How do you put a TV station on the Mbone?

George Bonser gbonser at
Tue May 3 03:33:05 UTC 2011

> I'm not at all certain that this is a political problem.  I believe it
> is more of a user need / want problem (which I guess you could
> as "layer > 7" if you want).
> The occasional large live "event" - and when I say occasional, I mean
> not a few per year - likely could be helped if there were a magic wand
> to wave which made multicast work for no CapEx or OpEx and perfectly
> billed.  But the vast majority of traffic cannot be served by multi-
> cast.
> The real cost of multi-cast (when it works at all!) may be too great
> for the small benefit, even ignoring the billing mechanism.
> People's proclivities change.  As a vendor / supplier / company who
> gets paid, we have to adjust to the wishes of the people paying us as
> best we can.  Or someone else will.
> --
> patrick

Hi, Patrick.

It takes some coordination but imagine someone like Comcast or
Roadrunner or AT&T says "hey, want to watch the March Madness games or
the Masters or the Olympics or the World Series?  Here, download this
application and watch it with much better performance than streaming on
a web browser."

They would rather easily know how many customer ports are watching the
broadcast.  As I mentioned earlier, Verizon Wireless already uses it in
their mobile network.  It would take some coordination between the
content providers and the large consumer networks but the benefits would
be pretty substantial for the customers.  So the provider could go to
the cable news network and make an offer to provide live content via
multicast to their subscribers that would not eat a huge amount of
resources for either the content provider or the network provider.

It doesn't make sense for a lot of on-demand access but makes a lot of
sense for live content like radio talk shows, news, sports, etc.  Even
webcams could be upgraded to provide streaming content rather than
individual frames without chewing up a lot of resources. It wouldn't
matter if 1 or 1 million people are watching, the bandwidth resource
requirement would remain the same.

If there are 10,000 Comcast subscribers watching exactly the same live
event on the net, sending 10,000 streams of exactly the same data is
dumb and it doesn't have to be that way.

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