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Why Digital Media downloading is bound to fail? Maybe...
#1
As we gamers know, just a few months ago the fight between Bluray and HD ended, which also ended a war between PS3 and XBOX360 owners. Microsoft at that point decided that while they could add a Bluray player, they were going to take the route of digital downloads...

As we also very well know, both the Playstation Network and Live! offer much to download. Everything from games, addons, demos, movies, music, etc... Many have said that digital media downloading will be the future and Bluray will fail. Many claim this will be the way people buy games.

I once again beg to differ on that view...
This time though I come with the biggest reason of all...
What if suddenly you weren't just paying for your downloads, but paying per gigabyte of bandwidth to your internet provider, or your total bandwidth was suddenly... Capped.

Straight off the New York Times.

Microsoft and Sony, Netflix, and every other big company holding a media download site might just need to rethink their strategies, and consumers better be ready for a full scale legal battle.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/techno...0&emc=eta1

Quote:Charging by the Byte to Curb Internet Traffic

By BRIAN STELTER
Published: June 15, 2008

Some people use the Internet simply to check e-mail and look up phone numbers. Others are online all day, downloading big video and music files.

For years, both kinds of Web surfers have paid the same price for access. But now three of the country’s largest Internet service providers are threatening to clamp down on their most active subscribers by placing monthly limits on their online activity.

One of them, Time Warner Cable, began a trial of “Internet metering” in one Texas city early this month, asking customers to select a monthly plan and pay surcharges when they exceed their bandwidth limit. The idea is that people who use the network more heavily should pay more, the way they do for water, electricity, or, in many cases, cellphone minutes.

That same week, Comcast said that it would expand on a strategy it uses to manage Internet traffic: slowing down the connections of the heaviest users, so-called bandwidth hogs, at peak times.

AT&T also said Thursday that limits on heavy use were inevitable and that it was considering pricing based on data volume. “Based on current trends, total bandwidth in the AT&T network will increase by four times over the next three years,” the company said in a statement.
All three companies say that placing caps on broadband use will ensure fair access for all users.

Internet metering is a throwback to the days of dial-up service, but at a time when video and interactive games are becoming popular, the experiments could have huge implications for the future of the Web.

Millions of people are moving online to watch movies and television shows, play multiplayer video games and talk over videoconference with family and friends. And media companies are trying to get people to spend more time online: the Disneys and NBCs of the world keep adding television shows and movies to their Web sites, giving consumers convenient entertainment that soaks up a lot of bandwidth.

Moreover, companies with physical storefronts, like Blockbuster, are moving toward digital delivery of entertainment. And new distributors of online content — think YouTube — are relying on an open data spigot to make their business plans work.

Critics of the bandwidth limits say that metering and capping network use could hold back the inevitable convergence of television, computers and the Internet.

The Internet “is how we deliver our shows,” said Jim Louderback, chief executive of Revision3, a three-year-old media company that runs what it calls a television network on the Web. “If all of a sudden our viewers are worried about some sort of a broadband cap, they may think twice about downloading or watching our shows.”

Even if the caps are far above the average users’ consumption, their mere existence could cause users to reduce their time online. Just ask people who carefully monitor their monthly allotments of cellphone minutes and text messages.

“As soon as you put serious uncertainty as to cost on the table, people’s feeling of freedom to predict cost dries up and so does innovation and trying new applications,” Vint Cerf, the chief Internet evangelist for Google who is often called the “father of the Internet,” said in an e-mail message.

But the companies imposing the caps say that their actions are only fair. People who use more network capacity should pay more, Time Warner argues. And Comcast says that people who use too much — like those who engage in file-sharing — should be forced to slow down.

Time Warner also frames the issue in financial terms: the broadband infrastructure needs to be improved, it says, and maybe metering could pay for the upgrades. So far its trial is limited to new subscribers in Beaumont, Tex., a city of roughly 110,000.

In that trial, new customers can buy plans with a 5-gigabyte cap, a 20-gigabyte cap or a 40-gigabyte cap. Prices for those plans range from $30 to $50. Above the cap, customers pay $1 a gigabyte. Plans with higher caps come with faster service.

“Average customers are way below the caps,” said Kevin Leddy, executive vice president for advanced technology at Time Warner Cable. “These caps give them years’ worth of growth before they’d ever pay any surcharges.”

Casual Internet users who merely send e-mail messages, check movie times and read the news are not likely to exceed the caps. But people who watch television shows on Hulu.com, rent movies on iTunes or play the multiplayer game Halo on Xbox may start to exceed the limits — and millions of people are already doing those things.

Streaming an hour of video on Hulu, which shows programs like “Saturday Night Live,” “Family Guy” and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” consumes about 200 megabytes, or one-fifth of a gigabyte. A higher-quality hour of the same content bought through Apple’s iTunes store can use about 500 megabytes, or half a gigabyte.

A high-definition episode of “Survivor” on CBS.com can use up to a gigabyte, and a DVD-quality movie through Netflix’s new online service can eat up about five gigabytes. One Netflix download alone, in fact, could bring a user to the limit on the cheapest plan in Time Warner’s trial in Beaumont.

Even services like Skype and Vonage that use the Internet to transmit phone calls could help put users over the monthly limits.

Time Warner would not reveal how many gigabytes an average customer uses, saying only that 95 percent of customers use under 40 gigabytes each in a month.

That means that 5 percent of customers use more than 50 percent of the network’s overall capacity, the company said, and many of those people are assumed to be sharing copyrighted video and music files illegally.

The Time Warner plan has the potential to bring Internet use full circle, back to the days when pay-as-you-go pricing held back the Web’s popularity. In the early days of dial-up access, America Online and other providers offered tiered pricing, in part because audio and video were barely viable online. Consumers feared going over their allotted time and bristled at the idea that access to cyberspace was billed by the hour.

Continues on next post...
9/2/2010 - Leaving PSXE. The site imo has become a breeding ground for fanboys and extemists. I can get my PS3 news anywhere, and PSXE does not breed a community that is exactly welcoming.

Some of you shall be missed though! I think you few know who you are Smile
A few of you are actually on my PSN list at that! Cool
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#2
Continued from first post...

Quote:In 1996, when AOL started offering unlimited access plans, Internet use took off and the online world started moving to the center of people’s daily lives. Today most Internet packages provide a seemingly unlimited amount of capacity, at least from the consumer’s perspective.

But like water and electricity, even digital resources are finite. Last year Comcast disclosed that it was temporarily turning off the connections of customers who used file-sharing services like BitTorrent, arguing that they were slowing things down for everyone else. The people who got cut off complained and asked how much broadband use was too much; the company did not have a ready answer.

Thus, like Time Warner, Comcast is considering a form of Internet metering that would apply to all online activity.

The goal, says Mitch Bowling, a senior vice president at Comcast, is “ensuring that a small number of users don’t impact the experience for everyone else.”
Last year Comcast was sued when it was disclosed that the company had singled out BitTorrent users.

In February, Comcast departed from that approach and started collaborating with the company that runs BitTorrent. Now it has shifted to what it calls a “platform agnostic” approach to managing its network, meaning that it slows down the connection of any customer who uses too much bandwidth at congested times.

Mr. Bowling said that “typical Internet usage” would not be affected. But on the Internet, “typical” use is constantly being redefined.

“The definitions of low and high usage today are meaningless, because the Internet’s going to grow, and nothing’s going to stop that,” said Eric Klinker, the chief technology officer of BitTorrent.

As the technology company Cisco put it in a recent report, “today’s ‘bandwidth hog’ is tomorrow’s average user.”

One result of these experiments is a tug-of-war between the Internet providers and media companies, which are monitoring the Time Warner experiment with trepidation.

“We hate it,” said a senior executive at a major media company, who requested anonymity because his company, like all broadcasters, must play nice with the same cable operators that are imposing the limits. Now that some television shows are viewed millions of times online, the executive said, any impediment would hurt the advertising model for online video streaming.

Mr. Leddy of Time Warner said that the media companies’ fears were overblown. If the company were to try to stop Web video, “we would not succeed,” he said. “We know how much capacity they’re going to need in the future, and we know what it’s going to cost. And today’s business model doesn’t pay for it very well.”
9/2/2010 - Leaving PSXE. The site imo has become a breeding ground for fanboys and extemists. I can get my PS3 news anywhere, and PSXE does not breed a community that is exactly welcoming.

Some of you shall be missed though! I think you few know who you are Smile
A few of you are actually on my PSN list at that! Cool
Reply
#3
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/...?id=559622

It seems that the government of Canada is looking into fining and charging people who download illegal videos/music on the net. This bill would be impossible to pass and enforce. The thing is, this might make isp cap the download usage even more cause of this bill.

For gaming, with my new purchase of the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. The co-op and downloadable content is a total of 3gb worth of information. It's a big chunk of course.

If most major usa based isp start charging per gb, they will only loose more customers. My guess ist hat the majority of USA and Canada based TV viewers still watch tv on a tv and buy or even rent movies at stores rather than download them in legit or un-legit ways.

I consider myself a power user for the interent. I do download movies, umm :uhoh: (those kind of movies lol) and I can download upwards of 80gb to 120gb no problem in one month let alone in 2 weeks. It does add up if your even just surfing youtube or media sites where a stream of a vid can get you a 1gb in a day if your downloading podcasts or even movie trailers in hd.


This is from my internet provider. It's a little different in Canada at the moment. I'm currenty on the High Speed package with a 60gb download limit per month. They used to think a router to double/triple/quadruple your connections was wrong and that you had to purchase a 2nd, 3rd and 4th ip address was the way to go. The max download speed of course is never 5mbps (I'm lucky if i get 780kbps).

Quote:High-Speed Nitro Internet 150gb month

High-Speed Xtreme-I Internet 100gb month

Internet
High-Speed 60gb month

Lite Internet
10gb month
This is taken from our other carrier in Canada, Rogers:

Quote:Each Rogers Hi-Speed Internet service provides a generous monthly usage allowance.
Ultra Lite– 2 GB
Lite – 25 GB
Express – 60 GB
Extreme/Extreme Plus - 95 GB
Most other carriers in Canada, Telus with DSL and Bell with dsl and cable have even smaller caps for interent download. Most run to a max 2gb per month.

I would post my usage on here. I would need to call my isp and ask them to activate the usage tool for some reason on my account, but it's better not to do that lol. :evil:

To end this novel, people saying that downloads are the future. They better have a good isp and download limit/usage in order to do it and in most cases, you might have to pay for that 3gb graw2 download down the line if your capped at 2gb or less.
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#4
Surely you agree it's going to happen at some point, though? It's quite possible that Blu Ray or its successor will be the last big physical media format, not least because of the large capacities. They should keep things going fine until digital distribution becomes the norm.

The New York Times might have a slight issue with you copying their entire article (common etiquette is to post a sample and a link, I think). It is definitely an issue though, one I've mentioned a couple of times on here. ISPs (in the UK, at least) have all but priced themselves out of being able to provide an internet service. With the release of the BBC iPlayer ISPs essentially started demanding that the BBC pay the ISPs for the service that customers are supposedly already paying them to do.

So now there's talk of 'excessive' usage (though rarely with specified amounts) being punished with throttling or charging for every extra GB, and even ISPs teaming up with spyware companies to try and use their data for ad revenue. As the ISPs are always keen to point out it's generally a small percentage of users who would be affected, with the suggestion being that they'd quite like to drive those users to another ISP.

The main sticking point over here is that all of this could be handled quite easily by an upgraded fibre network, but nobody wants to pay for it. ISPs can't afford to, the government doesn't want to, and content providers don't feel they should have to.

Ultimately though, as the article says, "today’s ‘bandwidth hog’ is tomorrow’s average user." HD video sites and increasing numbers of legitimate uses for BitTorrent (making it harder to distinguish legal from illegal) are going to become the norm, as well as services entirely based on digital downloading. Eventually there could just be multiple pricing tiers for the heavy users, or simply certain ISPs who charge more for a stronger service.

It's a stumbling block for digital distribution, but it's not insurmountable. Especially when it's the ISPs against Microsoft, Google and the big media companies looking to monetise the web.
Currently Playing: Overwatch (PC/PS4) | Nathan Drake Collection [Uncharted 3] (PS4) Breath of the Wild (Switch) ReCore (XBOne)
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#5
Well, agreed it's not to say digital media won't be phased out in the 'future' but right now, it's NOT going to catch on as companies like Microsoft would hope for it to. With capping, you're only further damaging it as not only do people need the bandwidth to download games, music, movies, misc content... But especially in OUR case, we play games online! That can quickly suck bandwidth out the window! MMOs, shooters, etc... Sure, it pales in comparison to downloading a movie most likely, but it does count. Then there's advertisement banners, etc, loads of crap on the internet that sucks up needless space. OK, cap my internet, but I never wanna see even one advertisement (OF ANY KIND) on the internet.. EVER AGAIN!

While they're at it, they can lower the cost of cable, make HBO and Cinemax free with the basics, oh... and movie tickets better drop back down to $6 a ticket. Oh, and I'd prefer to not pay for LIVE! at that point either, since I won't get to use it very much. Sony for life! lol

As it stands, yes, ISPs would be in an uphill battle if Microsoft, Google, Netflix, Blockbuster, etc all start getting involved and saying 'um, that's not going to work for us... Expect to hear from Robert Shapiro and Al Sharpton within the next 48 hours...' However, I wonder at the same time... Could Microsoft for example step up, and give these ISPs an even bigger threat... Offer its own internet service. I don't know entirely how they could do it, but if anyone has the money in his/her pocket, Bill Gates has it. Although, I would hate to think of all the security issues their service would provide! LOL

Coming home from Montreal, the TiVO failed to record the GPC races... So I do the obvious... Jump online, plunder through the torrent sites for it. HD recording of it, 720p 60fps... Just short of 90 minutes... 1.67gb... Yeah, there goes 2gb of space. I feel bad for anyone who'd think to download a 3 hour movie, muchless... OMFG, the Lord of The Rings trilogy special editions at 1080p with 7.1 uncompressed audio, if we ever saw such a release. Kiss your friends and family goodbye, you're selling them to watch Frodo Baggins in high def.


And like cAt, I can download far far in excess of those limits easily. Just downloading anime that's not licensed in the US can kill a 300gb harddrive in a week or two... >.>

But hey, I live in the middle of nowhere, and the internet in the area was all messed up for quite sometime... Seems I was one of the only people that noticed it. The only bandwidth I seem to be stealing is my own bandwidth making my xbox360 or FFXI laggy!
So yay for living in the woods... Or something.


oh, and as for copying the whole article from the NYT... On the topic... They can think of it as... I'm saving them bandwidth!
9/2/2010 - Leaving PSXE. The site imo has become a breeding ground for fanboys and extemists. I can get my PS3 news anywhere, and PSXE does not breed a community that is exactly welcoming.

Some of you shall be missed though! I think you few know who you are Smile
A few of you are actually on my PSN list at that! Cool
Reply
#6
I'm with VirginMedia in the UK and they seem to think downloading anything above 1gb between 9am and 3pm, and .5gb between 3pm and 9pm is excessive use.

Tell that to just about any one of the PS demos I've been looking to download.

After reaching their max allowance they throttle back my speed and as I am on their 2mb connection throttled to 1mb, gaming online is not an option. I work during the day so I can't spread out my downloading and I have to be sat at my computer to initiate the downloads so I can't leave it running over night. If I was using torrent sites for downloads I would be fine and could leave that running over night without issue so it would seem Virgin are penalising legal downloaders without impacting on torrent illegal downloaders. (I have used torrents for legal stuff in the past).

I wouldn't mind if my speed was slow due to a large number of active users but to artificially throttle my speed is a disgrace. If I was to go home and NO ONE else was using the VM network I would still get throttled after .5gb. Crazy or what!

The unemployed who pay for their network with their benefits are fine as they can pick and choose when they get online.

Oh, and for this I am paying £18/$35.50 per month.
\"...and he shall ascend from the fires of Hell...\"
"everyone knows second hand squirrel kills." - Svosen
[Image: britpsxesmall.jpg]


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#7
Gab that is shocking!
I'm with BT and its £21.99 or £23.99/month.
Up to 8meg speed. Obviously dont get that but I average about 4.
And you can download as much as you want.
"Tina come get some ham!"

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#8
The funny thing is, I was planning on upgrading to a faster service but the 'excessive' banding and throttle speed doesn't even increase proportionately. I'd be paying more money but wouldn't be getting a proportionately better service.
\"...and he shall ascend from the fires of Hell...\"
"everyone knows second hand squirrel kills." - Svosen
[Image: britpsxesmall.jpg]


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#9
Digital downloads will be the de-facto format sooner or later. It's inevitable. As tech improves, I expect the caps to grow as well.
[Image: MrSunburnMan.png]
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#10
Zapix Wrote:Well, agreed it's not to say digital media won't be phased out in the 'future' but right now, it's NOT going to catch on as companies like Microsoft would hope for it to.

I agree, but that doesn't matter so much. Microsoft (and companies like them, this isn't a Sony vs. MS subject) aren't banking on killing physical media right now, it's more a case of having a robust digital distribution service in place by the time it becomes the standard means of purchasing media. If such a service is considered the secondary purchasing system, and the primary purchasing system dwindles, they get first place.

I often use torrent/download sites when TV shows fail to record on the Sky+ box, but though illegal methods like that currently offer things legal ones don't, it's likely only a matter of time before broadcasters will offer secondary viewing services online (some channels over here already do, to some degree). Again, they won't be happy if their selling points to encourage subscribing are being limited by cheapo ISPs.

As you said, at the more extreme end of responses to caps and throttling, it's not infeasible that a tech company like MS or Google (who despise any version of non-neutrality on the web) could launch their own ISP. Google especially have the clout to make a 'cool' ISP, and all it would take is a few well-placed endorsements from the media providers ("Hulu.com - works better on Google Internet") to get ISPs to backpedal.
Currently Playing: Overwatch (PC/PS4) | Nathan Drake Collection [Uncharted 3] (PS4) Breath of the Wild (Switch) ReCore (XBOne)
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