Netflix Is Eating Up More Of North America's Bandwidth Than Any Other Company

Lou Katz lou at
Wed May 25 02:48:07 UTC 2011

On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 08:12:31PM -0400, Max wrote:
> Was PBS one of the companies you are referring to?  A colleague of
> mine worked as a developer on a project at PBS in the 90s that used
> the blanking interval for Internet transmissio - very cool stuff.

> > The one that was _much_ more interesting was the one that Lauren Weinstein
> > had a hand in.  It piggy-backed a Usenet feed in the vertical blanking
> > interval of several big "independant" TV stations -- ones that were
> > carried by practically every cable company in the country.  Distribution
> > to the cable companies was via satellite, but the USENET feed, being
> > _part_ of the video signal, consumed _zero_ additional bandwidth, and
> > rode the satellite links for free.
> >
> > To get the feed, all you needed was a TV tuner with 'video out', and the
> > purpose-huilt decoder box that extracted the vertical interval data.
> >
> > This service died as the independants moved to encrypted transmission,
> > because the encryption did _not_ perserve anything in the 'blanking'
> > timeslot. only the 'viewable' field-image was trasmitted, _as_ a full-field
> > image.  Sync, blanking, etc. was _locally_ generated on the receiving end.
> >
> > An "elegant" idea, done in by changing technology.   *sigh*
> >

As USENIX director I sponsored and sheparded this project, called "Stargate".
We at least got bits into the blanking interval at WTBS in Altanta.


Hand typed on my Remington portable

Real data are normal in the middle and Cauchy in the tails.

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