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

Brandon Butterworth brandon at
Wed May 25 09:19:09 UTC 2011

> > So... would this have been feasible today? given the bandwidth required 
> > to send a full feed these days, i suspect likely not, eh? (even if you 
> > were able to do it on all 500+ channels in parallel)
> On the financial side, it is trivial.

The opposite, the bits were paid for but unused back then so
financially it was worth using them. In digital tv every bit has a use
and so a cost, hence they are used for more TV channels instead for
parasitic services. You end up competing with TV if you want any
quantity so hard to make viable today.

> On the engineering side, _impossible_.

The opposite, completely trivial now. Digital TV is a mux of a number
of bit streams, some with compressed video others with meta data for
epg, alternate sound, interactive apps etc. Adding another stream to
the mux is trivial, you just have to pay for the bandwidth though as
most are stat muxed it's possible to create room at the expense of the
vbr streams where the video encoders reduce the quality of as result of
back pressure from the stat muxer

> To pick a conservative number, say you get an effective throughput of
> 2k bytes/sec

It'd be easy to squeeze that into a normal tv satellite mux

> As I understand it, a current USENET 'full feed', including binaries, take
> two dedicated 100mbit FDX fast ethernet links, and they are saturated _most_
> of the day.  At that rate, A full day of TV vertical interval transmission
> wuould handle under _ten_seconds_ worth of the inbound traffic.  You would
> around =ten=thousand= analog TV channels to handle a contemporary 'full
> feed'.

Or just 3 full muxes at cost of around 10M (probably the same in any
currency) per year


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