[mythtv-users] Somewhat OT: Comcast takeover of NBC Universal

David L idht4n at gmail.com
Sun Dec 6 15:23:03 UTC 2009

On Sun, Dec 6, 2009 at 12:47 AM, Joe Wilson  wrote:
> The dish
> companies need to
> get into internet service via the dish and wipe out the need for for comcast
> all together. In the
> end I think it will be good for consumers, or competition...

I could be wrong, but I really don't think satellite based internet
is a viable business.  Two way communication through satellites
is much more expensive to provide than terrestrial based bandwidth.
It's good for people that live in areas that don't yet have a broadband
alternative and possibly for people who don't use much bandwidth,
(but that's not most people on this list I suspect).  But I've looked
into satellite internet for my uncle who lives in the boonies where
there is no cable/DSL/FIOS/Uverse and there are either monthly
or daily caps on bandwidth that are like 50x less than the
comcast caps.  One of the providers has a time between like 2 am
and 6 am where you can get around the cap, but that's not
exactly suitable for video on demand and it doesn't scale to a lot
of subscribers running cron jobs at 2 am.  Even at my uncle's they
are working on wireless towers that should be operational in
a year and cellular broadband (although it has bandwidth caps
too) is available already if you stand on your head in one corner of
his house.

I predict the satellite internet business will not grow
much and will never be enough for internet service for the masses.
Just look at what happened to Globalstar and Iridium for voice
through satellite.  They both went bankrupt and I think it's for
the same reason... two way communication through satellites
is expensive.  They've both emerged from bankruptcy, but it's
much easier to be profitable when you don't have to pay back
the millions invested in satellites and launches.  Iridium is
doing other things to help make a viable business:


I'm not saying satellite won't have a place in providing
video content, but it won't be traditional internet video
on demand IMHO.  At least not if on-demand means
content is sent through the satellite bandwidth at the
time that you ask for it.  But in the days of DVRs and
ridiculously cheap disk space, on-demand can also
mean playing back content that was broadcast last
week (not necessarily a scheduled recording... it
could archive broadcasts that it thinks you might like
based on your viewing habits).  In a closed-source
box, it could even charge you for watching it on-
demand even though its been on your box for a week.



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