The scale of streaming video on the Internet.

Scott Helms khelms at
Thu Dec 2 14:36:04 CST 2010

> Sunday Night Football at the top last week, with 7.1% of US homes
> watching.  That's over 23 times as many folks watching as the 0.3% in
> our previous math!  Ok, 23 times 150Gbps.
> 3.45Tb/s.
> Yowzer.  That's a lot of data.  345 10GE ports for a SINGLE TV show.
> But that's 7.1% of homes, so scale up to 100% of homes and you get
> 48Tb/sec, that's right 4830 simultaneous 10GE's if all of Comcast's
> existing high speed subs dropped cable and watched the same shows over
> the Internet.
> I think we all know that streaming video is large.  Putting the real
> numbers to it shows the real engineering challenges on both sides,
> generating and sinking the content, and why comapnies are fighting so
> much over it.
Anything that is "live" & likely to be watched by lots of people at the 
same time like sports can handled via multicast.  The IPTV guys have had 
a number of years to get that work fairly well in telco environments.  
The content that can't be handled with multicast, like on demand 
programming, is where you lose your economy of scale.

Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
ISP Alliance, Inc. DBA ZCorum
(678) 507-5000
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