September 12, 2006

iTV...

"...will wirelessly stream video and music from a Macintosh computer or from the Internet to a television."

Is this what we've been waiting for? Can I get rid of my cable service and my TiVo now? Everything will just stream over the internet really soon, right?

13 comments:

john(lesser) said...

No. Content wars will go on for years. From what I recall, two of your favorites are American Idol and Project Runway . You can have both for free right now with a rudimentary understanding of torrent technology. More protected stuff, like HBO content, good luck. Doesn't matter if you want to pay. The big boys won't play nice. Too much money involved.

Doyle said...

I don't think you'll want to ditch cable TV for a little while yet.

It's possible to stream video wirelessly, but not at anywhere near the quality of cable, and I think it has to be prerecorded.

Sprint is going to roll out a WiMax network in the near future, which is supposed to be a step up, but landlines are still much faster.

Fenrisulven said...

Whats the latency like? Is it even reasonable to expect a future wireless product that supports multi-player gaming servers, etc?

I have alot of online gaming friends who are stuck with crummy service b/c its the only ISP in town.

john(lesser) said...

Stuff just came out today, and I haven't checked all the articles, but I do not think lag/latency will be an issue. You will download it to your Mac, then it will stream out. Problem is you are stuck with Disney/Abc/Miramax content plus whoever else jumps on ship.

F15C said...

Don't disconnect your cable just yet. The content available to you is and will be pretty limited for some time and wireless video distribution within the home is fraught with problems. A standard digital movie or TV channel video stream (using MPEG2) is just under 4 megabits per second and there is little room for latency between frames of the program. HDTV is even more demanding at just under 20 megabits per second. Wireless is and always will be an imperfect method from transfering high bandwidth, low-latency data.

The problem is that the home is an interference-rich environment for wireless networking. On top of that every home is different and ever-changing in terms of it's ability to propagate wireless signals in a consistent manner.

iTV may work well in your house and terribly in mine - and then next week just the opposite could be true.

And as more people fire up wireless networks the problem gets worse due to contention for radio spectrum between homes.

(Full disclosure: I'm not only are regular reader here, I'm the founder of an early stage startup that has a solution to the problem of wireless distribution of video, VoIP telephone, and data traffic in the home. We will reliably transport multiple streams/channels of not only standard DTV, but HDTV as well.)

tiggeril said...

A preview:

Buffering...
Buffering...
Buffering...
Buffering...

gj said...

Ann, the main impact of the iTV is that all of us will now be able to watch your video podcasts in high definition. (Better stock up on that pancake makeup).

Wurly said...

And yet, Netflix stock was up over 5% today. I'd thought for a while that home delivery of DVD's was a stopgap service until streaming was feasible. It appears that the market isn't seeing much of a threat from streaming just yet.

Dave said...

HBO content is readily available via bit torrent sites.

I won't post links but suffice it to say one need not pay HBO fees to watch Sopranos or the Wire or Sex and the City.

john(lesser) said...

HBO content is available via torrent, almost anything is. The difference is, HBO protects their content, especially the popular stuff. This involves sending out bad seeds and notifying your ISP for downloading copyrighted content. Besides, I don't think finances are discouraging Prof. Althouse from cable. It is probably convenience and/or paying for only what she wants.

Ann Althouse said...

What I most want is to get rid of the cable box and the TiVo and the TV schedules and be able to get a show the way I can get a webpage. Actually, I'd probably watch less TV if everything was always available. I think it should be the equivalent of a TiVo with every movie and TV show in it. What I would probably end up doing is watching episodes of old TV shows, like "Dobie Gillis" and "Shindig." At least at first. I really don't know what I'd do. Maybe watch very little.

(And I'm not interested in stealing HBO or anything else.)

bill said...

What I most want is to get rid of the cable box and the TiVo and the TV schedules and be able to get a show the way I can get a webpage.

The problem with the DISH/DirectTV/cable is that once it's in your house, holes still need to be drilled and wires still need to be run. I read somewhere the other day that "we've solved the last mile problem, now we just have to solve the last hundred yards."

Just like the internet connection can come through one port and be accessed wirelessly throughout the house, that's what I want with cable. The problem has been the tubes keep getting clogged. If Apple's iTV can stream a reasonable picture from the computer to a TV, then we're getting closer to that ability.

Problem is you are stuck with Disney/Abc/Miramax content plus whoever else jumps on ship. That's just the current movie deal. iTunes already has plenty of television series, cartoons, and videos you can download. Then there's the business traveling friends who have converted many of their DVDs for iPod play. Just like iTunes got me to rip hundreds of CDs (now boxed and stored in the basement) to create a giant jukebox, why not rip all your DVDs for a movie/TV jukebox and shoot off a playlist channel to any room in the house?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Dobie! Wants a gal who's dreamy
Dobie! Wants a gal who's creamy.
Dobie! Wants a gal to blog alone.

Is she blonde? Is she tall? Is she dark? Is she small? Is she any kind of blogger at all? No matter. He's hers, and hers alone.