Re:The internet... (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541338)

Nyan cats and tac nyans, too.

Makes sense... (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540956)

'So rather than [receiving] the bits out in a synchronous way, instead you could download the hour's worth of video in 15 seconds and watch it at your leisure.' He adds: 'It actually puts less stress on the network to have the higher speed of operation.'

Sure, it naturally would stand to reason that the operations (like streaming video) that currently require 100% utilization on today's network might only require a fraction of that on tomorrow's much faster network. The problem is, tomorrow we won't be happy with the same old video we used to stream, we are going to want a super high-def version with 8 channel stereo sound and in-line twitter commentary plus it will have to update our facebook status every time we pause it to go to the bathroom... And then we will be back to streaming at 100% capacity again, wondering when the next leap in networking will let us do block downloads again.

Seriously, Vint Cerf? This is the best idea you can muster? This is the same problem/solution cycle the internet has been locked in for its entire existence.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

cheaphomemadeacid (881971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540980)

Seriously, Vint Cerf? This is the best idea you can muster? This is the same problem/solution cycle the internet has been locked in for its entire existence. you mean, it hasn't worked? ;P

Re:Makes sense... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540984)

The problem is, tomorrow we won't be happy with the same old video we used to stream

True. In the future, we'll actually want live news and live sports, the two areas where subscription Internet video has lagged behind cable and satellite TV.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541310)

That is a issue with the companies that own that content, not with the technology behind it. NHL.com is a great example, I thought it could get me hockey games but it only shows out of market. So instead of the NHL getting some of my money, they get none. I hope they like that arrangement.

How does live news lag online?
Websites update faster than the local talking head can keep up.

Can't surf while ironing or washing dishes (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541394)

Websites update faster than the local talking head can keep up.

While doing housework, it's far more difficult to use a website than to use MSNBC.

Re:Can't surf while ironing or washing dishes (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541490)

So your real complaint is lack of audio/video presentation of news via the Internet?

Seems like MSNBC or anyone could provide that. Newshour is available online.

Again, this is more a problem of people for some reason not wanting my money. You can lead a horse to water, but this horse seems to not want to drink.

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541008)

I think he's talking about the overhead of streaming, and making the point that once you have the speed to download rather than stream, you free up even more bandwidth than you would expect.

Re:Makes sense... (5, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541076)

Do you? No, I don't think you do, not with existing video techniques. If block downloads were of a format that used end to end compression instead of stream compression, you could gain additional savings by requiring the user to download the whole file. As it is, prerecorded video streams already buffer enough to fill the MTU on the network, meaning that any ability to transfer it faster will still result in the same net amount of bytes going across the network. Wake me up when we have practical end-to-end compression techniques for video...

Re:Makes sense... (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541434)

I'm thinking you don't know what you're talking about, mostly because the MTU for most people won't even hold a tiny portion of the screen at QVGA quality, considering its at most going to be 1500 bytes unless they happen to be on gigabit to their DSL or Cable modems ...

When streams buffer, the buffer ahead and then stop, or run at a reduced rate. Buffering is only relevant at the beginning, and considering I can run probably 6-10 netflix movies on my home connection, I'm gonna have to call bullshit on being anywhere nearing saturation constantly. After that, when the buffer is full, it falls back to sending what it needs to send.

But hey, don't let a little thing like actually understanding how this shit works keep you from spewing your ignorance.

Wake me up when you actually know what you're talking about.

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541380)

I think he's talking about the overhead of streaming, and making the point that once you have the speed to download rather than stream, you free up even more bandwidth than you would expect.

Of course what he doesn't talk about is how scared content providers will be when they hear that the user will have downloaded the file. Downloaded?!?!? Oh, noes - piracy! Arrgh!!

Re:Makes sense... (3, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541034)

It's not exactly a technically innovative idea, but i like it a whole hell of a lot better than the "solution" most broadband companies seem to be deciding on, which is "more caps and more fees!"

Re:Makes sense... (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541146)

Oh you crazy nerds and your "solutions". It's as though you believe that the internet is a system for transferring data rather than extracting rents...

Some people...

Re:Makes sense... (3, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541232)

I would like to moderate you +1 that guy who always gets the blue tiles and railroads in monopoly and makes the final 4 hours of the game miserable :P

Re:Makes sense... (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541046)

'So rather than [receiving] the bits out in a synchronous way, instead you could download the hour's worth of video in 15 seconds and watch it at your leisure.'

You mean actually have the file stored on your PC? OH, yeah, that'll go down well with the MAFIAA.

Re:Makes sense... (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541168)

Yeah. If it weren't for legal issues, ISPs could set up automated bittorrent caches/"super peers" that cache and serve nearly everything that enough of the ISP users request.

Then the ISPs just throttle most P2P connections except to/fro their "super peers" and internal traffic. Hardly anyone would complain as long as their downloads are still fast.

Re:Makes sense... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541176)

We just have to "package" the idea correctly: They'd probably start lobbying for legislation declaring a 10GB optical line and a XAUI-capable home router to be a universal human right, so long as only dystopian, fritz-chipped, NGSCB/Palladium/TCG nightmare machines, and authorized citizens-in-good-standing-with-biometric-IDs were allowed to consume content on the new, shiny, now-with-extra-pipes internet...

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541218)

Not only that but how often do people watch the entire video from end to end. Google should know that most people jump forward to sections of very long videos and do not watch to the end. Why send the credits for example if they are not going to be watched.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541334)

I wonder how much bandwidth netflix could save by cutting the credits and intro music off tv shows they stream.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541558)

intro music on most shows is almost nonexistent now, and in movies it can be an integral part

Re:Makes sense... (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541494)

FYI, this is how Apple's rentals/"streaming" work. They may refer to it as streaming, but it's not. You get a copy of the file, and it's DRMed with an expiration. You do not have to wait for the whole file to download to being watching, but that doesn't make it the same as streaming. Heck, once you've got the whole file, you can watch offline.

It's also how XBox Live video rentals used to work before that got corrupted with all the "Zune Marketplace" crap. Again, once you got the whole file, you could watch offline.

I like this model considerably better than streaming. I hate streaming.

However, some service providers don't. If you're streaming, they not only know "so-and-so rented such-and-such on date X, expiring on date Y", they also know exactly when you hit play, or pause, or which segments you re-watched, or which segments you skipped over.

I do not want them to gather that information on a massive scale, but they really want to. That plus lack of confidence in DRM is what I think makes so many people push literal streaming (instead of file delivery), when to my thinking that's not actually in consumer's best interests.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541064)

Umlimited resolutions are just plain useless, remember, even your *eyes'* resolution is limited. I doubt 8 sound channels take that much bandwith but hardly anyone has the necessary setup to benefit from this anyway.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541200)

Have you no scientific curiosity, man? I, for one, forsee a glorious future where every child may make new scientific discoveries without going outside into the scary world where the terrorists and pedophiles live, simply by using his micrososcope to carefully inspect the family television set!

Re:Makes sense... (4, Informative)

shaitand (626655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541130)

I don't think you've caught the point. It isn't merely that 100% of the network won't be required if we are faster. If the connection is fast enough, the video doesn't have to be streamed through difficult to throttle udp but instead can be transferred as a network friendly tcp transfer. UDP video transfer is a dirty hack implemented because it was the only way to get video of watchable quality through. We are no longer in the days of choppy unwatchable video on the internet and if we move away from dirty hacks like udp streaming I doubt anyone would go back to it.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541448)

UDP streaming is not only a dirty hack, it also uses more bandwidth than it actually needs. Every packet has bits of both the preceeding and following packets so that if a packet gets dropped or delayed or whatever, there is still enough information to not miss the "missing" information. By eliminating the need for redundant information in every packet, going TCP over high speed networks will LOWER the actual bits needed to be transmitted, reducing the congestion that is killing Netflix and other such services.

The other option is to establish a industry wide QOS system for data packets. However that option would eventually fail as people would tunnel other data underneath high value data packets, or forge packet headers, such as being done with HTTP tunneling to get through firewalls and such.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541526)

Congestion is killing netflix?
That is news to me, I don't even have cable anymore. Looks fine over my 25/25 connection.

Re:Makes sense... (1, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541542)

through difficult to throttle udp

I haven't had any difficulty throttling any sort of IP stream in almost 15 years. UDP, TCP, ICMP, IGMP, RAW (otherwise unknown payloads), you name it. Just because your little OS or linksys router doesn't do it doesn't mean real network equipment doesn't. Literally 15 years ago, throttling UDP to specific rates with no problem at all.

UDP video transfer is a dirty hack implemented because it was the only way to get video of watchable quality through.

UDP is used because a lost packet doesn't stop the stream, missed packet is just a missed packet. If its a miss on a small portion of a moving image, you probably won't notice. A lost packet in a TCP stream could result in no data flowing at the logical level for several seconds. This hasn't gone away or changed and never will, packets WILL get lost and need to be retransmitted. When your video stops playing for a few seconds while it waits for the missing packet, then finally requests a retransmit, then you're going to notice.

I'm not sure what you think it has to do with picture quality, since its all digital data, the quality doesn't change just because you put it over a different protocol. Do you also believe that the file format changes when you move it from your PC to PC using a USB stick rather than a CD?

You probably want to get a clue before you start telling everyone to dump UDP ... especially since you clearly have no fucking clue why its used.

Re:Makes sense... (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541266)

The problem is, tomorrow we won't be happy with the same old video we used to stream, we are going to want a super high-def version with 8 channel stereo sound and in-line twitter commentary plus it will have to update our facebook status every time we pause it to go to the bathroom...

Nobody is making "super high def" content, nor can existing display devices do "super high def."

This entire argument is based on the fallacy that bandwidth needs will grow forever. Its simply not true. Prior to double-digit megabit connections, there was always media that couldnt be delivered in real-time.. but now there simply isnt any media that cannot be delivered in real-time on 10+ mbit connections, and that includes 3D HD video.

I realize that in your imaginary world, the bandwidth of content grows exponentially.. but thats just your imagination. The jump from SD to HD was not an exponential growth in the size of content.

As far as "8 channel stereo sound" .. uh, what? stereo is 2 channel sound. Didnt you know that when you start talking about channels, you negate the whole stereo thing? Also, audio hasnt been an issue for years... even the WORST broadband connections can stream UNCOMPRESSED audio in realtime, and a 15:1 LOSSLESS audio compression is a typical reality.

As far as twitter and facebook.. you are further proving that you have absolutely no fucking idea what you are taking about.

The only way current high end bandwidth will be insufficient is if there is a new media paradigm.. holographic (real 3D) media and so forth.. that'll be possible in 10 years, or so they have been saying for the last 60 years.

Re:Makes sense... (3, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541306)

Believe it or not, he is right on the money (figuratively speaking). What he is suggesting is the correct response to "net neutrality" laws. Myopic and purely profit-driven ISPs won't give their users what the users want, just the absolute minimum to make maximum profit. OTOH, investment in infrastructure makes "net neut" irrelevant, but obviously takes money.

Moreover, I think you are wrong to say better quality video will fill the pipes because 1080p video is more than we'll need for a while, and I bet in time we'll even get better compression algorithms to bring the filesizes down further. What will push the network is increased internet penetration, but we'll have to deal with that anyway...

Re:Makes sense... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541366)

You do realize current video technology (HD broadcast TV) is higher definition that most people can see in their homes right?

The point to that being, one or two resolution jumps and we're likely to be at the final point for TV. You don't need more pixels once the eye stops perceiving any change in the image. Yes, we'll still have morons like people who call themselves audiophiles and listen to 'high bitrate mp3s' but you can safely ignore those morons with TV just like you do with music now.

As far as being the 'best idea' Mr Cerf can muster, well, its the idea agreed on by every competent network engineer on the planet. Anyone who works in the industry knows the problem isn't bandwidth availability, its that companies don't want to perform the very inexpensive (compared to the profit and other costs associated with moving data) upgrade.

So before you go telling the father of the Internet, creator of the first real ISP, and all around knowledgable guy that he doesn't have clue ... remember, he had a clue before you were born and long before you could click a mouse, and he's STILL about 100 times more knowledgable than you ... hence the reason he was speaking at Junipers conference ... unless of course you think the guys who make the biggest and baddest routers and switches on the Internet when and picked some idiot to speak to them.

Your ignorance makes you look like a little bitch, keep your mouth shut and you'll get a lot further in life.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541424)

Ignoring the fact that there's a theoretical limit where larger video files are not at all worth it, this is a big part of the solution, with perhaps some kind of 'smart routing' and caching being the rest of the solution. A certain amount of the money that ISPs make should be invested into improving the infrastructure. The problems we are facing today are because ISPs have not done that, and have instead just lobbied competition and accountability away. The solution is to bitch slap the ISPs for their negligence and get them to make up for lost time. The only concern would be if we reach the limits of bandwidth before we reach the limits of human input.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541438)

Luckally we are reaching our biological limit of our bandwidth needs. Lets say 2 80" 1:1 at 1000PPI Display Streaming at 120 FPS 32bit color. with 32 channel stereo 128bit sound, uncompressed per person.

So a 3tbs bandwith per person should be more then enough for anyone, for home use.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541462)

"...instead you could download the hour's worth of video in 15 seconds..."

Download? Download?
A working copy on your harddisk?

The content MAFIAA just got a heart attack.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541464)

Actually, most of that is really round-off error compared to 1080p, HD video.

Adding things like a Facebook updates, Twitter streams, a couple of extra audio channels and whatnot don't really add that much to the bandwidth utilization.

Getting people to purchase new video devices that can handle greater than 1080p video is going to take probably decades. We're still seeing a lot of people with standard-def (480i) and even half-HD (720p) sets -- with little to no inclination to upgrade.

Then all the production infrastructure, content, etc. will add to that.

The biggest issue will be multiple video streams going over one household pipe. All three of my kids have HD monitors, and it isn't unusual for 4 different video streams to be piped in at the same time.

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541546)

The big problem with streaming is dealing with latency and packet loss. It's easier to make a fatter pipe than it is to make a thinner pipe with all the QoS on it. QoS only starts to come in to effect if you are filling a pipe, if you have spare bandwidth you don't need QoS.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541560)

The problem is, tomorrow we won't be happy with the same old video we used to stream, we are going to want a super high-def version with 8 channel stereo sound and in-line twitter commentary plus it will have to update our facebook status every time we pause it to go to the bathroom... And then we will be back to streaming at 100% capacity again, wondering when the next leap in networking will let us do block downloads again.

I think you're wrong. The human audio visual system has limited resolution/perception ability. Once something is "good enough" most people stick with it. They don't keep pushing. Once audio/video is free of perceptible noise and distortion and is clear and sharp most people are happy.

Consumer interest in HD audio formats like Super Audio CD... virtually zero. 16 bits at 44100 samples per second is enough for most people. Lossless formats like FLAC and Apple's lossless are here and yet most people still rip to 128kbps mp3 and are perfectly happy.

All audio could be encoded as 24 bit lossless or even 320kbps mp3. Why isn't it? Most people can't hear the difference. Hell, I did blind A/B testing between 98kbps and 128kbps mp3 and wasn't able to tell a difference on most pop music.

The majority of people I know can't even tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on the displays they own. Why would they want to pay extra for "beyond 1080p" video resolution?

We've passed the point where audio is trivially small for the network and local storage. When gigabit comes to the USA video will be in the same boat. Just as people stopped at 128kbs mp3 audio, they'll likely stop at 1080p video + 7.1 audio. Most people don't even own the hardware required to faithfully reproduce that.

The higher display resolutions (WQHD / QFHD / UHDTV) will need to be common and cheap for people to upgrade. We'll also need an overhaul of the broadcast standards, which will likely mean that most of all of the set top boxes in the US will need to be replaced. None of that is coming anytime soon. By time consumer video goes beyond 1080p another network upgrade will be due and better compression will be here.

More pipe? (1)

Quato (132194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540968)

Doesn't he mean more tubes?

Why deride (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541138)

I never understood why that guy got derided so hard for that comment. I think tubes is a perfectly acceptable way for an old man to understand the internet. That's politics for ya: anything to take our minds off of the real issues.

Re:Why deride (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541508)

Right, and "pipe" seems to have been an appropriate name for a long time from various tech guys. Unfortunately the internet is full of so many idiots that something correct (or a perfectly fine analogy) can be made in to something seen as ridiculous simply because enough stupid people don't understand and have egos that require them to sneer at the slightest perceived inaccuracy.

But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (1)

ajo_arctus (1215290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540996)

But people will just want to stream 1080p and then 2K and then 4K video so any increase in bandwidth will just get eaten up, just the same as it always has. And can somebody explain to me why downloading a video in 1 gigantic burst is better than streaming it at a more steady rate? Surely the same amount of data gets transferred either way -- packet headers and things might account for a small overhead, but that's nothing compared to the actual video data. Like I say, I might be missing something.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541088)

We will not get 2k video, let alone 4k, any time soon. Most people don't even need 1080p. (With my set size and seating position I'm right on the line myself.)

Bursting the video rather than streaming it leads to less overhead. Clearly it matters how much less. If you can do it with UDP and don't drop many packets then the difference could be substantial. However, AFAICT most video streaming services utilize HTTP so that they can be accelerated by commodity caching systems.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541132)

Most video streaming services offer HTTP so they can get through firewalls. We are moving to a "port 80" world.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541566)

Only until DPI on port 80 becomes common and firewalls start blocking tunneling over HTTP.

Oh wait ... too late.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541396)

Difference will not be substantial if you do it over UDP. And if you don't expect packet loss, then do it via TCP and you will not be lagging (coz packets aren't dropping, w00t). Your statement is not (fully) valid/substantiated. Besides, as someone else said - everything is done via HTTP on port 80 (unfirewalled), why would you roll your own protocol on top of UDP (at the very least a checksum validation) if so many great solutions are available? This is silly.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (1)

grahamm (8844) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541094)

I think what you are missing is the timeliness of the data. If you stream then any temporary slowdown, pauses or retransmissions due to packet loss, have a detrimental effect on the viewing/listening. Bulk downloads do not suffer this. Also, it can help even out bandwidth utilisation as you do not have the 'problem' of some periods when lots of people are streaming and other periods when the 'pipes' are comparatively empty.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541336)

I think what you are missing is the timeliness of the data. If you stream then any temporary slowdown, pauses or retransmissions due to packet loss, have a detrimental effect on the viewing/listening. Bulk downloads do not suffer this. Also, it can help even out bandwidth utilisation as you do not have the 'problem' of some periods when lots of people are streaming and other periods when the 'pipes' are comparatively empty.

What they need is something like disk striping on RAID drives, but for streaming video. If there were built in checksums embedded in the stream than maybe dropped packets could reconstructed without having to retransmit. Of course that would require a different video codec and make the data file larger, but if the goal is to stream video and the problem is lagtime, then it could actually improve the situation. Just a thought.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541118)

can somebody explain to me why downloading a video in 1 gigantic burst is better than streaming it at a more steady rate?

Bursty transfers don't require advanced network management, like quality of service. It is cheaper to build a faster network than a network with more sophisticated management capabilities. This is an old insight, but of course it is easily forgotten in times when monetization is more important than functionality: Scarcity creates value for the stock holders.

Once 4K cameras become affordable (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541152)

But people will just want to stream 1080p and then 2K

There isn't much difference here: 2K is 2048x1080, which is less than 7% bigger than standard 1080p.

and then 4K video

We can solve that once 4K video cameras become affordable for home use.

And can somebody explain to me why downloading a video in 1 gigantic burst is better than streaming it at a more steady rate?

If the entire work is cached locally, fast forward and rewind don't require a round trip to a server, and they don't require transcoding to create a new keyframe at the seek point. Nor will re-watching a video require sending it again.

Re:Once 4K cameras become affordable (1)

ajo_arctus (1215290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541264)

Those points are all valid, but we're talking about the mid-term future here, not looking at things as they are right now. It just seems likely that once we have gigabit internet, we'll probably be using entire walls to watch TV, and we'll be wanting suitably high-definition video.

As for your other points, if the internet connection is so fast that it can download the entire stream in 15 seconds, skipping foward/backwards won't be a problem, nor will downloading it again. Besides, you could just save the stream. I just can't see any benefit in downloading it all in 15 seconds versus a slower stream as you watch -- not that I'm against downloading in 15 seconds. It's just an odd thing to bring up as a visionary, because it doesn't really improve my life in any way at all -- regardless of whether it streams or downloads in one chunk, it's still going to take me 100 minutes to watch the average film...

Re:Once 4K cameras become affordable (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541522)

if the internet connection is so fast that it can download the entire stream in 15 seconds, skipping foward/backwards won't be a problem

There is a limit to the speed of an Internet connection, namely the speed of light in copper or fiber. If your video server is on the other side of the planet, there's still a ping's worth of round trip to the server. Besides, accurate seeking requires a reencode of all the video between two keyframes in order to generate a keyframe at the seek point. This reencoding takes CPU time on the server side and reduces image quality by a generation.

nor will downloading it again

When your daughter wants to watch "Cinderella" three times in a month, do you want to blow through one movie's share of your ISP's monthly cap or three?

Besides, you could just save the stream.

Which is no better or worse than a download.

Watching the movie while away from the Internet (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541602)

regardless of whether it streams or downloads in one chunk, it's still going to take me 100 minutes to watch the average film

For one thing, you don't have to spend those 100 minutes in front of a continuous Internet connection. If you can download a 100 minute movie in five minutes, you can choose the movie, download it, hop on the bus/plane, and watch it. I don't see the fact that home Internet is far cheaper than cellular Internet or especially in-flight Internet changing any time in the mid-term future.

For another, watching a 100 minute movie doesn't necessarily take 100 minutes. A video player supporting time-stretching will let you watch the whole movie on 1.2x speed. This works especially well for slow-paced movies where little is going on.

Re:But won't that bandwidth just get eaten up too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541492)

But people will just want to stream 1080p and then 2K and then 4K video

I don't think so, or at least not any time soon.

I guess it depends on the size of your house, and I know these things vary, but there's a point at which in order to be able to see more pixels, you need a TV larger than the largest wall in your house. For me, I wouldn't be able to use a much larger TV even if you gave it to me for free. Ok, who am I kidding, if you gave me a 72 inch TV I would find some place to put it and I would enjoy it, but it really would involve sacrificing something else. As in, "honey, do we still really need a dresser in the bedroom?" or "sweetie, do we really need to have windows in the living room?" and I can already see her glaring at me.

That leaves non-fixed-screen as the only way to make more pixels be visible. You're talking wearable contacts or neural interfaces or something. Are those things coming? Wearables: probably. So long term, ok, 4K vertical pixels may have some demand. But for it to be large enough market that anyone bothers selling such video, I think that's still pretty far off.

Cogent is coming... (1)

slashpot (11017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541000)

We get 100Mb fiber pipe in our building at work from Cogent for about $250/month. They offer gig pipes cheap too. Colo'ing servers with them is the only way I'd consider traditional colo setups now...

When Cogent grows past enabling large office buildings to enabling fiber to neighborhoods - I'll move wherever they have service. I've even considered moving to an apartment building across the street from my employer's building and rigging up my own wifi so I can surf on our Cogent pipe.

There is nothing better than a cheap, unmetered, fat pipe.

Re:Cogent is coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541060)

Too bad Cogent doesn't do IPv6. Oh, they claim they do, but you can't reach half of the IPv6 internet, because they refuse to peer with Hurricane Electric (which is a huge portion of the IPv6 internet). They've also had similar peering disputes with other ISPs over IPv4.

Seriously, Cogent might be cheap, but they also suck as an ISP and are one of the major causes of dispute among backbones.

The future is here already (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541010)

I can already download flv type files faster than youtube lets me have them. They're throttling.

For now "exponentially more pipe" will remain of a pipe dream though. There's still physics and the current state of technology pissing in that soup. Not to mention economics.

Happy Birthday Vint! (3, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541030)

(It's today.)

Re:Happy Birthday Vint! (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541194)

Same as Alan Turing's?

Re:Happy Birthday Vint! (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541586)

I guess so. Had made the connection before now.

IT'S MADONNA'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541536)

I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn't know how lost I was
Until I found you

I was beat incomplete
I'd been had, I was sad and blue
But you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
Shiny and new

Chorus:

Like a virgin
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
When your heart beats (after first time, with your heartbeat)
Next to mine

Gonna give you all my love, boy
My fear is fading fast
Been saving it all for you
cause only love can last

You're so fine and you're mine
Make me strong, yeah you make me bold
Oh your love thawed out
Yeah, your love thawed out
What was scared and cold

MADONNA IS THE BEST!

Only one problem (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541054)

It's all about control not user experience.

Re:Only one problem (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541100)

Parent is correct. Streaming is the most user-accepted form of DRM out there.

Re:Only one problem (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541162)

Absolutely. It's glaringly obvious that 'buffering' without restriction is best for network utilization, but the provider throttles the connection rate for various reasons (memory consumption vs. disk space is the most technical one), but the biggest thing is 'rental' model is a little more palatable as a streaming implementation that *expressly* prevents faster-than-realtime download out of paranoia of piracy.

Re:Only one problem (1)

OS2toMAC (1327679) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541476)

Couldn't you fix the "rental" model so that the video is available for X number of days past download. DirecTV OnDemand does this now (with the DVR). I can re-watch the movie for (I think) 5 days after "purchase". The old DIVX had self-destruct of the contents back in the 90's didn't it? (or was that the 80's) And let's face it, nothing is going to stop the pirates anyway.

Efficiency, not brute force. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541068)

Sure, every time someone downloads a TV show or movie and only watches the first 10 minutes, all the extra bandwidth utilized down download the other 90% was completely wasted, stealing resources from all the other people who are also downloading stuff they'll never watch. Next, someone will have the idea that it would be a great feature if your browser pre-fetched all the other episodes for the same season or additional sequel/prequel movies, just in case you may want to watch them later. I guess the end game would be your computer constantly scouring the net and downloading every scrap of information it can find in case you may want to review it at some future point. Adding bandwidth is never a BAD idea, however it should obviate the need for these types of practices, not encourage them.

What about devices w/ insufficient local storage? (3, Insightful)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541070)

The Wii won't be able to hold an entire downloaded movie --- unless one makes putting in a blank 8GB SD card before watching --- I don't think that will go over well, nor do I think the copyright holders will like the idea of a single monolithic file being made available.

The problem isn't merely a technical one...

William

Re:What about devices w/ insufficient local storag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541106)

it would likely still be more efficient to download the movie in larger blocks than trying to stream it out, not to mention the fact it'll probably improve quality (got fed up with netflix popping up that loading bar while watching a couple of shows last night)

Re:What about devices w/ insufficient local storag (2)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541156)

It may not DL an entire movie, but it could grab a significant chunk of it and let you watch it without jitter or pixelation, and then DL the next chunk when you have a few minutes of video from the previous chunk.

The copyright holders are going to whine and moan no matter how it's done, so the best thing is to ignore them and do it the right way. It's just as easy to capture a streamed movie as it is one that arrive as a single piece. The thing they need to get over is that once people can rely on having a resource available to them on the net, there's less motivation for them to hoard it on a local drive. If movies only cost a couple dollars, were stored on some upstream server farm that would shoot it down to me on demand, I'd buy a hell of a lot more movies. I'd bet that many other people would, too.

Re:What about devices w/ insufficient local storag (1)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541246)

The Wii won't be able to hold an entire downloaded movie

That's easily solved too. Increase storage... exponentially!

Re:What about devices w/ insufficient local storag (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541576)

Too bad for the Wii. Why should the rest of us suffer because they though 512MB of internal storage was enough?

When the bill comes due... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541096)

How much will all this cost and who is going to pay for it? What are the numbers for the last mile, the single residential household? The hardware requirements for in-home distribution?

I'm Trent the Thief, and I approve this message (2)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541112)

Listen to the man, he knows of that which he speaks.

More bandwidth may not solve all the problems, but it'll sure as hell solve some of them.

I don't know how many of you still remember the dialup days, or even used dial-up. When the schoolkids got home, they'd start hitting AOL and you'd notice the lag.

It's not as bad now, what with me having a 25/25Mbps line. But there's still a very wide range of criminal acts that I'd perform to have my own 1 Gbps line.

Re:I'm Trent the Thief, and I approve this message (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541280)

Listen to the man, he knows of that which he speaks.

More bandwidth may not solve all the problems, but it'll sure as hell solve some of them.

I don't know how many of you still remember the dialup days, or even used dial-up. When the schoolkids got home, they'd start hitting AOL and you'd notice the lag.

It's not as bad now, what with me having a 25/25Mbps line. But there's still a very wide range of criminal acts that I'd perform to have my own 1 Gbps line.

Of course, most parts of the country have 1.5mbs or less for their internet connection. Should the emphasis be on providing a few people, in select metropolitan areas, unbelievable bandwidth or should it be on providing reasonable bandwidth for the rest of the country?

Re:I'm Trent the Thief, and I approve this message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541348)

Of course, most parts of the country have 1.5mbs or less for their internet connection. Should the emphasis be on providing a few people, in select metropolitan areas, unbelievable bandwidth or should it be on providing reasonable bandwidth for the rest of the country?

Enter the false dichotomy... why not both?

Re:I'm Trent the Thief, and I approve this message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541456)

the emphasis should be on providing me with what i need immediately.

Re:I'm Trent the Thief, and I approve this message (1)

stardaemon (834177) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541428)

How desperate are you, exactly?;)
You could get it if you moved. Of the top of my head, I know of at least one place you can get it, and I'm certain there are many more.
Umeå [google.com] , in northern Sweden, it's reasonably easy to get 1 Gbps.
They upgraded from 100Mbps just recently.

He's completely missing the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541120)

One of the key beenfits of streaming is that the reciever can decide where to begin playback, it means that you save bandwidth and more importantly money by only serving the end user the data they need.

With the number of videos being watched at any point in time on the web you would need a seriously fat pipe to be able to handle all that burst traffic resulting from people downloading every video they wanted to look at, can you imagine what youtube browsing would be like...

Download 2 gig video, watch 5 seconds, nope no titties..

Download 3 gig video, watch 5 seconds, nope no titties..

Download 2.5 gig video, watch 5 seconds, nope no titties..

Download 256K video, watch 5 seconds, wahaeeey titties! Watch the rest of it....

Re:He's completely missing the point... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541616)

You can play back a partially downloaded file in quite a few video players.

Vaporware, at least for me. (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541124)

Not happening here. I live in a suburb of a suburb, in a mostly elderly neighborhood. Yea, i'll see this in 50 years.

Re:Vaporware, at least for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541358)

I would generally expect the elderly population to last significantly less than 50 years.

It's not about bandwidth, it's about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541154)

The content providers could burst you the video today, if they wanted to. They don't want to. They want to guarantee that their digital content will never sit at rest on your system where you might possibly duplicate it. Giving everyone more bandwidth will not change this fact. But at least you'll be able to stream video using a smaller fraction of your available bandwidth.

never happen (4, Interesting)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541186)

unfortunately there is no way this will happen. There are too many important competing interests which act at the beaurocratic/governance level which are anti-bandwidth.

MPAA/RIAA don't want people to stream quickly because they fear content being stolen
CIA/FBI don't want increased bandwidth because they need(or think they need) to be able to monitor and index all communication (TIA)
ATT/Verizon and other telecoms don't want to because it represents a cost that will interfere with their milking of customers
Comcast doesn't want it because it will interfere with their control over content

Everyone just wants to stay status quo or worse. This will never happen.

Just wave that magic wand (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541188)

I work for a small ISP in a mid-sized city, and I'd love to see more bandwidth everywhere. However, we can't get gigabit access for our company for a practical cost, much less deliver it to end users. There are real costs involved in running a physical plant that just don't scale up at this time.

In any case, the "download an hour of video in 15 seconds" is somewhat impractical in any case; downloading an hours worth of anything in 15 seconds requires 240 times the bandwidth over streaming it. Over-the-air HD video is up to 19 megabits per second, so the equivalent download would require a 4.6 gigabit/second link (at the end-user side; the server side would have to be many times that). It would also require some type of storage device that can handle 570 megabytes per second, which is an order of magnitude faster than current hard drives.

Also, what is the point of downloading an hour of video in less than an hour? It isn't like you can watch it faster. A decent streaming system should allow you to fast-forward and such, so that shouldn't be an excuse. Let's work on bandwidth for true HD-level streaming first.

Re:Just wave that magic wand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541480)

The problem is that everyone is treating bandwidth as a retail markup.

Top tier backhaul carriers charge $X for an N mbit/second connection. This fee is generally high.

2nd tier backhaul carriers / regional aggregates then connect to the top tier carrier and upsell the connection to ISPs. They make proportionately more than $X on the same connection, and oversubsribe it (in essence, this bandwidth fee is paying for technicians, phone operators, etc, etc).

ISPs (you, in this case) then connect to the 2nd tier provider (who again is charging you more than $X), and you break it up into even SMALLER oversubscribed chunks to sell that to businesses/end user customers.

I don't mean to say we shouldn't have ISPs, but the PROBLEM is ISPs and 2nd tier carriers. Everyone is taking their piece of the pie for their segment of the network, and by the time it reaches the end-user, the connection is proportionately SO expensive and SO oversubscribed that it's silly.

THAT, my friend, is why bandwidth to the home is so expensive, and why you (as the ISP) can't get a "reasonable" connection at a "reasonable" cost.

Looking at it another way - if home users were allowed to connect directly to the major carriers, and all the 2nd tier backhaul guys and ISPs ceased to exist.. what would rates be like? I see it as buying direct from the manufacturer versus, say, one of those 24 hour convenience stores.

Re:Just wave that magic wand (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541572)

Over-the-air HD video is up to 19 megabits per second, so the equivalent download would require a 4.6 gigabit/second link (at the end-user side; the server side would have to be many times that).

Dont confuse the inefficiencies of an implementation (an MPEG2 encoding) with a limitation in reality. 6 to 8 mbps is quite often more than fine for 1080p with H.264 (same error/pixel as DVD)

WOW; Way out west (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541204)

Sometime ago, a company had the right idea. Basically, get the monopoly from the home to the greenbox, or even to the CO. Than provide hook-ups for other companies. That one monopoly is what Google, et. al. need to do. If they get that started and push cities and states for the FIBER MONOPOLY on just that piece, than others will provide the connectivity. And if they want to limit the bandwidth or speed, then google and the partners can provide links back to their sites. Basically, bypass ATT, Verizon, Qwest, etc.

Plan B (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541210)

Use a carrier pigeon [reuters.com] :

Australia's problems with high-speed Internet can be summed up in one word: Margaret.

Margaret is a carrier pigeon that raced the nation's biggest broadband service to send a 700 megabit file over a distance of 132 km (82 miles) -- a televised contest that Margaret, with a memory stick taped to her leg, won easily.

Why? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541238)

Why should ISPs invest in infrastructure outlay when they can just raise rates on "bandwidth hogs"?

Don't forget the MPAA! (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541240)

The biggest problem with this is that streaming allows for content publishers to control distribution (more or less). Allowing an entire work to be stored on a hard drive just begs to be ripped and stored permanently.

I hate the MPAA as much as the next guy. Just saying that even if the bandwidth was there, no way that the powers that hold the keys would allow it.

Out of curiousity.... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541250)

Out of curiousity, who will pay for this increased bandwidth/pipe? It seems that laying fiber everywhere across the country is either going to take government subsidies or be cost prohibitive if you are outside of metropolitan areas.

The second question would be is whether or not that increased bandwidth is the most efficient way to stream video? Dish network and DirectTV seem to do a pretty good job with video, now. Wouldn't it make more sense to have an internet connection from a satellite provider where you could order video on demand (or even a cable provider). It would then go direct to your tv, dvr or pc?

how is this not obvious? (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541254)

The Internet is limited only by the capacity of the transmission medium and the memory of the switching equipment. I really wish more people understood this. Need more capacity? Upgrade infrastructure. Problem solved.

In a market economy, we could choose our own ISP by who offered the best service and speed based on price. Unfortunately deregulation has created a duopoly.

Re:how is this not obvious? (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541524)

"Upgrade infrastructure. Problem solved." just shows how little you understand. You are talking about infrastructure that was traditionally amortized over decades (telco switches, cable headends, and outside plant) now being amortized over a few years instead. Sure, you can do that, but don't expect to like the price; multi-gigabit routers are not cheap (and it has nothing to do with the memory).

Silliest thing I've heard from Cerf. (1)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541262)

There's a reason video service stream video out in chunks: bandwidth costs money and connections are contended.

  - If somebody loads your video but only play the first 15 seconds (of an hour long clip) and you've only served them 30 seconds of video, your wastage is low. If you pump it out as fast as you can, you've wasted 59 minutes, 45 seconds of video in bandwidth. Even imagining that tomorrow's bandwidth prices were near-nothing what they are today, this is the sort of overhead companies can easily cut by dripping out content in chunks.

  - Servers and networks have throughput limits. Even if you get a googlbit pipe, you're still limited by the hardware. If you're pushing out a video from RAM to three users, using all your CPU and most of your network, what happens when users four through ten come along? Chunking lowers the "there and then" I/O demands.

  - It's not even a good idea for users. The average user doesn't need something to stream out that fast either - there's no benefit for most people to have the end of a clip before they're through the opening credits. You can still seek with progressive chunks.

I expect more from Cerf. This is very simple network economics.

Technically correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541316)

But the business model is to get them signed up and under contract,
then allow service levels to deteriorate or remove services,
Then charge more for those services or to restore bandwidth,

Profit!

No network rework or buildout will ever occur without a huge increase in profits....

Easy enough to make technical sense of things (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541346)

But you have to remember that the biggest roadblock to next-gen entertainment is big content and cable companies, whose aging business models are threatened by anything innovative. Cable companies may whine about bandwidth, but really, everybody knows it's about their core cable TV business. These industries have demonstrated time and time again that they will drag the entire economy and innovation itself down with them before they will reinvent themselves to change with the times.

Just think! (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541362)

Imagine how much more bandwidth they could oversell! Just imagine the possibilities! It's a win-win!

Missing the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541414)

I think a lot of people are missing the point. Removing artificial rate limits imposed by streaming, and moving to full speed burst (subject only to QoS) allows for networks to achieve much greater overall throughput in the real world.

When we say an example link carries 1Gbps, what we are saying is that 1Gb can move through that link in any 1s interval. Each new 1s interval is an opportunity for another 1Gb of transfer. Data transfer falling short of that Gb is wasted capacity. That transfer must be pushed forward into the next 1s interval.

Moving to a full burst model reduces wasted capacity by ensuring the network is not artificially underutilized based on current and future transfer demands, rather than artificially pushing those transfer demands into a future interval which may then become swamped with more requests, causing transfer demands to exceed supply.

Applications and systems are most efficient when they complete the task as quickly as possible then release resources back to the system, as systems have no way of knowing determinately what chaotic demand profile might arise in the near future.

Overall broadband usage follows a slower moving wave pattern. Individual usage at any point in the system at any interval is highly variable. This is why large transfer demands must be executed as fast (wall time) as possible during times of lower utilization so they don't spill over into another interval.

Similar arguments have been brought against the transfer caps being rolled out by ISPs. Data transfer at non-peak times is not detrimental to the network as the network is in effect "producing" transfer capacity (at line speed) which nobody is using. Unused capacity in any interval is wasted. There is no "rollover plan" for data transfer.

Rate caps degrade performance by causing artificially unnecessary congestion in future high-demand intervals.

The sensible solution is to schedule transfer as soon as possible when capacity is available. Pushing it forward is the domain of bureaucrats and management types who do not understand network engineering.

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